Hit the Streets Three of the city's must-do attractions are happily right next to each other. While Sue, the largest, best-preserved I-Rex on the planet, is the star of The Field Museum, the new Creatures of Light exhibit, with interactive features like iPad games and a glow-worm cave, will wow kids too ($23 for 12 and up, $16 for kids 3 to 11, free for younger kids). The Shedd ADuarium's aDuatic show, featuring dolphins, whales, and sea otters, is breathtaking, especially with views of Lake Michigan ($35 for 12 and up, $26 for kids ages 3 to 11, free for younger kids, with advance on line purchase of the "total experience pass.") The Adler Planetarium offers eight different shows, including One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure ($22 for 12 and up, $18 for kids 3 to 11 for admission and one show). In another part of town, take a break from the bustle at the North Park Village Nature Center. "It has a forest preserve with a waterfall, ponds, and wildlife you wouldn't expect to see in Chicago," says resident Karen Harmon Curin, a mom of two. Other ideas for your to-do list: American Girl Place, the Lego Store Chicago next door, and Navy Pier, which has fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday through Labor Day.
Hit the Streets An easy walk to attractions, the newly renovated Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile woos kids with an indoor pool. (Rooms start at $179 per night. Get a 10 percent discount with promo code PARENTS; hyatt.com.) In the Lincoln Park neighborhood near the free zoo, Hotel Lincoln has family suites with bunk beds, a kids' table and chairs, and a step stool. (Family suites start at $309 per night. For a 10 percent discount, call the hotel at 85 5-514-8112 and mention Parents; jdvhotels.com.)