Chicago Vacation Ideas #1: The 1450 foot tall Sears Tower is an impressive part of the Chicago skyline as well as the city’s highest and most visited observatory. The view from the Sears Tower Skydeck can reach 40 to 50 miles and take in four states - Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
High powered telescopes let you zoom in on interesting sights. It’s fun to pick out the many Chicago landmarks like Soldier Field or The Lincoln Park Zoo.
The Skydeck also has some great museum-quality exhibits as well as several fine restaurants like Dos Hermanos - with a Mexican menu, Mrs. Levy's Delicatessen - a New York style deli and Mia Torre - with Italian cuisine.
Chicago Vacation Ideas #2: The Navy Pier, near downtown Chicago, has been attracting visitors from all over the world to its many attractions.
There is a 6-story IMAX theater, 525 seat Shakespeare Theater, Smith Stained Glass Museum, Children's Museum, loads of shopping and restaurants and more.
Try out the 18 hole miniature golf course, the funhouse maze or the 40ft high wave swinger. The Ferris Wheel is modeled after the one at the 1893 World Colombian Exposition.
The docks are great for watching the many ships or take off on a Lake Michigan boat cruise. There is so much to do here it is a great Chicago family vacation idea.
#3: The Brookfield Zoo is an excellent Chicago family vacation idea. The Brookfield Zoo has always been an innovator in housing the animals in humane and natural-like environments. They were also the first in the U.S. to present a Giant Panda exhibit.
There are over 2,000 animals and they are famous for their special exhibits like elephant’s The Pachyderm House, the country's first indoor dolphin exhibit, The Reptile House, The Australia House and Baboon Island. The Brookfield Zoo is a one of the top zoos around and is well worth a visit during your Chicago vacation.
#4: Chicago's Magnificent Mile is a great vacation spot for shopping lover's and for entertainment. There are loads of stores in four different malls. Construct a skyscraper at the LEGO store. Watch a live theater performance at the doll boutique The American Girl Place.
Attend dinner theater at Drury Lane Theater. See old photos of Chicago at see the Old Water Tower & Pumping Station. It's the only historic landmark that survived the Great Chicago Fire. With over 450 stores The Magnificent Mile is truly a shopper's paradise.
Chicago Vacation Ideas #5: If you are vacationing in Chicago, consider a visit to one or more of the city’s parks. There are about 500 of them to choose from. One of the biggest and best is Grant Park, near the world famous Prudential Building. The famous Buckingham Fountain can be found here, with its four sea horses that shoot water 150 feet into the air every hour on the hour.
Millenium Park is a park within a park, it’s a section of Grant Park, and offers lots of open grassy areas, modern art, walkways and a spectacular view of the Chicago skyline. Another nice park to visit is Lincoln Park where you will find the Lincoln Park Zoo, a large statue of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz and all kinds of sports activities at the Lincoln Park Boat Club.
Chicago Vacation Ideas #6: Legoland Discovery Center gives you another reason to plan a family visit to Chicago. This is 30,000 square-feet of indoor Lego fun for kids and adults. You can find it in The Streets of Woodfield, next to Woodfield Mall.
The kids will love the hands-on Model Builder Workshop where they can learn to build almost anything and earn a 'Master Model Builder' certificate. Check out Batman, Indiana Jones, Darth Vader and other heroes all made from Legos. The Green Dragon is a fun ride through a Lego character inhabited castle and dungeon. Plus there’s a lot more at Chicago's Legoland Discovery Center.