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Featured Destination

Albuquerque, NM

Among many other things, the American Southwest is famous for its adventure, its spirit of fun, and its beautiful scenery. Nowhere do all these things come together like on a family vacation in Albuquerque, New Mexico...

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  • Health Tips -- Things to think about and how to get help when you need it.
  • Age Groups -- Tips for traveling with babies, toddlers, teens, and grandparents
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Chicago, IL

For family vacations, Chicago is one of the premier destinations in the United States. Culturally rich and brimming with modern excitement and activities, Chicago is ideal for a fun family friendly vacation. Chicago is elegant, while at the same time remains firmly Midwestern in its approach to hospitality: family vacationers in particular find that the city of Chicago is amenable to providing family specific amusements. The diversity of activities that family vacationers will find in Chicago is due to a variety of factors: as the main transportation hub for the United States, various cultures have made their imprint on this city. The political and social history of Chicago also leaves a stamp, its legacy a series of outstanding museums, most of which have plenty to entertain children on a family vacation, as well. For the finest of museums, thrilling adventures and fun every day, plan a Chicago family vacation.

Chicago Museums

Museums are not always a hit on a family vacation: but family vacationers will find that many Chicago museums are kid-centered, or at the very least, kid-friendly. This means that museums are not off limits on a Chicago family vacation. The Field Museum is popular with both the adults and children on a family vacation: located on the world famous Museum Campus, this natural history museum is home to dinosaur fossils, Ancient Egyptian artifacts, and even the bones of Prehistoric humans. Also on Museum Campus is the John G. Shedd Aquarium, which has over 8,000 species of saltwater and freshwater animals: this museum brings in family vacationers in droves. The last museum to make up the trio on Museum Campus (and a must visit on a Chicago family vacation) is the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Muse&_…which has one of the finest astronomical collections in the world. For a purely child-centered experience on your Chicago family vacation, then the Chicago Childrens Museum is the perfect place to go. This is a hands-on facility that caters to children from 1-12, and includes places for family vacationers to build a fort, be part of a TV crew, and even dig for bones in an excavation pit. Another good idea on your Chicago family vacation is to take the family to the Chicago Historical Society: the history of Chicago is rich and related to the history of the United States as a whole, so every little American will be fascinated by the dense history portrayed in this lovely museum. The American Wing of this museum includes one of only 23 copies of the Declaration of Independence and a 1789 copy of the American Constitution. Parents agree that these kinds of educational opportunities are one of the best parts of taking kids on a Chicago family vacation. Make sure to consult with the proprietor of your family lodging as to what their favorite museum for kids is: museums are plentiful on the busy Chicago streets and the insight of helpful locals is invaluable.

Chicago Family Activities

Families who head to Chicago for their family vacations find their days busy from dawn to dusk. Every parent loves a kid who sleeps hard at the end of a busy day, so a Chicago family vacation is sure to please! Navy Pier is a Chicago landmark that family vacationers will love: once a municipal wharf, Navy Pier is now home to a 150 ft Ferris wheel, an old-fashioned carousel, miniature golf, and a host of other family vacation friendly activities. Sears Tower is another must-go stop on your Chicago family vacation: at 1,450 feet in the air, it towers above the city like a mountain. Kids on family vacations love the glass enclosed elevator that shoots to the top in less than a minute. Kids will love it if a Chicago family vacation includes a visit to the local Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor, which is a 45 minute drive but will be worth the trip! For a big dose of fun on your Chicago family vacation, head to a Cubs game at famous Wrigley Field. If the Cubs are not playing, then a visit to this ballpark in quiet and residential Lakeview is a fun trip anyway: the neighborhood around the ballpark has been dubbed Wrigleyville, and family vacationers will find it full of cafes, restaurants and fun shopping. And no family vacation to Chicago would be complete without a stop by the Chicago Theater, whose marquee was made famous by the play and movie Chicago. Today a great place to catch a live performance, this theater is a great stop just for photographs, if nothing else.

