This stay and some of the amenities were sponsored by Hilton. All opinions are my own.
We recently took our family on a #roadtripofdreams to see seven different home Major League Baseball games throughout the Midwest over the course of 11 days. We had the incredible opportunity to see games in St. Louis, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Cincinnati on this bucket list-worthy baseball road trip. I’ve shared about the first few games of our trip over the last few weeks (see my post on Visiting St. Louis for a Cardinals Game, my post on Everything you need to know about attending a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium with kids, and my post on Traveling to Minneapolis for a Minnesota Twins game in style). Today I’m sharing about our family vacation in Chicago to attend a Cubs game at historic Wrigley Field. We decided to spend a few days in Chicago since the kids had never been to the Windy City (though my husband and I had a great time when we went together a few years ago; see this post on Eating My Way Through Chicago that chronicled the amazing restaurants we tried during that trip). So in addition to info on attending a Cubs game with your kids, today’s post also includes recommendations for family activities in Chicago, kid-friendly restaurants and hotels, and general tips for getting the most out of a family trip to Chicago.
If you’re thinking of taking your own Chicago family vacation, now is the perfect time! Hilton family hotels in the Chicagoland area are running an offer called the Experience Chicago package which includes an overnight stay plus discounts at Chicago-area restaurants and attractions like Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel, Second City, 360 CHICAGO, and many more! Click here to learn more.
Seeing a Cubs game at Wrigley Field with your family
If I’m being honest, this was the most anticipated game during our #roadtripofdreams. Not only is the Cubs my hubby’s lifelong favorite baseball team, but my youngest’s favorite baseball player and hero, Javy Baez, also plays for them. Not to mention the fact that Wrigley Field is one of the last classic ballparks left (comparable to the iconic Fenway Park that we’ve had the chance to see a few times during trips to Boston). Whether you’re doing it as part of a baseball road trip like we did, seeing a game at Wrigley Field should be on everyone’s bucket list. It just feels different, and the energy from the fans is absolutely electric.
Getting to Wrigley Field. The area around Wrigley Field, known as Wrigleyville, is unmatched for pre- and post-game food, entertainment, and fun. Because it’s such a popular destination on gameday, parking is scarce and traffic is common. I recommend either taking an Uber or Lyft to the game or reserving a nearby parking spot in advance and walking into Wrigleyville. Keep traffic in mind when planning your travel time to and from the game!
Tips for visiting Wrigley Field with kids. If it is your children’s first time attending a Cubs game, be sure to check out the First-Timer’s Booth (near Section 133) to pick up a “My 1st Cubs Game” certificate. See more tips for taking your family to a Cubs game in this great article on Mommy Nearest with 10 Insider Tips for your Family’s Visit to Wrigley.
Game experience at Wrigley Field. One of the best experiences for ambiance during our entire Midwest baseball road trip, it is clear when you attend a Cubs game that Chicago is a true baseball town. The seats are all full, and fans are purely into the game, hanging on every pitch. The stadium itself is a beautiful, classic stadium that magically balances it’s sense of history without feeling dated and rundown. Staff and fans are very friendly, but everyone takes the tradition of it all very seriously, so be respectful when you’re within The Friendly Confines.
Food at Wrigley Field. We love good ballpark concessions, and Wrigley has some great options! Traditional fare like soft pretzels and hot dogs (which you can get normal or Chicago-style, obviously), plus Chicago specialties like Chicago Mix Popcorn, Giordano’s pizza, and house made potato chips (SO good) provide a great variety of treats for fans.
