Best Place To Stay In Chicago With Family
As a family visiting any city, your priorities when looking for a place to stay should be space, security and proximity to attractions.
With this criterion in mind, the best places to stay in Chicago with family are Gold Coast and Lincoln Park.
There are numerous hotels in all budget brackets for you to choose from.
You could also choose to rent one of the many beautiful homes whether it is a waterfront highrise apartment or a townhouse in the more old-school part of the community.
So what is there to see or do in this place?
For food adventures, Third Coast Café is a family-friendly restaurant open from 7am to 11pm.
It serves American cuisine and caters to all your meal needs from breakfast to late evening cravings.
The Original Pancake House is a popular breakfast-all-day spot for locals and tourists alike. They serve artisanal breakfast items with unique twists that your family will definitely enjoy.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is great fun for kids. It is one of the oldest zoos in America and is home to some pretty magnificent beasts.
The zoo also offers access to numerous souvenir shops and eateries. The best part: the entrance is FREE.
Another great family activity is the Painted Penguin. This is a center that allows your kids to tap into their inner Picasso.
They get to work on everything from painting landscapes to decorating blank sculptures.
Suggested accommodations in this area:
Historic Route 66 Sign
Head to East Adams Street, just off South Michigan Avenue in Downtown Chicago and look up. Youll find a surprising historic monument there which will make a great photo for your Instagram account. Snap a shot with the historic Route 66 sign to get your own personal memento of the iconic highway.
Route 66 is probably the most well-known highway in the world and has been immortalized in films, songs and stories. The original road was almost four thousand miles long and stretched from Chicago right the way across the US to Santa Monica in California. It begins, and ends, in the Loop.
Best Hotels In Chicago For Families That All Ages Love
- Emily Appelbaum
As fun as a family vacation is, thats justthe end result! Planning can be a stressful process, especially when youretrying to figure out a place to stay in thats great for kids while alsoallowing you to kick back and relax heaven knows you deserve it after all thattop-notch parenting!
The 3rd-largest state in the United States, Chicago has been the consistent topper of Conde Nasts Best Large City in the US title for 3 years now.
The Heart of America is a great family vacation spot, with its treasure of museums, outdoor activities and beaches, shopping centers and entertainment avenues and great restaurants and bars.
To make vacation planning a little easier, here are my picks for the best hotels in Chicago for families.
These hotels come with a ton of family-friendly features and amenities that can add a whole new level of fun and relaxation to your Chicago family vacation.
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Lakefront Trail And Navy Pier
Chicago is situated along the shoreline of the Great Lake Michigan. No visit to the Windy City would be complete without a walk along the Lakefront Trail and a visit to the historic Navy Pier.
Chicagos scenic Lakefront Trail is an 18-mile paved trail that follows along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. With separate lanes for walking, running, and biking, Lakefront is a favorite among the locals and tourists alike.
Head north on this trail from the Millennium Park area to get to Chicagos Navy Pier. The 15-minute walk along Lakefront Trail will allow you to admire Lake Michigan, watch the on-water boats, kayaks, and even wildlife.
Coming upon Navy Pier, you will find your excitement stirring as you can hear and see all the fun that is to be had here. Over the past few years, Navy Pier has become one of the most exciting and popular things to do in Chicago, especially if visiting with a family.
Other activities at Navy Pier include the Amazing Chicagos Funhouse Maze, Virtual Rush: Chicago virtual reality experience, and, of course, Lake Michigan sightseeing cruises.
Navy Pier is usually very busy, especially in the afternoon and on weekends. But to us, the crowds added to the fun and the unique atmosphere.
TIP: Our personal favorite is the Chicago Food Planet Signature Food Tour.
Skydeck At Willis Tower
Dishing up jealousy-evoking panoramic views from the 103rd floor of the infamous Willis Tower , the SkyDeck is one of Chicagos top tourist attractions for a helluva good reason.
From this iconic vantage point, youll be treated to sweeping views of Lake Michigan and four surrounding states through the floor-to-ceiling clear viewing glass.
Craving an extra thrill? Peek over The Ledge, glass-floored balconies that allow brave visitors to see straight down to the streets 1353 feet below.
Once youve finished snapping some envy-inducing Insta shots from up here , head over to interactive displays where youll learn more about Chicago history via an interactive screen experience and discover how this once-world-leading building was developed.
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Best Hotel In Downtown/the Loop: Central Loop Hotel
The Central Loop Hotel has stylish décor, spacious rooms and is centrally located in Downtown Chicago. It has a modern lounge bar, concierge service and a convenient 24-hour reception. Each room is air-conditioned and comes with coffee/tea facilities and on-demand movies. All of this combined makes it our choice for where to stay in Chicago in the Downtown area.
South Loop Best Chicago Neighborhood For Museums
Just south of the Loop is another Chicago neighborhood that has been totally overhauled in recent years. As high-rise apartments pop up south of Roosevelt, more restaurants and other attractions move into the South Loop. This is the area closest to some of Chicagos best museums. From the South Loop, you can walk to the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. The Museum of Science and Industry is not far, either. I think this may be the second-best place to stay in Chicago with kids, as there is a ton of green space around Grant Park, perfect to let kids run around and play.