The Magnificent Mile in Chicago

The Magnificent Mile is a stretch of Michigan Avenue, and is the most upscale shopping district in Chicago. But this should not deter parents, as this famous piece of road also provides lots of opportunity for fun and excitement on a Chicago family vacation. A highlight of the Magnificent Mile is the John Hancock Center, which offers beautiful views from the 94th floor observatory and has one of the fastest elevator rides in the United States. If shopping is on the family vacation itinerary, then the Magnificent Mile is also home to Niketown, which is one of the largest retailers on the street and includes every Nike product a person can think of. Michael Jordan, of course, is a highlighted celebrity at this spot. The kids on a family vacation will also love Hersheys Chicago, which offers delicious treats from that famous chocolate line. The American Girl Place is another favorite stop for Chicago family vacationers of the Magnificent Mile: Even if buying a doll is not in the family budget, the size and extravagance of this store will impress the whole family, and the restaurant would be a great place to catch a bite.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park, in outer Chicago, is an upscale residential neighborhood that is also the largest park in Chicago. Lincoln Park is a great place to spend a few hours or a whole day on your Chicago family vacation. The highlight for family vacationers in Lincoln Park is the Lincoln Park Zoo, whose size and commitment to animal preservation and education impresses everyone in the family. The price is hard to beat too: Chicago family vacationers love that it is free! Many endangered species call the Lincoln Park Zoo home, but often the favorite spot for kids is the working farm, that includes cows, horses, pigs and chickens. Kids are encouraged to milk cows and groom horses. Outside of the zoo, Chicago family vacationers love roaming around and exploring Lincoln Park: there are walking and biking paths through verdant green acres, a paddle-boating pond and sandy beaches. Parents might want to take a minute on their family vacation to explore the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which houses exotic plants and tropical trees.

Chicago Lakefront

For a summer time family vacation to Chicago, heading to the sandy beaches is a must. Many family vacationers find that the beaches in Chicago compare easily to those in tropical locations; the warm lapping waters of Lake Michigan provide endless recreational opportunities. There are over 26 miles of open and free lakefront for Chicago family vacationers to explore. Many beaches are lifeguarded and all provide beautiful views of the glittering, seemingly endless Lake Michigan. The Loyola Leone Beach is one of the most popular in Chicago, but family vacationers should not let the crowds deter them: this beach includes family friendly amenities like stroller beach bats and a play structure. The Heartland Concession Stand provides a perfect beachside lunch for the family. For a city-center experience, family vacationers should hit the beach at Oak Street Beach, which is just steps from the Magnificent Mile. Foster Beach is another hit with families on Chicago family vacations: it is large enough to accommodate almost any size of crowd and has lots of green space for babies and toddlers to explore.

Chicago on a Budget

Now offering private rooms, hostels are a great budget accommodation option for families. It’s not just the price of a room where you can save money; breakfast and internet access are usually included too. Hostels might also offer free city tours, games and movie rooms which will keep the kids entertained for a couple of hours. Feeding a family on holiday can get pricier three times a day, but families can use the hostel self-catering facilities to prepare a few meals and packed lunches. Try a Hostel in Chicago

Chicago has endless opportunities for family fun: the city center often gets the most attention, but the outlying areas of Chicago also offer lots of activities for family vacationers. On a Chicago family vacation, every day will be filled with fun and every night filled with the peaceful sight of exhausted, sleeping kids. A perfect family vacation!


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Featured Property

Rankin Ranch
Caliente, CA
United States

Located in Walker’s Basin in the heart of the Tehachapi Mountains. A working cattle ranch and operating guest ranch since 1965. We truly enjoy sharing our lifestyle with our guests.

Rankin Ranch

Contact Information

PO Box 36
Caliente, California  93518
United States
661-867-2511
Fax: 661-867-0105
General Manager:
Amanda Rankin Barrett
Email:
info@rankinranch.com
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