Chicago

These Hotel Pools Will Wow the Kids on a Family Vacation

When you have kids, finding a hotel with an awesome swimming pool is usually right at the top of the vacation-planning list. After a long day of activity, you can kick back and watch them splash around at the hotel pool. On a rainy day, hotels with indoor swimming pools will be a saving grace. While most kids will be satisfied with any hole that contains water, impress them with something unique to make that next family vacation one that they won't soon forget.

Here are some of our favorite U.S. hotels with pools sure to satisfy the whole family. We've included both outdoor hotel pools, indoor options, and even those hotels that let you swim in the pool without staying there overnight. The options run from a Las Vegas hotel pool to a Texas-shaped rooftop pool in Houston to a day-pass-friendly NYC hotel pool.

For more vacation ideas on where to stay, check out our Hotels & Resorts Guide.

Things to Do This Weekend With Chicago Kids: Air and Water Show, Bit Bash, Summer Fests

Look to the skies: The Chicago Air and Water Show returns this weekend with incredible displays of aerial skill. You can also look to the screens, as The Museum of Science and Industry hosts Bit Bash, where kids (and adults) can play dozens of cutting edge games as part of this weekend-long festival of technology and art.

On Saturday, Girls Who Code hosts a free workshop for middle school aged girls interested in digital design, with hands-on activities and plenty of experts on hand to inspire. Kids can also work side by side with professionals at the Chicago Philharmonic's Side by Side concert, where musicians from the award-winning orchestra play and rehearse with students and community members.

Kid-friendly street festivals and block parties around town this weekend include Pilsen Fest, Edison Park Fest, the Glenwod Ave Arts Fest in Rogers Park, and the South Shore Summer Festival, each with tasty food, performances, and plenty of kid-friendly action. And if you've ever wondered what a million-dollar penny looks like, one will be on view at this weekend's World's Fair of Money at Rosemont.

Our summer bucket list of things to do before school starts has even more ideas, and the event calendar is packed with performances, exhibits, and festivals for making the most of your summer. Have a great weekend!

25 Things to Do With Chicago Kids Before School Starts

Summer days, driftin' away...If seeing school supply lists is sending you and your kids into a panic over the impending end of summer, stay calm, and summer on! We've done the research (not a bad gig, honestly), and rounded up the ultimate Chicago Summer Bucket List, complete with all the outdoor movies, festivals, and FREE summer activities for families in Chicago that you'll want to fit in before school starts up again on Tuesday, September 3.

Iceland with Kids: 10 Things You Will Want To Do on a Family Trip

Iceland has become the place everyone talks about. It's dramatic. It's beautiful. It's rugged, unspoiled, totally different, and the perfect stop between North America and Europe. In fact, it's where the two continents actually meet (cue photo op)! But without amusement parks, warm weather, or any kind of branded entertainment, will it hold your kids' attention? The answer is heck yeah—tell the kids you're bringing them to the Land of the Midnight Sun, and check out as many as you can of the 10 extra-special Icelandic highlights below.

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Hot Dogs, Dinos, Kites, S'Mores, The Bud

Here comes another practically perfect summer weekend, and a full-to-bursting list of fun options for Chicago families. Let's start with the dinosaur in the room: Jurassic Quest at Navy Pier is your dino-obsessed kid's chance to interact with "living" specimens—watch out for those teeth. In other toothsome news, the Chicago Hot Dog Fest hits Lincoln Square, Veggie Fest in Lisle celebrates tasty plant-based eats, kids can race for donuts at the Stan's Donut 5K at Soldier Field, and there are two chances to observe National S'Mores Day this weekend around campfires in Arlington Heights and Montrose Beach.

The weekend sees the return of a beloved Chicago summertime tradition, too: The Bud Billiken Parade, or "The Bud," steps off in the South Side on Saturday morning with marching bands, floats, and performers, and is followed by a fair in Washington Park and another family fest at Oakwood Beach. High-flyers can let off some string at two kite festivals this weekend, one in Elmhurst and one at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. And music lovers can get their fill at the Thirsty Ears classical music festival in Ravenswood, with kid-friendly performances all weekend.

If your kids are into cars, trucks, and all things that go, the Retro on Roscoe street fair features a lineup of vintage cars and motorcycles. Train Day at the DuPage Children's Museum includes model trains and buildable tracks, or climb aboard real fire trucks and other big rigs at the FREE Touch-a-Truck fair in North Riverside (just bring a non-perishable food donation for admission).

For even more summertime fun, dig into our ever-expanding roundup of fairs and festivals around Chicago, or dive into one of our favorite pools, beaches, or splash parks. And remember there's always more to discover on the event calendar.

11 Top Hotels with Outdoor Water Parks for Families with Kids

Kids generally love the perks of staying at hotels but add on a water park and that regular family getaway suddenly hits thrilling new heights. Think of all the family fun: lazy rivers right outside the door, a room nearby for naptime, instant ways to cool down, and no time wasted stuck in traffic to the local pool or beach.

We've rounded up 11 top U.S. hotels and resorts with water parks where families can chill out and cool off at the same time. Find great places to stay (and play) in Florida, Texas, California, and the East Coast.