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Best Luxurious Hotel: The Langham Chicago
If you want your stay in Chicago to be truly special and stay in the best accommodations available, then The Langham, Chicago, is the top choice.
This five-star, luxurious hotel has stunning rooms, many of which have views across Lake Michigan. It is ideally located for accessing many of the local attractions, most of which are within walking distance of the hotel, but transport links are nearby if you need to go further afield.
Guest facilities include an indoor pool, a spa, a fitness center, hot tubs, a bar, and a modern Mediterranean restaurant.
River North Best Chicago Neighborhood For Nightlife
River North is the entertainment district of Chicago and in my opinion, is the best place to stay in Chicago for first-time visitors. As the name implies, this is the area north of the river, and also East of the West Branch of the Chicago River. River North has the highest concentration of Chicago hotels and thats because theres so much to do in River North. It includes Michigan Avenue, with world-class shopping, plus some of the best nightclubs and restaurants in Chicago. Its fairly compact and walkable, so you can choose your hotel based on price more than location. River North is very safe. However, with so many nightclubs, there are often after hours issues usually involving drunk bar patrons. During the day, theres not much to worry about in regards to safety in River North.
Theres a little bit of everything in River North, and the location between the Loop and the Gold Coast means everything is accessible from River North. Shopping and dining are the highlights. If you havent been to Eataly, its definitely a highlight. Besides shopping along Michigan Avenue and the Water Tower Shopping Center, there are galleries and boutiques tucked into side streets. The best way to see River North is from a Chicago Architecture River Cruise.
Find the best place for afternoon tea in Chicago!
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Best Airbnb In River North: Cozy One Bedroom With Views Of Chicagos Skyscrapers
Nothings worse than having to share a room with others while suffering from a previous night out. Cure your hangover in this stunning Airbnb, located in the famous River North neighborhood. Youll be living on a higher floor, meaning that there are no loud street noises interrupting your recovery sleep. Theres a Smart TV, highspeed Wifi, and a fully equipped kitchen ready to be used. On top of that, theres also a wholefoods grocery store on-site.
Things To See And Do In River North
- Aim for a lucky strike at 10pin Bowling Lounge.
- Enjoy lowkey and delicious American dishes at Baptiste & Bottle.
- Dig into a succulent plate of Italian food at Bar Lupo.
- Spend the night enjoying live music and unique cocktails at The Bassment.
- Visit the iconic House of Blues.
- Laugh to established and up-and-coming comedians at The Comedy Bar.
- Party the night away at Sound-Bar.
- Dance until the early hours at Disco Chicago.
- Rub shoulders with Chicago royalty at Studio Paris.
- Listen and dance to all the hottest tracks at two-tiered PRYSM Nightclub.
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Where To Stay In Chicago: 10 Best Areas
Wondering where to stay in Chicago? From Chicago Loop to the Magnificent Mile, discover the neighborhoods with the best restaurants, hotels, bars and attractions in the entire city.
Chicago is a city of irresistible contrasts, with a vibrant pulse to match that of any major American metropolis. Whether youre a history and art lover, foodie, expert on architecture, sports enthusiast, or shopaholic, Chicago is truly a city that offers an abundance of options for every traveler.
Even the citys many nicknames, from its earliest origin meaning onion field to The White City, Windy City, and Second City, speak volumes about Chicagos ever-evolving identity.
Set against the backdrop of Lake Michigan, one of Americas 5 Great Lakes, Chicago is a place where old world charm meets the modern worlds marvels.
With first-class museums and eateries, a bustling nightlife culture, and all the outdoor festivals and activities one could ask for, its safe to say yourstay in Chicago will be anything but dull.
From the many sites around Grant Park, such as the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum, to the enticing shops of The Magnificent Mile, here are the 10 best places to explore and stay in Chicago.
Old Town Nice Area Where To Stay In Chicago
Settled by German immigrants in 1850, Old Town feels like stepping back in time. With its beautiful Victorian architecture, quiet tree-lined streets, and lively goings-on, Old Town frequently ranks high among must-see areas during a stay in Chicago.
The famous Second City Theater, where such comedic legends as John Belushi, Tina Fey, and Stephen Colbert got their start, is a landmark attraction while the edgier Zanies, whose alumni includes the likes of Aziz Anzari, offers adults-only humor.
