Are There Kid Friendly Hotels in Chicago? You Bet!

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Chicago's lakefront
Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Chicago is becomes a bustling playground for families in the summer, shines with twinkling lights at the holidays and offers world-class entertainment, museums and food all year round. But where should you stay when you visit? These kid-friendly hotels in Chicago are kid tested and She BuysTravel approved!

Chicago is my hometown and the shining urban jewel of the Midwest. From the lovely Lake Michigan to the Magnificent Mile to Navy Pier to the Museum Campus, there are so many great things to do in Chicago with kids, including enough free things to do to make a vacation in Chicago affordable.

And, if you’re visiting with kids, there are plenty of hotel options for a family vacation in Chicago. Some have great pools and luxurious spas. Some have larger rooms. Others are so close to Chicago’s kid friendly attractions that you’ll be able to wake up and walk out the door into the fun.

Best Hotels in Chicago for Families

The impressive 1920s era pool at the InterContinental Chicago. Photo courtesy of InterContinental Chicago

InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile

505 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60611

The InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile offers that rare combination of elegance and friendliness that makes families traveling with kids feel right at home. Add in a gorgeous pool that conjures up visions of Esther Williams, large rooms, and a primo location on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and you have the makings of a comfortable stay in the Windy City.

The Roaring 20s vibe of this grand dame of a hotel might be lost on the kids, but it won’t matter when they are swimming in the city’s most beautiful indoor pool. That alone makes this one of the best kid-friendly hotels in Chicago. But the location is just as stunning — located just north of the Chicago River, the InterContinental is the place to be during Christmas in Chicago when the Mag Mile Light Parade marches down Michigan Avenue.

With 792 rooms and 5 on-site restaurants, you wouldn’t have to leave. But you’ll want to so you can explore the Mag Mile, Chicago’s premier shopping district. If you’re traveling with American Girl-loving kids, you’ll want to head a few blocks north to the American Girl Place store.

Why InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Works for Families

  • That incredible heated swimming pool!
  • The location makes it easy to walk to all of Chicago’s family fun spots, including Millennium Park, Navy Pier and the American Girl store.
  • Wifi is included
  • It’s pet-friendly — one dog or cat of any size can stay in the room with you for a fee.
  • Larger hotel rooms and suites in the towers can accommodate larger families of four or five.


Fairmont Chicago hotel room with a view of Chicago's lakefront
A room with a view (and a very comfy bed) at the Fairmont Chicago, one of the best kid friendly hotels in Chicago. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Fairmont Chicago Hotel

200 North Columbus Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

The two biggest advantages of the Fairmont Chicago: location and luxury.

Location comes first for my kids. The hotel is located just steps away from Millennium Park, the site of a summer’s worth of free fun for families from arts and crafts to concerts. It’s also steps away from Maggie Daley Park, the place to be in winter for its ice skating ribbon and in summer for its climbing wall. Venture a little farther to the Loop for family-friendly shopping, dining and the beautiful Harold Washington Library.

Now, for the luxury. While my kids never appreciated luxury, I certainly do. At the Fairmont, it comes in the form of impeccable service, a very comfy bed, a lovely lobby bar and, a must-have for me, the Fairmont Spa.

Note that this hotel does not have a pool, but even my pool-crazy kids wouldn’t have minded since all of downtown Chicago is within an easy walk of this hotel.

Why the Fairmont Chicago Hotel Works for Families

  • Kids ages 5 and under eat free from the kids menu at Columbus Tap, the on-site restaurant. Kids ages 6-11 eat for half price from the regular menu. And all kids get a free root beer at the restaurant.
  • If you book a room on the Fairmont Gold level (and you should!) you’ll get access to a special check-in and a staffed lounge that offers a healthy breakfast, afternoon snacks and soft drinks and incredible views of the city. The complementary breakfast and afternoon snacks and drinks are likely to make this higher priced floor a deal for families traveling with hungry kids.
  • Mini-fridges available. Microwaves, too, for an extra fee.
  • Smart TVs in the rooms allow access to Netflix.
  • Wifi is included.
  • It’s pet-friendly. Dogs and cats under 50 pounds are permitted for a fee.


She BuysTravel Tip: Join the free Accor Live Limitless membership program before you book for additional perks and discounts.

Loews Chicago Hotel

455 N. Park Drive
Chicago, Illinois, 60611

Loews Chicago is one of those unique properties in the downtown area that offers superb service and luxury. Plus, it’s located within an easy walk of Michigan Avenue, the Chicago River, Navy Pier, Millennium Park and Water Tower Place. Directly across the street is a movie theater and a bowling alley, and several restaurants.

