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Chicago, Illinois
Fast Facts
Music & Theatre
Historic Interest
Food & Drink
Boating & Sailing
Garden / Park
Tourist Attractions
Family Travel Tips

Cloud Gate Reflection, Millennium Park


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Chicago is Illinois at its most dynamic: a vibrant metropolis with cutting-edge architecture, world-class museums, fabulous shopping and top-notch theater. Yet this cosmopolitan city has Midwest manners. Meet Sue - the largest, most complete, and best-preserved T. rex - at the Field Museum. Get hands-on at the Museum of Science and Industry. View Impressionist works at the Art Institute of Chicago. Eat deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and piled-high beef sandwiches. Cruise the Chicago River. Sail Lake Michigan. Shop the Magnificent Mile. Watch a Cubs game from the bleachers in Wrigley Field. Check out the view from the John Hancock Observatory. Walk on air at Skydeck Chicago. Reach the moon at the Adler Planetarium. Take in a ballet, musical or introduce the family to the works of William Shakespeare. Ride on the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Play with mirrored reflections in Millennium Park. Discover the depths at the Shedd Aquarium. Visit Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the last free zoos in America.
Getting There
Illinois is a national transport hub that is easy to reach by plane, train, car, and bus. There are eleven commercial airfields in Illinois, of which two are in Chicago - O’Hare and Midway. It sits in the center of Amtrak’s national rail system and Midwest train network. It’s served by a web of interstate highways. It’s a focal point for bus transit. Family Travel Tips: Bus travel is no longer the last resort for cash strapped travelers. This cheap and eco-conscious mode of transport is increasingly convenient, comfortable and tech-friendly. Traveling to Chicago? The elevated 'L' trains are the cheapest and most convenient way to reach downtown from O’Hare and Midway airports.
When to Travel
The best time to visit Chicago is in the autumn (September & October), when it’s crisp and cool. Next best is the short spring (May) – it’s comfortably warm but can rain for days. Winter (November - March) brings biting winds, frigid temperatures and abundant snowfall. Summer (June-August) is hot and muggy, with temperatures up to 30°C (86°F) and sometimes beyond. Family Travel Tips: Summer is the peak tourist season. Families traveling at this time of year should be prepared for high prices and crowded places. The wettest months are April and August but expect rain year around. Plan to dress in layers as the temperature can change significantly from one day to the next.
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Travel Trivia
The age of the Saguaro Cactus is determined by: