I am the new Chicago expert for Travel + Leisure Magazine!
This morning, I had so much fun on Good Day Chicago talking about my hit list for best family activities in Chicago.
Chicago is a modern day mecca for families. Lakefront. Zoo. Parks. Art. Sports. Aerial views. Beaches. Whatever the season, activities abound. And getting to them is half of the fun. First tip? Make public transportation part of your afternoon. For kids, a ride on the above ground EL train is an adventure in and of itself. During prime summer months, take advantage of the balmy temps and explore all things outside: architecture, public art, Navy Pier, Millenium Park, Wrigley Field, Lincoln Park Zoo or any of the verdant parks peppered throughout the city. Fact: winters are frigid. Tough it out Chicago style and enjoy ice skating at Millenium Park, trolley tours, museum visits and warming up with hot chocolate or high tea at many of the glamorous boites lining Michigan Avenue. Busy days are exhausting. There is no better way to refuel than with a slice of deep dish pizza.
All children wish they could fly like Peter Pan. At the Willis Tower Skydeck, this dream can be realized. Step out on the ledge, a staggering 103 floors and 1,353 feet high, and feel as though you are soaring over the city. On a cloudless day, it is possible to see clearly into three neighboring states: Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.
Dedicated to the art of play, exhibits such as WaterWays (pulleys and pipes, toy boats) and the Artabound Studio (paint, clay, and draw with trained art professionals) are hands-on experiences that encourage experimentation and creative thinking. The Tinkering exhibit is DIY-bliss for pint-sized inventors. Kids are invited to grab real tools and everyday materials, and to transform them into new objects.
For science buffs, this Lincoln Park museum is paradise. Amble through ecosystems, bird watch with binoculars, and get wet while learning about river flow. The piece de resistance is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, a 2,700 square foot greenhouse with 1,000 butterflies from 11 different countries. Watch them flit around their tropical habitat and move slowly; one of these vibrant specimens might land on your shoulder.
Almost nothing symbolizes a Chicago-experience more than a hot dog (with all the fixings) and an afternoon baseball game. In 2014, Wrigley Field celebrated its 100th year, and offers fans a chance to sit in the dugout, step onto the field, visit the press box, and learn the inside truth about the infamous Curse of the Goat.
With more than 1,250 animals, Lincoln Park Zoo ranks as one of the finest in the country. Don’t miss the Endangered Species Carousel or Regenstein African Journey—an interior exhibit that mirrors a safari experience. Afterward, meander over to the Nature Boardwalk where wooden pathways span a pond filled with wildlife, including largemouth bass and fathead minnows.
My segment on Good Day Chicago: Chicago Family Fun for Fall