A few weekends ago, the family and I took an impromptu trip to the Windy City! The weekend we went was also St. Patrick’s Day! This was my first time going to Chicago so I was beyond excited, I had also heard St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal there so I was even more excited to see how this city celebrated. First thing I will say was it was cold and definitely windy! Most days we were there it was in the high 30’s/40’s, one day it hit 50 which was warm compared to the other days. I was worried it was going to be too cold and the kids wouldn’t want to be out but we all hung in there and fell in love with this beautiful city! I definitely want to take another trip during the warmer months.
WHAT WE DID:
– This is the pedestrian waterfront and since it was St. Patrick’s day the river was dyed neon green which was so cool. The kids loved it.
This was the best picture of all of us I could get it!!
Millennium Park / The Bean – The first day we went, the park was closed until later in the afternoon due to the parade and the festivities. Typically it is open around 6 am and closes at 11 pm. If you are going on a special weekend I would definitely check to make sure the park won’t be closed so you can plan accordingly.
Skydeck – This was something I was super excited to do and I think it was worth it. When you first enter you wait to go through security, then you wait in line to purchase tickets, and then you wait again to get on the elevator which takes you all the way up. It was pretty crowded when we went and they told us the wait would be 1 1/2 to 2 hours but it was less than an hour. They also have a fast pass option if you’re short on time and don’t want to wait. You can also purchase your tickets online to help save time. Once at the top if you want to walk out onto the glass you have to wait as well, but it does move quickly.
– We didn’t actually see a show. but we did walk past and take photos under this infamous sign.
Lake and River Boat Tour
(or any boat tour) – We did this on the warmest day we were there otherwise it would have been miserable. This particular tour was 90 minutes but there are shorter tours and several different companies who offer it, we went through Wendella. I enjoyed it, I loved learning different facts about the city and the buildings along the river. This tour also goes out onto Lake Michigan and were able to view the Chicago skyline, beautiful!!
Science and Industry Museum
– If you are traveling to Chicago with kids this is a must do! My kids loved it. My favorite part was the mirror maze!
WHERE WE ATE:
– we were told this was the best pizza in Chicago and we had eat there! I had never had authentic chicago style deep dish pizza before and it was so yummy. They take the crust, then layer it with the meat, then cheese, and then sauce last. It was so heavy and I definitely couldn’t eat it often but it was good and I’m glad I was able to try it! It does take awhile for the pizza, so make sure you aren’t starving when you go. Since the wait for seating was long we were able to put in our pizza order which was nice, we then waited about 30 min for our pizza once we sat down. I didn’t know it took so long and I was hangry, but it was worth it!
– A few friends told me I had to have this popcorn and they were right! it was good! My daughter and I loved the Caramel Pecan and Buttery flavors the best. My boys all loved the butter as well!
Quartino Ristorante – Good Italian food and wine bar. Our service was great and the food was great as well. This place was right across from our hotel so it was perfect!
Eataly – Italian marketplace with a variety of restaurants (paninis to pizza), coffee, gelati, a bakery, and retail items. This was also a block or so from our hotel, it’s such a cute place with great food.
Portillo’s – We didn’t have a chance to eat here but I was told this was the place to be if you wanted a Chicago style hot dog!
The Hampton Social – I didn’t make it here either but I’ve seen the photos on instagram and it looks super adorable! I will definitely go when I return!
WHERE WE HAD DRINKS:
Apogee Rooftop Bar and Lounge – Such a great place to enjoy great handcrafted cocktails and a beautiful view. It was cold the evening we went but they have indoor seating as well.
Three Dots and a Dash – We didn’t make it here either, but it was recommended by several locals, a must do next time!
LondonHouse – Another place didn’t have a chance to visit but I think it will be better to go in the warmer months anyway since there is supposedly a great rooftop bar!
WHERE WE SHOPPED:
Of course I had to do a little shopping while I was in Chicago! The Magnificent Mile was pretty awesome, so much shopping!!
This was a long read!! Hope this helps a little if you’re planning a trip to Chicago anytime soon!
If you’ve been there, what are your favorite things to do???
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