With the faltering economy and recent tax increases, you may be struggling to plan a vacation with an affordable price tag. Not to worry! Chicago is a fantastic destination with many reasonably priced attractions for you and your family.
Learn a Little
Chicago is the home to many museums that are located all over the city and that appeal to all different audiences. For those traveling with their families, two museums in particular will be of great interest to the kids and are budget-friendly: the Field Museum showcases the natural history of the world through exhibits and activities that attract kids of all ages. The second attraction—keeping those kiddos in mind—is the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier. With three floors, the museum is packed with fun and interactive activities that’ll keep your kids engaged and occupied for hours. While you’re at Navy Pier, take the time to browse around the shops and take a ride on the Ferris wheel.
If you want to plan a day your kids will enjoy—and that will wear them out—there are a few places designed with them in mind. A perennial favorite is Millennium Park. In the 24.5-acre park, you and your family can see Cloud Gate—or, as it’s more commonly known, “The Bean.” On a hot summer day, stopping at the park is a must with a stop at the Crown Fountain for your kids to enjoy. The plaza is often full of children playing in mini fountains between two glass block columns facing each other. The columns display faces of Chicagoans at random for a few minutes at a time. The display ends with each face “spitting” out water—much to the delight of the kids playing on the plaza.
Another fun stop that will be sure to entertain kids—at little cost to you—is the Lincoln Park Zoo. The zoo is located near beautiful Lake Michigan and there are more than 200 animals to see up close. Admission is free and all you’ll have to cover is the parking.
Don’t Forget the Food
In Chicago, you’ll want to be sure to check out at least a few of the many affordable restaurants that provide a fun environment with a memorable experience. The Pick Me Up Café is a fun, ’50s-style joint offering cheap food including vegetarian and vegan options. Another great spot is Giordano’s Famous Stuffed Pizza. Featuring classic Chicago deep-dish pizza, this 39-year-old institution will give you and your children the chance to enjoy an authentic meal characteristic of the Windy City.
If you’re traveling to Chicago, you have a few different options for exploring the city. You can drive, bike, walk or take public transportation. Bikes are available for rent and Chicago Transit Authority tickets are relatively inexpensive. You can also take the L to get just about anywhere in the city. Multi-day passes are ideal for those who are just visiting, as they give you unlimited rides for a specified amount of time. These various methods of transportation are sure to get you from your Chicago area hotel to wherever you need to get around town.
Chicago is an ideal travel destination—even on a budget. Be sure to check out all the free and low-cost experiences that await you and your family in the Windy City.