Last weekend I did my first Tinggly experience and visited 360 Chicago with my wonderful boyfriend Max! We were in town for a night for the Foo Fighters concert (dream come true!) at Wrigley Field and I wanted to try out my new partnership with Tinggly.
So what is Tinggly?
Instead of buying physical items for the traveler in your life, buy them a Tinggly voucher, which will entitle them to any experience they have available in the entire world! I recently visited the John Hancock Observatory in Chicago, now known as 360 Chicago! Just like how one can go up to the top of the Empire State Building to get a view of NYC, you can now visit 360 Chicago and get a view of Chicago from the 94th floor! Because this particular Tinggly experience is for two people, I was able to bring my boyfriend along as well.
While the weather wasn’t favorable, we still had 4 miles of the Chicago skyline. The building itself is very easy to get to from Union station – you can take the red line L train to the Chicago station, but we felt like walking. The John Hancock building actually looks very much like the Willis Tower but with a different top. Plus, it’s north east of the main city center and right next to the lake. Can’t miss it!
When you roll up, you actually have to go down the stairs outside the building to a little store/restaurant area – you’ll see the 360 Chicago signs and follow them right in.
View from the stairway outside. Head down and inside to find the main 360 Chicago office where you can redeem your Tinggly voucher. You also get a cute little 360 Chicago patch!
Once you have your tickets you’ll walk around the desk and be met by a wonderful timeline of Chicago neighborhoods and their histories. Since there must be times when people spend a couple hours in line, just like at the Empire State Building, it’s helpful to have all this fun information to read.
Take the elevator up after your bag check and ticket-scanning and you’ll be up on the 94th floor in less than two minutes! It was really amazing to be met with such a view of the gorgeous Chicago skyline! If only it had been a nice day, but what can you do?
At each view are touchable screens that’ll help you identify the buildings. You can zoom in and click on the highlighted building to get more information. These were really informative and easy to read – some of the screens were a little tough to navigate but it helped me recognize more of Chicago’s iconic buildings.
We also got the audio tours, which I highly recommend (and is included with your Tinggly package!). We chose to follow the entire sequence, which takes about 40 minutes and starts at Lake Michigan. At each window/direction are numbers and you can click on your little iPod (…thing) your particular language and the number you’d like to learn more about. This was so helpful in discovering more about Chicago’s history – for example, did you know that Navy Pier is named so after being a military station to train pilots and so much more? I had never thought about it before as more than the current public entertainment area and it’s so fascinating learning more about Chi-town’s history!
Another great feature of the audio tour is that (of course) you can pause, pick from a variety of languages, and it even tells you when to look at the screen so it can help you spot certain buildings. So helpful!
The one feature of 360 Chicago that we missed was the Tilt Experience – it was down for maintenance 🙁 While I’m glad that they keep up with safety, I’m totally bummed that we didn’t get to experience it. Here’s a YouTube video of what to expect – looks awesome!
So if your favorite traveler is heading to the biggest city in the Midwest anytime soon, get them the perfect gift of a Tinggly voucher and suggest they head over to 360 Chicago! I would recommend waiting until the sky is sunny, though!