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Ask Chicagoist: Where Do I Take Mom?

By Thales Exoo in Miscellaneous on Jun 26, 2007 3:15PM

Dear Ask Chicagoist,

My mother is coming to visit me for a few days. She's 60, thinks of
herself as adventuresome, has never been to Chicago, but doesn't like
loud noise.What the hell am I supposed to do with her?!

Long weekend on the horizon.

2007_06_askmom.jpgHi Long Weekend,

Maybe get some earplugs? Move to a quiet neighborhood? Turn down the music for one weekend? Think twice about the death metal concert? Don't give her that extra ticket you've got lying around for Pitchfork?

Honestly we think there's plenty you can do with your mom. There's more to Chicago than loud music. Unless you're saying that she's unexplainably jumpy, and will freak out at the sound of a horn blaring as you're trying to cross the street with her. In which case -- maybe you should consider just going to visit her?

We've found one of the best ways to figure out what Mom wants to do is to simply ask her. Now more than likely she'll just say she wants to spend time with you and see what you do everyday, and doesn't want to be a bother. She just wants to connect with you, LWotH! But OK, since the whole asking her thing didn't really work out, present her with some options.

How about a trip to one of the museums? We've taken our mom to the Art Institute and the Museum of Science and Industry -- both were big hits. And we know you probably don't want to, but a shopping trip down Michigan Avenue could be a real success as well. Just stay out of the loud stores. Maybe some nice soothing (not very loud) music at Millennium Park? Check the schedule to make sure it's appropriate. If the suburbs are an option, we also think moms really like the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Don't forget to show her where you work and some of the places you like to go everyday. Introduce her to your favorite barista and impress her with your city-savvy taxi-hailing technique. Or treat her to an adventure on the CTA -- maybe a ride around the loop to see the buildings? On that bent, if Mom's not afraid of heights (ours is) maybe take her up to see a view of the city from the top of the Hancock Building. Architectural river cruises are also a nice way to spend a few hours. You'll both learn something about Chicago and she'll get a lovely ride and view of the city. And since you'll be paying rapt attention to your guide, you won't have to worry about chatting for about three hours.

And don't forget dinner! Take her someplace you know, or if she's the splurging type, have her take you someplace you've always wanted to try. And maybe try some conversation. Mom's a lot more interesting than you think she is, we promise.

How would you entertain Mom in the city?

"Mom" from "Futurama" image via Wikipedia

Feeling maternal? Need some advice? Email ask(at)chicagoist(dot)com.