We headed to the windy city with the family for a week full of fun, weather changes, learning, and adventure!
Day 1: Arrival and straight to Millenium Park, and Crown Fountain. Hot and Sunny
We took it easy the first day, and headed to Millennium Park (since it was just across the street from our hotel) and Crown Fountain. The kids loved the fountain. What’s not to like about giant faces that spit water on you?
Day 2: Bus Tour. Still Hot and Sunny
We decided to try the bus tour of the city so that the family could see all the sights, and plan out the rest of our week.
I always recommend the bus tour if a city has one. Yes, it is very touristy, but we are tourist, so it works. When the bus tour was over the kids decided to go back to Crown Fountain.
Then we went to the fantastic Eatily. Which, best as I can tell, is an Italian restaurant, deli, grocer, bakery, pizzaria, bookstore, and gelato stand.
Day 3: Millennium Park, & Navy Pier. Warm out, until you get to the pier.
I know it seems like we are going to Millennium Park a lot (and we are), but it is a really big park. Today we checkout out one of the playgrounds; Maggie Daly Park.
Then we headed to the Navy Pier (note to self: Bring sweaters next time). While we were there, we hit the best and biggest children’s museums I have ever seen, and then the ferris wheel for some great sunset views of the city.
Day 4: Art Institute. Pouring Rain
We got a great tour of the art museum from a local friend. He was great at getting the kids interested in the artwork on display. Spidey could only take so much art, so we skipped ahead to the medieval weapons exhibit.
After the Art Institute, we went down the street to the cultural center. Even if there was nothing going on here, it would be worth visiting this building for the architecture alone. Yet they still have events, art exhibits, performances, and more.
After the kids were loaded p on culture we went to the mall to do some shopping.
Day 5: Field Museum. Cold out, light rain.
The Field Museum, like most great museums, has way too much to actually see and do in one day, so we tried to stay focused on the things the kids would like the most: dinosaurs, gems, animals, the gift shop, etc. Also stopped to get a great Chicago dog at the cart outside. Apparently, it’s one of the best places to get one (or three, don’t judge).
Day 6: Lincoln Park. Cool outside.
We went straight to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is really great, especially when you consider the cost to get in is ZERO DOLLARS! I can’t say enough great things about this zoo, even though kids + animals is a no-brainer for a great day.
For lunch, we went to what is easily the best Chicago deep dish pizza I have ever had, Lou Malnati’s. It doesn’t get mentioned as much as some of the other places, because there isn’t one in a touristy high traffic area, but we trusted the advice of locals ant weren’t disappointed. We went back again later, it was worth the trip. Then after exploring Lincoln Park some more, because the kids absolutely loved it . . . .
. . . back to the fountain. Luckily they don’t have it going full blast at night. Not that kids would have cared.
Day 7: River and Lake tour. Sunny, light breeze
Wow, this week just flew buy, for our last full day, we started with a lake and river tour. Last time we did the architecture tour, so this time we opted for a more general tour that also went out onto the lake for a bit. The was great information from the host, and some wonderful views of the city. Super excited to see one of the draw bridges up too.
Simple but still very cool to see. Oh, along with the buses, we also got to take the train several times throughout the trip, because public transit there is awesome, which made someone very happy
All said and done, we had a wonderful time, even with the changing weather. There are plenty more photographs to see if you click on any of the above pictures.