Chicago, Illinois was on my list as a city to visit this year in particular. I also wanted to take my annual mommy and me trip with my five year old daughter Phoenix. Looking for kid friendly things to do in Chicago was actually not hard to achieve. It was Mother’s Day Weekend, and the perfect opportunity for our girls only trip.
The Chi, Why?
In This Article
Aside from wanting to visit Chicago in general, I wanted a change in climate to get some wear out of my winter wardrobe. Plus, I overly love the hustle and bustle of city life. Turns out the weather was perfect, ranging from 45 to 60 degrees and Chicago happens to be one of busiest cities in the United States.
Anyway, I say all that to give you a conglomerate of kid friendly things to do in Chicago. Don’t worry it’s still bougie enough for mom and/or dad. Balance is key. Not traveling with kids? 99% of this is adult friendly.
Budget Friendly Food Options
2D Restaurant – An Asian Fusion donut and chicken spot that looks like a huge coloring book! I highly recommend the Nutella Latte
Giordano’s Pizza – I needed to eat a Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza, in Chicago. The locals rave about Giordano’s. They didn’t disappoint. I won’t lie by the time dinner rolled around I was too exhausted to leave the hotel for an outing. We opted for delivery instead!
Stax – Fresh breakfast. Amazing quick service and good food. The raspberry white chocolate pancakes were bliss. If you’re a coffee person their fresh brew is DELISH.
Garrett Popcorn – Another local fave, and the line out the door at each location confirms it. I got the Garrett’s mix savory and sweet, what more could you want?
Honey Bear – If you’re looking for pancakes, they’ve got them! The strawberry cheesecake pancakes were heaven. Not into pancakes they have a huge menu to accommodate your taste buds.
Juice RX – I love smoothies and superfood bowls. This place was so good I went two days in a row. I highly recommend the Banana Dragon bowl and the Maca Protein. Filling, dairy free, and delicious. (I’m SICK these aren’t in Florida). I told Phoenix the bowl was ice cream, minus the toasted coconut it was a hit.
Pricier Food Options
Michael Jordan Steakhouse – A legendary dining experience by the great Michael Jordan. The bone-in ribeye cooked medium is a go. I normally don’t eat beef, but this was a reason and worth it. Splendid. The Shrimp De Jonghe melted in my mouth.
The Hampton Social – Life is better at The Hampton Social. Very cute spot! They LOVE rose’. We went for brunch. The Fried Chicken Stacks. This come with french toast, fried chicken, sunny side up egg, and sausage gravy. *rolls eyes back* A foodie’s dream. I ate every single bite.
Chicago Oyster House – Delicious seafood restaurant. I’m personally not a raw oyster girl. However, the chargrilled oysters were great. I got one in each flavor. For my entree I did the grilled prawns and broccolini. The prawns were seasoned perfect and cooked to perfection.
Places To Go For Free
Navy Pier – A local and tourist hangout. Food, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and souvenirs greet you at the door. On the second level is a ferris wheel and other kids friendly attractions including a carousel. Entry and view are free but the Ferris Wheel is about $18 for adults and $15 for kids. The other attractions are $5 each.
Art On The Mart – Every night at 9:00pm outside on the Merchandise Mart Building. Large projected visual displays dance for about an hour. During my time there we got the pleasure of viewing “Nick Cave Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop”
The Bean – Also known as Cloud Gate located in Millennial Park, its a Chicago go-to.
Michigan Avenue -Also known as the Magnificent Mile. This is a shopper’s and tourist’s bliss! Michigan avenue has everything from Gucci to Vans. My heart literally jumped at the site of the people’s fashion, stores, and overall vibe. Site seeing is alway free!
These Are Gonna Cost Ya
MCA Chicago – Contemporary art is my love language. This museum embodies this.
American Girl Place – Every little girl’s dream. This 2-story fun house includes every doll option and outfit imaginable. They also have a cafe, hair salon, and nail salon for your girl and her girl. If you have a child who loves dolls, this is 100% a kid friendly thing to do in Chicago.
Chicago Botanic Garden – Every time I travel I find something to do in Nature. The Chicago Botanic Garden is located in the beautiful Cook County. I’m convinced this is the prettiest location in Chicago. Flowers, greenery, lakes, islands. Gorgeous.
Architecture Boat Tour – This 90-minute outdoor style boat ride was relaxing and informative. Our tour guide was amazing. Did you know Chicago had the first skyscraper ever? You learn these type of things during your tour. The offer free soft drinks and have a beer and wine menu.
Skydeck @ Willis Tower – If you’re not critically afraid of heights this is the best view of Chicago. You get a full immersive walk through of the history of Chicago concluded with a ride up to the 103rd floor of the legendary Sears (Willis) Tower. If you’re daring you can hang out on the clear ledge and get some cool shots.
Obviously we packed A LOT into this trip, Chicago owes me nothing. Hopefully it can serve as a guide to your adventure.