Hotels in Chicago Geared Toward Kids

by Pamela Wright
Downtown Chicago.

Downtown Chicago.

chicago river, chicago image by rese3282 from

Of the hundreds of hotels in Chicago, many are near major attractions and offer family-friendly features and amenities. All-suites hotels, like Homewood Suites and Lennox Hotel Suites, have extra space and kitchen facilities. Some hotels, like the Palmer House Hilton, have indoor pools, and many properties offer kids-stay-and-eat-free packages. But if you're looking for something really special for your traveling tykes, consider one of these hotels that offer kid-friendly features.

Swisshotel Chicago

Rooms at this towering, 43-story glass hotel have sweeping skyline and water views. But that's probably not what will impress your kids. Instead, they'll probably appreciate the separate VIK (Very Important Kid) check-in desk, where they can draw or read, and receive their special welcome packages of treats and coloring books. Families can choose from three themed kids' suites, based on area museums: the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum. Suites are decorated to match the museum theme; for example, the aquarium suite has navy walls, fish-patterned bedspreads, and rubber duckies in the bathrooms. The suite comes with four tickets to the museum of choice, and kids eat free at the on-site Geneva restaurant. The hotel also hosts a variety of special events for families throughout the year. For example, museum staff may bring animals to the hotel for up-close encounters and learning sessions or a life-size T. Rex, sponsored by the Field Museum, may greet guests of the hotel.

Four Seasons Chicago

When it's time to hit the sack at this hotel, your children can wrap up in their own child-size robes and slip into pint-size slippers. Next, the Four Seasons Bedtime Stories Butler will arrive at your door, with a handful of classic and contemporary story books. After reading a story, the butler gives each young guest a nightlight, themed after a Disney movie. The service is complimentary. The hotel also welcomes kids with special amenity bags containing coloring books, crayons and treats. Other family-friendly amenities include complimentary diapers, cribs, high chairs and strollers, and Radio Flyer wagons to use as you tour the city. Kids under 5 eat free from the in-room kids' menu.

Ritz-Carlton Chicago

Children ages 5 to 12 are welcome to join the pastry chefs for a special cookie-making session in the hotel's kitchen each afternoon. Of course, there are free samples. Give the names and ages of your children when you book a room here, and they'll receive special welcome bags upon arrival. Teens get free popcorn and soda and the younger set gets fresh-baked cookies and juice, along with coloring books and crayons. Complimentary amenities like infant bath tubs, strollers, cribs, blankets and high chairs are always available. The luxury hotel, which takes up floors 15 through 30 on top of Water Tower Place, has 434 contemporary rooms and suites overlooking Chicago's Magnificent Mile.

Omni Chicago Hotel

This downtown all-suites hotel has been named by "Travel+Leisure" magazine as one of the World's Best Hotels for Families. There's plenty of room in the suites, with 400 square feet or more, and an indoor pool. If you're traveling with a young girl, check the hotel's America Girl package. The young guest receives an American Girl doll outfit and travel doll bed. The package also includes a $50 dining credit, an ice cream sundae, and cookies and milk with turn-down service. Guests also get their names entered in a drawing for a free American Girl doll.

About the Author

Pamela Wright is a freelance writer, author of more than two dozen guidebooks, and hundreds of articles. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "National Geographic Traveler," "Family Circle," "Family Fun," "Backpacker," "Hemispheres," "Cooking Light," "Yankee" and more. An active member of the Society of American Travel Writers, she holds a Bachelor's from Michigan State University

Photo Credits

  • chicago river, chicago image by rese3282 from