Adventures in the city...


Last week we headed into the city for a day full of city adventures. Our group of 11..

4-30-something adults

3-9 year old boys

2-22 year olds visiting from Ireland

1-5 year old

1-3 year old

I wondered how the fair city of ours was going to deliver a memorable day filled with adventure for such a varied group of visitors. Not only did the city deliver but not a single moment of whining was heard from anyone for 10 hours.

We chose to ride the train into the city. Each group was able to get on at their own station and the boys and Annie staked out prime seats on the second level. I was so impressed with the boys for taking Annie under their wing and playing along with her as the train made imaginary stops in China, Africa and Brookfield. This was the first train trip for the girls and it was really a great. As Annie ticked off stops Maddie watched as the stations whizzed by.


Once we were downtown we headed for the free trolley that runs to all the major attractions in the city. It is a bit slower than paying for a bus or cab but such a nice way to see the city. Our first stop was Navy Pier. This is the most touristy of all the places in the city but it's always fun if a bit expensive. Most of the group wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel, even Madison who scoffed at Mommies thought that we should skip it. So up 8 of us went and I was a bit nervous but the view of the city is amazing and seeing my very adventurous girls with eyes lit up with the thrill of the city was well worth the $18.


A few of our companions opted out of the Ferris Wheel in favor of the Swings...(kids happy-check)


The main attraction attended to we cooled off inside the Crystal Garden and sat and enjoyed our prepacked lunches.


After lunch we split up with the Irish heading off to do some shopping (Irish happy-check) and the rest of us checking out the Amazing Chicago Maze. The sign said there were dark areas and loud noises, I asked Maddie if she still wanted to go through, "yeah, mommy let's go". The girls were great and the three boys helped usher us through. While the boys went in the maze a few more times the Moms and Dads (and Annie and Maddie) hit the Billy Goat for a few refreshments. (Moms and Dad happy-check).

On our way to the Museum of Contemporary Art we stopped at the fountain outside Navy Pier and let the kids cool off a bit. (Yep, we had a change of clothes.)


We walked over to the MCA where we found a nice little park across the street. We had a bit of a rest while the kids ran off some steam before heading inside the museum. The boys were a bit concerned about the MCA. "What kinda art will there be? I don't think we'll like it." We'll sitting right out front was this....


Not a bad teaser to get them inside.

Annie ran through looking at everything while Maddie napped.


I think that out of everyone the 3 boys enjoyed the museum the most. There were a few multimedia exhibits that we had to pry them away from. At $6.00 for adults and the kids free not a bad way to spend a few hours.


After all the activity and art it was time for dinner. We headed to the Oak Street Beachstro where we dined outside right on the beach. While the adults finished their Corona's the boys swam in the lake and the girls played in the sand.


We all finished up with a bit of swimming and wading. It was a really lovely spot to finish out our day. A quick cab ride to the train station, the girls first cab ride, and we were on our way home. Annie joined the boys while Maddie sat with me and drew pictures for the entire hour.
I am always amazed by how wonderful Chicago is. Keeping a group of 11 from 3-37 happy for 10 hours in the August heat makes it amazing.


windycorner said...

Wonderful day in one of my favorite cities. When my husband and I visited Chicago our first stop was Wrigley Field. Then shopping on Michigan Avenue. Good times!

ALF said...

After reading this, I want to visit Chicago! I've never been before but it's on my list of places to go eventually...

Unknown said...

Chicago is a great city...I have so many wonderful memories of growing up near there, and visiting family. Haven't been back in a few years, so thanks for the pics. Glad you had a great time.

mpg said...

Hi Mary! Your trip made me remember the fun times we had visiting Chicago when when I was a kid. Watching ball games in Wrigley Field and Comisky park,visiting the museums.It was the first time I ever saw a shark up close and dinosaur skeletons as well. I distinctly remember the Water Tower. There was a sandwich place there that had a menu that strecthed taller than my height back then,maybe about 4ft and you could take it home as a souvenir.Don't know if i's still there. Really fond memories... :-)

Faye said...

A few weeks ago two friends and I spent a long week-end in Chicago and we were feeling right smug about how much ground we covered, but your gang of 11 made us look like slugs. I'll cut us some slack though because we're in the 50-60s age range!

I'll remember your strategies for getting the reluctant into an art museum--run off some steam, take a nap if that sounds better, go right away to the "hook" exhibit. My friends reluctantly let me spend a few hours in the Art Institute, but they had the stopwatch on me. . .

In addition to Creative Mom Award, think we should add Best Event Planner to your wall!

Monster Librarian said...

Thanks for some suggestions on where to go next time I am in Chicago-can't wait!

Why were the Irish people there?

fictionita said...

the caravan in front of the museum reminds me of my favourite stencil artist -

MJ said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day! Thanks for taking us with you!

Also, thanks for the reminder that I can likely pull out my childhood ironing table for K and N! They should be old enough to take care of it! Have a great day!

MJ said...

Sounds like a lovely way to spend the day! Thanks for taking us with you!

Also, thanks for the reminder that I can likely pull out my childhood ironing table for K and N! They should be old enough to take care of it! Have a great day!