Between the culture, the cocktail bars and the world-class dining, it's easy for grown-ups to have a great time in Chicago. But what about kids? Much-loved family attractions like Navy Pier are a no-brainer for your visit, but you'll be glad to learn there's plenty more around the city to please even the pickiest kids - and parents, too.
Here are four mini-itineraries to help you bring on the family fun!
1. Dogs at Portillo's + Arcade at Dave & Buster's
For a Near North Side lunch without the fuss, grab classic Chicago dogs and crinkle-cut fries at the always-hopping, retro-fun Portillo's
. Kids will love the '50s diner feel, and with the promise of a famous Chocolate Cake Shake for dessert, they'll be on their best behavior. Next, head a couple blocks north on Clark Street to play games galore at Dave & Buster's
(complete with a bar to make it a parent-pleaser, too).
2. Burgers at Harry Caray's + Shopping at The Lego® Store
Water Tower Place is packed with shops for mom and dad, but The LEGO® Store
is always a hit with kids. After they've gotten their fill of mixing, matching and building, head up to the top floor of the tower for Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch
, where a "Little League" menu of burgers, nuggets and more make it a home run for the whole family.
3. Wings at R.J. Grunts + Wildlife at Lincoln Park Zoo
Spend the day visiting the lions, monkeys and polar bears of Lincoln Park Zoo
. Check for daily activities like Feed the Cows and Meet an Animal, which give kids a chance to come face to face with a range of animals. Afterwards, cross the street to fun-loving R.J. Grunts
for chicken wings, nachos, hand-dipped shakes and a salad bar big enough to feed the zoo.
4. Pizza at Stella Barra + Strikes at Kings Bowl
Pretty much any family can agree on bowling, and Kings Bowl
in Lincoln Park offers some of the swinging-est lanes in Chicago. Go early, as Kings Bowl is 21+ after 7 p.m. For dinner, nearby Stella Barra
pizzeria has everything from basic pepperoni to pies with candied bacon and fresno chilies - something for everyone to love.