Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

Chicago with 15 month old

Staying for 2 nights.  All we have planned right now is the aquarium.  What are other places that are appropriate for a toddler near Michigan Ave?  Any restaurants you can recommend (breakfast/lunch/dinner)?  My first trip to Chicago other than layovers. :-)  Thanks for any suggestions!

Re: Chicago with 15 month old

  • I think there is a children's museum in Chicago, and Lincoln Park Zoo is free! I'm not sure how far that is from Michigan Ave, though.

    We took DD to Shedd Aquarium for her first birthday and she loved it! She thought it was so cool to walk up to the side of the tanks and "touch" the fish through the glass :) 

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  • Navy Pier has a Children's Museum as well as a lot to look at.  Millennium Park and the "bean" is fun.  There's Rainforest Cafe (which is completely overpriced IMO) but there is a lot to look at and of course a lot of pizza places.  I'm in the 'burbs so I don't know too many eating places other than the standard "touristy" ones.

  • oh you'll have a blast at the Aquarium.

    i live in the city but rarely go downtown... but you should be good to go at Water Tower Place, the Bean, Navy Pier, etc. my kid is good in a stroller so it depends on that but she'd have a ball just walking up and down Michigan Ave and looking at all the stores, etc.

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  • You can take a bus from Michigan Ave to the zoo, its cheap.

    We went a few years ago (pre kids) and kept saying to each other we couldn't wait to take kids there.  There are a few other museums that are kid friendly, I would do the pier for sure. We loved the science museum best and the aqauium. We use the trolly's to get around and bought a city pass to get into all the different attraction, it was a great deal!



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  • We just went with my 5 year old and 14mo old. We did it mostly for DD1 since DD2 just kind of hangs out in the stroller since she isn't walking yet and watches everything. We did Shedd Aquarium, John Hancock observatory and Navy Pier Children's Museum. Both girls had a blast. We at at Cheesecake factory and at other random places along the way. We took the bus to Shedd and someone was kind enough to give up her seat since I was holding DD2. Make sure to bring a collapsable stroller that is easy to collapse and take on the bus.
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  • I would also recommend the Lincoln Park Zoo, there is a petting zoo, a place to feed ducks and what not, as well as a large merry-go-round.
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  • The Children's Museum at Navy Pier is awesome, and easily walkable from Michigan Ave. There's also a fountain at Navy Pier that DS spends hours playing in, and you can walk to beaches from there too.

    The aquarium is fun and has a few play areas for LOs but it gets really busy in school holidays and my DS isn't a fan of the crowds so we haven't been for a while.

    Boat trips are fun - there's one that goes from Michigan Ave of the River & Architecture in Chicago that is great if you wanted to do something more grown-up. :) 

    If you want proper Chicago pizza, Unos is good (on Ohio I think, also v close to Michigan) but it's a long wait (like an hour usually) so have one of you go and get the table and then go back a bit later if you want to do that. Otherwise, there's a Cheesecake Factory at the bottom of John Hancock or Rosebud is a nice Italian that we like a lot - it's on Rush and you can sit outside in summer. There's also the Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan that has good food too. 

    Have a great trip! 

  • Lincoln Park Zoo is FREE for everyone.
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