Chicago

Have you ever heard of a Staycation? It’s when you take your own city and visit it like you’re a tourist. We took the opportunity to tour some of Chicago’s best, kid-friendly attractions this summer and see the best of our home city!

First stop was the Field Museum. It has an EXCELLENT exhibition on Jurassic World, but our kids are young and thought that might be scary. So we opted for the Specimens tour instead. I honestly thought the draw was the giant butterfly and colorful animals on the pattern. The Field museum knows how to attract a kid’s attention!

It was a very cool and tactile experience showcasing the preserves of eggs, fossils and artifacts. In addition, there was a cool multimedia display that explained how the museum is able to track evolution in current times b showing the changing size and characteristics of commons swallows in Chicago due to it’s extensive collection of specimens. My three year old watched it several times until I picked her up to go into the next room.

The Field museum also hires teen volunteers to help explain fossils and displays to children. I think the highlight of Olivia’s life was when a volunteer tried to explain dinosaur’s reptile characteristics by asking her if she knew anything about snakes. She immediately opened her gold glitter purse to reveal her stuffed snake and spent the next few minutes reciting her favorite passages from Snake-a-pedia. Needless to say, the Field museum was a big hit.

Right across campus is the Shedd Aquarium which is also a huge hit with the kids. Obviously, the biggest draw for us was the anaconda and various water snakes. But there are also a variety of beautiful tropical fish, brightly colored frogs and playful swimming otters.  If you’re in the mood for lunch or a snack, there are also several very cool cafes and verandas where you can eat lunch outside and enjoy the lakefront views.

Finally, we stopped by the memorial at Soldier Field. Most people know that Soldier Field is the home of the Chicago Bears, but what they don’t know is that it’s also a dedicated memorial to the armed forces. We have several proud military veterans in our family and the girls were so excited to point out the medallions representing their uncles and Grandpa in the Marines, Air Force and Army.

It was a great day for us as a family and a good reminder that sometimes the best experiences are waiting for you in your own back yard!

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