Get ready to discover your new home away from home — luckily you won’t need to go far to find it! With amazing amenities, like requesting a gaming console delivered to your room or going behind the scenes in the kitchen, you’ll be lucky if you can get your kids to check out of these hotels. Read through our picks for Chicago’s kid-centric hotel amenities that would make even Eloise go green with envy.
Four Seasons Hotel
Why we love them: Ice cream man who makes in-room sundaes, dedicated play space & special registration process for kids
The kid game is strong with this one. Once kids check-in using a special step stool to fill out their registration (name, age and a promise to have fun), they enter the Sammy the Skyscraper passport program. During their stay, kids complete an activity in each outlet (spa, restaurant and bell desk) to receive a stamp, which earns them free ice cream once they’ve completed. In addition, the littlest guests receive a choice of toy from the treasure chest at check-in, a welcome amenity once per stay in your room, access to the Kids Clubroom with foosball, air hockey, Nintendo Wii, books and toys, and a kids’ shoeshine service where shoes are returned with new laces. Guests also have access to VIP admission tickets to Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum and other area attractions. With all this and a 50-foot indoor pool that was in Home Alone 2 and a concierge team that will create a personalized itinerary for each family, you won’t have time for anything but fun.
The popular package for those with kids is the Family Fun in the City option, which gets you daily breakfast for two at Allium, complimentary meals from the children’s menu for kids ages 5 and under when they’re dining with their parents at Allium, a movie of your choice from their selections with popcorn and soda delivered once per stay, and one free visit from the ice cream man between 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
120 E. Delaware Pl., Gold Coast
Why we love them: Because we love the Cubs! And, the architecture is stunning and the activities and energy in the area are rather special
This Chicago newcomer will quickly become a favorite for Cubs fans, as it sits directly across from the iconic Wrigley Field and Gallagher Way, Wrigleyville’s exciting new town square. Visit during baseball season to soak up the energy that radiates in and around the stadium or plan your staycation around Gallagher Way’s packed social calendar that includes outdoor movie nights, ice skating, Santa’s workshop during the holidays, seasonal parties and more. This whole area has undergone a transformation every Chicagoan, suburbanite or urbanite, should see.
3630 N. Clark St., Wrigleyville
Why we love them: Garrett’s Popcorn delivered right to the room? Need we say more?
InterContinental Chicago is going all-out and decking the halls with holiday cheer. They’re rolling out the red carpet with Santa’s sleigh and planning events and activations galore for guests of all ages. They’ll have everything from a Milk and Cookie Hotline that allows guests to text Santa for a delicious in-room treat, a two-story Santa’s workshop and appearances from the Big Man himself at the Dive-In Movie Series in the property’s junior Olympic-sized pool.
With the Snuggle is Real package, they’ll offer guests plenty of pillows for fort-building, unlimited movies, a build-your-own cookie set, a $50 in-room dining credit, plush toys for the kids (or wine and spa credit for the adults) and more.
If you’re looking for winter activity ideas in the city, consider the Best of Chicago package, which includes a pair of tickets to one of Chicago’s top tourist destinations and a Chicago Truffle Skyline amenity delivered to your room.
505 N. Michigan Ave., Mag Mile
Why we love them: Kid’s Suite, a playroom just for kids & a 12-seat cinema showing kid flicks
Warning: Your family is going to want to make this place your home away from home because the Langham gets kids. Kids receive a Langham Bear that comes in a cute little backpack and can hang about in the Kid’s Suite, the hotel’s playroom just for kids. The play space has everything from video games to board games, Lincoln Logs to mini electric guitars, and if that’s not enough, there’s a 12-seat cinema suite that can be reserved in 3-hour blocks up until 9 p.m. Check out the indoor swimming pool with family changing rooms and showers (be sure to ask for a pool noodle for little swimmers!). Of course, there are kid-friendly menus throughout the hotel so picky eaters are welcome.
You can also request a personalized bathrobe and slippers, and each kid receives a free cookie upon check-in.
