Since my car is still dead I don't have the benefit of it's fabulous MPG. Initially we were planning to do a really great weekend, go one place tomorrow and then another on Monday for my actual birthday, but in light of the cost of gas, her car with less fabulous MPG, and the potential cost of me having to pay to not-fix my car, we decided to just pick one. I want to go to a zoo, and also I want to see dinosaurs. My options are: Chicago - to go to one of the zoos and to the Field Museum Pros: SUE. Also the lions of Tsavo and some of the other animal exhibits and the entire dinosaur hall. Plus some other potentially cool stuff but their website is kind of lame so I'm not sure what else but MOSTLY SUE AND DINOSAUR HALL. I was at the Brookfield zoo when I was a little kid but it has been many many many years. I don't think I've ever been to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Also, the aquarium is close to the field museum, so we could go there too! Cons: This is pretty smack in the middle of Chicago. I CAN drive in Chicago, I just don't like to. My mom told me there's a place you drive up towards Chicago, park your car, then take a train into the city proper, we're trying to find out about that which would solve that issue. Other biggest con is that it's expensive. Lincoln Park Zoo is free which I think is the one closest to the museum but Brookfield is $15 per adult if we went there instead; Shedd is a whopping $30 per adult if you want to see the good exhibits; Field Museum is $15 per adult. If my mom and I went together and hit all three, that's $120 not counting a full tank of gas to get there and back, and if we took the train a couple tickets on top of that - probably $200. OTOH if we did all three that's a hella full day. I'm not sure if we could realistically fit it in. One option is to do just Shedd and the museum, and for a zoo trip, we could visit one of the smaller localish zoos (there's a nice one about forty minutes away, it's small but $6 per for admission, and they have a great river otter exhibit where I spend a lot of time just smiling and watching the otters play - they even have a river otter feeding time eee!) St. Louis - Pros: The zoo is super amazing, they've been making great improvements that allow you to better see the animals. I haven't been in I think five years or more, so they've added some new exhibits I would love to see. Also the zoo is free, except parking is kinda expensive and you don't get to see any of the shows unless you pay (we usually don't.) Cons: NO DINOSAURS. The science museum has a model of a T-Rex and I think a triceratops, but no skeletons. Mastodon State Park is about forty minutes away with a replica skeleton of a mastodon but that's it. The no dinosaurs is why I wanted to do two places, because I REALLY want to see dinosaurs. Indy - Pros: Super easy to get to, the closest, when I was trialing with Auggie I made the drive probably a dozen times a year. It's a fairly nice drive without any really crazy traffic (relative to the other two.) The zoo has the only indoor dolphin dome in the world which is awesome. They have a Children's Science Museum with dinosaurs. They also have an Indy 500 Museum which I haven't been to since I was a kid and I'd like to go again. We might even be able to convince my dad to go with us especially if we go to the Indy museum. Also The Tamale Place. OMG. Cons: The dinosaurs are at a children's science museum... even if we go on Monday there will probably still be plenty of little kids running around being obnoxious. I don't really care how weird I will look for coming to the children's science museum to celebrate my 29th birthday with ZERO kids in tow - but I don't really enjoy kids running amok, and clearly at a CHILDREN'S museum they are pretty much supposed to be there doing just that LOL. OR - I could just sit on my fat ass all day and eat an entire box of birthday cake flavored ice cream and cry about how my life is a total disaster and I didn't get moved into my house by my birthday and hope that the ice cream will kill me. Pros: Birthday cake ice cream Pretty much free. Cons: No dinosaurs! OKAY GO.