By PHIL WILLIAMS -- CanadianParents.com
"Chicago. My kind of town!"
Just as our son was becoming bored, boom, it was time for lunch. And lunch itself was a fun experience - mini hamburgers and hot dogs to go along with a mini-seat just for your American Girl - all served with what, to us, was becoming customary Chicago friendliness. This three course meal was a real experience and I am happy to report that we were not the only "boys" in the house! After lunch we saw a live stage production called the American Girls Revue. A well-produced play with a constantly underlying storyline teaching girls that they can do whatever they want and be whoever they want to be when they grow up. It also bestowed upon them how important it is to be your own person and to stand up for what you believe in. American Girl Place is a must stop for anyone visiting Chicago with a daughter. It is an amazing experience and one worth taking in. (American Girl's 3rd TV Movie - shot in Canada - is due out in November. Watch for more info)
next day saw an excursion to the famous Navy
Pier on the edge of Downtown Chicago. Gently jutting out onto Lake Michigan,
this 3000 foot pier was originally a main shipping pier but was redesigned in
the late eighties into what it is today - a vast line of shops, restaurants, festival
halls, performance stages and docking for various tour boats and water taxis that
work up and down the lake. It also houses a Family Pavillion that is highlighted
by the 50,000 square-foot Chicago Children's Museum, a 440-seat IMAX theatre and
a 32,000 square foot Botanical Park. Wow -talk about maximizing your available
space - they thought of it all here.
arriving back at Navy Pier
after our 15 minute water taxi ride, we dove right into what they had to offer
too.We stopped at the food court and had some lunch - a Gyro for mom and I while
the kids, of course, reverted back to McDonalds for the always reliably happy
meal! Once lunch was done we spent the afternoon wandering up and down the pier
and taking in all it had to offer. From very-affordable souveneir stands &
shops to bicycle rentals to carnival-like rides (the giant ferris wheel was
the family favourite), we had no problem filling out the rest of our day. We
made our way to the Pepsi Skyline Stage at the end of the day to see a show
called Cirque Shanghai - an exclusive engagement direct from China showing off
some incredible Chinese acrobats. The show was fabulous and kept the whole family
enthralled just waiting to see what they would attempt next! The show is hyped
with the slogan "Amazing Feats, Affordable Seats" and again, a very
appropriate motto indeed. Our family of four saw the show for $55 US and considering
it was a world class production that lasted well over an hour, that is pretty
good bang for your buck!
But of course if you go to Chicago, you have to think sports at some point! With professional teams in all the major sports (two in baseball!), a stop in Chicago without taking in some action would not be right. That is where the World Series Champion Chicago White Sox provided a pretty special night for my son and I. We sat in the left field bleachers as the White Sox took on Baltimore Orioles and had a great time. Shucking peanuts, eating hot dogs and kibitzing with the fans were the first order of the day- fans that again showed off the friendliness of the city. Once they realized we were from out of town, the people around us went out of their way to make sure we had a good time. Some great one-liners from the longtime 'bleacher bums' plus not having to hear one curse word during the whole game a great experience. The White Sox won 4-2 so it ended on a great note too! Getting to and from the game was easy as well. Again, $ 60 US for a pair of seats with the true White Sox fans was well worth the cost. A very efficient transit system took us from downtown to the park in 10 minutes flat making driving to the park not even worth considering.
When the sun rose on our final day in the Windy City I could not help but once again echo of sentiments of Frank Sinatra when he sang "My Kind of Town -Chicago is!".
If you want a clean, family-friendly place to take the family - Chicago should definitely be high on your to-do list.
This story was posted on Sat, August 19, 2006
More HeadlinesFavourite international Easter outings
10 great places for dogs
Riding the Polar Bear Express
Nothing to fear in North Carolina
Disney World for a long weekend