Last weekend my husband and I went to Chicago to celebrate our anniversary. I fell in love with this city and kept thinking we need to go back and bring our three kids along.
There is so much for a family to do in Chicago. Walking the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue was great for shopping and kids will love the Disney Store, The American Girl store (it was absolutely packed no matter what time of day we walked by) and the Hershey store (chocolate-lovers paradise). Fashion conscious teens will like that every store they could dream of is along this stretch’although we didn’t find many deals in terms of clothing prices.
A boat ride along the Chicago River is a fun way to spend a couple of hours and learn about the architecture and history of the city. There were also lots of horse-drawn carriages travelling throughout the downtown area as well as double decker buses for touring. The thing that stood out most to me though was the number of parks and green spaces. It is a really well-planned city. The lakeside paths were busy with runners, roller bladers, walkers and bikers at all times of day. The active lifestyle people there enjoy reminded me a lot of Vancouver (which consistently ranks as Canada’s healthiest city) and we rarely saw an overweight person during our weekend so clearly Chicago has the right idea. And then there is Navy Pier. Who wouldn’t love a ferris wheel ride (or one of the many other rides and attractions) overlooking Lake Michigan?
Other great things to see with the kids (many are free or offer free admission during certain months) in Chicago:
– Millenium Park-Tons of things going on here all the time and lots of interesting art exhibits, concerts, architecture and beautiful grounds to explore.
–Soldier Field-Where the Chicago Bears football team plays and it’s interesting architecturally (the new stadium was built inside the old stadium, quite the sight to see).
–Shedd Aquarium-A beautiful building located on in what is called Museum Campus on the edge of Lake Michigan it’s full of amazing underwater life.
–Adler Planeterium and Astrology museum-Walking distance from the aquarium the planeterium boasts a world class sky theatre.
–Wrigley Field-Sports fans will love to see a Chicago Cubs baseball game in this fabled stadium.
–Chicago Children’s Museum-Located at Navy Pier it offers tons of exhibits for kids to get their hands on.
–Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory-Both offer free admission. The zoo had great animals (rhinos, sea lions, bears, hyenas, lions) and you can get up-close-and-personal to most. The conservatory is like a rain forest filled with exotic trees and plants.
–Farm in the Zoo-located beside the Lincoln Park zoo it was built to give city kids the chance to see where their eggs, milk and other food comes from.