Great vacations in Chicago’s suburbs

No matter which area around Chicago you visit for a quick getaway, there is somewhere different to play, stay or something to discover for your family.

Before we know it, school will be out, pools will be open, andsummer will officially begin. Though a long vacation soundstempting, sometimes the real fun can be found right here athome.

Plus, with the money you’ll save by playing and staying local,you’ll be able to have fun all summer long.

No matter which area around Chicago you visit for a quick getaway,there is somewhere different to play, stay or something to discoverfor your family.

Kristen Kuchar is a freelance travel writer living in Chicagowith her husband.

Great vacations in Chicago’s suburbs

Blackberry Farm Pioneer Village,

Take your family on a trip back in time to the 1800s. This54-acre park is packed with activities and sites from the old days.Visit the five buildings or learn the art of blacksmithing,spinning, weaving, sewing or pottery. The farm and village hasrides, ponies and beautiful scenery. Grab your fishing pole tocatch and release fish at the lake or simply pack a lunch for apicnic.

Indian Lakes Resort, Bloomingdale

A visit to Indian Lakes Resort truly will feel like amini-vacation. Both parents and kids can enjoy the beautiful,professional golf course. Teens can relax in the invigorating SpaVargas with special treatments like the Teen Escape Facial. A sandvolleyball court, putting greens, a game and billiards room and ahorseshoe pit add to the fun. The day will be complete with frozennon-alcoholic drinks at the pool bar, a huge indoor pool and aseparate living room. The resort offers a Family Fun Packagecomplete with tickets to the local theater and LEGOLAND.

EdwardFitness Center, Naperville and Woodridge

Even though it’s May, it’s still not too late to kick that NewYear’s resolution into gear for the whole family. Show everyonethat fun and fitness go hand in hand with a huge variety of classesoffered. Kids can learn sports skills, tae kwon do, ballet or jazz,even yoga and Pilates. Mom and babies as young as 6 weeks can enjoybaby and me yoga while everyone can partake in family swimtime.

Vacation in Chicago’s west suburbs

Lake Katherine, Palos Heights

Not only is Lake Katherine Nature Preserve one of the mostbeautiful areas in the Chicago suburbs, it’s filled with activitiesno matter what you’re looking to do. For the energetic family, hikearound the 20-acre lake. Grab a book or sketch pad and be inspiredby one of four waterfalls, including one that is 30 feet tall.Science lovers will appreciate the Wildlife Discovery Center andthe Nature Discover Center. End the day with a stroll through oneof the many gardens, such as the butterfly garden.

Comfort Inn, Orland Park

This hotel is a great place after a day of exploring. Itfeatures both an indoor and outdoor pool and a game room for thekids. It is just a few minutes away from Orland Square Mall,Odyssey Fun World, The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center and CogHill Golf Course.

Fitzjoy Farm, Palos Park

Escape the hectic city life and gain an appreciation for nature.The family can discover the magic of horseback riding. Both privateand group trail rides are available through the 12,000 acres ofsurrounding forest. The farm also offers lessons for children 4 andup and pony rides.

Vacation in Chicago’s south suburbs

MysticWaters Family Aquatic Center, Des Plaines

Thrill seekers will love Mystic Waters’ two 37-foot slides aswell as daring drop slides. Mom and dad need to relax? Coast alongon the 550-foot lazy river or sit by the leisure pool withfountains, jet sprays and a child-size dolphin slide for the littleones. Even toddlers and nonswimmers can enjoy a designated areathat has no standing water but plenty of water sprays and a junglegym.

Country Inn & Suites, Gurnee

This cozy hotel is in the perfect location for exploring thenorthern suburbs. Great America literally is across the street, andthe hotel is minutes away from Gurnee Mills Mall. The kids willlove the complimentary 24-hour candy and cookie service and theindoor pool. Parents and teens will love the access to Gold’s Gym,the whirlpool and the free deluxe continental breakfast. Yourfamily’s furry friends will love that the hotel is pet friendly.The whole family can wind down at the library filled with adult andchildren’s books.

Everest Burger, Glencoe

If you’re looking for proof that “healthy” burgers need nottaste like cardboard, check out Everest Burger. Everything on themenu is made from scratch using fresh, organic ingredients. And besure to try something from the on-site bakery-we’re partial to thescrumptious chocolate ganache and raspberry tart with a uniquecornmeal crust.

Vacation in Chicago’s north suburbs

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