In Real Moms

Amy M. is a Chicago wife and mom of a very energetic 4 year old boy. She has a passion for families, kids, getting out and exploring, and all things organizational and home related. She has found great satisfaction in creating and developing social communities.

As a former organizer of 2 successful mom’s groups, she is currently in the process of formulating and co-organizing a mom’s group for a well-known TV show host. Amy is always looking for fun and unique family-friendly things to do, especially inexpensive activities, because living in Chicago can be quite pricey!

DSC08279_smWhen I was asked to write a guest post for Family Travel CK I was very excited because I love to share information with families. I really enjoy living in Chicago mainly because there is no shortage of things to do in this great city, so it’s easy for me to share ideas! We moved here just over two years ago and at that time, my son was only one and a half years old. Even at that early age, we always had something to do. We started at the obvious places like museums (which we love) and other tourist attractions. As time went on, we started to explore the local’s spots and enjoyed them just as much! Amy’s Top 3 Family-Friendly Chicago Destinations

  • Take the el to the Chinatown stop and explore the downtown shops and have lunch. After lunch, we love to explore the beautiful Tom Ping Park. We take pictures, my son climbs the stairs and runs in the grass, and we stop at the playground so he can burn some energy. Then we jump on the water taxi that picks up at a pagoda in the park and ride it down the river and enjoy the scenic view of the Chicago high-rises. There is an especially awesome view of Willis Tower shortly after leaving Chinatown. The water taxi has 2 stops. We usually get off at Michigan Avenue and explore for a bit before we head home.
  • Millenium Park has so much to offer. No matter the season, there is always something to do. We especially enjoy visiting the Bean. We like to take funny pictures of our reflections and let my son run around in all of the open space. If it’s warm out, we will bring my son’s swimsuit so we can stop by the “faces” water feature and run around in the water. We also love to pack a picnic lunch and bring a blanket to relax in one of the many green areas available.
  • Garfield Park Conservatory is right off the el and also has plenty of parking available. We love to head to Garfield Park especially on the cooler days. Its beautiful tropical flowers and lush plants make you forget about the freezing temps. They have a kids’ play area and a variety of programs and activities on their calendar for all ages. Another great thing about Garfield Park Conservatory is that it is free!

DSC08253_smOur love of exploration doesn’t stop in Chicago. We have always loved to travel and while we have taken a few short road trips, our preferred mode of travel is by plane. Our travel didn’t stop when our son was born. His first plane ride was when he was about 4 months old. I remember being absolutely terrified to get on the plane with him, but he was great. Several plane rides later (both flying solo with my son and with a travel partner), we have learned some great tricks. Flying with kids can be an enjoyable experience, especially when you learn what works for your family. Amy’s Family Travel Tip

  • When flying with young kids, wait until the last possible minute to board the plane. Stay in the terminal and watch as everyone else boards. I usually let the airline rep know what I’m doing, so they are aware that I am supposed to be on the flight. I have done this when it’s just my son and myself, but it’s especially easy if you are traveling with 2 adults. Let one adult get on and save seats and let the kid(s) wait out in the terminal with the other adult.
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