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Chicago: Embassy Suites downtown Chicago with Kids Review

**This is the last in our series on Chicago. In this series are our reviews of the Shedd Aquarium, the Willis (Sears) Tower and the Museum of Science and Industry). **

When we stay in a hotel, our preference is a suite – that includes breakfast (and even better for one that includes happy hour). We really enjoy having our kids sleep in a separate area, but not necessarily next door. We often end up at the Embassy Suites in downtown Chicago (600 N. State Street). (While we sometimes get rooms to review for the blog, we paid for this one ourselves).

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The Embassy Suites in downtown Chicago

Continue reading Chicago: Embassy Suites downtown Chicago with Kids Review

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Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry with Kids

**This is part of our series on Chicago. Also in the series: the Shedd Aquarium, the Willis/Sears Tower, and a review of the downtown Embassy Suites**

We flew into Chicago early morning, and took a taxi straight to the Museum of Science and Industry (as for luggage – we sent that ahead with my husband who had other plans for the day). We planned to spend the day there but I didn’t realize we would spend the ENTIRE day there. So much to see and do. And we still missed out on some of the exhibits. My kids are tween/teen age, and they loved it as much as I did. Plenty for the younger set too.

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The simulator – no way I was going on that!

Some planes “flew” over the miniature set with trains below. Continue reading Chicago: Museum of Science and Industry with Kids

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Chicago: Willis (Sears) Tower with Kids

**This is part of our series on Chicago. Also in the series: the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium, and a review of the downtown Embassy Suites**

I’ve been to Chicago many times, and finally made it to the top of the Willis Tower, the Sky Deck, better known to you probably as the Sears Tower. The view from the 110 floor top is amazing – as you’ll see in my beautiful pictures below!

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If you plan to go, make sure to read details at the bottom to save yourself some time and hassle. You will be in for a major wait most likely, so minimize that! Continue reading Chicago: Willis (Sears) Tower with Kids

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Chicago: Visit the Shedd Aquarium with Kids

**This is part of our series on Chicago. Also in the series: the Museum of Science and Industry, the Willis/Sears Tower, and a review of the downtown Embassy Suites**

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This is first in a series of posts about taking the family to Chicago. There’s still time to go this summer, and fall is a great time to visit too. One stop on the family list is the Shedd Aquarium. Situated on Lake Michigan, it’s the world’s largest indoor aquarium. Continue reading Chicago: Visit the Shedd Aquarium with Kids

Review: One World Observatory

To be honest, I was a little nervous to go to the top of One World Trade Center. I wasn’t in the East Coast on September 11, 2001 but it’s impossible not to think about what a target this building is, and how high I would be, trapped if something similar happened. Okay, getting the creepy feelings out of the way early!

One World Observatory opened to the public in late May, 2015. The building opened to tenants the previous November.

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Looking up the One World Trade Center building. Photo by Deborah Abrams Kaplan

The entrance to One World Observatory is on Continue reading Review: One World Observatory

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16 Things You Didn’t Know about Hurricane Harbor

We went to Hurricane Harbor last year for the first time (our Hurricane Harbor review and primer here). We went back again yesterday and had a great time, noticing and doing different things than we did before. Here are 16 things I bet you didn’t know about Hurricane Harbor.

1. Going on a weekday (especially one when rain is expected and it’s cloudy and in the 70s) makes a HUGE difference in line compared to the weekends. Fortunately it didn’t rain on us and we only got cold once (took a break then went back out) and had a relaxing day without many lines. We waited at most 20 minutes (for the Tornado – video below) and most lines were less than 10 minutes.

2. You will get a lot of exercise.  Continue reading 16 Things You Didn’t Know about Hurricane Harbor

7 Best Movies for Kids this Summer

This post is written and brought to you by Tesco.

The summer holidays are fast approaching and what better way to keep your little ones entertained on a not so sunny day, than one of the many blockbusters hitting theaters and DVD this summer? To give you a helping hand navigating the hundreds of new releases, we rounded up our top seven picks, guaranteed to keep the kids entertained (and maybe give you a laugh as well).

Jurassic World, photo courtesy of daryl_mitchell;Creative Commons license.

Jurassic World, photo courtesy of Daryl Mitchell; Creative Commons license. bit.ly/1Nai8Oc

 

 

Jurassic World (PG-13)

Much like its predecessor, Jurassic World is a state-of-the-art dinosaur theme park. Once visitor numbers start to fall, a hybrid dinosaur, Indominus Rex is introduced to bring the crowds flocking back, with disastrous consequences. As one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2015, Jurassic World can be pre-ordered at retailers like Tesco. Combining brilliant visual effects and a thrilling storyline it will definitely keep even the most boisterous of kids quiet for a few hours.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (PG-13) Continue reading 7 Best Movies for Kids this Summer

Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll see I’m a big Broadway fan (see our reviews of Broadway shows and our family friendly Broadway show pageBroadway for kids). So I was super psyched at a recent Disney Social Media Moms On the Road conference to get the “Behind the Magic” tour at the New Amsterdam Theater.

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The New Amsterdam Theater is the oldest Broadway theater in NYC. It’s owned by the city of New York, but operated by the Disney Theatrical Productions. Photo by Deborah Abrams Kaplan

This tour is open to the public to those with or without Disney Broadway tickets Continue reading Review: Behind the Magic Tour – Disney on Broadway

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Review: Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions Concert

My son is a huge Pokemon fan and he’s been raving about the music for a long time. I haven’t paid much attention, to be honest. But when I saw an ad for Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions, my curiosity was piqued. It took a bunch of research to figure out what the concert was and how it worked. Basically, it’s a full symphony playing arrangements from the actual Pokemon video games, with large screens showing parts of the game at the same time – it’s timed to the music. You see the evolution of Pokemon games as the concert progresses.

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This is the second international tour they’re doing – the first was a huge success based on what I read online. Continue reading Review: Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions Concert

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Review: Diggerland USA

It’s many kids’ dream to operate that heavy equipment they see at construction site. And why not – the equipment is fun! Diggerland USA opened a year ago, in June 2014 as the country’s first construction theme park. We made the trek last weekend and had an awesome time.

Diggerland has a variety of diggers that kids and adults can operate. This is the big digger.

Diggerland has a variety of diggers that kids and adults can operate. This is the big digger.

Continue reading Review: Diggerland USA

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