Chicagoans have a reputation for being opinionated
folks. As a group, we aren't afraid to speak out on everything from
local politics to hometown sports teams and the best spots to grab
deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs.
But we adults aren't the only ones who love to dish on
what makes Chicago such a great city. Our kids have plenty to say
about their hometown, too.
Chicago Parent assembled a panel of 12 Chicago-area kids
between the ages of 7 and 14 from both the city and the `burbs. We
asked them to share their favorite hometown spots, thoughts on how
we could improve our city, best local eats and more.
Turns out that these kids have lots of reasons to love the
city they call home (and plenty of ideas on what we can do to make
it a better place for future generations of Chicagoans).
What is the best thing about being a kid in
"Being close to the city gives you a lot of opportunities that
people who live in smaller communities don't get to experience,
like the art, history, music and
"Seeing different things every day." Haley
"The public transportation is pretty awesome. I can go everywhere
without being able to drive!" Nathaniel
"It is the home of the Chicago Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and
"I love to go downtown and explore the
"There are a lot of fun and educational programs like the Summer
Reading Program at the Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Park
District after-school programs. You can learn a bunch of different
hobbies including music, dancing and sports." Zoe M.
What is the worst thing about being a kid in
"Walking to school in the winter."
"Not having a big backyard."
"There are quite a few shootings in Chicago and they make
me nervous. I like to listen to the news on the radio but now I
can't listen to the radio without breaking into a cold
sweat." Zoe M.
"There is a lot of traffic!"
"I don't like the smell of gas in the city. There are a
lot of cars and a lot of gas. It smells gross, doesn't it?"
"It is very cold in the winter and very hot in the
"Nothing!" Zoe K.
What would you do if you were mayor for a
"I would go to see all of my favorite sports teams and get
all of the players' autographs."
"I would let kids eat free across the city. I would also
lower the sales tax and cost of gas across the city."
"No school for a day!"
"Everyone has to donate one thing to the food
pantry." Zoe K.
"I would have one day when you could go to any museum or
attraction for free." Drake
"I would make everyone in Chicago vegan for a day and I
would free all of the animals in the slaughterhouses, and I
wouldn't allow mouse traps anywhere."
"I would make a day that kids can be adults. I have always
wanted to work even though I am a kid. If kids did this, they might
give adults ideas on how to run the city and do their jobs
well." Zoe M.
"I would give everyone free candy."
"I would make it so homeless people have places to live,
get food and clothes, and shower."
What is the most fun thing you've done in
"Windsurfing camp at Northwestern University."
"I took a tour of the city on a double-decker bus. It was
"Go to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The best part is
the butterfly room. They let the butterflies fly free in a room
filled with trees, plants and birds. If the butterfly likes you
enough, it will land on you." Zoe
"I like the Museum of Science and Industry. The
behind-the-scenes tour was pretty cool."
"Go to see plays at the Emerald City Theatre."
"I like the American Girl Doll tea. I liked seeing all of
the food and eating it. The tea tasted so good because it was
actually lemonade." Madison
What would make Chicago a better
"I noticed on the expressway that we are now over 700
traffic deaths this year. We need to slow down and drive
"Stop all of the violence and make the city a safer place
for everyone to live." Haley
"Make sure that the parks and city stay clean."
"We could add more grass and trees."
"We need a big market, like Pike Place in Seattle. That
would be cool." Seth
"I would make Chicago a better place by not allowing
anyone to buy guns except police officers."
"Pollute less." Doyle
Where do you want to live when you grow up and
"I want to live everywhere so I can see different
perspectives of how people live."
"Chicago because it is the best city ever."
"I want to live in Hawaii because they have really nice
weather and I could be outside all year without being cold."
"I want to be an author and live in the village where I
live-Oak Park!" Zoe
"I want to travel a lot when I grow up so I am not sure.
Hopefully, I will find a place that I love or maybe Chicago will
always be the place that I come back
If Chicago had an "official food" what would it
"Deep dish pizza."
"Portillo's cheese fries."
"Hot dogs!" Doyle
"Carson's Ribs." Seth