Just around the corner from Second City is the Old Town Pour House, which on any given day offers at least 90 beers on tap, while the areas surrounding shops and eateries leave nothing to be desired on the food aficionado front.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN CHICAGO IN OLD TOWN
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The Magnificent Mile/river North/streeterville
Running north along Michigan Avenue from the Loop, just across the Chicago River, the Magnificent Mile , is still Chicagos prime shopping district. Today the strips iconic 1920s skyscrapers such as the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower are interspersed with modern shopping malls and newer towers such as the John Hancock Building . Also here is the Chicago Sports Museum. River North lies on the west side of Mag Mile, now a stylish neighborhood of art galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs set in former warehouses. River North also features theMART, a converted office building full of design showrooms, Eataly Chicago, Holy Name Cathedral, and antique-packed Driehaus Museum. The district on the east side of Mag Mile, lining the Lake Michigan waterfront north of the Loop, is Streeterville, a buzzing enclave comprising high-rise condos, offices, and stores. Its also home to the cutting-edge Museum of Contemporary Art as well as family-friendly Navy Pier a popular landmark crammed with attractions: the 200-foot Centennial Wheel, Chicago Childrens Museum, IMAX Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and several restaurants and cafés. Its also a great place to take a sightseeing cruise or just enjoy the views of Chicagos downtown. Theres even a safe place to swim nearby at Ohio Street Beach.
Practical Tips For Visiting Chicago
- The best time to visit Chicago is April May and again in September October. During these months, temperatures are mild and crowds are most manageable.
- Summertime is also a great time to visit Chicago, especially if you want to attend some of its unique festivals. Come prepared for large crowds, however.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes as you will do a lot of walking.
- Bring your own reusable water bottle.
- Be prepared for the weather and dress in layers, year-round. The breeze off the lake can make it feel really chilly.
- If you are looking for an easy-to-use guidebook for Chicago, you may want to get this Lonely Planet pocket guide. It also has a convenient pull-out map.
- If you are visiting Chicago with kids, theyll probably enjoy the city even more if they are already a bit familiar with it. Here you can find some nice childrens books about Chicago.
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Residence Inn Downtown River North
The Residence Inn is a great place to stay in Chicago whether you want busy days full of sightseeing or want to disconnect from the world and just chill with your family!
Located close to Magnificent Mile, guests of this all-suite hotel can either opt to explore the attractions of the surrounding areas or relax in the gorgeous rooms that come equipped with full-size kitchens.
Extended guests of the hotel are welcome to use the grocery shopping service free of cost, or they can head to the on-site market for a quick bite.
The hotel also hosts an evening reception that provides complimentary refreshments to guests from Monday through Thursday. They also provide complimentary hot breakfasts.
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Frank Lloyd Wright Home And Studio
If youve ever dreamed of stepping inside one of Frank Lloyd Wrights iconic homes, this isnt the next best thing its the real thing! Built in 1889, the architect spent twenty years living at his Oak Park home with his family and now its open to visitors.
The perfect spot for architecture or design buffs , your guided tour will bring you through a handful of rooms that have been restored to their original appearance, as well as plenty more tidbits about Wright himself.
If youre FLW itch still needs scratching, the nearly Robie House is also located in Oak Park and open for tours, or you can check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Trusts calendar of special events!
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Things To See And Do In Lincoln Park
- See all your favourite animals from lions, tigers and bears to birds, reptiles and fish at the Lincoln Park Zoo.
- Wander throughout the expansive and stunning Lincoln Park.
- Explore the botanical gardens near the shores of Lake Michigan at the Lincoln Park Conservatory.
- Dive deep into the citys rich and storied history at the Chicago History Museum.
- Rest and relax on North Avenue Beach.
- Tease your taste buds by digging into to a stack of pancakes at Batter & Berries.
- Eat an incredible pot roast at Nookies.
- Try Chicagos best pizza pot pies at Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder.
- Sample unique flavours and sweet treats at Mollys Cupcakes.
Accommodation Options In The Gold Coast
BudgetClaridge House: Its hard to top this chic hotel for the price in the area. Youll feel right at home here in the heart of this local neighborhood.
Mid-RangeWhitehall Hotel: This historic hotel was one of the first luxury high-rises in the city. Its hosted famous guests over the years like Katherine Hepburn and Mick Jagger.
LuxuryThompson: This boutique 4-star hotel is a great place to rest your head in the Gold Coast area. If you really want to splurge, book one of their epic bi-level suites with a lake view.
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Best Luxurious Hotel In South Loop: Kimpton Gray Hotel
One of the most luxurious hotels in this area is the Kimpton Gray Hotel. Surprisingly, it has a lower price tag than you would expect for what is one offer at this highly-rated hotel.
It is a swanky high-rise with impressive views from its lively rooftop lounge.
The rooms boast chic décor and luxurious amenities, while the facilities include a polished spa and a hip dining room that serves contemporary dishes.
Lincoln Park Best Place To Stay In Chicago For Families
Chicagos Lincoln Park neighbourhood is where everyone from collegiate freshman and newbie lawyers mixes and mingles with young families and well-established brokers. Its one of the best areas to stay in Chicago and is where you can enjoy a true slice of the local life.
Home to fantastic attractions including the Lincoln Park Zoo and the eponymous park, this northern neighbourhood is our pick for where to stay in Chicago for families. Its one of the greenest districts with more than 1,200 acres of natural space to explore and it boasts a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.
Here you can marvel at the beautiful architecture, take a stroll along the water and through lush parks, and indulge in many decadent cupcakes.
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