Help us troubleshoot our vacation to Chicago, April 1-5:
March 9, 2013 10:14 AM Subscribe
This will be the biggest vacation yet for our family of four (son age 10, daughter age 12). Our vacations tend to run unsmoothly--some ugly surprise always pops up--and I'd like to get opinions from people who know Chicago before we set out. This will be a kid oriented trip.
posted by mattu to travel & transportation around Chicago, IL (36 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We are quiet nerdy types and the main attractions we're looking forward to are the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. Here's our plan so far:
Tues, Apr 2: drive from KS to Springfield, IL (maybe Bolingbrook) and stay in a hotel there
Wed: drive into Chicago, visit to Lincoln Park Zoo (park in the zoo lot), drive back to Bolingbrook hotel
Thurs: take the train from Bolingbrook into the Loop, visit the Field Museum, take train back to Bolingbrook hotel
Fri: drive into Chicago, park in a muni lot, visit Shedd Aquarium, drive back to Springfield and home from there
We're lukewarm on the zoo. If there's a better kids' activity we might swap it out. Our kids put a lot of energy into fantasy medieval adventures (play acting, reading Terry Pratchett, FRP video games, etc) particularly.
Sometime in all of this we might try to hit Millennium Park.
Is there anything wrong with this plan? Examples:
* We picked Bolingbrook because it's close and hotels are much cheaper there. We're assuming it's basically family friendly and safe, but we'd like confirmation on that. (Maybe there's a better option for keeping lodging costs down.)
* I'm assuming we can drive from Bolingbrook into Chicago in about half an hour. If that drive is really 90 minutes because of traffic or current detours, we want to know.
* I'm assuming we'll be able to find parking (i.e. actually available spots) in the Loop for around $20/day. If this is way off, maybe we should think about taking the train every day instead.
* Anything bad specific to the zoo, museum, or aquarium, e.g. the best exhibit in the museum is going to be closed that week, they're opening a flashy new thing at the aquarium on Fri and it will be mobbed.
Any general Chicago advice also appreciated.