When I found out that my best friend Kate, who lives in Tennessee, was asked to speak at an industry conference in Chicago later this month, I was thrilled. We only see each other a couple times each year, and her city visits are some of my favorite memories. My excitement grew by leaps and bounds when she told me that she had decided to bring her nearly-six-year-old daughter, “Bean” (no, not that Bean), on the trip, and that she reserved a weekend hotel room for the three of us. Kate and I started our list of activities to share with Bean; in a great city like Chicago, there are many. But how does one decide on the perfect activities for a nearly-six-year-old girl?
I mean, of course, their visit being at the end of July, a visit to Millennium Park and the Crown Fountain would be in order. I have always loved watching the pure joy on little children’s faces (okay, and adults’ faces, too!) as they stomp their feet and splash around in the water there.
A visit to the Museum of Science and Industry is a must, too. Their newest exhibit, “Science Storms”, would surely be interesting and fun to a smart little girl, and she’d no doubt find the Coal Mine (one of their classics) to be a real adventure.
Kate mentioned wanting to take her to the Shedd Aquarium. I haven’t seen that place in a while, but the magic of the circular, 90,000 Caribbean Reef tank in the middle of the main hall is something that sticks with you forever: perfect for a young lady on her first real visit to Chicago since she was in diapers.
American Girl Place, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Navy Pier…There are, of course, too many other possibilities to mention here. It wouldn’t be a very easy thing, trying to put together just the right weekend blend of activities for this kid, her mom, and me.
And then Kate came up with a great idea. Why not ask Bean what she wanted to do? She sat her down and gave her a little bit of information about some of the attractions and activities she and I had discussed, trying to get a read on Bean’s preferences.
When it was Bean’s turn to talk, she smiled and said to her mom, “You know what I want to do in Chicago? I want to get room service. I want to order a cheeseburger, and I want to eat it in bed while watching a movie.”
She’s a girl after my own heart. That’s one way to enjoy the city, I guess.
This is an original The Chicago Moms post.
Photo credit: Microsoft Office Clipart