Chicago for a Family Holiday?

Discussion in 'runDisney' started by McNs, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. McNs

    McNs DIS Veteran

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    Sorry I know this isn't running related but y'all are my friends here... I'm planning a USA holiday late September and we can fly Auckland to Chicago direct, so thinking of starting there for a few days before heading to WDW.

    How family friendly is Chicago? If we go, how many days? We have visited SF and NYC as a family and though Mrs McN and I enjoyed those cities more than the kids, they were fine with both. And lastly if we go I'll be looking for some running route advice!
     
  2. LdyStormy76

    LdyStormy76 Looking for the Hundred Acre Woods

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    It depends on where you stay and what you do. Not having kids, but knowing the city, I offer the following:

    Museum of Science and Industry - it is a full day by itself. Even as an adult I really like this one.
    Field Museum - dinosaurs and so on
    Shed Aquarium - cool, but I find it over crowded
    Planetarium
    Wander down Navy Pier, take a ride on the Farris wheel, visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. Check the schedule at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre as they do some child friendly plays.
    Theatre - if there is nothing at Chicago Shakespeare that appeals look at what else is playing.
    Grant Park/Maggie Daley Park
    Chicago History Museum
    Observation decks at Wills (fka Sears) Tower or the observation deck at 360 Chicago (fka Hancock Tower).
    River cruise
    Shopping.

    If you are willing to get away from downtown there is both Lincoln Park Zoo and Brookfield Zoo. Brookfield is reachable by train from Union Station and then a few block walk. I consider the zoo a 4 hour day, but can be more depending on what you do. If Brookfield makes your short list let me know as I can get free passes to at least get you in the park.

    Running - lake front path.

    Hope this gives you a starting point. I know there are others from the Chicago area that will chime in, and some of them will have a parent perspective.

    Happy planning!
     
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  4. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Sprinkles and Garrett’s popcorn is all I need to make it worth it ;)
     
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  5. McNs

    McNs DIS Veteran

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    Already checking out deep dish pizza and warned kids hot dogs don’t come with ketchup

    Looks like plenty to keep us going for a couple of days, especially the shopping...

    It’s looking like this is the option we will take, just booked 7 nights at POR from Sep 29th :yay:
     
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  6. LdyStormy76

    LdyStormy76 Looking for the Hundred Acre Woods

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    If you have a daughter that is really into dolls, and you are willing to spend some money, consider a ‘divide and conquer’ day where one adult takes her to American Girl to pick out a doll and have tea (reservations required in advance for tea) and the other adult takes the other kid(s) to something like Dave and Busters. I took my SIL and 10 yr old niece a few years ago: the niece had a blast.

    If you are looking for unique Chicago restaurants, at Navy Pier is the Billy Goat Tavern. It is well past what I refer to as ‘restaurant row’.

    If baseball is of interest that is the end of the season so you might be able to find cheap tickets once you get to town.
     
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  7. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    They have a Disney store too with some Chicago specific items otherwise it’s just a general Disney store.

    Definitely do some shopping on Michigan Ave. if you like shopping.
     
  8. McNs

    McNs DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for your help! We’ve decided to go ahead, kids have already found out about the American Girl store so looks like my wallet will be in for a hammering there (speaking from previous experience...). Shopping looks great and Mrs McN is an expert in that field. Doesn’t look like any ball games are on - seem to miss any chance every time we visit the US.

    We’re also now booked for 7 nights at WDW, staying at POR arriving Sep 29th
     
  9. michigandergirl

    michigandergirl DIS Veteran

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    We've been to Chicago with the kids a few times and they love it - it's great for all ages. We've done all the things mentioned except American Girl - fortunately my daughter isn't into dolls, but she loves Legos - we spent a fortune at the Lego Store on Michigan Ave, so if you have any Lego fans, your wallet may be in for another hammering! :)
     
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