I will be in Chicago this weekend and would love to find something fun to do on Valentine's Day with my 2 year old and her 9 year old friend who's joining us. Any suggestions for Valentine's themed fun?
Or any fun things going on this weekend? It looks like we're planning on Art Institute, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Diner, and a Chinese New Year festival at Crystal Gardens.
We're considering the Children's Museum on Navy Pier on Valentine's Day but I hear that place is awfully crowded and not all that great. Anyone here have thoughts on it?
Also, any amazing vegan-friendly places to eat near downtown, navy pier, art institute, and adler area are appreciated.
The Children's Musuem on Navy Pier is small and nothing special. It's nice enough, but their are much nicer ones in both Indianapolis and St. Louis. My kids had a good time, but it's not worth a special trip for.
I'd check out the Field Museum. The Field has a small kids' play exhibit in the basement and the Egypt exhibit and the dinosaur exhibit are both excellent for kids.
i vote for the fields or shedds over the adler, especially with a 2yr old. though do you have a museum pass?
the museum of science and industry is great and just a little south of downtown and has a great cafe inside.
We went to MSI & Shedd last time. The kids loved both. My 2 year old loves the planetarium here so I hope she will like Adler. We were planning on it because really I want to see the lake from there. We can't afford Shedd again but do have a science center pass that gets us into MSI, field museum, and a couple others.
I am glad to find out the children's museum may not be worth our time. We would get in free but I don't want to bother if it will not be all that great.
Is Art Institute interesting at all for young kids?
I was told the field museum was boring but my two year old loves dinosaurs and I think the Egypt stuff would be awesome, too.
We LOVED MSI by the way. Best Museum ever!
Rats, I was going to say that if you went to MSI, you'd be temptingly close to Soul Vegetarian or Yah on 75th. Downtown dining I don't know so well, and Amitabul has moved from Lakeview out to O'Hare-ish. You can certainly find Indian places downtown with vegan options, but nothing spectacular. Driving in or flying?
[ETA.--I think kids would find the Field quite a bit more interesting than the Art Institute.]
[ETA2.--The Oriental Institute is also pretty hip for Near Eastern stuff, but vegan-friendly dining in the neighborhood would require a certain amount of hiking around. Average Lebanese, Thai, etc.]
Oh darn. We missed out on Soul Veg last time. I had no idea they were close to MSI! Soul Veg used to be Eternity Vegetarian Deli here in Saint Louis. We miss them oodles.
We're taking the train. I do not drive and we recently found out how incredible Amtrak is for traveling with kids.
Oh! Anyone know of a kid-friendly coffee shop? Somewhere to just hang out where they can play? Besides that place that charges per kid. I can supervise my own. haha
The Shedd lists Valentine's Day, this year, as a free day. :) So do several other museums... http://www.chicagohotblog.com/chicago-museum-free-days The Adler is free on the 15th, if you're still here, then.
I'd agree that the Field generally is fun, and though I would definitely not discourage the Adler, the Field has a classic meant-for-children museum feel. If you do go there, and not the Adler, you won't be much further from the lake, and it's easy, if walking is not a problem (I assume it isn't), to go from there to benches and paths beside the Shedd, where you can walk, or sit, weather permitting.
The Art Institute's got stuff on the lower floor meant to appeal to kids and families, and though I love the place, I am not sure the area meant for kids is as big or exciting an area as it could be. The Art Institute is wonderful, though, in general, and I imagine the brilliant color of the Impressionism collections being especially appealing to even quite young children. There's also the potential appeal of the Thorne Rooms' miniatures, which are wonderful... or (though I don't really like them), the glass paperweights on the same lower level.
Without knowing any details about this one, I think a Chinese New Year celebration sounds terrific.
Unfortunately, only now expecting my first children (2), I don't really have coffee shop recommendations for someone traveling with kids. I keep thinking of a place, and then realizing it's down the street from my in-laws, several states away.... ;) If you do find one, or someone else knows, I'll cherish the information!
Yay for carlessness and Amtrak! I do love them both....
Julie, wife to my dearest friend since August 2009. Mama to Oliver & Lydia , born August 2011. Enjoying: and , , and looking forward to making baby food , and continuing to watch my wee ones grow .
Kid friendly cafe rec: http://www.familygroundscafe.com/ (not near downtown, but I do know lots of families that enjoy this place.)
Here is an amazing vegan food truck that can come to you (it is so good): http://stemartaen.com/food-truck/
Here is a vegan dining guide for Chicago: http://www.veganstreet.com/veganliving/chicagodine.html
A bit away from downtown but worth the trip:
Sultan's Market has alot of vegan friendly foods: http://chicagofalafel.com/
As does Handlebar: http://handlebarchicago.com/ (family friendly in the day/early evening)
Family Grounds is the one I am avoiding because you have to pay per child!! Here we have a couple coffee shops with couches near kid stuff and you only pay for your food and drink. I am looking for a place like that. I wonder if maybe it just does not exist.
The food truck think is blowing my mind! Also, I have heard only amazing things about Handlebar. So we may have to add it to the agenda. :)