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  1. Default Chicago to Niagara Falls

    Hi All,

    I would like to get few tips and suggestions for our family trip between 28/04/2018 – 11/05/2018 from Ireland to Chicago. It will be myself, my husband and 2 kids- 6 and 2 years old (we are going to visit my family).

    The plan is in the first week to drive to Niagara Falls for 2 nights. What I already searched and decided is to drive through Canada. I will book some accommodation via Airbnb within walking distance to the Park. Any suggestion where to stop, where to eat, what to see on the way?

    Can anyone recommend any good Car Rental Company in Norwood Park East area ?

    In the second week we are going to visit Chicago Downtown. I think the Pier, The Children Museum, if the weather is nice the Speed Dog, Oceanarium. The plan is to spend there 2 days. Can you suggest any family friendly hotel, Inn, B&B to stay? Any nice restaurant, place to eat? We won’t have a car there-than I would prefer all the places close to each other?

    I am sure there is much more questions for you, which at this moment I can’t remember ;)

    I will be very grateful for any suggestions  Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I will start with the standard reminder that the US is a big place. Chicago to Niagara Falls is about a 550 mile drive one way. That's a solid 9-10 hours on the day, and a full day on the road, especially with kids, that doesn't leave much time for any extra stops. Just for comparison sake, the distance from Chicago to Niagara Falls is just about twice the length of the entire island of Ireland. Keeping that in mind, I'd certainly consider driving through Canada one way and through the US the other direction (also giving you a chance to see the falls from the NY side).

    For rental car, you'll want to use one of the major chains and make sure they allow the car to be taken into Canada. You can shop around for the best price - you'll likely have the best selection and most options if you go back to OHare to pick up the car, but certainly compare off-airport locations as well.

    In downtown Chicago, I'd recommend getting yourself a CTA visitor pass so you can have unlimited rides on the bus/elevated train system and easily get around town. I'm not familiar with the Speed Dog? And the Shedd Aquarium isn't one of my favorite places - I'd pick the (free) Lincoln Park zoo instead if you want to see animals (or the larger, but not free, Brookfield Zoo in the suburbs). I would, instead, strongly recommend the Field Museum and also give a lot of consideration to the Museum of Science and Industry. Noting the ages of your kids, I'd also plan to spend a lot of time in Millennium Park, which again is free with lots to see, and lots of playground space.

    For food in Chicago, Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza, Italian Beef Sandwiches, and Chicago-Style Hot Dogs are probably the 3 most iconic foods of the city. I'm always partial to Lou Malnati's for Pizza. Portillos is a solid local chain for Hot Dogs and Beef, although there are other better individual spots (I'm fond of Johnnie's Beef in the suburbs).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Chicago ... lots to see and do in that city!

    Museum of Science and Industry rates as one of my favorite museums of all time. It's definitely a place that the kids will enjoy! The U-boat exhibit is history and science wrapped into 1 exhibit, as is the Coal Mine. The Fairy Castle always had my attention, and the model railroad was my brother's favorite. The Zephyr and the airplane were favorites, even after we'd actually ridden in the real thing, because Mom and Dad didn't always let us play with the window shades in the real plane like you could in the Museum's plane.

    Lots of pizza places are available -- Chicago has some of the best. My personal favorite is Aurelio's, but they are mostly in the 'burbs.

    As for Zoos....Brookfield, hands down.

    Then there's Navy Pier -- just have fun, there.

    Too bad you won't be there for St Patrick''s Day. Chicago does it up quite well. You might even be surprised!


  4. Default

    Thank you so much for all the information.

    Sorry no speed dog (silly me! ) I was thinking about:

    I am aware that driving form Chicago to Niagara will be the all day trip but ...I hope we can handle it

    I have the CTA visitor pass already on my list.

    http://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.or...FYac7Qodm9EMgw I think that one is definitely on the list, the rest we will see, I forgot about the ZOO, thanks!

  5. Default

    I know!!! Paddy's Day would be awesome over there! Next time :)

    Thank you for all the information

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