Things to Do: 2013 Joint Meeting/Midyear Meeting

ISBA Midyear Meeting (Joint meeting with the Illinois Judges Association)
December 12 - 14, 2013
The Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, Chicago, Illinois

Celebrating Fellowship!

Before coming to the City of Chicago, check out the official City of Chicago tourism site at You can do a search by date and get a full list of events and also refine it by event type, neighborhood, and even restrict it to free events. Lots of information is provided about music, plays, and events for the four-day weekend. Other helpful sites are Choose Chicago (, Where Chicago (, Metromix Chicago (, and TimeOut Chicago (


Millennium Park: 55 Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL
Ph. 312-742-1168
This 24.5-acre green space is one of the city's major cultural centers; its centerpiece is the shiny elliptical sculpture by Anish Kapoor called Cloud Gate, which locals have affectionately nicknamed 'The Bean.' Other highlights: a digitally animated water fountain created by contemporary artist Jaume Plensa; the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion; and the serene Lurie Garden.

Skydeck Chicago, Willis (formerly Sears) Tower:  233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL
Ph. 312-875-9696
At 103 stories high, the Skydeck at the Willis (formerly Sears) Tower offers an unsurpassed view of Chicago and, on a clear day, four surrounding states. It also features multimedia exhibits showcasing the city from its historic past to the present. The Skylights multimedia tour gives visitors stories beyond the views at various stops around the Skydeck. If you dare, brave a trip out onto the glass-bottomed Ledge. Open daily 9 am-10 pm (last ticket sold half-hour before close) 365 days a year. Admission $18/with Skylights tour $23.50; children ages 3-11 $12/$17.50; children under 3 free. Fast Pass (any age) $40. CityPass and group rates available.

Navy Pier: 600 E Grand Ave Chicago, IL 60611
Ph. 312.595.7437
Historic Navy Pier® is Chicago's lakefront playground. And it's the Midwest's #1 tourist and leisure destination, attracting more than 8 million visitors per year.  Open year-round (with the exception of Christmas and Thanksgiving Day), there is always a reason to visit the place where excitement awaits! Navy Pier showcases a unique collection of restaurants and shops in addition to unequaled recreational and exhibition facilities - in a setting like no other!  There is no admission to enter Navy Pier. Attractions within Navy Pier may have admission prices and those prices can be obtained from each individual attraction's box office.  While you're here, don't miss Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier (

Magnificent Mile
Tthe 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue that runs from the banks of the Chicago River to the south, to Oak Street to the north.  The "Mag Mile" is known for its great shopping, hotels, and dining, as well as for its beauty and historical landmarks, such as the John Hancock Center and the Chicago Water Tower.

Other Attractions

The Chicago Cultural Center is another great find. Free concerts at noon; a restored Tiffany dome on the 3rd floor worth seeing; art exhibit; and, great information desk with coupons and docents who lead walks around Chicago (78 E Washington St, 312-744-6630).

American Girl, 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611 (877)247-5223,

Ice Skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Millenium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60601 (312)742-1168
Free Admission/Skate rentals approx. $5

Chicago Park District ice skating:

Christkindlmarket Chicago 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, IL 60602   (312) 494-2175 (
Nov 26 - Dec 24, 2013, Free Admission
The Christkindlmarket Chicago is an annual holiday market featuring vendors from around the world who display hand crafted ornaments, toys and unique holiday gifts as well as traditional German foods, sweets and beverages. The market is rich in cultural tradition and includes special events, performers and activities.

Chicago's Museums

Museums in the Park
This website provides an online video preview of 10 great museums (The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Adler Planetarium, Chicago History Museum, National Museum of Mexican Art, Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, DuSable Museum of African American History, The Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art), links to the museums' websites, and a downloadable pocket user guide "for friendly advice about how to make the most of every visit."  *Note—Some of the museums have free admission days. Check their websites.

Top 10 Chicago Museums
A list of the Top 10 Museums (same as above) but provides a list of their addresses and phone numbers at a glance as well as links to their websites.

