The Big Chicago 10: Fantastic Family-Friendly Hotels

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Wendy Altschuler

With all the exciting tourist attractions in Chicago, there's no doubt the Windy City is a perfect place for a family-focused vacation. Year round, families check out cultural treasures from the Art Institute of Chicago to the Shedd Aquarium. They dine at kid-friendly restaurants that go all out with special menus and more. Of course, there are plenty of awesome neighborhoods to explore, such as Chinatown, Logan Square, South Loop and the West Loop.

A number of hotels are also getting in on the action. From "kiddie clubs" to special packages certain to keep everyone happy, we've put together a Top 10 list of the best family-friendly hotels in Chicago.

The Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel

Why Your Family Will Love It: Thinking of a girls' trip where you treat the littlest ladies in your life like pampered princesses? The Drake has teamed up with American Girl Place for an experience that's certain to keep smiles on their faces for quite awhile. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a personalized welcome letter and kiddie cocktails in the restaurant. Deluxe accommodations include fresh baked cookies and milk with turndown service, as well as a bed for American Girl dolls. There's also complimentary internet service, breakfast and access to the hotel's library of American Girl books. The Drake can also arrange a personal shopper while visiting American Girl Place. The hotel's Palm Court restaurant is one of our favorite places in the city for afternoon tea. It's $30 for children.

Amenities: Great views of the famed Magnificent Mile shopping district, lake views, multi-lingual staff, pool, ATM, laundry/valet service, gift shop, florist, concierge, clothing store, high chairs, cribs

Average Room Rate: $139-$448

More Info: 140 E. Walton Pl., 800-553-7253

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

Four Seasons Chicago

Why Your Family Will Love It: Those looking for a luxury experience with family should check into the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. The kids--whether they're toddlers, tykes or teenagers--should enjoy a number of premium perks. Everyone loves the Ice Cream Man, who rolls through each room with a cart full of goodies for the entire family to create custom-made sundaes. There's also a teen spa menu, which offers facials and mani/pedis designed for those ages 12-18. Have no fear if the weather is frightful outside: the Kids Clubroom features video games, foosball, board games, arts and crafts, a movie area and more. It's open 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and adult supervision is required.

Amenities: Babysitting services, pool, childproof rooms, lowered peepholes in rooms, twice daily housekeeping

Average Room Rate: $341-$1,642

More Info: 120 E. Delaware Pl., 312-280-8800

Embassy Suites Downtown

Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile

Why Your Family Will Love It: There's so much to love about Embassy Suites by Hilton which is beneficial for parents and kids. There is a free hot breakfast every morning and complimentary adult beverages during happy hour. All rooms are a two-room suite, so grown folks will have a bit of privacy. It's an especially great place to stay during summer because there's so much to do in the area

Amenities: Cribs, high chairs, kids' menu, indoor swimming pool, valet parking

Average Room Rate: $114-$614

More Info: 511 N. Columbus Dr., 312-836-5900

Nearby Attractions: Lake MIchigan, Millennium Park, Navy Pier

Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown

Hilton Hotels

Why Your Family Will Love It: Hampton Inn & Suites is always a great bet when you have two or more kids in tow. Guests receive a complimentary daily hot breakfast--with a menu that changes daily--plus many kid-friendly attractions are within walking distance.

Amenities: Great location, indoor pool, fresh fruit in lobby

Average Room Rate: $98-$402

More Info: 33 W. Illinois St., 312-832-0330

Hilton Chicago

Hilton Chicago Hotel

Why Your Family Will Love It: Located directly across the street from Grant Park and down the street from Millennium Park, Hilton Chicago is one of the Windy City's most venerable hotel properties. Book the family fun package and receive a complimentary breakfast for two adults and up to two children at 720 South Bar & Grill, plus free self-parking in the hotel's enclosed garage.

Amenities: Full-length heated indoor pool, whirlpool and sauna with seasonal sundeck, complimentary wireless Internet, indoor running track

Average Room Rate: $123-$533

More Info: 720 S. Michigan Ave., 855-760-0869

Nearby Attractions: Chicago's Museum Campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium and Soldier Field; Auditorium Theatre; Chicago Symphony Center

Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago

Hotel Palomar Chicago

Why Your Family Will Love It: Set in the heart of trendy River North, Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago's Kimpton Kids' Program should thrill every kid in your brood. When you make a reservation, be sure to request connecting rooms and a complimentary crib. Palomar's restaurant offers high chairs and booster seats, or you can have one delivered to your room for in-room dining. Other highlights include a welcome gift, child-size animal print robes (for loan or purchase), complimentary kid-friendly mocktails and snacks during happy hour (parents receive adult beverages) and a pet fish during your stay.

Amenities: Heated indoor pool, babysitting services, in-room child safety kits, strollers for rent

Average Room Rate: $186-$532

More Info: 505 N. State St., 312-755-9703

Swissotel Chicago

Swissotel Chicago

Why Your Family Will Love It: You want your space, and so do your kids, which is why you might want to consider investing in one of the kid-friendly suites at Swissotel. It's a full-size room with an adjoining room for children. Each is themed with kid-sized tables and chairs, coloring books, DVDs, stuffed animals and video games. Families also receive four museum tickets with each stay.

Amenities: Indoor pool, fitness center, complimentary wireless Internet

Average Room Rate: $166-$484

More Info: 323 E. Wacker Dr., 312-565-0565

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Why Your Family Will Love It: The American Girl Place/Waldorf Astoria Chicago package is certain to make your little girl(s) feel like a VIP. For $65 per child/doll ($50 for each extra child/doll), the package includes a doll-sized robe and slipper set for the doll, doll-size travel bed, complimentary ride to the American Girl Place in Waldorf's luxury house car, two in-room pastries during turndown service, American Girl activity books and DVDs.

The little ones may also take advantage of kiddie treatments provided by the hotel's well-appointed spa. A technician will come to your room and offer mini manicures, pedicures, and facials.

Amenities: Full-service fitness center, cocktail lounge, spa and heated pool

Average Room Rate: $400-$886

More Info: 11 E. Walton St., 312-646-1300

Westin Chicago

Westin Michigan Avenue

Why Your Family Will Love It: Check in with little ones at Westin Chicago on the Magnificent Mile, and each will receive a special "kids club" gift bag upon arrival. It's full of toys, activities, and other items to keep them entertained throughout their stay. Other items guests may request include nightlights, strollers, bottle warmers, high chairs and booster seats.

Amenities: Two restaurants, spa, fitness center, valet parking

Average Room Rate: $121-$608

More Info: 909 N Michigan Ave., 312-943-7200

Nearby Attractions: Art of Dr. Seuss GalleryChicago Cultural CenterChicago River ToursChicago Sports MuseumChicago Water TowerDylan's Candy Bar, Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop, Hershey's Chocolate World, Lincoln Park Zoo, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Museum of Contemporary Art ChicagoNoble Horse Chicago Carriage RidesOak Street BeachRichard H. Driehaus MuseumShops at North Bridge, ​Water Tower Place

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile 

Why Your Family Will Love It: The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile is loaded with history and fun discoveries. Ask the concierge to tell you about the prohibition-era alcohol stash wall, located in one of the ballrooms. The large blue-tiled swimming pool is the focal point of the property. (The famous Johnny Weissmuller—the original Tarzan—swam laps in the junior Olympic-sized swimming pool.) Kids will love the in-room amenities that include stuffed animals, special blankets, hot cocoa and movies.

Amenities: Pool, fitness center, spa, Michael Jordan's Steakhouse

Average Room Rate: $173—$246

More Info: 505 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-944-4100

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