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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Visiting the Sears Tower in Chicago

Shooting weddings and children's portraits leaves free summer weekends few and far between. So when my planner shows an empty box {yes I do use a physical planner still!} we always try to make the most of it. After giving Mia the choice of 1) the lakefront 2) a Cubs game or 3) the Sears Tower, she picked the latter.

With free street parking on Sundays, we easily drove into the loop and found street parking. The Skydeck Chicago opened at 9am and we arrived at 1045am thinking our timing would be right with Mia's afternoon nap. While the line outside didn't appear to be very long and moved rather quickly, once we got inside, we were in for a surprise!

Once inside, they take you in an elevator to go downstairs. To wait for TWO HOURS. Am I the only one who didn't know this?? The line weaved around and around so you could take in all the facts displayed along the walls. After going through metal detectors, the line split for those with pre-purchased tickets and those who have yet to purchase tickets. Doug is not a patient man, so as we waited in line, he decided to purchase tickets online with is phone. For him, the $7.50 online processing fee was worth skipping ~30 minutes in line. After purchasing tickets, they have you wait some more and be distracted with fact laden walls until you enter a small theater to watch a 10 minute movie. I actually liked the movie and learned a lot! And then finally!! We were able to take the elevators up 103 floors to the long awaited SkyDeck.

Given the bright summer day, the views were spectacular. Although she's only 3.5, Mia is familiar with her Chicago skyline buildings from various books {especially our version of Good Night Chicago!}, pictures, and trips downtown. It was exciting to have her see and identify them from a new perspective. She wasn't even scared of The Ledge!

After the two hour wait, $55 admission for three, and one hour taking in our gorgeous city, we took the ~60 second elevator ride back down to discover that now at 2pm...there was NO LINE. w.t.f. So folks, don't try and go "early", try later in the afternoon! But all in all, we still thought our mini trip into the loop was worth it. However, if you only have two days in Chicago, you might want to spend your 3 hours elsewhere.