Saturday, May 9, 2015

Chicago with kids {#travel #family}

Ron and I moved from Chicago to Portland about thirteen years ago; for the longest time we have been talking how much fund it will be to go back with the girls, stay downtown, and be tourists in our old hometown.  In the past our big annual summer trip has been to go home {at least for me} to Europe, but since Europe will not be happening this summer we were finally made the trip back to Chicago.   Why did we wait so long?!

We left PDX at 12:40am getting into Minneapolis just before 6am getting us to Chicago O'Hare just around 8am; I know it does sound a little crazy to take the red-eye with kids but it was great.  It was the most economical flight option and two out of four slept all the way; while the other two may have enjoyed a rare treat of Coca-Cola.  Now do you care to guess who the two sleepers were?! 

Getting into O'Hare that early was great and getting downtown from O'Hare is super easy by taking the 'L' -  follow the signs for "CTA Trains" or "Trains to City"; 
we stayed at the downtown Hampton Inn & Suites on Illinois pretty much right off Michigan Avenue and it was fantastic.  Bright, clean, nice size rooms, comfy beds, a lovely swimming pool {key when traveling with our kids} plus continental breakfast.  In order to make our stay more economical we booked and prepaid the room.  Now let me say this - and no this is not a sponsored post - this hotel was absolutely perfect, we will definitively stay there again and I highly recommend it to all traveling to Chicago with kids.  True, it is not right on Michigan Avenue, or in the Loop but it is centrally located. Eataly is a couple of blocks away,  you can walk or take the bus to Navy Pier {just straight down Illinois}, and Michigan Avenue.  Our room was ready when we got there.  There is nothing like a shower, a quick rest to rejuvenate after the flight to get ready to explore.

I have to admit that there was one big thing making me uneasy was worrying about food options for the girls.  Yes…it is true but let me tell you not a reason to be worried; for lunch we went to Wishbone one of my all time favorites - it was burgers for the girls on dairy free buns {the regular buns contain dairy}. Breakfast was at the Corner Bakery, dinner at Ed Debevec's, dessert at  Eataly where there is plenty of Sorbetto {dairy free}, hot dogs at the Cub's game…plenty of dairy free / galactosemia friendly choices.  What did I worry about?!  The key - like always - is to ask, don't take "it probably has milk in it" for an answer but ask to read the labels…

We walked a lot and rode the 'L" everywhere…
went to a Cubs game
and we discovered the best playground {at least in our opinion} this side of the Atlantic…the Maggie Daley Park

Good to know if you go to Chicago with kids {or by yourself}
  •  bring good walking shoes
  • Chicago has fantastic public transportation - use it; get a daily pass, or buy a Vesta card
  •  taking a red eye flight can be the most economical options - have your kids bring their favorite pillows
  • pay for your hotel room in advance to get the best deals {I use the Hilton booking site}
  • call ahead to restaurants you want to visit to ensure that there are "safe" options for the kids
  • have LOTS of fun!!!


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