I’m going to Chicago for a business trip this summer and I’ve decided to extend my trip and have my wife and children join me for a holiday. I am not really familiar with the city so would love to get some advice on things to see and do for families.
Chicago is located on the shores of Lake Michigan and is a city of unsurpassed beauty. The city has many nicknames – the Windy City is the most popular. But others include the City of Big Shoulders, the Second City and The City That Works. Home to world championship sports teams, an international-acclaimed symphony orchestra, renowned architecture, and much more, you and your family will have plenty of things to keep your entertained.
Although it is one of the main business hubs of America, the city also has many tourist attractions, so it is the perfect destination for a family looking for adventure. You can explore the city either by foot, by rail or venture out on water for a boat tour to see the best Chicago has to offer.
One of your first stops should be the Field Museum. Built in 1893, this massive museum contains over 21 million specimens and is home to Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton currently known to man. If history isn’t your cup of tea, then why not escape to a watery world of wonder in Shedd Aquarium. The aquarium is home to over 25,000 fish and even has an oceanarium where you can see the new aquatic show with dolphins, belugas dancing, and penguins.
No trip to Chicago would be complete without checking out the city’s iconic sports stadiums. The Windy City is home to teams in all the professional sports and has must-see attractions such as the world famous Wrigley Field and the United Centre. Wrigley Field has been home of the Chicago Cubs since 1916 and is the second oldest baseball stadium in the US. You can take a tour of the field and see the ivy walls that have made the park so famous.
One of the most beautiful and exciting spots in Chicago in the summertime is Navy Pier. This fantastic pier is one of the city’s top tourist attractions and is packed with restaurants and shops. You’ll also be able to keep the kids entertained with the Chicago Children’s Museum, an IMAX theatre, Crystal Gardens – an indoor botanical park, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. If you are around in the evening, the pier has a firework show on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer.
For unrivalled views of the city, the John Hancock Tower is a 94-floor observatory which features an open air skywalk. This is the highest open air experience in Chicago and takes you on a personal audio tour of Chicago’s incredible sights and remarkable history.
Once you get your feet back on the ground, Chicago is renowned for its many parks and zoos – the perfect way to spend a sunny day in the city. If you have to pick just one to bring the kids to, Lincoln Park Zoo is the best choice and it’s free. The zoo is the oldest free zoo in the country and is located in a beautiful park near Chicago’s lakefront which is also perfect for a family picnic.
Where to stay
Affinia Chicago (****)
Prices start from €156 per room per night on Hotels.com
This four-star hotel is in the perfect spot for visitors wanting to shop along the Magnificent Mile. The Affinia is the official hotel of Navy Pier and is located near all the top attractions in Chicago. The guestrooms in the hotel have eclectic furnishings, contemporary colours and generous mirrors. The hotel also offers a dream pillow menu so guest can choose their desired pillow for a truly wonderful sleep.
Hotel Sax Chicago (****)
Prices start from €138 per room per night on Hotels.com
The Sax Chicago is located within Marina City across the Chicago River from the Loop. This hotel is conveniently located just two blocks from Michigan Avenue and has a great view of the river. The hotel décor fits the mould of a 17th century French Salon but with a 21st century twist. The hotel is within walking distance of many of the major attractions and the House of Blues is located right next door for music lovers.
W Chicago City Center (****)
Prices start from €157 per room per night on Hotels.com
This four-star hotel is located within walking distance of Chicago’s main attractions. The hotel’s lobby features dark velvet drapes, subdued lighting and serpentine white-vinyl seating. Be sure to relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing in the Living Room Bar which serves a variety of cocktails. Guests can also enjoy complimentary us of the hotel gym and can pre-book a variety of spa treatments.
* Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking
For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!