The type of vacation we typically choose is luxury. For our activities, we like luxury and often stay at the finest hotels, but we are also adventurous and love off the beaten path types of experiences and always seek them out. We aren’t bothered by very “local” experiences anywhere and think these are very important to our vacation. We love adventure. We also like a mixture of regular, touristic and organized places. We enjoy hiking and outdoorsy activities. We enjoy museums, markets and other activities geared towards children. We like to maximize each day by seeing as much as possible.
Our children at the time of this itinerary: 6 children- Boy age 13, Girl age 13, Girl age 13, Girl age 9, Boy age 6, & Girl age 1. However we have been going to Chicago since the kids were even younger and they really enjoyed this itinerary at all ages.
Address: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605
Hours: Winter: Mon through Fri 9am to 5pm, Weekends and holidays 9am to 6pm. Summer : Open every day from 9am to 6pm.
Admission: Starting at $8 for adults, $6 for kids for basic access. Family plans may be available.
Description: The John G. Shedd Aquarium is an indoor aquarium that offers many exhibits, animals, and encounter experiences to the public. View a large number of marine species in their habitats, engage with penguins or a beluga whale (for an extra fee), and even take one or more tours to learn what happens behind the scenes where the public usually does not go (for an extra fee). More than 32,000 animal species live at this aquarium, and these are not limited just to marine life.
Our Experiences: This is a great aquarium in general. The kids really liked this stop and so did the adults. We added two extras to our visit, the “behind the scenes” tour and the beluga whale encounter. The behind the scenes tour was not really exciting, but it was very interesting and we enjoyed seeing what happens in back behind the tanks. Our tour included the hospital, where they take care of sick fish. The kids all thought is was interesting and worth taking the tour. The beluga whale encounter was very pricey and we did not think the experience was worth the cost. We had very little time with the whale, most of the experience was just preparation time or watching other people interact with the animal. We highly recommend the John G. Shedd Aquarium, but we do not recommend the beluga whale encounter.
Address: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 684-1414
Hours: 9:30am to 4pm daily
Admission: Starts at $11 for kids, $18 for adults. Special exhibits are extra. Family plans may be available.
Description: The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the biggest science museums in the world, and the biggest one located in the western hemisphere. Visitors can explore many science exhibits, watch informative and educational films in the Omnimax Theater, take part in interactive events that are science related, and even participate in live science experiences. There is a lot to see and do here for all ages.
Our Experiences: This stop is very highly recommended for families, and our kids always want to come back here every time we go to Chicago. The museum is well set up and easy to navigate, and the kids loved all of the exhibits. This is extremely educational while being great fun for kids of all ages at the same time. My kids love this museum.
*This review is the subjective opinion of someone who submitted this itinerary and not the owner of Real Family Trips