Pre-Trip Fun for Chicago, Illinois
"Home Alone" -- Your kids may swear they'll be fine -- but you definitely won't leave them at home after seeing what young Macaulay Culkin goes through when left behind in Chicago. (School Age and Up)
"Field of Dreams" -- Take the kids by Wrigley Field and see if they hear a magically inspiring inner voice. (School Age and Up)
"Adventures in Babysitting" -- After witnessing this family's wild night, the family will be grateful for that boring babysitter. But they'll be thrilled to see some of the movie's downtown adventure spots for themselves. (Pre-Teens and Up)
"Airplane" -- The original spoof movie will have them giggling all the way to Chicago -- if Ted can ever land the plane. (Pre-Teens and Up)
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding" -- This hilarious film was shot and set in Chicago. You may not find Dancing Zorba's, but do seek out some spanakopita and baklava. (Pre-Teens and Up)
"Chicago" -- Older kids will be singing and dancing all the way to the joint -- the pizza joint -- after seeing this musical set in Chicago's Roaring Twenties. (Teens)
"Hoop Dreams" -- Get out the basketball and talk to your kids about following their own dreams; then go see a Bulls game -- if you can score tickets. (Teens )
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off" -- You'll never look at sick days the same way once you've seen this 80s classic about three friends who have a memorable day in downtown Chicago. (Teens)
Chicago-Style Pizza -- Experience pizza the way Chicago wants you to -- deep-dish and extra cheesy.
Classic Chicago Hot Dog -- Not for picky eaters, this local staple is topped with onions, tomatoes, mustard, and relish (just hold the ketchup -- some consider it an insult).
"Good Night Chicago" by Adam Gamble -- After this installment of the "Good Night Our World" series, kids will dream of the planetarium, among other famous Chicago sights. (Ages 2 to 6)
"Journey Around Chicago From A-Z" by Martha Day Zschock -- It's easy to make a list of where you want to go in Chicago based on the illustrations in this beautiful book. (Ages 4 to 8)
"Once Upon a Time in Chicago: The Story of Benny Goodman" by Jonah Winter -- This colorful tale of the legendary jazz clarinetist will send kids peering into every musical shop in Chicago. (Ages 4 to 8)
"Sahara Special" by Esm Raji Codell -- Send them browsing through one of Chicago's public libraries -- they may find the book Sahara's writing hidden on the shelf. (Ages 9 to 12)
"Children of the Fire" by Harriet Gillem Robinet -- Your kids will look with new eyes on the city of Chicago after reading about the great fire of 1871 from an 11-year-old's perspective . (Ages 9 to 12)
"Best Foot Forward" by Joan Bauer -- Careful: Young fashionistas may want to go in every shoe store in Chicago looking for the sassy narrator of this fun read. (Ages 12 to 17)
Build a Skyscraper -- Get the kids psyched to zoom 1,000 feet up to the top of the John Hancock building.
Glow-in-the-Dark Mural -- See if little architects can reconstruct the luminous Chicago cityscape.