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.

Hibernating at home with little kids can get old really quickly. Bookmark this list for when you need a mini escape.

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

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

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

The Fairmont

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.


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

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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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


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.

Four Seasons

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