Tuesday, 13 September 2016

CHICAGO - Kid Friendly Guide

Better write this down before I forget about it completely. As it is as I was compiling the pictures I realised that things have started to get a bit hazy. We were in Chicago for 4 nights and 5 days. We did not do much on the first day because when we arrived it was late evening already and we only managed to squeeze in a trip to Walmart.

Here's the thing about traveling with an 18 month old, nothing is fixed. Thankfully LittleLim is quite flexible when we travel and she'll nap in the stroller when we toured. We didn't get to do a lot of things though because it was just tricky with an 18 month old. We chose to stick in one area at a time instead of travelling all over the place because it was just easier. One regret I did have was not seeing Chicago at night because everyone was afraid it "wasn't safe" and it was a bit too cold for a tired cranky LittleLim. Next round I'll definitely make it a point! I love cities at night and find them so much more beautiful with the mystery surrounding the shadows and the glittering lights.

Without further ado, here's what we did for our three days in Chicago. 

We spent the day in Chicago downtown and Magnificent Mile. After a week in Ann Arbor, I was itching to do some shopping already! I mean we were in the US of A, the mecca of materialism and shopping >.< The Shopaholic in me could not resist. Before we went I did some research and got Hubbycat to study the map and locate the shops I wanted to go. We had a heavy brunch in the hotel and skipped lunch. We snacked on Starbucks, Chicago hot dogs and Garrett's popcorn along the way. 

After making my Gap, Zara, Tiffany & Co, LUSH, Sephora, COACH and Nespresso stops we decided to head over to the Water Tower Place and wait till dinner time. I was dying to try Foodlife - a food court that has over 14 different types of cuisines under one roof! It did not disappoint. My favourite shop is the soup shop. Free refills. Another must visit is the LEGO shop if you're a Lego fan and if you're a Dr.Seuss fan, the art of Dr Seuss shop is a must visit. I told Hubbycat when we have extra cash lying around, I'm coming back to buy a few pieces for my art studio. 

The following day we went to Millennium Park, home of the famous Cloud Gate aka "The Bean" by locals. It was so fascinating to see the Chicago skyline reflected on the metallic surface of the bean. Again we had a heavy brunch and decided to skip lunch opting for Chicago hot dogs to fill our tummies. It was so crowded but because it was spacious it wasn't too bothersome. Just be watchful for your belongings. LittleLim enjoyed herself chasing pigeons and just climbing up and down everything. 

We left my inlaws after that while they explored the area some more to head over to Navy Pier.

Navy Pier was more LittleLim's cup of tea. I knew I had to make a stop at the Children's Museum for LittleLim and it was a great idea! She had so much fun tinkering with things, exploring the place and playing pretend. I found the Ann Arbor one more appropriate for LittleLim because the activities in The Children's Museum was catered for older children. I can see LittleLim having more fun in a couple of years time. Overall The Museum had a lot of cool things for Kids such as dinosaur bone excavation, play supermarket, tiny exhibitions etc. 

Not to be missed is the Navy Pier Park. It's a mini theme park. It was a bit of a disappointment that the ferris wheel was closed for renovation when we were there but I'm glad Hubbycat made us go for the Carousel. Seeing LittleLim's face light up when it started moving was priceless. 

On our last full day in Chicago the sun was out and the temperatures went up! It was such a huge change from the previous days and suddenly Chicago felt more alive. People were out and taking full advantage of the sun. We headed over to Lincoln Park where LittleLim would be able to enjoy nature. There is a free conservatory and zoo side by side. It overlooked this huge field and when we were there people was just having picnics and soaking up the UV. 

The conservatory is very educational but WARM! There were so many different species of plants there. If you're a tree lover, you'd definitely enjoy this. LittleLim however did not all she wanted to do was pull leaves and eat flowers. LOL! The zoo on the other hand was exciting for this one. The zoo is well kept and houses the usual zoo animals - elephants, giraffes etc. 

There were so many lovely cafes around Lincoln Park too and I was so tempted to just spend my day in one of them. But we had other things planned. Today was the only time we walked quite a bit. We went to the next neighbourhood where Hubbycat wanted to see his loves or as he calls it his "porn". Guitars, Guitars and more Guitars. 

Then we made our last Walmart stop where we stocked up on US snacks, chocolates, can food to bring home with us. 

I wish we had more time in Chicago because we weren't able to check out a lot of other places and enjoy the food more. Other than Foodlife, the rest of the meals weren't very memorable. It was good just not mind blowing. Next time, I will definitely come back with a more comprehensive itinerary! Otherwise, it was a good holiday nonetheless. We managed to get what we came for and it was a nice relaxing trip. 


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