Family-friendly Chicago vacation ideas

Affinia Hotel in ChicagoThere’s tons of fun for the family in the Windy City – you just need to know where to look.  From family-friendly hotels to restaurants, and what to do/see, read on as takes you through some great family ideas for a vacation in Chicago, illinois.

Stay at Affinia Hotel, Chicago: You won’t experience a more friendly, genuine front-desk & concierge staff than you will at the Affinia Hotel in Chicago.  A fun, contemporary, and affordable boutique hotel, the Affinia is also family-friendly, offers great accommodations for value, and it’s as close to the Magnificent Mile as you want to be without the chaos of the traffic and shoppers.  It’s got a rooftop patio with a view and C-House, a restaurant by celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson, but best of all, the Affinia Chicago is located right next to a Gino’s East Pizza.  For more, go to:

Bobby's Bike Hike in ChicagoGo for a ride with Bobby’s Bike Hike: Sure it’s rated one of the best things to do in Chicago – but is it worth all the hype?  Yes!  It’s fun for the whole family, entertaining, relaxing, informative, and a great way to see different neighbourhoods and places in Chicago.  It’s better than a bus tour, dealing with traffic on your own, or having to travel with a guidebook.  Bobby’s Bike Hike tour guides are one-of-a-kind and most of the treks are easy even for those who may not count themselves as “fit.” Go to for more.

See animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo: Within a 10-minute bus ride from the north end of Michigan Avenue, you’ll find the Lincoln Park Zoo.  It is one of the U.S.’s oldest zoo facilities, housing 1,200 animals and 230 species.  Best of all – admission is free – perfect for large families!  Exhibits like the Kovler Lion House, the Helen Brach Primate House & the McCormick Bear Habitat are worth a visit to the zoo! Visit: for more.

Lincoln Zoo in ChicagoTake photos at “The Bean” in Millennium Park: Officially known as the “Cloud Gate” at AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, the 33-foot-tall silver “bean” weighs just short of 100 tons.  It happily fulfills its purpose as a public sculpture but it offers a unique photographic opportunity due to the reflections from the bean’s surface.  Kids love it, it’s way more fun than a house of mirrors, and a “must” for a family photo when you’re in Chicago.

Free festivals at Grant Park: There are festivals taking place every season at Grant Park – from Taste of Chicago to the Classical Concerts series, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and Lollapalooza – there’s always something happening at here.  It’s no wonder Grant Park is also known as “Chicago’s front yard.”  Aside from its festivals, be sure to check out Buckingham Fountain, the Agora sculptures, the Art Institute of Chicago, and nearby Museum Campus for the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium.   

The Bean in ChicagoThe “Chicago Mix” popcorn: That’s right – orange cheesy popcorn mixed with sweet stuck-in-your-teeth caramel. Sure, it sounds disgusting at first but this just happens to be a match made in heaven, not to mention a specialty in Chicago.  You can pick some up at Garrett Popcorn, one conveniently located at Michigan & Ontario St. along the Magnificent Mile. Find more locations:

Deep Dish Pizza: Last but not least, they say there’s no going to Chicago without trying some deep-dish pizza.  If you’re looking to try some of the city’s best, try Pizzeria Uno or Due, Lou Malnati’s, Giordanos Pizza, Pequod’s Pizza, or Gino’s East.  Be prepared to wait in line during peak times but Chicago pizzerias are great for being so family friendly!

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