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January 29th, 2014

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Things to do in Chicago in Summer


Family summer vacation offers at the Essex Inn, Chicago.

There is no place in the world for a vacation like Chicago. With tons of culture, numerous attractions, and a multitude of activities, it is impossible to visit this city and feel bored. Chicago is a fantastic vacation destination for groups of friends, couples, and solo travelers, but has a particular appeal for families. From toddlers to grandmothers, Chicago has enough appeal to wow every member of the family.

Here are some of the activities that families can enjoy while vacationing in Chicago:

Visit the zoo

Lincoln Park’s Zoo is a fantastic place for a family day out.  As an added bonus, entry to the zoo is completely free of charge. Family vacations can easily become very expensive, however a trip to the zoo is a great way of reigning in your budget while still having fun. Animals you will be able to see include African lions, jaguars, meerkats, chimpanzees, pythons, crocodiles, and countless others. A trip to Lincoln Park Zoo is suitable for all ages and can inspire a love of nature and the outdoors in young visitors.

Take a sailing trip

In Chicago, there are several companies that offer sailing trips on Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes of North America. Fans of the outdoors will not want to miss out on the fresh air of a sailing adventure. On your trip you will be able to relax while enjoying a family picnic on deck, and take in the stunning scenery all around you. If you’re lucky, you will get a glimpse of the lake’s native wildlife such as falcons and hawks.

Enjoy an immersive theater experience

There are more than 200 unique theaters in the Chicago area, making it one of the best places for performing arts in the country. Many of the shows on Chicago stages are family friendly, and the most popular of them all is the Blue Man Group. This combination of music, art, dance, and comedy is a completely immersive theater experience that will have every member of the family captivated by the performance.

At the Essex Inn, we offer superior family accommodation in the heart of Chicago. Book your stay and create lifelong memories on your next family vacation in Chicago.

December 6th, 2013

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Chicagoan Holiday

I love Chicago at any time of year, but I love it even more during the holidays. My family always enjoys coming to visit, and when they do they always stay at Essex Inn. The Inn is located in the Downtown Chicago area, near Grant Park, Soldier Field and Navy Pier, so it’s a conveniently located for them. It is also near the Theater district, which is home to Broadway in Chicago events at the Oriental Theatre, Broadway Playhouse, Bank of America Theatre, Cadillac Palace Theatre and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.  If you’re a history or mystery buff, Chicago hosts bone-chilling ghost tours at Chicago Hauntings – where you can visit ghostly stops and Gangster prohibition era locales.

While staying at the Essex Inn this holiday season, be sure to enjoy the magic and festivities that is the holiday season has in store. Here are some of the holiday events taking place this season in and around Chicago:

  • Start 2014 on the water! Sail with the Odyssey Cruises along the spectacular Chicago coast and enjoy our world-renowned skyline. The Odyssey offers a dinner menu, live entertainment and private seating.
  • Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier is an annual family-friendly holiday event in Chicago! There are tons of different rides and attractions for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Macy’s on State Street 2013 Great Tree Lighting & 46th Annual Animated Holiday Windows Revealed. Macy’s kicks off the holiday season with the annual Great Tree Lighting and immediately following the Tree Lighting, the kid’s department on level 5 will have holiday family fun while passersby can expect to once again be amazed with this year’s Macy’s window display.
  • Beginning in early November, McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink will open for public sessions. Visitors can bring their skates or rent them for a only $10 to enjoy ice skating with the view of Chicago!
  • Michigan Avenue – One of America’s great shopping streets, is at its best during the holiday season. There are not only holiday offers along the avenue, but it is always beautifully decorated with white lights and holiday décor!
  • Christkindlmarket German Market. In the heart of Chicago, there’s a little bit of Germany! This open-air market has the look and feel of a little German village in the heart of Chicago – perfect for the whole family to do your holiday shopping or just to enjoy some traditional German Glühwein!
  • Zoo Lights – The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of my favorite family fun activities. The entire zoo is decked out in holiday lights decorated to the hilt and there are lots of fun family activities. The best part is that it is free.
  • The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival always the Saturday before Thanksgiving, kicking off the holiday season! There is a full day of family friendly events, great holiday shopping along the Mile, the grand Tree Lighting Parade with Mickey & Minnie!
  • The Nutcracker at the Joffrey Ballet is the most iconic holiday show – a sophisticated way to spend an evening!
  • A Christmas Carol – A favorite Christmas story for many. The Goodman Theater always puts on a top-notch production.
  •  Tea at The Drake – A relaxing way to take a break from the frenetic pace of shopping on Michigan Avenue.

Chicago is a place for the whole family to enjoy while visiting, and few times are better than the holiday season. With so much to do and see, all you really need is the perfect accommodation! Essex Inn also offers free gift wrapping for all your holiday gifting needs!

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