One of my favorite family vacations is Chicago  – especially during the holidays when the city becomes a festive winter wonderland.  The Magnificent Mile is the perfect place to bring the kids for an unmatched city vacation.
There is no better time of year to take little ones to American Girl Place on Michigan Avenue for tea and toys – or stop by Niketown down the street with the boys in the family.  A day in the city wouldn’t be complete without a chocolate fix at Hershey’s for some treats. (I save that stop for last – so I can use it as bribery for good behavior throughout the day!)

The city also boasts some of the best museums and cultural attractions in the country.  My boys love to visit the Shedd Aquarium, where the dolphin show keeps them captivated.  Other local activities to entertain kids and kids-at-heart are the Sears Tower Skydeck, Navy Pier and the John Hancock Observatory.

With inexpensive airfare, winter deals and hotel specials, the city is affordable and fun.  Just bundle up and get into the spirit of the holidays.

Chicago’s largest hotel, Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E. Wacker Drive, is a family-friendly hotel option and is currently featuring special low winter rates for guests to enjoy Chicago festivities this season. Many local hotels also offer family packages, so make sure to ask when booking.

Another favorite of mine is the Four Seasons Hotel, Chicago, which features a Bedtime Stories Butler.  By appointment, the Hotel’s own storyteller will visit your guest room with a selection of storybooks presented on a silver tray and read bedtime stories to your children.

Upcoming events within walking distance from both the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Four Seasons include the Chicago Sports Festival at McCormick Place (December 27-28), Snow Days Chicago in Grant Park (January 29 – 31), ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park (through March 14, 2010.)

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