Baby Shark Live! Tour Hits the Stage This Fall

Baby Shark Live!, a stage show based on that viral earworm of a song, is gearing up for a U.S. tour, hitting a city near your family this fall. Just in time for shark week, tickets for this fully-immersive concert are now on sale. We suspect seats will be going fast in cities such as Philadelphia, Boston, and NYC.

So what are you and your kiddos doo doo doo doo doo doo-ing this fall? The very first Baby Shark Live! tour will initially stop in over 30 cities and eventually 100. It's presented by the geniuses behind the sensational song, South Korean educational brand Pinkfong, and Round Room Live, the company behind Yo Gabba Gabba Live and PJ Masks Live. As if we all didn’t already have the insanely catchy song permanently stuck in our heads, there's definitely no hope for us now!

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Neighborhood Fests, Bears Family Day, Kidzapalooza

No matter where you live in Chicagoland, there's probably a family-friendly street fair in your neighborhood (or nearby) this weekend. Uptown, there's EdgeFest with a pet parade Sunday and kids' activities all weekend, plus Jeff Fest music and art fair in Jefferson Park, and downtown there's Kidzapalooza, the kid-friendly answer to Grant Park's Lollapalooza.

In the western suburbs you'll find the LaGrange Endless Summer Fest with quarry tours, carnival, and car show, and the big block party that is Taste of Roselle. To the southwest, there's Naperville's Festa Italiana with music, a circus, and tons of Italian food, and Taste of Orland Park, where Kid's Day events on Saturday feature a family water balloon toss, a petting zoo, and an obstacle course. Meanwhile, in the northern suburbs the annual Northbrook Days festival means games and rides, with a special needs day on Saturday.

Chicago kids can gear up for football season and meet da Bears at Saturday's Chicago Bears Family Fest at Soldier Field. Also on Saturday, Oak Park Code Ninjas host a Family STEM Event where kids can combat the "summer slide" with free robot racing and video game building.

And this weekend Morton Arboretum holds the Destination Asia Festival at the Morton Arboretum with a water lantern display, Bollywood dance, and sumo wrestling, plus a wide array of Asian food trucks serving everything from sushi to mochi—and don't forget that this August is your last month to hunt for the famous trolls on the lovely grounds.

Looking for more summer fun? Our Chicago family events calendar is chock-full of ideas for fun things to do with kids. 

Virginia Beach with Kids: 25 Things to do on a Family Vacation

Virginia Beach is a perennial favorite getaway for East Coast families and travelers, beloved for its sandy oceanfront and 3-mile-long boardwalk. The beach and Atlantic surf have kept kids entertained for ages.

The length of the beach translates into always being able to find a spot for your towel and beach umbrella, even at the height of summer, and the decidedly G-rated atmosphere in Virginia's largest city, including a ‘no cursing on the beach’ rule, means there's plenty of family-friendly activities and spirit. Take the kids bike riding, for a round of mini golf, or to the aquarium. 

With hotels that accommodate a range of budgets, no-frills eateries, and free entertainment, Virginia Beach is a top pick for families craving a beach vacation. Colonial Williamsburg is also nearby, or you can add-on a visit to Washington, DC with the kids or another Virginia city, such as Richmond. Here’s what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in Virginia Beach.

Weekend Fun for Chicago Kids: Free Shows, Summer Festivals, Touch a Truck, Harry Potter's Birthday

July hits the finish line at top speed with a full roster of culture and food festivals, free outdoor performances, and splashy water fun.

On Saturday, celebrate Harry Potter's birthday at The Party That Shall Not Be Named, a FREE bash for young witches and wizards in Naperville, or climb aboard a big rig at the DuPage Children's Museum Transportation Celebration and Touch-a-Truck. Families with older kids can pack up the picnic blankets for FREE alfresco family-friendly performances this weekend: Monty Python's Spamalot at the Wallace Bowl in Wilmette, and a lightning-round highlight reel of the Bard's greatest hits at Shakespeare in the Park, also in Wilmette. 

This weekend's street fairs and cultural festivals include the DuPage County Fair at the fairgrounds in Wheaton, the Fiesta Del Sol in support of the Pilsen community, Wicker Park Fest with a special Kids Fest both days, the Prairie Fest with carnival rides and concerts in west suburban Wood Dale, Family Fun Fest in Lombard, Chicago Ridge Fest in the south suburbs with a Family Fun Day (plus fireworks) on Sunday, all the pizza and pasta you can eat at Little Italy Fest West in Addison, and bites of just about every tasty food Chicagoland has to offer at the 36th annual Taste of Lincoln Avenue. Plus, two special cultural fairs this weekend honor Chicago's African diaspora communities: the Bantu Fest in Hyde Park with concerts, delicious food, and a children's village, and Ghana Fest in Washington Park with spectacular parades, dancing, art, and food.

Ready to hit the water? Two fun riffs on your standard day at the beach or the neighborhood pool are happening this weekend: Swim with Santa and his reindeer at Christmas in July in the East End Pool in Elmhurst, or blow bedtime for the light-up party that is the Bensenville Water Park Glow Crazy Night

See our Chicago family event calendar for more ideas, or our list of 50+ FREE Things to Do With Kids This Summer.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Chicago