What's the must-have souvenir to bring home from Chicago?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Garrett Popcorn? No. A Vienna Beef hot dog? No. The one must-have, bring-it-home thing … is something that a visitor can neither hold nor handle. Rather, it is an experience. It is an incomparable and unforgettable visit to the altar of the American pastime that only 104 years of loss could create. The cathedral of curve balls, the shrine of the seventh-inning stretch, the temple without a title, the home of Ruth’s fabled called shot—yes … it is the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field.

Lauren Viera

Unless you're lucky enough to catch a fly-ball while at a Cubs or a Sox game, you might have to improvise and make your own memories instead of buying manufactured memorabilia. My favorite souvenirs are never of the gift-shop variety; they’re usually an accidental left-over from a great experience that may not have even been on my itinerary: a ticket stub from a performance I got into last-minute, an unusual seashell collected on a long walk on the shore, a cocktail napkin or matchbook from a new favorite lounge. In Chicago, there are so many possibilities to fill your time, you might find that the best souvenir is the folded playbill you discover in your coat pocket the following season, or the camera-phone snapshot of Lake Michigan at sunset, caught spontaneously while riding the El.

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