Where to stay: Kid-friendly hotel in Chicago
Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile. This hotel was the perfect kid-friendly hotel choice in Chicago. The location on the Magnificent Mile was perfect for taking advantage of many of the sights of Chicago, the customer service was top-notch, there were lots of other families with kids staying there (so we felt comfortable with our own kids), and they were taking part in the Experience Chicago package, which offered a ton of local discounts for us to explore the city! Some of the things that we love and can always expect when we stay at Embassy Suites were the delicious complimentary hot breakfast buffet (though I always recommend going down on the earlier side to avoid the rush at the end of the breakfast window) and the complimentary cocktail reception in the evenings. Of course, we also love the all-suite layout so kids and parents can have their own space at the end of the day. One of the things that makes the Embassy Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile special are the incredible views of the Chicago skyline that you can see from your room, from the elevator, and really, anywhere there’s a window! We’d gladly stay here again the next time we take a family trip to Chicago.
What to do in Chicago with kids
There are so many family activities in Chicago that you can’t do them all in one trip! Here’s what we recommend you try to squeeze in if you’re planning a family vacation in Chicago for a Cubs game.
360 CHICAGO Observation Deck and TILT experience. With Chicago having four out of the 10 tallest buildings in the United States, you must visit one during a Chicago family vacation! The 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck is 1,000 feet in the air on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building (the 10th tallest building in the US currently). You can see a 360 degree view of the city from this deck, and if you’re feeling brave, you can lean out over the edge through the TILT experience. With Hilton’s Experience Chicago package you get a complimentary TILT experience ticket, so we had to give it a try despite our nerves about leaning outward in a glass window 1,000 feet up in the sky. Learn more about it and see it in action here. As disconcerting as it may feel when you start tilting, it was seriously cool, and I recommend giving it a try (then treating yourself to a celebratory cocktail at the lounge afterwards). If you’re looking for family activities in Chicago, this is one that none of you will ever forget!
Sight-seeing. There are so many things to see in Chicago! Since Sawyer’s nickname is Bean (short for “Soy Bean”), we had to check out the Cloud Gate sculpture in Millennium Park (affectionately known as “The Bean”). Check out Hilton’s Experience Chicago package for even more great family activities in Chicago… with discounts!
LEGOLAND Discovery Center. If you have a car and want to treat your kids to a really cool family activity in the Chicago area, visit LEGOLAND Discovery Center in the suburb of Schaumburg, IL. It’s the ultimate indoor playground for LEGO lovers! Plus, you can take advantage of a special discount on admission with your stay at a Chicagoland Hilton hotel as part of the Experience Chicago package.
Best places to eat in Chicago with kids
Chicago is a foodie city no doubt, and I’d say one of the best in the US (see more in my previous post on Eating My Way Through Chicago). This trip was focused on attending a Cubs game, but we still wanted to find a Chicago kid-friendly restaurant for the family to experience some of that famous Chicago cuisine.
Gino’s East. Arguably home of the best Chicago deep dish pizza, Gino’s East is also a living art piece! We visited their original store, the Magnificent Mile location, since it was just a quick walk from our hotel. In addition to serving up delicious Chicago-style pizza in a kid-friendly restaurant, Gino’s East is world-famous for their tradition of letting customers leave their mark on the restaurant by writing or drawing on the wall (or any available spot). In my opinion, your family vacation in Chicago would not be complete without getting some pizza at Gino’s East. Plus, with Hilton’s Experience Chicago promotion, you can get $10 off you meal there!
So much about our family trip to Chicago for the Cubs game was perfection. The classic ballpark experience at Wrigley, our amazing kid-friendly Chicago hotel, the fun family activities, and the super cool parent and kid-friendly dining experience at Gino’s East made these two days some of the best during our road trip. Stay tuned next week for a recap of our time in Detroit for a Tigers game! Then keep following along in the weeks ahead for our whole Midwest baseball road trip itinerary. In the meantime, click here to learn more about the Chicago Hiltons Experience Chicago package.
- Route and recommendations for planning the ultimate Midwest baseball road trip
- Visiting St. Louis for a Cardinals Game (and the best hotel near Busch Stadium)
- Everything you need to know about attending a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium with kids
- Traveling to Minneapolis for a Minnesota Twins game in style
- Taking your kids to a Detroit Tigers game at Comerica Park
- Visiting Cleveland with kids for an Indians game
- Traveling to Cincinnati for a Reds game