Family-Friendly Destination Via Plane: Chicago


The third-largest city in the U.S., Chicago is known for its beautiful downtown, 26 miles of lakefront and friendly Midwestern vibe that attracts more than 40 million visitors each year.

Experience the iconic Navy Pier, a landmark extending nearly 1 mile into Lake Michigan where visitors can ride on a 150-foot Ferris wheel and enjoy restaurants, shops and fireworks extravaganzas.

Adjacent to the Navy Pier, explore the Chicago Children’s Museum. Build a skyscraper, tinker with real tools or climb on a rope-suspended schooner.

Enjoy incredible views of the city at Skydeck Chicago, where you can step onto The Ledge, a glass balcony extending 4 feet outside the 103rd floor, if you dare. Take in a 360-degree view of four states at the John Hancock Observatory.

Pack your swimsuits to play in the fountain and cool off at Millennium Park, a gathering spot in the heart of downtown Chicago. Have your photograph made in front of The Bean, an outdoor sculpture resembling an enormous metal bean. In the summer, kids can splash around in Crown Fountain, an interactive work of public art.

Take Chicago’s First Lady Cruise to learn about 50 famous Chicago buildings. You can also choose from other cruise outings such as fireworks cruises, nighttime tours and dinner cruises.

Visit Museum Campus to explore The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. A must-see for dinosaur lovers, The Field Museum is home to Sue, the most complete T. Rex ever found. Favorite sea creatures, including turtles, otters, sea lions and dolphins are crowd pleasers at the Shedd Aquarium. If you plan to visit more than one museum and the Skydeck Chicago, check into buying a Chicago CityPASS to save some money.

A slice of deep-dish pizza is a must-have when visiting Chicago. Try three legendary pizzerias: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, Giordano’s Pizza and Gino’s East of Chicago.

For more ideas, go to

Airport 411: Watch out for the 40-foot high replica of a Brachiosaurus looming over Chicago O’Hare Airport in Terminal 1 and a replica of a World War II Wildcat fighter plane in Terminal 2. Kids will love looking at these fascinating attractions. Take the little ones to Kids on the Fly play area to learn the inner workings of an airport through an interactive exhibit. And the “L” train is the easiest way to get into town from the airport — no need to rent a car and pay for parking.

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