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The one-mile (1.6-kilometer) stretch of Michigan Avenue that runs north from the Chicago River to Oak Street is the main thoroughfare between the Loop and the fashionable Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. It is also the largest and busiest shopping area in Chicago, and caters mainly to the affluent and tourists. Known as the Magnificent Mile, Michigan Avenue has been named as one of the ten best shopping avenues in the world by National Geographic's The 10 Best of Everything: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers.
Michigan Avenue is lined with about 460 mid-range and high-end department stores and boutique shops that have a combined retail space of over 3,100,000 square feet (287,999 square meters). High-end department stores include Bloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Luxury boutique shops such as Brooks Brothers, Bulgari, Cartier, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, and Van Cleef & Arpels represent only some of the hundreds of exclusive and upscale shops and boutiques that have given this street its nickname.
In addition to shopping, Michigan Avenue offers dining options in over 275 restaurants, accommodation in 51 hotels, museums, and other tourist attractions.
Updated Sep 22, 2012
If you visit Chicago with children, do not forget American Girl Place. The three-story building is located off north Michigan Avenue and has proved to be an impressive Chicago tourist attraction -- at least for the preteen 5 to 12 year-old girls. But girls 13 to 99 years will also enjoy the place (hehehe).
The store has welcomed more than a million visitors ever since it opened in November 1998. Why?
American Girl Place is the only place in the world to shop for American Girl Dolls and the books, clothes and accessories from the American Girl catalog. There are contemporary dolls with skin, hair and eye colors chosen by their owners and clothes for every modern sport and occasion. Once the shopping is done, the girls can dine at a colorful cafe in which dolls get their very own seats. The menu features food, which itself is designed to be fun e.g. tic-tac-toe pizza, chocolate pudding flower pot, etc.
Finally, it's show time at "The American Girls revue," during which the dolls and their stories are brought to life through an hour long musical. Reservations are required and tickets are priced at $25.
Well all those girls 5 to 99 lets hit it.
What to pay: With kids around or you reverting to your girlish ways, expect credit card outstanding to pile up real fast. This is due to restaurant that becomes a must after so much of shopping.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: See elsewhere.
If you are in Chicago with female children ages 3-12, it is probably imperative to at least visit the American Girl Place! It's located across the street from the historic Water Tower, and girls just love the American Girl Dolls, and they adore going to this Shoppe (it's way more than a shop!)
Here's a summary of some of what you will see there:
a. Boutiques of American Girl Place:
1) American Girls Collection of historical dolls, accessories, and furniture. (For girls 7 and up)
2) American Girl "Today Collection"
(For Girls 8 and up)
3) Dress Like Your Doll
[Buy clothes for your child that matches
her doll's clothes!]
4) Bitty Baby & Bitty Twins Baby Dolls
5) Hopscotch Hill School
[Dolls and play sets for the dolls]
(For ages 4-6)
6) Bookstore with all kinds of books
that are about the dolls, the historic
periods of the dolls, etc.
7) Angelina Ballerina (Ages 3 and up) [I didn't go into this one so I'm not sure on it]
b. Cafe: A great place to eat breakfast,
lunch, or dinner. The bonus is that they set a place and have a special chair for the dolls!
c. Theatre Great theatre with live shows (2 different ones) each day. Kids love them.
d. Doll Hair Salon you have to make an appointment to have the doll's hair done.
e. Photo Studio Child has her photo taken with her doll.
f. Special activities such as cooking classes and are exhibits.
This all might sound outlandish to some of you, especially if you have never had a female child; however, it really is special. It's like stepping back in time and seeing a favorite American Girls character. They have a Peek Into The Past exhibit with life-size recreations of rooms from the American Girls' homes (these characters are strong female characters from history).
Families come from all over America to visit this place. Some mothers and daughters make a whole vacation in Chicago based on American Girl Place. Just don't "knock" what you have not experienced.
What to buy: You can buy dolls, doll's clothes, furniture, and books. You can buy photographs that you have taken in the studio. You can eat at the restaurant. You can even have the doll's hair fixed at a hair studio. It's a place little girls cherish and a great way to "bond" with your child.
What to pay: This is an expensive experience.
Updated Aug 13, 2007
Address: 111 East Chicago Avenue
This is a multistorey store for sporting goods and clothing. We liked the location of the store and the stuff it had. Once you are tired and exhausted after shopping, you can drag yourselves and your newly acquired assets to Rock and Roll McDonald or the Rainforest Cafe for a lunch or dinner. They are loacetd just across the street.
What to buy: Footwear, casual clothes, professional clubs and university related clothes and stuff. In the picture, Rayyan shows off one of his purchase - a Northwestern Wildcat Football T-shirt. It seems the family tradition of supporting Wildcats has been passed on to the next generation.
What to pay: When we visited in March 2007, it was a sell-off at about 40% discount. We went crazy.
Updated Mar 30, 2007
Address: 620 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: (312) 337-6151
We have been shopping at Lincolnwood Mall since ages. It is a world class shopping destination, newly rebuilt and in one of the finest suburbs of Lincolnwood, just north of Chicago main city and south of the city we lived in.
This premier shopping mall provides three anchor stores, which are Old Navy, Kohls, and Carson Pirie Scott. The last two are conspicuous by their absence in Canada. These offer excellent shopping.
Lincolnwood Mall in Chicago has about 100 other stores, including Victoria Secret that had an excellent sale on perfumes and the Gap. There are no movie theater inside the Mall, but are there nearby. It has dining and restaurants include Olive Garden that offers good Italian cuisine, Quiznos, Red Lobster, and Ruby Tuesday.
What to buy: Local arts and crafts, clothings, perfumes, footwear, etc.
What to pay: Prices are comparable with those in other malls, but better than Canada's.
Updated Mar 28, 2007
This is reported to be Illinois' #1 Tourist Destination that is anchored by Nordstrom, Marshall Field's, Lord & Taylor, Sears and JC Penney. Woodfield has nearly 300 stores, restaurants, and specialty shops all under one roof. The beautiful and elegant Woodfield Mall in Woodfield has a Rainforest Cafe that a family with children can use to fill in empty and growling stomachs. It is a mall that compares well with many world class malls found in the middle east and elsewhere.
There is ample parking space and access is easy.
What to buy: Women clothing, footwear, jewellery. You name it, this mall has it.
What to pay: Comparable prices.
Updated Mar 27, 2007
All along we had thought that the UAE was the most economically priced country in the world due to its duty free nature. This was proven wrong at Burlington Coat Factory where quality and prices reigned supreme.
When the 5 of us (including my nephew) went in, we shopped for about 3 hours for all clothings and footwear. It was awesome.
Talisman Village Ctr.
2614 Golf Rd.
Glenview, IL 60025
HANDLE WITH CARE at 1706 N Wells St (312) 751-2929 has casual and dressy styles for women, plus bath and body luxuries.
DAFFODIL HILL at 2016 Central St Evanston (847) 424-8786 is located in the great suburb by the lake north of Chicago.
P.45 at 1643 N. Damen Avenue (773) 862-4523 is a loft like boutique that has season's hottest designer items.
What to buy: Women's clothing, designer dresses, skin care products and jewellery.
What to pay: Comparatively far less than any other retailer.
Updated Mar 27, 2007
Address: See above
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