Light Snow   27.0F  |  Forecast »
Edit Module

Family Getaway to Chicago

Looking for a little vacation away from the southeast Michigan area? The Windy City offers museums, fun on Navy Pier and more, a train trip away!

With a population of nearly 3 million, it's not surprising Chicago offers world-renowned museums sure to thrill your kids. But with so many people and cars, why not leave your car (not to mention traffic and parking headaches) at home and make getting to the city part of the fun?

Amtrak has stops in various southeast Michigan cities and whisks you to Chicago in just under five hours. For a family of four, the fare ranges about $80 to $200,* depending on your departure town – and whether you leave during the week or on the weekend (which is pricier).

Once there, you'll be in the heart of the city at Chicago Union Station. Head to the shore of Lake Michigan, where you can choose from three museums close together: The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

Shedd Aquarium

Admission: Shedd Aquarium rates
Hours: Shedd Aquarium hours
Phone: 312-939-2438

Containing more than 22,000 aquatic animals, this aquarium is sure to fascinate your kids. Multiple large tank displays give your kids a water's-eye view of marine life they've only read about: Peek at tropical fish in the 90,000-gallon Caribbean Reef display, wave at beluga whales and dolphins, and stare at the sharks inside the 750,000-gallon Wild Reef exhibit.

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum

Admission and hours: Adler Planetarium rates and hours
Phone: 312-922-STAR (7827)

Roam around a renovated 1930s planetarium to get a sense of astronomy's history. You'll find sundials, antique maps and star atlases. After your history lesson, get a more modern view of the stars by taking a virtual space journey at the StarRider Theater.

The Field Museum

Admission and hours: The Field Museum rates and hours
Phone: 312-922-9410

Although the movie Night at the Museum took place in New York City, you'll get a sense you're walking right into the flick at this museum. Noted as one of the world's top museums of natural sciences, you can peruse hundreds of collections, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to displays on Native American cultures and the most complete Tyrannosaurus rex in the world.

After your kids have learned about stars, water mammals and natural history, head to Grant Park, which is located next to the museums. In warm weather, visitors often walk north from the museums to Navy Pier where there are shops, miniature golfing and plenty more to do (even a Ferris wheel). The stroll is almost two miles, but the lakefront views are worth it.

If you're not up for a walk, or the weather is crummy, take public transportation or a cab to the pier. Cab fares will vary, but should cost around $10 for the trip (and that's cheaper than paying to park in most places).

Chicago Children's Museum

Admission and hours: Chicago Children's Museum rates and hours
Phone: 312-527-1000

Located within Navy Pier, this museum begs your children to touch, try out and explore. Pretend to be a pirate in a three-story schooner, or play in Kids Town, a child-sized city.

*All rates as of 2011. Be sure to check for most up-to-date rates.

Add your comment:
Edit Module
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Green Bean Side Dish Ideas

Green Bean Side Dish Ideas

Go green with these yummy sides featuring kids' favorite beans. Check out these recipe ideas including mini green bean casseroles, lemony green beans and more.

Simple Sewing Holiday Tree Craft for Kids

Simple Sewing Holiday Tree Craft for Kids

Give your Christmas tree extra flair with this cute project that you can turn into an ornament or other decor. Teaches kids an easy running stitch, too.

Craft Review: Epson's LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit

Craft Review: Epson's LabelWorks Printable Ribbon Kit

This cool family crafting tool isn't just great for creating ordinary labels. It's also a handy holiday tool for gift wrapping and other creative DIY projects.

Make Cute Penguins with Candy Aisle Crafts Book

Make Cute Penguins with Candy Aisle Crafts Book

This delicious title features super creative, clever and easy crafts that southeast Michigan families can make with a simple trip to the grocery store.

Michigan Mitten Free Printable Greeting Card Craft

Michigan Mitten Free Printable Greeting Card Craft

Want to make the season bright, with a distinct dash of hometown flair? Our template is the perfect starting point for an easy, impressive card kids can make.

Meet Angelina, Metro Parent December 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

Meet Angelina, Metro Parent December 2014 CoverKid – VIDEO

All bundled up and ready for winter, this 6-year-old Canton kid is ready to lead southeast Michigan to some fun events – and make you laugh out loud!

Elsa's Icy Braid: How to Create a Disney Princess Hairdo

Elsa's Icy Braid: How to Create a Disney Princess Hairdo

The super cool character has a signature hair look. Recreate it with this guide from the book Disney Frozen Hairstyles: Inspired by Anna and Elsa.

Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement
Edit Module
Advertisement