All parents know how important being organized and prepared is for a successful family vacation. Between planning and packing, you can never be too prepared, right? When orchestrating a trip to Chicago with kids, these tips will help you be perfectly prepared, conquer your vacation, and create lifelong travel memories with your family.
Reserve a Room at a Kid-Friendly Hotel
Although Chicago may not have any themed hotels meant for kids, the city is full of hotels jam-packed with kid-friendly amenities. Keeping your kids entertained while settling in at the hotel can be a chore, but these hotels understand exactly what families need.
Featuring amenities ranging from complimentary WiFi access to indoor pools, consider booking your stay at one of these family-friendly Chicago hotels.
- Comfort Suites Chicago
- Omni Chicago Hotel
- Residence Inn Chicago Downtown / River North
- Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago
- Hard Rock Hotel Chicago
Plus, several hotels throughout Chicago also offer activities and games just for kids!
Have an Itinerary Organized
To ensure your family sees all the top sites and destinations while visiting Chicago with kids, having an itinerary is key. Having a predetermined plan each day will give you one less thing to think about while you explore Chicago. No one likes making travel decisions on the spot!
Be sure to include these iconic Chicago destinations in your family vacation itinerary:
- 360 Chicago Observation Deck
- Skydeck Chicago
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center Chicago
- Shedd Aquarium
- The Field Museum
- Adler Planetarium
- Millennium Park
- Navy Pier
- Lincoln Park Zoo
With so many places to see and activities to do, vacationing in Chicago with kids can become quite expensive. To save money during your trip, invest in a Chicago CityPASS for each member of your family. This Chicago attractions pass allows visitors to discover the city’s top landmarks, museums, and activities for one price. You pay one low price for the pass, skip waiting in line for tickets, and gain admission to each included destination. Plus, you can save up to 53% on admission prices with one pass!
Carry Snacks and Water at All Times
Snacks and water are your best friends during a vacation. I know just how fast I can become hangry while traveling and know just how much quicker it happens to kids! Be sure to bring a bag full of healthy snacks, water, and other drinks. Do keep in mind that certain museums, attractions, and activities may ask you to either purchase a locker for your bag or have it checked by security for safety reasons.
If carrying a bag isn’t an option for your trip, organize your itinerary around meal and snack times.
Between the bustling crowds, the overwhelming noises, and never-ending traffic, it is imperative that you keep an eye on your child at all times. To facilitate a safe and exciting trip to Chicago with kids, make sure you hold their hands while walking in the city or through an attraction and dress them in bright colored clothing.
In addition, be sure to have a small first aid kit on hand. You never know when it may come in handy. Better to be prepared than scrambling for a band-aid!
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Breaks
With so much to do and see in Chicago, you may feel obligated to fit it all into a short period of time. However, this approach to travel is exhausting for kids and adults alike. If your kids (or you) need a quick break, don’t feel ashamed! Head back to your hotel to recharge and get ready to conquer Chicago once again.
If going back to the hotel isn’t feasible, pop into one of the many coffee shops and bakeries around the city for a treat. You can caffeinate, hang out, and take a quick breather before exploring the city once again.
Try Visiting in the Off Season
Between the crowds, the ticket lines, and the surge pricing for hotel rooms and attractions, going to Chicago with kids during peak travel season can be a nightmare. Instead, plan your vacation for the early fall, winter, or early spring for fewer crowds, lines, and low prices.
Devour Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
You haven’t experienced Chicago until you’ve feasted on true deep dish pizza. Take your kids to one of Chicago’s notable pizza restaurants including Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s for a dining experience they’ll never forget.
Get Tickets to a Show
Looking for something to entertain your kids for at least two hours? Get tickets to one of Chicago’s top shows such as the Blue Man Group. At Blue Man Group, your kids will love the interactive, vibrant, and hilarious percussive show put on by the world’s most inquisitive blue men.
Plus, several up and coming Broadway shows start in Chicago. Who knows? You might get to see the next big Broadway production for a great low price!
Rock Your Trip to Chicago with Kids
With a bit of preparation and a few supplies on hand, your family will be ready for a memorable Chicago vacation. How did your family conquer a trip to Chicago with kids? Let us know!