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Chicago with kids: lodging and restaurant recommendations

Chicago with kids: lodging and restaurant recommendations

Apr 2nd, 2013, 06:27 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
Chicago with kids: lodging and restaurant recommendations

hello all-
just booked a last minute 4 day trip to the windy city for me and the kids (9&11). we will be going to the zoo, aquarium, museum of science and industry, lake Mich and millenium park for sure.

Help: I'm trying to decide where to stay: I am splurging and either a hyatt (park regency or magnificent mile), or ritz or four seasons. need to sleep kind of separate from my kids, and want quiet room. want really good service.

my kids love food of all kinds, are adventurous enough and don't usually order off the kids menu; but my younger son is kind of loud on occasion so hush hush places aren't good for us. i don't want to waste a meal on a bad one, and would love recommendations of places we can go based upon where we're sightseeing/the above hotels' locations.

They are also lovers of sweets and baked goods, so recommendations on donuts, cookies, cupcakes etc also much appreciated!

dale88 is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2013, 07:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 404
We were just there and had a couple of good meals...Yolk for breakfast was very good and we loved The Purple Pig. The menu has quite a few things that are kid friendly without being 'kid menu' items. I also enjoyed The Walnut Room at Macy's for lunch but it took a loooong time. We enjoyed our stay at the Swisshotel Chicago but did not stay in a suite so I don't know if or how their rooms would work for you. I do know they have 'kid friendly' suites. We had a great view of Navy Pier, Lake Michigan and the river from the 34th floor. The desk staff/concierge was very helpful when needed, but we didn't need much. I found the location good for both museum and miracle mile access.
dsgmi is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,173
Hi, dale88.

Can’t help on hotel. They are all well-located for sightseeing. If you're considering paying for the Ritz or Four Seasons, the Park Hyatt or the Peninsula belong on your list. Would really love to stay those places if I had money to burn. Certainly the Conrad or the Marriott on Michigan would be very comfortable, too.

RE: Sweets
There’s a Magnolia Bakery (cupcakes, cakes, cookies) right on State Street across from Macy’s (the old Marshall Field’s) which is very precious and pretty, a little “girly.”

If you plan on the Lincoln Park Zoo, I have a route below I might recommend, and this is a cute cupcake café that you and the kids might want to hit at Clark Street X Deming.

Otherwise, More cupcakes (more sleek, exotic flavors), L’Appetito Deli (has a big, Italian cookie & dessert & gelato counter), Chicago is well-known for the Garrett’s caramel corn (long lines; several locations),

RE: Restaurants
The Slurping Turtle is well-located (River North area) and is a fun, Japanese restaurant which is great for ramen bowls, pork buns, fried rice and sushi. Lively (but not too lively) and I enjoyed the food. (I’m always on the hunt for ramen, and Chicago has few shops. Bowls are large enough to share.) And the cooked foods are not so exotic to put off anyone.

L’Appetito Deli (see link above) is at the base of the John Hancock building and had great, casual Italian food for the kids (pizza, arancini, sandwiches) – but is nice as you can eat, picnic style, on the big steps that face the building or you can take your picnic to Oak Street Beach by walking a little further north on Michigan Ave. and taking the pedestrian underpass over to the beach. It’s a lovely view of north Lake Shore Drive.

RE: The Lincoln Park Zoo
Don’t know if you’re taxi-ing or taking the bus (151 Sheridan), but the main entrance is on Stockton and Webster. If weather is nice and kids’ energy is good (and you want to see a neighborhoody area), walk north through the zoo toward the gorgeous Lincoln Park Conservatory (may not interest kids but it’s free and I think it’s lovely), continue north to cross Fullerton, walk north along the scenic North Pond (keep pond to your right) to the gazebo (toward the brick, arts & crafts style North Pond Café & playground), then take the underpass left and you’re on Deming. Walk west on Deming over to Clark Street and you’ll be on a stretch of Clark Street that is full of casual restaurants. Aloha Grill is a casual Hawaiian restaurant and has a big “snack plate” of Chicken Katsu which is easily shareable. Molly’s cupcakes is a few doors down. Lita’s Empanadas is good-casual also. Vapiano is a big, Italian cafeteria style place which is wonderful and bright and great for kids. Their margherita pizza is excellent. I go here often.

RE: Millenium Park
The back area of The Gage may be nice for lunch (probably not great for dinner time as the place feels more like a pub in the evening).

But there are so many restaurants on offer as you’re just 2 blocks off State Street and “the Loop” area so perhaps others can weigh in.

RE: The Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry
A bit out of the way, so I imagine only the cafes there will be convenient.

So many great restaurants - you don't have to pay a lot to eat well, though you can certainly do that, too. If you post your itinerary, maybe others can help with some reccos.

Hope you have a great time!
ChgoGal is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 08:28 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 11,674
Can't help on those hotels. (Stayed at the Embassy suites the last couple of times with kids.)

I'm a broken record on this, but we love the Berghoff for german food (they have kid options). It feels a bit upscale, or at least old world-ish, but it isn't stuffy. Loud enough to mask kids. Just a few blocks west of the Art Institute, so close to the park.

And there is the pizza in Chicago. Gino's is my favorite but it's hard to go wrong. Gino's East has scribbling on the walls which is obviously kid friendly.

I think there is a Hershey's (chocolate) store across from the Hancock tower. I'm sure there are plenty of other sweet options though.
Bitter is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 22
The water taxi's are a great way to get around. My kids loved it! Not to expensive either!
We love the Cheesecake Factory - if nothing else get a piece of cheesecake to go and eat it outside!
Hershey and Ghirardelli both have stores near the Water Tower. They both give free samples!!! Fun stop for the kids!
Buckingham Fountain near Millenium Park is great to see when it is running too!!
Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan Avenue is also a great place to eat.

Have fun!!
269rhl is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 12:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 872
We have stayed at the Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites in Chicago and like both. Homewood is in a great area on Grand-you can get out and walk just about anywhere. They have breakfast(every day) and a light dinner(with wine and beer) Monday-Thursday. Homewood Suites also have a kitchen if you want to have any snacks in the room.
nlg is online now  
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