Tips on Attending the Chicago Auto Show

Chicago Auto Show
Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 8:32am

Rev your engines, because it's back! The Chicago Auto Show opens February 9 and runs through February 18. If you love vehicles - at all - then this is the show to see!

Here at The Local Tourist, we love the auto show and it's become an annual must-do tradition. Over the years we've learned a few things about making it as enjoyable as possible, so here are our top seven tips for the Chicago Auto Show.

Stay where you play! Find a hotel near McCormick Place

7 Tips on Attending the Chicago Auto Show

Honda at the Chicago Auto Show 2017

1. Wear comfortable shoes
This is the largest auto show in North America, covering 1.2 million square feet. Be nice to your feet and wear shoes with some decent tread.


Toyota at the Chicago Auto Show

2. Get Discounted Admission by feeding others
Bring three cans of food and you'll get a coupon for $6 off a full adult admission. You can bring them on  Wednesday, Feb.13, Thursday, Feb. 14 and Friday, Feb. 15. Cans of food can be redeemed for the coupons at booths that are set up at the two ticket locations for the Chicago Auto Show. All food collected will benefit A Safe Haven Foundation.


Test Track at the Chicago Auto Show

3. Take advantage of weekday discounts
Stop by CATA-member new car dealerships to get discounted weekday discounts. The show's open until 10pm every day, so even if you have to work during the week you can still take advantage of this offer.

Want a preview before you go? Check out this video of the Chicago Auto Show in 60 seconds (more or less)




Kia at the Chicago Auto Show

4. Celebrate Your Buying Power, Ladies - it's Women's Day
If you're a woman, then February 12 is your day. It's Women's Day at the show, so admission is just $7 for the ladies. There are also special programs and events throughout the day, hosted by The Chicago Tribune.


Acura at the Chicago Auto Show

5. Get Discounted Parking
If you're driving to the auto show, parking at McCormick Place is expensive. If you've never used SpotHero before, sign up and save $7. You can also check out Parkwhiz.


Toyota at the Chicago Auto Show

6. Know Before You Go
Check out a map of the show floor ahead of time and plot your course. 


Chicago Auto Show

7. Relax and Have Fun!
This is probably the most important tip of all. The show is big and boisterous and loud and c-r-o-w-d-e-d! Allow plenty of time and just relax.

There are going to be a few hundred other people who want the same shot of your dream car, who want to ride the cool Jeep and Land Rover tracks, and who want to test out all the new interactive tools.

Think of it like a trip to Great America during the middle of the summer, except you could actually take home these rides!

Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook group to find more tips on visiting the Chicago Auto Show and exploring Chicago.

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About Theresa Goodrich

Theresa  Goodrich is the founder and publisher of The Local Tourist and author of the "Two Lane Gems" book series, uplifting and slightly humorous tales of American road trips.

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