Students, there’s really only one thing you need to know about public transportation, and it’s the U-Pass. Treat it like your baby. Don’t lose it.
U-Pass is a cooperative program between local colleges and universities and the CTA. If you attend a participating school, the cost of your U-Pass is embedded in your tuition, but you’re saving a ton of money.
U-Pass basically gives you unlimited use of CTA rail and buses. Unfortunately U-Pass is not accepted on Metra trains or Pace buses, but these routes are generally suburban.
A few things to be careful of: don’t share the card, don’t put it in the cash slot on buses, and don’t try to use it at the same station in succession. The CTA is strict about U-Passes that need to be replaced if lost or stolen. It’s a long process and it costs an extra $50. For a full list of participating schools as well as the rules and conditions of the U-Pass program, visit the CTA website.
Cheese, beers, Brewers. A summertime classic. Miller Park has the feel of a traditional stadium while sporting a retractable dome, so even if the weather goes south, your 90-mile road trip won’t be wasted.
Unfortunately, the Cubs don’t travel to Milwaukee until after the All-Star Break (July 26-28), but the Brewers will host the Cardinals from June 10-12, and that match up is equally heated.
After the game, head downtown and try out the Lakefront Brewery, 1872 Commerce St.
St. Louis Cardinals:
There’s nothing Cubs fans like more than giving the Cards a good shellacking at Wrigley, so why not hit them at home? You’ll need a little more time, though, because Busch Stadium is roughly five hours away by car.
Just make it into a long weekend. The Cubs travel to St. Louis June 3-5.
Kansas City Royals:
If you’re not done after a weekend in St. Louis, head west. Four hours later, you’ll be in Kansas City and you can catch a Royals game.
And if you don’t really care about the Royals, head over to Wild Bill’s Legendary Steakhouse and Saloon. It’s an experience in itself.
The Field of Dreams:
Iowa doesn’t have Major League Baseball, but you can always visit the field where the Field of Dreams was filmed. The Field of Dreams is in Dyersville Iowa, and it’s open from April 1 through Nov. 30 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Keep an eye out for the ghost of Shoeless Joe.
Kane County Cougars:
If you don’t have time to get away for the whole weekend, or if you’re in a budget pinch, check out the Kane County Cougars. Just 35 miles away in West Chicago, Elfstrom Stadium is a great place to take the kids, and it’s affordable: Lawn seats are only $8.
Plus, you get to be right down in the action, and the players are always willing to sign autographs for the kids.