Travelogue: Chicago with Kids, Part 1

April 2023
Where We Stayed: Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop

We gave Mike and his kids a trip to Chicago for their big Christmas present.  The fun element to this, for the kids, was that they got to pick everything that we did and everywhere we went to eat.  Well, within reason.  But they picked good stuff!  I’m breaking this trip up into three posts because we did a lot in 2.5 days!  As always, in an effort to protect their privacy, I do not post photos that include the kids’ faces.  But you’ll still get a great sense of what we did and everything that we experienced.

  • We took the Amtrak train from Milwaukee to Chicago. Easier than driving on a Friday afternoon and the kids loved the novelty of train travel. The cost was probably about even… train tickets vs. the cost of gas and parking.
  • We arrived at Union Station and took the L to Roosevelt, then walked a few blocks to our hotel.  Mike ordered Giordano’s pizza while we were on the train and it was delivered within 10 minutes of us arriving at the hotel. Perfect timing!
  • The next morning we got up bright and early for Museum Day.  Breakfast was free at the hotel — but it was so bad and we decided that would be our one and only free breakfast of the trip.
  • Our first stop was the Adler Planetarium. I hadn’t been in YEARS and oh, I was happy to be back. I love all things outer space — plus we saw two planetarium shows. My heart was content.
  • After the Adler, we stopped for lunch.  Chicago-style hot dogs from a food cart.  Delicious!  And Rainbow Cones for dessert.  There are many food trucks and stands on Museum Campus, which is so convenient.
  • Next up was the Shedd Aquarium. Aquariums are never my favorite (I think it’s the smell of fish, tbh), but the Shedd is special.  The kids loved the gigantic aquarium that greets you when you walk through the door.  They could have spent the entire afternoon staring at all the cool fish and creatures.  But we moved on to see the Beluga whale and dolphin show, which is always precious.  Those Belugas are so damn cute!
  • We ended our time at the Shedd with a visit to the gift shop.  Obviously.
  • We all had sore feet and were tired, so we walked back to the hotel to rest a bit before our final stop of the day: the Field Museum.
  • The Field Museum was having a Members’ Night and as luck would have it, we are members.  It was cool to be able to visit after hours!  Mike and the kids did a behind-the-scenes tour and I went to see the temporary exhibition about death (on brand for my current stage in life and grief).  The death exhibition was wonderful and moving and of course, I cried. Two thumbs up.
  • We all hit a wall… it was time to go back to the hotel and be finished for the day.  Mike went to pick up Chipotle take-out and we had a chill evening after such a busy day!

We had a rainbow on the way to Chicago! Hi, Dad. :)
Waiting for the L.
Good morning, off to the Adler Planetarium we go!  We could easily walk there from our hotel.
I love you to the moon and to Saturn.
We all laughed at this: “do not climb on the sun”
The building has the signs of the Zodiac going all the way around. Virgo… tit out!
Never has there been a more perfect sweatshirt for me.
Mike enjoying a beer because… vacation!
Time for lunch!
Forgot to get a good picture… was too hungry!
Alway and forever my favorite.
Welcome to the Shedd!
A brief rest before…
The Field Museum!
I miss you so much, Dad.
They had pupeteers roaming about with dinosaur puppets — very cool!
And it wouldn’t be a visit to a midwest museum or zoo without MOLD A RAMA!