Where to stay in Chicago for family with kids: 6 Best areas & hotels

Where to stay in Chicago with kids? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Chicago for families with children of all ages, and best family-friendly hotels for all budgets.

Chicago is a major city in the state of Illinois. It’s known for its iconic architecture, vibrant culture, diverse neighborhoods, and beautiful waterfront along Lake Michigan. 

The city is famous for its skyscrapers, such as the Willis Tower (Sears Tower), and landmarks like Millennium Park with the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture.

It is also known for its diverse food scene, including its famous deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and a variety of ethnic cuisines due to its multicultural population.

Chicago has an extensive public transportation system, including the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) subway and bus system, which makes it relatively easy to get around without a car.

The Chicago River runs through the city and is known for its unique feature: it was reversed in the early 20th century to flow away from Lake Michigan, helping to prevent pollution of the city’s drinking water supply.

Is Chicago a good place to visit with family?

Yes, Chicago is a great place to visit with family as it offers a wide range of attractions and activities that can appeal to people of all ages.  

Summer and early fall are popular times due to the pleasant weather and the availability of outdoor activities, but the city has attractions to offer year-round.

Where to stay in Chicago for family with kids?

The best areas to stay in Chicago for families with kids are The Loop, West Loop, South Loop,  River North, Lincoln Park, and Bucktown. These areas offer a wide variety of kid-friendly attractions and amenities for children of all ages.

The Loop is the best overall place to stay in Chicago for a family visiting the city for the first time due to its central location and proximity to major attractions. It’s great for families who want to be in the heart of the city and close to major sights.

West Loop is the best neighborhood for food lovers, and families with older kids or teenagers who appreciate trendy dining and artsy vibes. It is home to Restaurant Row, Greektown, and Little Italy, with a wide range dining scene.

South Loop is the best place for families interested in museums, science, and lakefront activities. The South Loop is home to the Museum Campus, which includes the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium.  

River North is the best location for families with teenagers who want to explore vibrant nightlife and art galleries. However, it might not be as kid-friendly as some other neighborhoods.

Lincoln Park is a perfect base for families with kids of all ages, offering both educational and recreational activities. It is a family-friendly neighborhood with the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and a beautiful park with playgrounds and open spaces. 

Bucktown is a trendy and artistic neighborhood with a mix of boutiques, cafes, and galleries.  It is an ideal neighborhood for families with older kids or teenagers who enjoy a hip and artistic vibe.

During my trip to Chicago, I stayed at the modern citizenM Chicago Downtown. It was a great hotel in central Chicago Downtown, close to most attractions. The staff were helpful and nice. My room was small but comfortable and efficient. 

Map of Best areas to stay in Chicago with kids:

Map of Best areas to stay in Chicago with kids
Map of Best areas to stay in Chicago with kids

6 Best areas to stay in Chicago with kids:

1. The Loop

The Loop is the best overall area to stay in Chicago with kids, especially for those visiting Chicago for the first time. The Loop is the central business district of Chicago, located in the heart of the city, offering easy access to major attractions and tourist amenities.

It is bordered by the Chicago River to the west and north, Lake Michigan to the east, and Roosevelt Road to the south. The Loop got its name from the circular route taken by the elevated train tracks that encircle the area.

The Loop is known for its iconic skyscrapers, including the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), which was once the tallest building in the world. Other notable buildings include the Chicago Board of Trade Building, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Aon Center.

Millennium Park is a popular public park, home to various art installations, sculptures, and landmarks, such as the famous Cloud Gate (also known as “The Bean”) sculpture. The park hosts various events and concerts throughout the year.

You can also find The Art Institute of Chicago, one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. It houses an extensive collection of artworks from various cultures and time periods.

The Loop is a hub for theatrical performances and live entertainment. The Chicago Theatre and other historic theaters host a variety of shows, from Broadway productions to concerts and comedy performances.

State Street is a well-known shopping destination in The Loop, featuring department stores like Macy’s (formerly Marshall Field’s) and various retail shops.

The Loop is a transportation hub with multiple CTA ‘L’ train lines running through it, making it easy for commuters to access various parts of the city. Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center are major train stations in the area.

Best places to stay in Chicago Loop with kids:

Luxury ($$$): JW Marriott Chicago, 5-star family-friendly hotel, located in the heart of downtown Chicago, featuring an on-site restaurant and an Indoor swimming pool. It is close to Monroe Public Transit stop providing links to numerous major attractions.

Mid-range ($$): Staypineapple, An Iconic Hotel, The Loop, 4-star luxury hotel, located in the Chicago Loop, within a short walk from Michigan Avenue and Millennium Park, as well as Millennium Park and The Chicago Theatre and Art Institute of Chicago.

