Another way to save money is to ride the train into Chicago. To most people that means Amtrak, but for us its the Northern Indiana Commuter train instead. http://www.nictd.com/
Taking the commuter train saves miles on my car, gas I don’t have to purchase and best of all I don’t have to pay to park in Chicago. And as an added bonus my child rides free with me on the weekend. (One child 13 and under rides free with an adult.) We like to drive to stations with large parking lots, like Carrol Ave in Michigan City, Dune Park or the East Chicago stations. The station parking is free and cars can be left overnight with no issue.
Tickets are purchased from a ticket vending machine in the station, if you pay cash on the train often they charge a small surcharge. And tickets are 1 way. (So if you get off at the Museum campus for Shedd Aquarium and then come home the next day from Millennium park the fares will be a little bit different.) Usually when I exit the train on my way into Chicago I purchase my return ticket. Then I am not stuck in a long line when its time to leave Chicago, I already have my ticket.
The train has comfortable bus like seats for two or three travelers to sit together depending on the car you are in. If you need to sit 3 wide keep walking thru the train to get to the seating you need for your group. Some seats face backwards, if that bothers you avoid those.
The train has racks above the seats for luggage, shopping purchases or even throw your coat up there. Often the train is full so please do not expect to put your items on the empty seat next to you. The conductor will come around and tell you to move the items off the seat.
Currently on the weekend from Dune Park to Millennium Park I pay $7.25 each way. With daughter riding free its much cheaper than $35 a day to park plus any tolls on the highway.
Here are the most used train stops:
To get downtown ride to Millennium Park, the last stop of the train.
To go to Shedd, Field Museum or Alder Planetarium get off at Museum Campus/ 11th St .
To go to the Art Institute get off at Van Buren station.
To go to the Museum of Science and Industry get off at 57th St station.