GATHER YOUR CLAN AND CLOCK IN SOME PLAYTIME. YOU CAN PACK A LOT OF ALL-AGES FUN INTO TWO DAYS. MAGGIE DALEY PARK DAY ONE: Wake up and stretch out. The 20-acre Maggie Daley Park is the perfect place to burn energy, and not just because of the huge tube slide and suspension bridges. Young explorers romp in the Play Garden (shout “ahoy” from the huge play ship) while older kids edge their way up a 40-foot-tall climbing wall. Nearby in Millennium Park, twist and shout to live music at Millennium Park’s Family Fun Fest, held daily throughout summer. Along with kid-friendly grooves, there are games, crafts and story time. Finish with a stop at Grant Park Skate Park, where the older ones in your brood can do flip tricks on nicely maintained concrete slopes. GIORDANO’S MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY For lunch, dig into a classic Chicago deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s or Giordano’s in the South Loop. Then fill up on culture. The Museum of Science and Industry in Hyde Park is a must-visit, especially its U-505 submarine, a legendary German vessel captured during World War II. You’ll soak up even more knowledge at the nearby 57th Street Books, which features a large children’s book selection and drop-in story time every Wednesday. Cap off the day with a heaping-tall sandwich at Medici on 57th, a bakery, deli and cafe that’s frequented by University of Chicago students. You’ll all get a great night’s sleep (and plenty of kid-friendly perks) at a downtown hotel. Our picks: Loews Chicago Hotel for its Kids Closet stocked with games and electronics; InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile for its historic indoor pool and Garrett’s Popcorn delivered right to your room; or The Langham Chicago, for its fun dedicated kids’ playroom. DAY TWO: Head to the North Side for brunch at Frasca, a Roscoe Village hot spot where families gather over wood-fired pizzas. While you’re in the area, drop by Building Blocks Toy Shop, where educational books, games and toys stack floor to ceiling. For your kiddo’s first rock concert, head to Beat Kitchen, where musicians tear it up as tiny feet tap during its Concerts for Kids. CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM NORTH AVENUE BEACH Put those thinking caps on at the Chicago History Museum, which welcomes young and old with displays on the Great Chicago Fire and other legendary happenings, plus interactive exhibits that beg for photo ops (imagine a larger-than-life Chicago-style hot dog bun that kids can lie in). While you’re in the area, kick back at North Avenue Beach or Oak Street Beach, where the city skyline inspires amazing sandcastles. TILT AT 360 CHICAGO For dinner: burgers at Wildfire Chicago, a 1940s-style steakhouse with a special kids’ menu. Complete the evening at TILT in 360 CHICAGO, a 94th floor observatory that, due to a feat of engineering, thrillingly tilts you at an angle over the city.
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