Budget ($): Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown Riverwalk, 3-star hotel located in North Loop business district, short distance from the shopping, dining and entertainment on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile. It offers rooms for families, singles, and couples.


2. West Loop

Best suited for: Families who enjoy a more upscale, trendy atmosphere with a mix of art galleries, boutiques, and diverse dining options. 

The West Loop is known for its vibrant food scene and proximity to the United Center if you’re interested in sports or concerts.

Best places to stay in Chicago West Loop with family:

Luxury ($$$): Nobu Hotel Chicago, 5-star hotel, located in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago, a short drive from Union Station. It features an on-site bar and private parking, an indoor pool, and a shuttle service. 

Mid-range ($$): The Emily Hotel, 4-star hotel, located in the bustling restaurant scene in the West Loop, offering on-site dining, a rooftop lounge, and family rooms. It is located a short drive by car from United Center, Millennium Park and Magnificent Mile. It has a 24-hour front desk, and modern room with  flat-screen TV.

Budget ($): Hyatt House Chicago West Loop, 3-star family-friendly hotel, located in West Loop, featuring an indoor pool and a 24-hour front desk and free WiFi. Some rooms come with a kitchenette with a stovetop. 


3. South Loop

Best suited for: Families who want a quieter and more residential atmosphere while still being close to downtown attractions. The South Loop offers easy access to Grant Park, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Soldier Field.

Best places to stay in Chicago South Loop with kids:

Mid-range ($$): Hotel Blake, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, 4-star hotel that has family rooms and welcomes children of all ages. It is located in the South Loop neighborhood and features an on-site restaurant Close to the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia College Chicago.

Mid-range ($$): Kasa South Loop Chicago, great accommodation for family, featuring units equipped with a fully equipped kitchen and a private bathroom. It offers easy access to Willis Tower, Art Institute of Chicago and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Budget ($): The Buckingham Hotel, 3-star hotel, located in the heart of the financial district, on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange building. Located within walking distance from the WillisTower and the State Street shopping area.


4. River North

Best suited for: Families looking for a lively neighborhood with numerous dining options, art galleries, and a thriving nightlife. River North is close to the Magnificent Mile shopping district and Navy Pier, making it ideal for families who enjoy shopping and entertainment.

Best places to stay in River North with kids:

Luxury ($$$): Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, 5-star hotel, offering views of Lake Michigan, Chicago River or city skyline. It has rooms for families, couples, and singles. It is located within walking distance from shopping, dining and entertainment on Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile.

Mid-range ($$): Godfrey Hotel Chicago, 4-star family-friendly hotel, located only a few blocks away from the Magnificent Mile with lots of shops and restaurants. It is also a short drive from Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Navy Pier.

Budget ($): Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Downtown/River North, 3-star pet-friendly hotel located in River North, close to Chicago Loop business district, Navy Pier and Oak Street’s boutiques. You can dine in one of the many restaurants nearby.


5. Lincoln Park

Best suited for: Families who appreciate a more relaxed and green environment. Lincoln Park offers the actual Lincoln Park (a large green space with a zoo and playgrounds), as well as family-friendly attractions like the Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Best places to stay in Lincoln Park with family:

Budget ($): Hotel Versey Days Inn by Wyndham Chicago3-star family-friendly boutique hotel located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and combines the local culture, music and art of the city to provide a unique lodging experience for travelers. It is a short drive by car from Lincoln Park Zoo.

Budget ($): Chicago Getaway Hostel, great hostel that has family rooms located in Lincoln Park and is a few blocks from the Fullerton subway station. It offers free lockers, bed linens, and some rooms have a private bathroom or a shared bathroom.

Mid-range ($$): Villa D’ Citta, 4-star modern accommodation located in the heart of Lincoln Park’s shopping and dining district. It has a private grotto and garden with BBQ facilities.


6. Bucktown

Best suited for: Families who want a hip, artsy atmosphere with a mix of boutique shopping, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Bucktown also offers easy access to the 606 Trail, a converted elevated railway turned into a walking and biking path.

Best places to stay in Bucktown for families with kids:

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In conclusion,  The Loop, West Loop, South Loop,  River North, Lincoln Park, and Bucktown  are some of the best places to stay in Chicago with kids. These areas offer plenty of family-friendly accommodations and activities for children of all ages both young and old.

Overall, The Loop is the best overall area to stay in Chicago for families visiting Chicago with family due to its central location, easy access to transportation and important attractions like Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Magnificent Mile shopping district. 

I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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