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First time visiting with kids age 8-13

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Winnipeg, Canada
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First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Hi, we will be visiting Chicago from Canada in July with 4 kids, age 8-13. We are flexible with dates if there's any good festivals or summer things going on. We are thinking of taking them to the Shedd Aquarium, Navy Pier, the Skydeck and maybe the Museum of Science. Any advice? other suggestions? We plan to stay somewhere around the Loop, or near Milenium Park. We are driving so have a car, but hope to use transit mostly.

pgo
Chicago
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1. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

See if the Best Western River North will work for you - they have free parking, where many hotels downtown charge $40 or more a day. You could also stay one night by the airport and leave your car there, taking the El train in. Look for parking packages downtown or park and fly offers by the airport.

Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Thanks, I haven't even checked hotels yet. I am also considering taking them to see Sleeping Beauty at the Marriot Theater. Does anyone know anything about the play and where is it located?

Illinois
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3. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Marriott Theater is in Lincolnshire - http://www.marriotttheatre.com/ - you'll need your car to get there. About a 45 minute drive from downtown.

Check the calendar at http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en.html to see what's going on here.

pgo
Chicago
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4. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

You could stop in Lincolnshire on the way in or out. It's pretty far from downtown but the area has a lot to offer. Since that show is only offered at 10 AM (no latecomers are seated) that will put you in the heart of rush hour; you would have to allow 2 hours to drive from downtown. Don't do that to yourselves! There are several family-friendly hotels within a mile of the theater.

Beauty and the Beast will be playing at Navy Pier this summer, and the Cirque Shanghai is there now. See more offerings at www.chicagoplays .com

You should think about pricing a hotel early on, because Chicago is a convention destination, and some weeks can become very expensive.

Winnipeg, Canada
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5. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Great info people, thanks! I'm looking at hotels downtown and they are very expensive. Even the Best Western was almost $200/night. Any other areas I should look at staying in?

Winnipeg, Canada
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6. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Beauty and the Beast looks very good. I think we'll try that one instead.

Chicago
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7. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Check the convention calendar under Top Questions about Chicago to see if you are checking hotels when there is a major convention in town. Play around with dates, let us know what dates you are looking at, hotels can be different rates depending on the precise date. What is your budget?

Other areas to look at include Skokie (access to the yellow line) or the O'Hare area (if close to the Blue line stops at Cumberland and Rosemont) but really it would be much better if you were able to stay in the downtown/MagMile area.

Winnipeg, Canada
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8. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

We are looking at coming around July 17th for around 4 nights, but can come a day or two later. I'd prefer under $150 but realize that may not be realistic.

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Check hotels in Evanston, which is easily accessed via the El to downtown Chicago. They should have more agreeable prices since Northwestern U is not in session.

Something your kids might enjoy is the special exhibit on magic at the Chicago History Museum: chicagohistory.org/planavisit/…magic

pgo
Chicago
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10. Re: First time visiting with kids age 8-13

Are you booking one hotel room or two? Local fire laws may not allow six people in a room (Chicago restricts it to five) unless you have a suite.

I think your budget is better suited to the suburbs than downtown - a good downtown hotel room will be about $200-300, plus 16% tax.

On your dates, you might consider the Embassy Suites Deerfield along Lake-Cook Road. There is a train station nearby which will have you downtown in about 50 minutes. There is a lot to do in the area, as well.

Edited: 26 June 2012, 12:46