330 N. Wabash Ave., River North
Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park
Why we love them: Location, location, location
Just in time for the holidays, Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park is offering an Elf on the Shelf package, starting at $180/night through Dec. 31. They’ll bring the magic of the North Pole to the heart of Chicago by moving the famous Elf into the hotel. The package includes a guestroom with 2 double beds, overnight valet parking, free dining for children under 5 and half-price meals for ages 6-12 at the in-house Columbus Tap, and an Elf on the Shelf hidden in the room upon arrival (where he’ll remain the duration of your stay). For an additional $10, they will provide paper for kids to write a letter to Santa — and make sure it gets delivered!
The best part? The hotel is just steps from Chicago’s world-renowned museums, restaurants, and of course, Millennium Park, were your kids can take an obligatory Bean selfie.
200 N. Columbus Dr., Millennium Park
Why we love them: Backpacks full of fun activities & American Girl Doll package
The Omni knows how to make kids feel special. At check-in, kids are presented with a backpack overflowing an activity book with stickers, crayons, 2-in-1 card games, binoculars and a small tabletop game. They also receive milk and cookies on the first night of their stay or make memories by booking the American Girl Place Package. The American Girl Place Package includes a set of doll pajamas and slippers, an American Girl doll bed so AG has her own place to rest in the hotel room, an American Girl book reading, a personal shopping experience at the American Girl Place Store, cookies and milk turndown service and much more.
To add to the fun, American Girl Chicago just launched two new experiences: American Girl Doll Hospital and American Girl Salon. Kids can take their dolls in for a day of pampering in the salon and a free wellness check, eye and dental exam, and perform any necessary x-rays at the hospital.
676 N. Michigan Ave., Mag Mile
Loews Chicago and Chicago O’Hare Hotels
Why we love them: Kids Closet packed full of toys, electronics to borrow & child-proofing kits
Loews loves kids, but they obviously love parents too. Their signature Loews Loves Kids program is designed to make overnights fun with a complimentary activity book, a “Kids Closet” full of toys, books, car seats, strollers, nightlights and self-contained DVD players with age-appropriate DVDS. Parents appreciate the healthy options on their kid-friendly menu, the cribs and roll-away beds that can be delivered to the room, child-proof kits for families with children under 4 and babysitting which can be arranged by the concierge.
Need more? This winter, try Loews Chicago’s Snowed Inn package, which helps you stay cozy on blistery cold days with hot cocoa, cookies, an in-room movie, and a popup tent and campfire set for kids to enjoy.
If you prefer to stay in the ‘burbs, be sure to read our story about all the fun that can be had in Rosemont: Howdy, Hello! Let’s Get to Know Rosemont.
455 N. Park Dr., Streeterville
5300 N. River Rd., Rosemont
Hilton Chicago O’Hare
Why we love them: Location next to the airport, which means you can start your vacation early
Make getting to the airport for those early flights a whole lot easier — and majorly affordable. On top of being directly connected to Chicago O’Hare’s domestic terminals thru underground walkways, so you don’t have to deal with iffy Chicago weather, you also get spacious studio suites with a large sitting area, king bed and sofa bed, 42-inch HDTV, mini-bar, WiFi and on-demand movies and video games. Worried about trying to catch some z’s so close to the runway? Sound-resistant windows and blackout drapes will help with all that, so you can arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at your final destination.
O’Hare International Airport
10000 W. O’Hare Ave., Chicago
Graduate Hotel Madison
Why we love them: Super cool vintage summer camp vibe
This is stretching the staycation notion a bit, but we promise the short drive to Madison, WI will be worth it when you see what Graduate Hotels has to offer. They teamed up with Camp Wandawega and Land of Nod to create their own Camp Wandawega inspired suite.
Never heard of Camp Wandawega? What began as a speakeasy in the 1920s in now . . . well, basically an adult summer camp. All the charm of this retreat that features a fleet of vintage bikes, fishing boats, archery, a swimming beach and so much more is all rolled up into the Camp Wandawega suite in Madison. The suite features a large main room with an entertainment area, sleeping area with king bed and a workstation, as well as an adjoining semi-private kids room with bunk beads and a library stocked with summer camp-themed movies. Original camp artifacts such as an antique troopmaster hat, custom Sanborn canoe paddles, and Fairibault Woolen Mills blankets, as well as Camp Wandawega for Nod accents and décor are found throughout the space.
601 Langdon St., Madison, WI
—Maria Chambers & Jo Aaron