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Pittsburgh...
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What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

We are traveling via train to downtown Chicago and staying on Michigan avenue. We are planning to go to the Aquarium but as of now, that is all we have planned.

They would like to go up in a skyscraper - which do people recommend - Hancock or the Sears Tower?

The kids are 5, 8 and 12.

Is the field museum worth going to at this age? What other places would you recommend??

Also, are there any good/fun restaurants to bring kids to for dinner? This is a birthday trip for the 12 year old so we are focused on all kid activities and planning what they like to do!

Illinois
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for Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Cruise around www.explorechicago.org for ideas of what to see/do here.

Hancock vs Sears/Willis - up to you. Both are fine.

Hit the Shedd early in the day- lines get very long.

There are many "good/fun restaurants" here - all cuisines and price-points. www.chicagoreader.com and www.chicagomag.com are good online dining resources. You can read restaurant reviews and search by area, cuisine, budget etc. Consider exploring dining options outside of the downtown area and hot up a neighborhood spot - explorechicago.org/city/en/supporting_narrat…

pgo
Chicago
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2. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

The Field Museum is good for a broad spectrum of ages. I'd recommend the Willis/Sears over the Hancock. Your group should also spend some time at Navy Pier, with the Ferris Wheel (cheaper than paying for a skydeck visit), Seadog speedboat for the older child and Children's Museum for the under 10's. The zoo is also free and fun.

Chicago
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3. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Field Museum and Science and Industry are both totally worth it. Children's Museum at Navy Pier would be great for the 5 year old, but there is also an IMAX at the Pier and the 12 year old can go to the Imax while the 5 year old goes to the Children's Museum. The 8 year old can wait in the car. (just kidding the 8 year old could do either depending on maturity level). For eats it depends what they like! Almost all restaurants welcome well behaved children.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Lincoln park zoo ( free), sky ledge at the Sears Tower (aka Willis), subway (redline) to Chinatown. Eat at Ed Debevic's

Edited: 24 March 2012, 03:32
Atlanta, Georgia...
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5. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Our kids are 6 and 4 and we think that the Museum of Science and Industry will be one of the best while we are there!! We are planning on doing that, as well as the Shedd Aquarium. We will spend 1 day exploring the Mag Mile, going to yummy places & fun stores, some cool parks and Oak Street Beach, etc. Also, Navy Pier might be fun. Do you have girls, boys or both? There is a Lego Store & American Girl in Water Tower Place. (Which i otherwise would avoid). Any of the Chicago style pizza places are fun for a birthday. Also themed chain places like Rainforest Cafeor Cheesecake Factory might be good if you don't have those in your area! Going to the top of the Hancock to the Observatory would also be really fun. You may want the CityPass if you are staying long enough to do 5 of the featured activities.

Illinois
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6. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

What type of museum does the birthday child prefer? I'd go with that. We had a membership to the Field Museum up to when our two kids were about 10 then switched to MSI. The museums are all interesting but as the kids got older they were more interested in what MSI had to offer. Lots new at Field, Aquarium, and especialy MSI. Aquarium gets crowded the earliest, MSI and Field are generaly OK through the day. If going to MSI, book OMNIMAX, Submarine, or Mythbusters on line ahead of time as slots fill up early on weekends. From Michigan Ave., #10 bus gets you to MSI. 146 to Museum Campus. 151 to Willis/Sears tower. Or cab it to save time. Willis tower lines can get very long on weekends later in the day, I've seen them out the door and down the block. Go early or go at night. Night is never crowded at either. Hancock has an outdoor screened in walkway where you can hear the sounds below which I like. I'd second eating at Ed Debevic's for your group. Don't forget Millenium Park with cloudgate aka the bean. A big favorite and free.

Munich, Germany
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7. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

A girlfriend and I took our five kids, ages 2 to 9, to Chicago for spring break, and we were surprised by what they liked best, midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/family_frien…

Go early to museums, and get to nice restaurants by 5 p.m. -- though we'd probably be happy to go to Foodlife every night.

We thought the Navy Pier Ferris wheel was too poky and the Children's Museum not that great for the price. There's better free stuff at Navy Pier, the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.

We had nice weather, so we also went to Oz Park in the Lincoln Park neighborhood to let the kids blow off some steam. Then you can go on to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is fabulous and free. Whatever you do, it'll be a blast.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

My kids (9, 12, 14) prefer the Field to the MSI.

I'm personally not a Navy Pier fan, but it seems most visitors to Chicago go there.

Consider the Art Institute. The Thorne Miniature Rooms in the lower level are wonderful, and there are cool displays of armor.

Millenium Park is a must, and the outdoor cafe there is nice (though overpriced).

If the eight year old is a girl, you must go to American Girl Place.

My kids also like Ed Debevec's.

Chicago, Illinois
2 posts
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9. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Scoozi restaurant on Sundays has make your own pizzas for kids. Lots of fun and keeps everyone entertained.

Algonquin, Illinois
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10. Re: What to do, see and where to eat with kids in Downtown

Hancock Building would be easier than Sears/Willis just because it is right on Michican Ave so you wouldn't need a cab. The headphone tour is pretty interesting..even for the kids. Ed Debevics is a lot of fun for families. My 8 yr old had a blast messing with the staff there! Shedd is a good choice too.