Todays topic, things to do in Chicago with kids. For some reason visiting Chicago Illinois was high on my list of places to visit in the United States. I had never been. However, I’ve heard so many great things about it, and was curious to dive in first hand to see if the hype was real. I don’t know if it was the big city vibe, the fashion, or just the overall desire to see a new place with my young daughter. But visiting the Chi became a burning desire, and going with my mini bff was the perfect Mother’s Day Gift.
After booking a flight and doing my due diligence of research for a fun itinerary; to my surprise there were tons of things to do in Chicago with kids. We explored A LOT in a three day period. I’m here to give you a guide: from a newbie standpoint. Keep reading for a jammed pack list of things to do with your kiddos in the Windy City. The best part? Most of it is free or extremely inexpensive.
Budget Friendly Food Options
If you’re traveling on a budget but still want to enjoy what Chicago has to offer, this list is for you!
An Asian Fusion donut and chicken spot that looks like a huge coloring book! I highly recommend the Nutella Latte
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!
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.
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?
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.
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 my daughter the bowl was ice cream, minus the toasted coconut for her it was a hit.
Pricier Food Options
If your pockets are a little deeper. Chicago has a plethora of fine dining experiences.
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
A 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.
Things To Do In Chicago With Kids
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”
Also known as Cloud Gate located in Millennial Park, its a Chicago go-to. Here’s a full article about my experience and what I wore.
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!
Pricier Things To Do
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.
Wrapping Things Up: Things To Do In Chicago With Kids.
Obviously we packed A LOT into this trip, Chicago owes us nothing. Everything was appropriate for mom and kid. In fact, even if you didn’t have children with you this list is perfect as well. We spent tons of quality time, I’m sure this trip will be a memoir of fond memories for baby girl. Hopefully this article helps remove a question mark over your ‘things to do with kids in Chicago’. ENJOY!
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