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4.23.2014

Chicago // 4 Quirky Things To Do

big cities are known for their tourist traps.  those places that all tourists go to but you just wind up spending a lot and chicago is no different.  there's some that are really worth it (like the ledge at the sears tower if you're into that sort of thing) and there's other that are... boring.  bean, anyone?  but there's so much more to do here!  for those of you who are looking for the same kind of fun that the locals like to have, here's 5 quirky things for you to check out.

1. find the tamale guy.  he hangs out in the wicker park area selling the best tamales ever.  by the bars, obviously, he's no dummy.  you have to find the original guy though, that's what matters.  him and his red cooler.  that's why you can hunt him down on twitter, he's that important.

2. santa train!  if you're here during december, find the holiday train.  the schedule gets posted on the cta website, but it's more fun to just randomly happen to catch it.  the cta workers dress like elves (and they apply for this position, they love to do it!) and they hand out candy canes.  the cars are all decked out, inside and out, with lights and decor and the train plays christmas music.  one car is removed and replaced with santa's sleigh, with a live santa!  and yes, meredith and i find it every year, ride it to the end, and push little children out of the way so we can take photos with santa.  no shame.


3. if you're willing to travel to the north side of chicago, there's a bar that has turtle racing.  learn it, love it.  you will not be disappointed.  seriously.  turtle. racing.

4. there's a ton of famous concert spots in chicago, like grant park (lollapalooza) and the house of blues.  but for a different experience, try the concerts at northerly island.  which is a peninsula, not an island, but whatever.  take a look here, it's actually really cool with great views.  they have a wide range of concerts coming up!

there's plenty more of course, like an all you can eat chocolate bar and a wizard of oz themed public park, but i guess you'll just have to come visit me if you want to know about it!  what quirky things does your town offer?

35 comments:

  1. OMG why do I not know about turtle racing and why have we not gone yet?! Umm that's going on the next 101 list for sure!

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  2. Ahhh that Santa train looks amazing! And I agree, it would be more fun to randomly catch it than hunt it down ;-)

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  3. the santa train sounds awesome and i want to see those turtles too! need to remember these things for whenever i finally get to chicago again :)

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  4. Ugh I want to go to Chicago right now!!

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  5. You keep making me want to visit Chicago again. And that is quite a feat considering I got stuck there for 48 hours this past winter during whichever snowpocalypse I was passing through during. Not to mention I'm a rather big Divergent fan, so yeah. Maybe when it's not so snowy I will venture back up there. Ya know, between that pizza you mentioned and now the tamales.

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  6. That Santa train sounds like the best thing ever!

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  7. The Santa train, sign me up!

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  8. The Santa car is awesome!

    Did I tell you my parents were in Chicago at the beginning of the month to see the Phils vs Cubs? I had no idea they were even going. I told them to check out your Chicago blogs. I know my stepmom stood in Lake Michigan and they went to that scary building with the glass floor.

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  9. I love the Santa train! I always get so excited when I catch it and start sending everyone pics! I haven't been to the Turtle racing in a long time, might be time to get back to that bar!

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  10. I love chi-town <3 But I have yet to experience the Santa Train!! I haven't been there during Christmas-time, but if I ever am, I'll definitely be checking that out!!

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  11. what if I just come to chicago and you just show me all the cool stuff and be my friend? how about that?

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  12. There is a bar in Cleveland that does hermit crab races- they are the best!! I'm sure turtle racing is awesome too!!

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  13. These are so exciting! I've been putting together a list of things I need to do once I move to Chicago in the summer, and these are definitely going on the list! The Santa train will definitely help winter not seem so terrible.

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  14. The Santa train sounds like so much fun!! Turtle racing, what?!

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  15. Dying to go to Chicago! Hoboken has a similar thing to the Xmas train - its all year round and theres only ONE. He has blinking disco lights when you get in and he sings and dances to every song. it is awesome

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  16. Santa and the Wizard of Oz??? I want to come visit so badly!

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  17. one day I'm going to come visit you. I must eat a delicious tamale and I must see turtle racing. depending on the time of year I may ride a train with Santa too, but obvs that one is iffy. the point is, one day all this is happening.

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  18. I would die if I randomly got on the Santa Train. I'd seriously go all Buddy the Elf on everybody. Ha!

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  19. Turtle racing?! Now that I want to see! It sounds like Chicago has a lot of quirky things to fofer. :)

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  20. Those are fun! And i will find the chirstmas train and ride it all day long.

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  21. Such good timing! I am about to book a trip for June!

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  22. Thanks for the fun tips! Im planning a trip there in late summer so will check out some of your recommendations. The tamale guy sounds awesome and hoping to catch a good concert too! Have a great weekend!

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  23. Awesome ideas! Love the insider info that you won't always find on regular travel type of sites :) We are hoping to get to Chicago SOMETIME this year, so if we ever actually plan it I will be revisiting all these posts!!

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  24. Santa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to ride the Santa train!!!! Get out of my way kids....more important people need to see Santa!

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  25. I've only been to Chicago once but I loved it. Next time I'll have to try some of those things out!

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  26. Key west has a turtle racing bar and a hermit crab racing bar!

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  27. Ah Santa train sounds like so much fun. It would be great to go on it!

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  28. Def try these out next time I am over the pond!

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  29. But I want to go on a Santa Train. You always make a great case for visiting Chicago!

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  30. I heard on the news at lunch you guys had Baconfest in Chicago this weekend and I was a little jealous but now I want to ride the Christmas train too!!!

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  31. Ahh, that Christmas train sounds totally awesome!

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  32. I want to ride the holiday train!!!

    -AJ
    OccasionallyAJ.com

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