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Hotel Lincoln
Hotel Lincoln

The best family-friendly hotels in Chicago

These hotels roll out the red carpet for your kiddos

Written by
Alex Huntsberger
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Traveling with the entire family can go one of two ways: great or a total nightmare. While Chicago is a dream destination for vacationing families—with sports galore, theater offerings, museums, tours and shopping—choosing the right hotel goes a long way in determining your fate. We rounded up the very best family-friendly accommodations in Chicago. Go ahead and make it a memorable trip.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best hotels in Chicago

Top family-friendly hotels in Chicago

  • Hotels
  • Streeterville

You know what kids like? Presents. And when they arrive at Omni Chicago Hotel—situated in the heart of Mag Mile—that’s exactly what they’ll get. Little ones are given a backpack filled with fun stuff like activity books, stickers, crayons, binoculars, games and an e-book. And on the first night of your stay, they’ll be treated to free milk and cookies delivered straight to your room. Mom and dad might enjoy the hotel’s proximity to shopping, fine dining and cultural attractions. But the kids? They’ll love the freebies.

Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown
  • Things to do
  • River North

The best thing about staying in a hotel where every room is a suite is that there’s breathing room for everyone. Upon arrival, kiddos receive a gift pack that includes crayons and activities to keep them busy while you settle in. The Embassy Suites is located in River North, so when it’s time to venture out, you’ll be walking distance from shopping, Chicago’s theater district and outdoor fun in Millennium Park. And if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the kids will get a kick out of the hotel’s heated indoor pool.

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Hampton Inn and Suites
  • Things to do
  • River North
  • price 2 of 4

This hotel’s River North location not only puts you near the city’s finest shops and attractions, but it also gives your family access to the Red Line, making it easy to explore the rest of the city. When bedtime rolls around, ask for the kid-adored camping package, which includes a pop-up bed tent, small flashlights, activities and a guide to making shadow puppets.

Hotel Lincoln, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 2 of 4

You’ll be drawn to this boutique hotel’s funky lobby, cool rooftop bar and beautiful rooms. Your kids, on the other hand, will love the fact that it’s located just a few blocks away from the Lincoln Park Zoo. (One more perk for you: free admission!) Second City, the Chicago History Museum and North Avenue Beach are just around the corner, too. Oh, and the family dog can join in on the fun with the hotel’s “Bark in the Park” amenity service.

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  • Hotels
  • Chain hotels
  • River North

This luxury Kimpton hotel is a short jaunt from American Girl Place and Water Tower Place, where you’ll find hours of retail-fueled adventure for the kiddos. But if you opt to stay in, there’s plenty to keep them entertained. Beyond a complimentary gift at check-in, families can participate in the “Guppy Love” program, where a pet fish is delivered to your room to enjoy during your stay. Of course, the kids will want to make like a fish and swim the day away in the hotel's indoor pool. Don’t fret, mom and dad, you can order poolside bites from the hotel’s restaurant, Sable Kitchen & Bar.

  • Hotels
  • Chain hotels
  • Streeterville

The Ritz Carlton rolls out the red carpet for you and your family the moment you arrive. The young’uns are greeted by the hotel’s Red Wagon and offered a toy of their choice to take home as a souvenir. Toss in the candy cart (which can be called up to your room), cupcake-decorating classes at deca Restaurant & Bar and a kid-focused Zumba class, and you’ve got the total package. The hotel is located inside Water Tower Place, which means American Girl Place is just downstairs—as is Lookingglass Theatre Company, which often produces spectacular, family-friendly shows.

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  • Things to do
  • Streeterville

This luxury hotel understands the importance of taking care of the kiddos and offers a bevy of programs and activities. Little ones will want to check out the Kids Clubroom, and teens will ask to tag along to the spa, where youth services are offered. But the cherry on top is the hotel’s Ice Cream Man, who will prepare made-to-order sundaes upon request. Now that’s luxury.

The James Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • River North

This sweet boutique hotel boasts a program devoted to kids called Lil’ James (too cute, we know), which includes kids’ menus, books and board games. The James also offers milk and cookies turndown service, a wide range of age-appropriate DVDs and videogame systems. When it’s time to explore the city, the knowledgeable staff is happy to point you and the kids in the right direction. 

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