From the world-class Shedd Aquarium to culinary wonderland that is Eataly, the Windy City has plenty to offer and captivate young tourists. Here are four of my favorite places to take my tiny traveler.
1200 S Lake Shore Dr
Located on the shore of Lake Michigan, the Shedd Aquarium is not to be missed. The renowned aquarium’s exhibits represent a diverse range of aquatic ecosystems from the cool freshwater of the Great Lakes to the warm saltwater of the Caribbean. Beautiful, fascinating tanks full of underwater creatures from around the world captivate kids and adults alike. Some of the Shedd’s most popular exhibits include Amazon Rising, Caribbean Reef, At Home on the Great Lakes, and Polar Play Zone. One could easily spend an entire day exploring the Shedd, which makes it a great option for inclement weather days.
43 E Ohio St
Mario Battali’s Italian cuisine masterpiece, Eataly, is a fun place to take the kids for lunch and a stroll. In this modern marketplace, you’ll find products by local farmers, fishermen, butchers, bakers, cheese-makers and more. The kids will love to feast their eyes, ears, nose and taste buds on the best fresh pasta, baked goods, cheeses, chocolates and gelato (you have to save room for the gelato!) Chicago has to offer. There’s a sit-down pizza spot located on the top floor of this massive market. If you’re interested in eating there, I recommend putting your name on the list as soon as you arrive, since there is usually a bit of a wait.
1016 N Dearborn St
I didn’t know until recently that Chicago has a wonderful children’s theater that produces innovative plays for kids of a variety of ages throughout its annual 9-month season. Through October 11th, 2015, your young travelers can catch the Chicago Premier of Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny. It’s a good idea to order tickets online in advance.
Jackson Drive & Columbus Drive
The largest public park in Chicago, Grant Park is a great place to let the kids run around and soak in a bit of culture. This is where you’ll find Millennium Park, home of the iconic “Bean” sculpture and other permanent art installations. The newly added Maggie Daley Park is a children’s paradise with creatively designed climbing structures and huge slides. It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny Chicago afternoon.