Ah Chicago that Toddling town. This was a trip we took, everyone heading up to the great city of Chicago for a long weakened. Living in Indianapolis Indiana (Greenwood actually) it was only about a 3.5 hour drive to downtown Chicago. We stayed at a hotel in the heart of the city. This skyline taken from the tour boats out on Lake Michigan. Chicago, particularly downtown has a number of incredibly cool places to take kids. To the top of the Willis (nee Sears) Tower is a great one. To the top of the Hancock Building, or to the water tower that survived the great Chicago Fire. There is the many downtown parks you can visit as well while you are in town. Plus there is Wrigley field, There is something magical about going to a baseball game at Wrigley field (although none of my kids like sports so that one would have been wasted.)
I was born in the Chicago area and lived there until I was about 5 years old. I have many fond memories of the city. Plus, while my kids are not sports fans, I am. I am an avid Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls and Bears fan!
I think the kids favorite place in Chicago was Navy pier. Navy pier is literally downtown Chicago and as it name suggests it is a pier that juts out into Lake Michigan. There you will find the Children’s Museum of Chicago. We spent a day there. It is nicer than the Children’s Museum in Cincinnati (well in fairness to Cincinnati it is nicer than that one was when we left in 1999.) The kids really enjoyed wandering up and down the pier, as well as playing in the water and enjoying the overall children’s museum experience. Navy Pier had been a carrier landing practice site for training WWII pilots. Its most famous pilot was future preside George Bush (former director of the CIA and Ronald Reagan’s Vice President). Today it is a commercial hub and even has a Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant (from the movie Forrest Gump) on the end nearest shore.
Chicago also has a wonderful shopping district called the Miracle Mile. Located just North of the State of Illinois building in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue, the Miracle Mile was a place we wandered up and down on this trip. The first stop was to stop at FAO Schwartz the toy store. Ma Bear and Honey Bear the boys two beloved stuffed animals had not been packed. So we ended up getting them each a stuffed animal there at the toy store. Just to make it through the couple of nights we were away from home and their bears. We also wandered up to the original American Girl Doll store. Jakki, at that time was a huge American girl doll fan. She loved the dolls, the stories and now she was getting to go to the store! The store is at the far end of the Miracle Mile. Near the water tower (again famous as one of the few buildings that survived the fire).
Over the years we took a couple of trips to Chicago. It is one of my favorite US Cities!