We watched fireworks from Navy Pier (quite on accident.) We’d walked down to check out the pier about 3 or 4, and found out when we thought about going back for a nap that the pier was closed to anyone else due to crowd control. Anyway, we stayed and had a great time people-watching and the fireworks show was nice. This year the city cut the show to 15 minutes due to budget cuts, I guess in the past it’s been an hour long.
Tips if you go:
- Buy rail passes for the week at the airport (adults price was around $28, kids over 6 were $20 or so and the youngest was free.) The O’Hare airport has a train that runs right into it, so you can ride into the city without having to get a cab. It worked well, we were staying close to Navy Pier, so we had one transfer, but it was fine even with kids and luggage.
- Wear good shoes! (You’ll be doing A LOT of walking!)
- Rent bikes (almost anywhere) and you’ll have a blast. (There are many bike trails and Chicago has so many beautiful things to see that are easy to get to by bike. They even have segway and bike tours!)
- Get a membership to your local museum before you go. (We do this every year and just on this trip we saved over $200 in entrance fees, I think it was only $75 to join our museum as a family. We also belong to our local Art Museum and Zoo as a family, and many of those are reciprocal.)
- Take lots of pictures! (I have too many, why I haven’t posted sooner.)
- Make sure you have bathing suits or change of clothes for kids in your bag. (I didn’t on a few occasions and from the number of fountains in Chicago you can imagine…)
- Scavenger Hunts! (Chicago has a great website for the city with scavenger hunts for various areas. Lots of fun! Also has calendars with events.
- Be prepared to wait for pizza. (Chicago deep dish takes an hour to bake so you’ll wait two hours for pizza. You can call ahead to some famous places and they will put your name and what you want down on the list. )