It’s spring break time in Chicago, which brings with it a whole other thing: staycation season. If you’re not jetting off to Florida or somewhere equally sunny, you can still enjoy a break from reality right here in our beautiful city. And if you think you’ve “been there, done that,” you’re in luck, because the brand new Loews Chicago Hotel is a great addition to the staycation scene.
Loews Chicago, a 14-story wonder located just off the Magnificent Mile, offers two great options for families. We were lucky enough to take advantage of the Chicago Children’s Museum Package (starting at $249 a night), which proves that even a swanky hotel like Loews knows what kids like.
From the moment we checked in, the staff was extremely attentive and friendly to my two nephews (ages 3 and 5), giving them a grab bag of toys and puzzles to enjoy throughout our stay. Upon arriving at our adjoining rooms, the delights continued, with cool camouflage backpacks packed with a water bottle, stuffed cow, copy of Max Explores Chicago and mini flashlight, magnifying glass and compass for a scavenger hunt adventure. We didn’t have time to follow the scavenger hunt clues, which touch on all of the most famous spots in Chicago, but we did enjoy figuring out some of the riddles (and the boys thought the compasses were invaluable for all our navigational needs).
While we weren’t able to enjoy the hotel’s pool due to some maintenance, we still enjoyed exploring the hotel and taking in some of its distinctly Chicago flair. Even the bathrooms give a nod to our great city with cool street map wallpaper that only enhances the sleek design of the room. We also loved tasting some true Chicago flavors, thanks to a delivery of Goose Island Root Beer and Garrett’s popcorn for the grownups and milk and cookies for the kids.
After a great night’s sleep – why are hotel beds always so comfortable? – with Navy Pier lit up in our windows, we were able to enjoy a complimentary in-room kids’ movie and were also surprised with another book delivery – Journey Around Chicago from A to Z – which perfectly aligns with the staycation’s theme.
Then it was on to one of our favorite museums – the package includes admission for four people to the Chicago Children’s Museum. While you’ll want to factor in parking at Navy Pier, the $15 certainly seemed worth it when we were watching the boys putting out imaginary fires in “Play it Safe,” literally bouncing off the walls in the temporary “Move It!” area, or dusting off hidden bones in “Dinosaur Expedition.” While we brought lunch to eat there, you can also get a handstamp that allows you to leave to enjoy a meal at one of Navy Pier’s many restaurants.
By the time we left, we were definitely tired, but content. Our whole stay was a great reminder that you don’t have to go very far to have some blissful away time – sometimes it’s right in your backyard.