If, like me you have several children (ours are toddler to teens) and for years have tried to keep them all occupied and amused whilst on vacation, you will know how vital it is to choose a destination that provides suitable entertainment for them. Being on the beach for long periods is great when the sun is shining, however, alternatives are needed if the vacation is taken outside of the summer months or the kids just become bored (with mine this can happen quite quickly). It is not a pleasant feeling when, having spent a lot of money on a vacation you find that the kids are grumpy because they cannot find anything interesting to do. This can easily completely ruin a trip, because you can bet that if the kids are unhappy you will be too.
Recently, upon a friend’s recommendation, we made for Chicago for a few days break. It turned out to be a good choice; none of the family members were disappointed with what we found there.
Why Chicago is perfect for families
While the United States has no shortage of wonderful destinations for short trips and longer vacation stays, the city of Chicago in the Midwest should not be overlooked for great family vacations. With its vibrant and lively atmosphere, the city has many attractions that will suit visitors of all ages.
Chicago is certainly a city with a wide range of experiences to offer, and this is one of its great strengths as a family destination. It is claimed that “all things are possible” in Chicago, and in terms of places to see, things to do, and some great food to eat, the city presents its visitors with a full and tempting array of possibilities for a revitalizing break away from home. There are also some great places to stay, with many family-friendly Chicago hotels among the accommodation choices. Many of these hotels offer four or five-star services to keep parents and grandparents happy, plus the levels of comfort and security that are required when traveling with children or infants.
Family-friendly tourist attractions
The best of the family-friendly attractions in Chicago combine entertainment with an element of education. For example, the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum has a number of custom-built theaters, including the Grainger Sky Theater, which lays claim to be among the most technically advanced on the planet. Many of the shows and exhibits are specifically aimed at families with children.
For a different sort of experience, the Shedd Aquarium is stocked with live exhibits to entice the family. Encounters with aquatic animals such as stingrays and beluga whales are part of the offering, bringing ocean life within close proximity. The city’s Brookfield Zoo lets the kids get similarly close to some land-based animals, including some species of bear. Chicago is also home to several bird sanctuaries and other environmentally conscious nature parks. In addition, the Navy Pier is host to a diverse program of events throughout the year, along with its ever-present and popular funfair rides, shops, and refreshments.
Family-friendly food choices
A highlight for many families that visit Chicago is the diversity of food that the city has on offer. One of the most famous examples of the Chicago culinary experience is the deep-dish pizza, which proves to be popular with all age groups time and time again. We particularly liked Pizzeria Uno – reputedly the place where Chicago style pizza was born – but Giordano’s is nearby for another tasty option.
Other forms of American cuisine are also represented, with up-scale varieties of burgers and hot dogs as well as quick and easy bites, plus some more contemporary flavors in restaurants such as Lula Café. Chicago also has plenty of international dining choices to suit family tastes, with Latin American and Mediterranean eateries, such as Parthenon, leading the way among the offering from overseas. There are also some excellent family-friendly establishments serving good quality Asian dishes.
If you have kids and you are thinking about where to go on vacation this year I would recommend Chicago as being worthy of serious consideration. I can guarantee that there is no reason why any family member should be bored in Chicago.
Contributor post, written by Aimee C.