Six staycation nights in Chicago to save your sanity this winter

 
 

Hibernating at home during a Chicago winter with little kids can get old really quickly. So we decided to spend six days and nights hibernating in Chicago-area hotels instead.

The rules were simple: Test each hotel to see if it's possible to entertain two small kids and keep your sanity without stepping outside. Not only did we keep our sanity, but we had a blast doing it.

 
 

The Fairmont

Kids' package includes If you stay in the Fairmont Gold Level (rooms start at $254), opt for the bath butler service, which includes a prepared bubble bath complete with kid-sized robes and bath toys.

Kiddie favorite The Gold Level includes cookie time, appetizers, breakfast and a dessert spread.

Parent favorite We loved lounging in the fancy Fairmont Gold lounge, with views of the city.

Kid-friendly While the hotel is geared toward adults (fancy restaurants, fancy lounges and an upscale lobby), they didn't mind the mess my children made everywhere they went.

Hibernation The Gold package basically turns the hotel into an all-inclusive resort, sans the drinks and the pool.

Kids' package cost The kids' package is only available at the Fairmont Gold Level, and costs $40 for the first child and $60 for the second. Regular rooms start at $189.

 
 

Swissotel

Kids' package includes Four tickets to the Shedd Aquarium, plus a room completely decorated with kids' toys and décor.

Kiddie favorite "I don't ever want to go home," my 4-year-old exclaimed when she walked into her hotel room, which contained nearly as many toys, books and stuffed animals as her own house.

Parent favorite We didn't have to bring a single thing to entertain our children.

Kid-friendly The suite was more kid-friendly than their own home.

Hibernation When they weren't at the pool, the kids were playing in the hotel room or eating at the kid-friendly restaurants.

Kids' package cost Kids' package suites start at $379.

 
 

Peninsula

Kids' package includes Giant cookie, popcorn, gummy bears, bath toys, baby bath toiletries, Teddy bear, parking and free kids' room service.

Kiddie favorite The bath toys were an extra special surprise, as was the martini glass filled with gummy bears.

Parent favorite The suite was huge.

Kid-friendly They didn't blink an eye when we took our 1-year-old and 4-year-old to tea.

Hibernation Between the afternoon tea ($42 for adults, $18 for children), the glorious floor-to-ceiling window pool, the bathtime filled with toys and the restaurants, there's no need to leave the hotel.

Kids' package cost The Winter Family Retreats package starts at $395 per night for a two-night minimum.

 
 

Trump

Kids' package includes Personalized business cards, stuffed animals, coloring books, milk and cookies, baby toiletries and a baby bathtub.

Kiddie favorite The pink birthday cake waiting in our room to wish my 4-year-old a happy birthday.

Parent favorite It's a kid-friendly hotel within a very upscale, sleek, trendy adult hotel. The pillow menu was lush, as was the most comfy bed in the entire world.

Kid-friendly They really love kids here and treat them as well as they treat the adults.

Hibernation Inside our room, the pink castle tent-complete with tiaras for our princesses-entertained the girls while we relaxed. The best part: Each room contains a kitchen.

Kids' package cost Rooms start at $395, and the kids' package is gratis.

 
 

Ritz-Carlton

Kids' package includes Juice and cookies, a welcome backpack including a kids' T-shirt and Teddy bear, a choice of any toy from the toy cart and a visit from the candy man. You also can opt for the American Girl Package, which includes an American Girl doll-sized travel bed that you take home, use of American Girl books and DVDs and complimentary room service for kids under 5.

Kiddie favorite The candy man arrived at our suite with a cart filled with jars of candy.

Parent favorite We also really enjoyed our huge bag of candy. Why should we stick with fruit for dessert if a candy man arrives at the door?

Kid-friendly Bed rails and other kid-safety features are available upon request.

Hibernation There was a tent in our room all set with an American Girl doll bed and pillow. But we dragged the kids out of the room to go to the pool and to feed the fish in the pond (get free fish food from the restaurant host).

Kids' package cost Starts at $329. The American Girl package starts at $389.

 
 

Four Seasons

Kids' package includes Unlimited visits to the new kids' suite, a visit from the ice cream man, a visit from the bedtime story butler and complimentary kids' meals.

Kiddie favorite This entire stay was a kid's dream. In December, they created a kids' suite (anyone with kids can visit the suite), which is just as good as many of the Chicago-area indoor play spaces.

Parent favorite The hot chocolate doc arrived with a cart full of hot chocolate, liquor, various whipped creams and hot chocolate toppings.

Hibernation Between the pool, the dessert deliveries and the incredible kids' suite, there is absolutely no reason to leave. Ever.

Kids' package cost Rooms start at $399.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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