Chicago’s The James Hotel a top pick for families

Frequently I’m asked by friends, and friends of friends, where they should stay with their kids when visiting the Windy City. I often suggest The James Hotel. Centrally located a block from Michigan Avenue, and across the street from The Shops at North Bridge (home to Nordstrom’s), this is a super family-friendly hotel.

The fun begins at check-in. When youngsters arrive they receive a James backpack filled with a small welcome gift. There is also a wide selection of DVDs and kid-friendly movies to view in room. This always comes in handy after a long day of sightseeing. If there’s a gamer in the family, then you can borrow Nintendo Wiis and a selection of games. If family game night is on the agenda, there is a wide selection of classic board games available.

And the fun continues at bedtime as turndown service includes milk & cookies. Best of all, visiting parents can travel lightly because portable cribs, car seats and kid friendly bath tubs are available. Arrange these details directly with the concierge at the time of booking.

Now lets talk food. David’s Burke Primehouse, one of the premier steakhouses in Chicago is the hotel’s restaurant and provides all in-room dining.

Before you roll your eyes about paying for small children at a steakhouse, know they have the best kid’s menu in town. Children 10 and under can choose from mini burgers ($10), kobe corn dogs ($8) and even a 3 ounce or 6 ounce filet mignon ($12/$17). All are served with a choice of one side.

The James also puts on some great family events. This Sunday, they are hosting The Kidzapalooza Very Important Rocker (V.I.R.) kids concert. This is open to all families even if you’re not staying at the hotel. Fans of all ages will rock out to the sounds of Lollapalooza and get a front row seat to the biggest kids concert of the year.

The concert will feature acoustic performances from the artists of this year’s Kidzapalooza stage at Lollapalooza. Local non-profit Common Threads, who will be sharing hosting duties, will put on healthy eating cooking demonstrations during the event. All families are invited to attend, with a $10 suggested donation to Common Threads for admittance. The concert takes place from 8:30 a.m – 11 a.m on Sunday, August 3rd.

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