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Posted on: September 27, 2012 at 12:52AMThe great city of Chicago is one that has made its place in history and in the world today. One of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Chicago is the birthplace of many aspects of arts and culture and is home to some of the most famous and iconic destinations for travel in the U.S. Home to 2.7 million people, Chicago or Chi-town has a history that dates back to the mid 1700′s as far as European settlement is concerned. Until this point, the area had been settled by a Native American tribe called the Potawatomi but by the 1770′s, the influx of European settlers and a new permanent settlement began the now infamous French and Indian War and by the beginning of the 1800′s, the town of Chicago was organized and on March 4th, 1837, the city of Chicago was born. Historically and culturally diverse, there are many top destinations to see and explore throughout the year. In addition, this year is particularly special as Chicago is celebrating her 175th birthday. This offers families even more chances to have fun and explore this world famous city. Events and activities related to the celebration called the 175 days to Love Chicago begins on March 4th and will continue until August 26th offering special events relating to its history and fun. Events include the ethnic diversity such as the celebration of the Lithuanian independence celebration on Navy Pier, Mythbusters vista the Museum of Science and Industry with an exhibition called the Explosive Exhibition, National Carmel Popcorn Day and many others are just a peak into the fun you and your family can have this year. If you cant make it during this time however, Chicago is always bustling with perfect places for you and the family to explore including hundreds of sites such as: Art Institute of Chicago John Hancock Center Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Field Museum of Natural History Soldier Field Shedd Aquarium Millennium Park Union Station Chicago Spire Wicker Park Navy Pier Skydeck Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo Whether you and the kids enjoy history, art, views, sports, food, fun or just walking around and taking in the sites, Chicago ranks as a top destination for travel for obvious reasons. Get out and explore the worlds amazing destinations with your family and take advantage of your time together. report a problem
Posted on: January 16, 2013 at 1:03AMKnow Before You Go At a Glance As the third most-populated city in the United States, Chicago offers families a diverse selection of cultural experiences, world-class museums, food, and fun. Kids will be fascinated by the skyscrapers and attractions, while grown-ups will appreciate the art, architecture, and people that make up the city's vibrant history. When to Go Chicago is known as the Windy City, and indeed, it can be windy -- as well as rainy and foggy -- without much warning. Summer and fall are the high tourists seasons, and unpredictable weather patterns and large temperature ranges mean it's hard to devise a trip itinerary far in advance. That said, plan a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities. If you're blessed with a gorgeous afternoon, take advantage of it by hitting the streets, pier, or parks while it lasts! A jacket is wise even in summer, especially if you plan to be by the lake in the evening. In the fall, the crowds dissipate somewhat, and the weather is likely to be mild throughout September, possibly even into mid-to-late October. Weather Temperatures average a high of 80 degrees in June, 84 degrees in July, 82 degrees in August, and 74 degrees in September, with low daily averages in the upper 50s/low 60s. Winter is cold, with winds that can take your breath away. Spring can be slow in coming and is often cold, with May showing the first really warm temperatures. Get more weather info. Getting There Chicago has two major airports, Midway (MDW) and O'Hare (ORD). O'Hare is bigger, so you may have more options for cheap flights, but many people prefer Midway's size and proximity to downtown. If you're taking a train, there is Amtrak train service in downtown, and you can also arrive from the suburbs and even surrounding states on one of the commuter trains: Metrarail and NICTD. You'll encounter a lot of traffic if you drive into Chicago, and parking is expensive. There are plenty of shuttles, taxis, buses and other options to get you from the train station or airport to your hotel. Getting Around With abundant buses, taxis, and trains servicing the downtown and tourist-centered areas, getting around Chicago is easy. Check out TransitChicago.com for schedules, maps, and an interactive trip planner that'll help you figure out how to get where you want to go. You can also hail a cab from the street. If you have a larger family, ask your hotel concierge to call the taxi company and request a minivan or other roomier vehicle. About the El Train Chicago's elevated train system, also known as the "El" (or "L"), is one of the busiest and biggest rapid-transit systems in the United States. With eight lines servicing the city and surrounding suburbs, the El is a convenient way to get around that can also be a fun experience for kids. Make sure to ride it at least once during the day while it's still light outside to get a commuter's view of the city. Avoid rush hour, though -- the train gets very busy. Late morning and early afternoon are the best times during the week; on weekends, other factors (a big game or a festival) may affect how many people are riding at any given time. The routes are color-coded, so look at a map before you go. The Red Line, the El's busiest train, runs along the lakefront as far north as Evanston. Most attractions' websites will tell you which route to take. Check TransitChicago.com for maps, schedules, and an interactive trip planner. Festivals & Events Chicago always seems to have a festival of some type going on; check the city's official website to see what special events may complement your trip (or turn it into a big hassle). The larger festivals often make getting around downtown nearly impossible, and accommodations very hard to get. You'll definitely want to steer clear of the giant music festival Lollapalooza, and, unless you plan on spending serious time there, avoid the Taste of Chicago weeks in late June/early July. Helpful Info ChooseChicago.com, CityofChicago.org, and GoChicago.com are great places to find out about events and help you make your travel plans. Deals & Discounts Consider buying a Chicago City Pass, which gets you into Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Hancock Observatory for one price of $49.50 per adult, $39 per child. Also visit ChooseChicago.com to find out when local museums offer free admission. Fun Facts Chicago is the United States' third most-populated city, with nearly three million residents. Chicago is home to over 200 theatres, 54 museums, and well over 15,000 restaurants. The first commercial air passenger departed from Chicago for San Francisco on July 2, 1927. In 1871, The Great Chicago Fire -- an enormous three-day fire -- killed hundreds of residents and destroyed much of the downtown area. The rebuilt city became known for its architecture. Chicago's Adler Planetarium was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Although the winds coming over the lake are definitely memorable, Chicago gets its nickname "The Windy City" because of its heated politicians and debates. Local Hangouts If you're interested in seeing how the locals live, one good neighborhood for lolling and strolling is Lincoln Park. Check out our local writer's picks for things to do with kids in this grassy, laid-back area right next to the lake.