Chicago Family Vacation Ideas
Chicago, Illinois is the third largest city in the United States. The size may seem intimidating for Chicago family vacation ideas you may have. Chicago is a very family-friendly, down to earth city and has a small town feel about it. Any family will find something to do in Chicago.
Chicago gets its name from a Potowanami Indian name that means “wild onion” or “skunk”. When the Indians first settled along Lake Michigan is was a patch of rotting marshland onions. The name Chicago seems right for such a location. Chicago nickname is the “Windy City”. Most people assume the name comes from the strong winds that can blow across Lake Michigan. The nickname was given to Chicago by Charles Dana, an editor of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper because he was tired of listening to the local long-winded politicians. The Old Water Tower located in downtown Chicago holds the stories of Chicago’s history
Chicago family vacation ideas are available every season of the year. Families will find activities inside and outside regardless of the weather to meet their interests.
Chicago has several miles of beaches along beautiful Lake Michigan. There is room for building sand castles, swimming, wading, boogie boards and running in the sand dunes. When your family is hungry, enjoy a picnic along the lakeshore. Another option is dining at any of the restaurants you will find nearby. If you get tired of the beach, there are paved bike trails that run along the lake for 14 miles. Look into renting a bike to ride any distance your family would like to ride.
The summer of 2016 was the 100th birthday of Navy Pier. Navy Pier is home to the Chicago Children’s Museum. 13 exhibits that cover three floors. Children have a chance to invent their own gadgets, discover dinosaurs, and run their own town. Nick Jr. Magazine awarded the Kids on the Fly exhibit the Playful Travel Award. This exhibit lets children be a pilot, play air traffic controller, and experience airline safety.
Navy Pier has a new climate controlled Ferris wheel that will give children a great view of the Chicago skyline. Navy Pier is also home to a children’s theater, Imax theater, many boat rides, and restaurants.
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of Chicago family vacation ideas. This zoo is admission free and open every day of the year. There are many exhibits to experience including the gorilla house, polar bear habitat, birds of prey, a nature boardwalk, and the family children’s zoo. An interesting fact about Lincoln Park Zoo is that it is one of the oldest zoos in the country. The zoo is located in the heart of Chicago only walking distance from Lake Michigan.
Six Flags Amusement Park
North of Chicago you will find Six Flags Amusement Park . There is fun for the whole family in the water park or the amusement park. Many rides and attractions are appropriate for any age visitor.
Your Chicago family vacation ideas surely include Millenium Park. This is the city’s newest gem. The kids will enjoy splashing around in the fountains, climbing on the sculptures and seeing their reflection in “The Bean”. Only a short walk away you will find the Buckingham fountain. Your family will be amazed by the daily light show after dark.
Winter time provides many outside activities at Millenium Park. The outside skating rink in front of “The Bean” and skating path through Maggie Daley Park will provide hours of fun and exercise for your family.
The Field Museum, Science and Industry Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium are just some of the museums that you will be able to enjoy. You will find adventures here when the weather outside is cold or snowy. Each museum has its own favorites that visitors come back to experience many times. The coal mine at the Science and Industry Museum, Sue the dinosaur at The Field Museum, the Beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium and the giant telescope to see the planets through at the Adler Planetarium are just a few of the favorites. All of these museums are hands on for the children to learn and experience.
The only question left for your Chicago family vacation ideas is what time of year you will visit Chicago. The suggestions listed are only a beginning for your adventures in Chicago. You can add many other activities that are within a short drive or train ride from Chicago if you have room in your schedule.
Planning ahead is always recommended for the best prices on hotels and attractions. If you plan to stay in downtown Chicago planning ahead is important because the hotels do fill up. Because of all the events that happen in and around the city of Chicago. There are family friendly hotels in Chicago to choose from. Also, consider staying a short drive or train ride outside of the city for better rates on hotels.
Which activities interest you the most? I hope I have given you a few Chicago family vacation ideas for you to explore.
Leave a comment or suggestion about traveling or staying in Chicago so we can learn from your experience.