Boston Babies has always been a big advocate of introducing infants and toddlers to all the opportunities that you, as parents, once enjoyed pre baby. Whether it is fine dining on the city’s most “fancy food,” or exploring an exciting new ethnic restaurant hidden among the many, or vacationing to an exotic place, despite the inconveniences that travel presents…
The reason for including baby in the mix, even if it does result in some expected mayhem is two fold:
1. Don’t Stop Living–Embrace Your New Life
Parents often think that their life is over once babies come in to the picture. That is absolutely not true! Life as you know it may change, but most will agree it is for the better. You now have the unique luxury of seeing the world, and all its intricacies through the innocent, easily impressed, eyes of your child. That is a rare and beautiful experience that should not be shied away from, but instead embraced and explored. Allowing your baby and toddler to participate in parents’ hobbies, dining experiences and vacations enables them to have a hands on approach to their education, learn about new cultures, appreciate different places and ultimately bond with you, building lasting family memories.
2. Dare to Fear–Expose Your Child to Exciting Opportunities
While no one will dare pretend that traveling with children doesn’t have its obvious complications (the gear, the security checks at airports, the tantrums, the lack of sleep, the need to plan accordingly while allowing for flexibility, to name a few…) It is worth it in the end. Whether you plan a family focused trip, or even a dinner out to introduce your little one to a new, fun food, exposing your child to these diverse experiences enables them to learn, grow and appreciate a bigger world than the one they know on a day to day basis. Daring to do this will present problems, but it will also create an educated, independent, curious and cultured young person, excited to truly live life.
If you are looking for a city to start your early exploration as a family, Chicago offers some great options. From the FREE Lincoln Park Zoo, the endless green space, such as Millennium Park, to Navy Pier and the Magnificent Mile, there are endless options to engage your whole family.
See below for some tips for traveling with your family to Chicago, from featured and resident Chi Town Mom, Kendra Thornton.
I love traveling! In fact, I once traveled extensively for my job. Today, I’m proud to live in a city known for its hospitality toward out-of-town visitors. Each year, my hometown of Chicago plays host to thousands of guests. As a resident, I also enjoy participating in activities and attending the various attractions in Chi Town.
1. Chi Town Sculptures
Chicago is famous for its wide variety of excellent art. One of the coolest sites here is the Michigan Avenue Bridge. Designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1991, the bridge was a part of Daniel Burhnam’s 1900 plan for the city. The bridge originally opened in 1920. Sculptures and monuments were added in 1928. Today, visitors come here to see some of the city’s most famous works of art.
2. Chi Town Galleries
Art lovers visiting Chicago can also enjoy the city’s many art galleries. A local favorite is located in the historic water tower on the Magnificent Mile. Shoppers can take a break from exploring the shops in the area and relax in the gallery located at the base of this Chicago landmark. All the photographs on display here feature the city of Chicago as a subject. The building itself is worth visiting. It famously survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
3. Chi Town Hotels
There’s no shortage of places to stay here in my hospitable hometown. Tourists will want to find a place located near attractions of interest. To find a hotel near sights that interest you, do a search on Gogobot. You’ll find a wide array of accommodations available in neighborhoods throughout the city. If you have special needs or specific requirements from your hotel, you can learn which places will best suit you with a search here.
4. Chi Town Dining
The food here in Chicago is legendary. You’ve probably heard about Chicago dogs and deep-dish pizza. Some of my favorite local dishes are served in diners. Chicago diners offer a variety of food at affordable prices. Some even offer breakfast all day long. Glenn’s Diner, which serves breakfast at all hours, is famous for their eclectic mix of cereals. Those not in the mood for breakfast food will enjoy the seafood on their menu or other classic diner cuisine available here.
There seems to be no end of reasons to visit Chicago. If you’ve never been here, you definitely need to plan a trip. If you’ve visited here before, I’m sure there are plenty of things you haven’t had the opportunity to do. Come back soon.
Bio of Featured Chicago Mom: Kendra Thornton
My name is Kendra Thornton and I’m 40 and a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mom, I was the former Orbitz Director of Communications where I was able to travel a great deal. I now live in Chicago with my family, where they are my number one priority in everyday life.