Adventures in Retirement – Taking the train – great way to travel Chicagoland

Written by Bill Leavitt. Posted in Community News & People in the News, Featured, Senior Living

Published on February 05, 2020 with No Comments

Northwest Indiana seniors often miss out on the entertainment opportunities offered by Chicago because of the traffic, tolls and hassle that results from driving downtown.  However, there is a great alternative to driving that is overlooked by many:  the South Shore train.

For seniors the train is at most $4.50 per ride (from Dune Park in Chesterton) and less from stations closer to Chicago.  Nearly all the attractions in Chicago are accessible when using the train.

I often go with my wife or friends to Chicago during December to see the Christmas decorations, attend holiday shows, visit ChristKindlMarket, or eat lunch or dinner at the Walnut Room at Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s).  No worries about weather or traffic or parking when you ride the train.

In February, there is the Chicago Auto Show.  The train stops inside McCormick Place where the Auto Show takes place, and there are even special trains at convenient times.  From April to October, there are Cubs and Sox games.  Of course, you have to take an Elevated (El) train from the downtown South Shore Station, but the connections are easy and convenient.

All year long you can take the train to the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium.  Navy Pier, Lincoln Park, and Lincoln Park Zoo are just a few of the summer attractions available at very little cost.  There are even special trains that you can take with your bicycle for a pleasant ride along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

The only cons with riding the South Shore trains are the schedules and the locations of stations.  While there are trains from early in the morning until late at night, rush hour trains can be a hassle.  There are stops convenient to the Museum of Science and Industry, McCormick Place, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium, as well as downtown attractions, but places north of downtown can be more difficult to get to.  Also, there is a bit of walking to get to some places you want to visit.  If you have trouble getting around, keep the amount of walking required in mind.  However, most South Shore stations are wheel-chair accessible.

So, have some fun, take the train to Chi-town.   

About the author: Bill Leavitt is a retired technical writer from Valparaiso and the author of a guide book to successful and active retirement entitled Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure.  The book can be purchased for $13.00 (plus Indiana sales tax) at the Visitor’s Center in Hammond (just off the Borman Expressway).  For more information on how to purchase, visit

South Shore Line Offers Free Westbound Rides to Chicago Auto Show 

Saturday, February 8, through Monday, February 17, the South Shore Line (SSL) is offering free rides on ALL Westbound weekend, and off-peak weekday trains during the 2020 Chicago Auto Show (Off-peak weekday trains arrive at Millennium Station after 9:30 a.m. CST and depart Millennium Station before 3:30 p.m. and after 6:30 p.m. CST). This promotion is also the perfect opportunity to plan a Valentine’s Day date in the city and take advantage of free Westbound rides. Whether you are celebrating with friends or a significant other, the SSL can take you there.

Nicole Barker, Director of Capital Investment & Implementation, said, “Winter takes a toll on all of us, especially when it feels like there is no end in sight from the cold. We wanted our riders to know how valuable they are and also provide them with something to look forward to during this season of shorter, colder days. We hope everyone can take advantage of the free Westbound rides while heading to the Auto Show and then again for a Valentine’s Day date night in the city.”

In the past, the SSL has offered many free ride promotions for their riders. This promotion is a part of the SSL’s ongoing effort to provide affordable and convenient transportation to and from South Bend, Northwest Indiana, and Chicago.

Keep up with the SSL on social media for special announcements. Additionally, up to three kids 13 years of age and under ride free on off-peak weekday and all weekend trains with a fare-paying adult. The SSL also offers reduced fares for seniors, military personnel, commuting students, infants, and passengers with disabilities on all trains year-round.

For more information on train schedules, discounts, and to plan a trip, please visit or download the SSL app (available for iPhone and Android).

The South Shore Line is a commuter rail line operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) between Millennium Station in downtown Chicago and the South Bend International Airport in South Bend

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About Bill Leavitt

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Bill Leavitt is a technical writer from Valparaiso. After retiring from a large corporation in Chicago, he did technical writing consulting for many companies. He currently teaches part-time at Purdue University Calumet. You can order Leavitt’s book, “Retirement: Life’s Greatest Adventure,” by sending $16.65 (includes shipping and sales tax) made payable to Write On Technical Writing, Inc., P.O. Box 132,Valparaiso, IN 46384-0132. Or, visit for more information.

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