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Old 02-13-2018, 01:20 AM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,631 posts, read 5,330,439 times
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Hello! My family is thinking about visiting this summer and I need suggestions on what to do? There will be a 19, 16 and five-year-old with us. We considered California (like it, but have done that) and Seattle (still a possibility) but decided to look at Chicago and it's urban offerings. It has been nearly 20 years since I was last there, but my family has never been.

Would this time of year be a good time to visit? What sorts of things can we do with the teens and the child? Thanks in advance for your responses.
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Old 02-13-2018, 01:35 PM
 
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Wrigley Field and Lalapalooza.

Big spread in oldest and youngest kids age. We had the same issue but always had babysitters!
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Old 02-13-2018, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
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Lots to do in Chicago during the summer! Keep in mind it will be hot and humid!


https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Illinois.html


Lake Michigan
Navy Pier https://navypier.org/
Millennium Park
Willis Tower
Shopping the Magnificent Mile
Lincoln Park Zoo
Museum of Science and Industry
Field Museum
Adler Planetarium
Shedd aquarium
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White SOX)
TONS of restaurants!! Chicago is known for it's pizza!
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:49 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendersj31 View Post
Wrigley Field and Lalapalooza.

Big spread in oldest and youngest kids age. We had the same issue but always had babysitters!
Is that a festival that will be happening then? Yes there is a large spread in the ages of the kids but we have been able to manage so far.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:51 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,631 posts, read 5,330,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
Lots to do in Chicago during the summer! Keep in mind it will be hot and humid!


https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti..._Illinois.html


Lake Michigan
Navy Pier https://navypier.org/
Millennium Park
Willis Tower
Shopping the Magnificent Mile
Lincoln Park Zoo
Museum of Science and Industry
Field Museum
Adler Planetarium
Shedd aquarium
Wrigley Field (Chicago Cubs)
Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White SOX)
TONS of restaurants!! Chicago is known for it's pizza!
Thanks for these suggestions. How hot & humid are we talking? Lived in both NC and Florida before and they were very humid at times!
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,578 posts, read 4,819,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
Thanks for these suggestions. How hot & humid are we talking? Lived in both NC and Florida before and they were very humid at times!
Humidity here can vary, it’s not as humid as Florida but it can get humid! In July and August it’s typically in the high 80’s or 90’s.

Lalapalooza is a huge music festival with well known bands. Your older kids would love it, but it gets pretty rowdy. I wouldn’t take a 5 yr old there!
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendersj31 View Post
Wrigley Field and Lalapalooza.

Big spread in oldest and youngest kids age.
This is a good point about the age spread. If it were me, I would consider splitting the family up for at least some of the time. The older kids should be fine to explore on their own, while you and the 5 year old can be left to check out the kid friendly stuff that the older ones probably wouldn't like.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:09 AM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
Thanks for these suggestions. How hot & humid are we talking? Lived in both NC and Florida before and they were very humid at times!
Weather can vary widely. I think we used our AC for less than 7 days last summer. It could be highs in the 70's or highs in the 90's that time of year. Most likely it will be highs n the 80's.

CGab left a pretty good list. I'd add that you should definitely take an architectural boat cruise and/or SeaDog for the big kids.

Also, Lincoln Park Zoo and conservatory, which are free.

Buckingham fountain, especially at night.
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:52 AM
 
2,301 posts, read 1,299,313 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfrabel View Post
This is a good point about the age spread. If it were me, I would consider splitting the family up for at least some of the time. The older kids should be fine to explore on their own, while you and the 5 year old can be left to check out the kid friendly stuff that the older ones probably wouldn't like.

Agree with this. Talk to your older kids to figure out what everyone wants to do and try to do those things together. They should be okay to explore on their own while you take the 5 year old around.


How much time do you have to visit?


July and August can be a bit humid, but like the other posters were saying it's not like Florida. The average is probably low 80s, but could range from 75 to low 90s. In the Loop around the buildings it might feel 5-10 degrees cooler because you're not really in the sun.


Avoid Lollapalooza. Your 19 year old would be the only one that might possibly enjoy it, hopefully just for the music, but if you're visiting to actually see Chicago, why spend all day at a concert with a bunch of 20 somethings drinking and doing drugs?


Many of the more popular tourist destinations have been listed, the museums and what not, Willis Tower, Shedd Aquarium and a architectural boat tour are all worth a visit. Depending how much time you have, don't get too bogged down in the museums and spend more than half your time there if you're visiting during the summer unless your family just loves museums. Chicago is very nice in the summer. It'd be a shame to be inside for so long.


Don't spend much time at Navy Pier other than the going on the ferris wheel. Your teens will likely be bored with the rest of it. Supposedly there's a good Children's Museum that your 5 year old might like, too. I've never been to it. The rest depends what kind of things your kids like. Chicago actually has pretty good beaches for not being on an ocean or the gulf. Oak Street Beach and North Avenue beach are more accessible if you're staying near downtown. Montrose Beach is also nice but further north. If you go to the beach, go on a weekday. Your teens might like that more than tagging along with something your 5 year old wants to do.


There's plenty of good food here. Try to venture out of the Loop. Try deep dish pizza if you don't have it at home. Lou Malnati's, Giordano's and Uno's are the top chains, but others make good deep dish. Pequod's has a single location in Lincoln Park and is known for their burnt crust. If you can fit another pizza meal into your palette, hit up a place that serves a more traditional "tavern style" pizza. Michael's in Uptown, Aurelio's (many locations, including South Loop) and Pat's (Lincoln Park) might be the easiest to reach without a car. The Evergreen Park spots listed and Vito and Nick's on the southwest side are pretty good, too but may not be worth going out of your way.
https://chicago.eater.com/maps/best-...s-tavern-style


Go to a place serving Chicago style hot dogs. There's supposedly more hot dog places in Chicago than there are McDonald's. My two recommendations are Murphy's in Lakeview and Superdawg on the northwest side. Superdawg is tough to get to if you're relying on public transportation, though.


Visit Chinatown. Walk around and grab a meal there. It's a 10 minute ride on the Red Line from downtown.


It might be interesting to see Wrigley Field, but tickets will be overpriced this year because the team is good. If the Cubs are out of town, I believe they do ballpark tours if that interests you. If you want to catch a baseball game and pay a reasonable price, go see the White Sox. It is an underrated ballpark but not old and historic like Wrigley.
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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Summer is a great time to visit the city! Navy Pier is a cool spot to visit, there is plenty to do & see. Definitely would recommend a boat tour also which can be picked up at Navy Pier. Take the water taxi, I believe it goes Michigan Ave to Navy Pier (and vice versa). Also, there is a route that goes down to Chinatown which is a great neighborhood to visit & eat .


Some other site seeing & activities:
-The river walk is great pretty neat & great for photo ops.
-Go visit one of the beaches! North Ave, Ohio St, Oak St are all really good ones depending on the setting you like.
-Millennium Park - where "the bean" is


As far as food goes:
-Deep dish pizza is a must. Uno, Lou Malnatis, Pequods, Pizanos.
-Tons & tons of places with good bar food
-Portillos is a Chicago staple for Italian beef
-Chinatown (as mentioned above)
-Meli for breakfast (my personal fav)




There is plenty more than what I & others have listed & don't be afraid to explore outside Downtown/River North.
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