Your Vacation Guide to Chicago

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What kind of Chicagoian would I be if I did not brag about my “beautiful Chicago?” Living in our condo overlooking spectacular views with my husband Shelly and my dog, Orchid, I overlook my beautiful city. I am in awe every day. Sitting at my writing desk, with Orchid by my side, where I write my daily blog, my eyes take in the huge expanse of Lake Michigan. I see the beautiful sailboats in the harbor and the panoramic view of stunning buildings designed by some of the finest architects in the world. I feel vital and enriched as I stare out my window. I invite moms, grandmas, children and grandchildren to visit “my kinda town.” First, I wanted to share a little history about my beloved city. Let’s dispel the rumor about our summer weather. Trust me…it is down right gorgeous! Across the world Chicago has been labeled the “Windy City” because of our weather. This is not exactly true. Our weather is not the culprit…it’s our “windy politicians” dating back to the days of Al Capone. So let’s exchange the word “windy” for the word “fabulous!  My Chicago is a fabulous city with the friendliest people.

Here are some of the sites I visit with my grandchildren. It is my joy to watch their delight. I can promise you Chicago will be a joy for you and your family.

Start off with a boat ride tour down the Chicago River where your grandchildren will feast their eyes and hear the story of Chicago and its beautiful architecture. Chicago is the architectural city of America so this is must for the entire family. View this site for information Chicago Architecture .

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Free and fun is Millennium Park.The children can splash in the shallow pool of Crown Fountain and get soaked as the water pours out of the mouths of beautiful and huge mosaic art. They can crawl under the Bean and see a reflection of themselves in the gorgeous stainless steel sculpture. Try taking a picnic in the park under the stars while listening to beautiful live music in the Frank Geary designed bandshell or take hikes during the day in beautiful Lurie Garden. 

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Your grandchildren’s summer vacation in Chicago must include a visit to Navy Pier. Rides including the150 foot Ferris wheel with city and lake views as an added delight; several restaurants, summer fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday evenings over Lake Michigan, sightseeing cruises, an IMAX and Shakespearean theatre and stands with hotdogs and burgers and treats, Navy Pier will be a delight and a day to remember in your grandchild’s memories of their trip to Chicago with grandma.

Have an educational day in Chicago with your grandchildren. Chicago has museums galore! On Museum Campus visit the bottom of the world at the Shedd Aquarium and see the Dolphin show. Travel to the moon with a visit to the Adler Planetarium. Visit the Field Museum where you will see Sue, the enormous T.Rex. Last but not least, head on to the largest science museum in the western hemisphere: the Museum of Science and Industry. Your very young grandchildren will delight in interactive play at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

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Take your grandchildren to Wrigley Field or Sox Park for a Cub’s or White Sox game.  For breathtaking views, go to the John Hancock Building’s 95th floor, where your grandchildren can view 4 states and to Sky deck Chicago (the Willis Tower), the second tallest building in America.Chicago’s Emerald Theatre performs in the Appolo Theatre and Chicago’s Children Theatre at the Ruth Page Theatre. Other great options are Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, with its open-air butterfly haven and colorful wilderness walks. You can’t leave Chicago without Pizza. Try and visit: Lou Malnati’s, Pizano’s or Giordano's or a fabulous steak dinner at Gibson's or Gene and Georgetti. 

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I have given you some of my favorite sites to tour with your family. Now you have to do your homework and map out “your own tour of Chicago.” Have fun!