Kohl Childrens Museum ( 2100 Patriot Bl, Glenview, IL (847)832-6600.  On exhibit October 1, 2013 through January 6, 2014:  Storyland

Deals & Discounts

Smart Destinations
Click on "Get Your Pass" and select "Chicago."  By choosing "I want to see it ALL!" or "I want to pick a few attractions," you design the "Go Chicago Card" "or Chicago "Go Select" package that best fits your visit.  The all-inclusive card ("Go Chicago") includes free admission to 25 attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium, SkyDeck Chicago, Architecture River Cruise, Hop on Hop Off Trolley, Adler Planetarium, Art Institute of Chicago, Skyline Lake Tour, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Lincoln Park Zoo, Brookfield Zoo, John Hancock Observatory, and more.  Three day adult passes for the all-inclusive package start at $123.24; children 3-12 are $89.24; there are 1, 2, 3, and 5-day passes available. 

Groupon frequently offers discounts on popular Chicago attractions (

Theatre, Sports, & Cultural Events

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carolat the Goodman Theatre, November 16-December 28, 2013.
170 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60601, 312-443.3800

Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604, 312-294-3000 (

The Nutcracker, Chicago Ballet, Athenaeum Main Stage, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Box Office:  773-935-6875 (

Children' Theatre:

Tickets for many events will be available last minute, like tickets to a play. Check out online for last minute tickets to shows like or go into the ticket office at 72 East Randolph (at Michigan Avenue).

Find out what else is playing in town by checking League of Chicago Theatres at

Also see Ticketmaster ( or Tickets Now (

Special Tours

Chicago Pizza Tours (
Chicago Pizza Tours is the first company to offer both visitors & locals tours designed around Chicago's most defining food, pizza. To make sure the experience took you beyond the big names and into the neighborhoods where Chicagoans call home, we created a bus guided tour of culturally significant and neighborhood pizzerias.
On our Chicago Food Tour you have an exclusive opportunity to See Chicago, One Slice at a Time as we sample pizza from different neighborhoods. Being bus driven provides us the flexibility to travel to any restaurant in any neighborhood and never compromise for what is within walking distance. Most think Chicago only offers up deep dish, and while that is a signature style, we also want you to try tavern style, artisanal, and Neapolitan just to name a few. Always a full slice, this tour serves as more than a meal replacement.

Chicago Brewery Tours (
We allow between 45-60 minutes at each location, allowing for plenty of time to sample, order a pint or an appetizer, and if it's available, we are able to tour the facility. This is at the discretion of the brewery staff based on how busy the brewery is at that time. We describe the experience as a tour of styles and flavors, but we try and include a tour of the brewing process at one location on every trip. We do follow a strict time schedule, as we do multiple tours in a day.

Chicago Food Planet Food Tours (
Our 3-hour food tasting and cultural walking Chicago tours combine delicious food and drink tastings with some serious fun in Chicago's most delicious, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, you'll experience delectable foods from one-of-a-kind specialty food stores and ethnic eateries while receiving an insiders view into the culture, history and architecture that defines the Windy City. Walk away with new culinary perspectives, big smiles, satisfied taste buds and the confidence to continue exploring the areas where locals live.

Chicago Chocolate Tours (
Take a delightfully fun and informative guided walking and tasting tour of select chocolate shops, from secret treasures to famous favorites. Savor the flavors on the sweetest tour in town! Uplift through chocolate! Please enjoy exploring our website, and please contact us at or 312-929-2939 with questions or to schedule your public or private Chicago Chocolate Tour.

Weird Chicago Tours (
The Weird Chicago Tours run about 3 hours in length. We travel all over the city during the tours and we do get on and off the bus throughout the evening, offering a mix of ghosts, crime and the unusual all year around! We use air-conditioned and heated buses, so you'll tour Weird Chicago in comfort, no matter what the time of year! Children over the age of 10 are welcome on the tours, but it's not recommended for kids under the age of 10. Sorry, no babies or infants in strollers. No one under the age of 21 is allowed on our Weird Pub Crawls.