The hotel has 400 guest rooms, including 25 luxury suites. There’s a giant rooftop patio, Streeterville Social, open during the warmer months, that offers spectacular views of the city and fun family, such as corn hole and giant Jenga.

Why Loews Chicago Works for Families

  • Spacious rooms
  • Large rooftop terrace
  • Free wifi
  • Indoor pool
  • Complimentary cribs and baby bath amenity kits
  • Night lights for easy sleeping
  • Family activity guides to explore the city
  • Kid-friendly menus and service options
  • Kids under 18 stay free
  • Extensive pet-friendly policies, including specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes, pet placemats, dog-walking route maps and connections to the best pet-walking and pet-sitting services in town.


More than 9 million people a year visit Navy Pier in Chicago.
Navy Pier in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Choose Chicago

Omni Chicago Hotel

676 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s premier shopping district, this all-suites hotel offers stunning views a few blocks away from Millennium Park, Navy Pier and Chicago’s beautiful lakefront beaches.

The 347 guest suites include a spacious living area set apart from the main sleeping room. While the Omni brand is synonymous with luxury, the Omni Chicago is also a surprisingly family-friendly hotel, from the attentive service to the Omni Kids Crew program.

Why Omni Chicago Works for Families

  • Omni Kids Crew program. It gives younger kids a backpack at check-in, milk and cookies delivered to their room on the first night and a coloring menu and crayons available in the restaurants. The backpack includes an activity book with stickers, crayons, binoculars and games.
  • The 347 rooms are all suites, which means there’s plenty of room for a family.
  • Free access to the fitness center, with free water, fruit and towels.
  • Free wifi, bottled water and express check-in for Omni Select Guest rewards members.
  • 2 TVs — one in the living room and one in the guest room — to give the kids access to their own entertainment.
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Rooftop sundeck on the 5th floor


She BuysTravel Tip: Join the free Omni Hotel loyalty program before you book to get free wifi during your stay and other perks. 

Family playing in the pool at the Four Seasons Chicago Hotel
Photo courtesy of the Four Seasons Chicago Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel Chicago

120 E. Delaware Place
Chicago, Illinois, 60611

If you’re looking for luxury in a kid-friendly hotel in Chicago, look no further than the Four Seasons Chicago. The luxury brand welcomes kids with a Sammy the Skyscraper activity book that highlights city landmarks. Kids also get to pick a toy from the treasure chest at check-in.

But the real kid-friendly feature here is Ice Cream Man. Make a reservation and a dude will roll a cart to your room and create made-to-order ice cream sundaes. (Yes, it’s supposed to be for the kids, but go ahead and order one for yourself. We won’t tell.)

There’s also an indoor pool that comes complete with kickboards, noodles and other fun floaties.

Plus, the hotel’s location makes it easy to spend time at Chicago’s famed Oak Street Beach on warm summer days.

Why the Four Seasons Chicago Work for Families

  • Indoor pool has noodles, kickboards and other floaties available for free.
  • Ice Cream Man will come to your room and make ice cream sundaes to order.
  • Kids are welcomed at check-in with an activity book that highlights Chicago landmarks. Plus, they get to choose a toy from the treasure chest.
  • The great location makes it easy to explore the city.
  • Access to VIP tickets to some of Chicago’s kid-friendliest attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum.
  • Suites make it comfortable for the whole family with a king bed, sofabed and crib.


Radisson Blu Aqua, one of the best kid friendly hotels in Chicago
This building, which houses the Radisson Blu Aqua, won the 2009 Skyscraper of the Year Award. Photo courtesy of Radisson Blu Aqua

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

221 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601

An architectural gem in a city known for its iconic architecture, the AAA Four Diamond Radisson Blu Aqua is family-friendly and located in one of the family-friendliest parts of downtown Chicago, just a half block north of the world-class Millennium Park (Chicago’s version of NYC’s Central Park) and two blocks from the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Many of Chicago’s downtown sights are within easy walking distance—shopping on North Michigan Avenue and State Street; Navy Pier; the Museum Campus that is home to the Field Museum, the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium; lakefront boat rides; the Chicago River walk; the city’s thriving theater scene, and plenty of free things to do.

Rooms are small in this European-style hotel, but the building is packed with amenities. Because the majority of the 82-story skyscraper is apartment and condo living, the building has all of the features one would expect from a high-end residence downtown. There are two pools, a lap pool indoors and a larger pool outdoors. There’s a large sports deck that includes a running path and plenty of places to soak up a little sunshine or take a more leisurely stroll–all rare finds at an urban location.

Why Radisson Blu Aqua Works for Families

  • The location — it’s close to all of Chicago’s best family attractions, including Millennium Park, Navy Pier and shopping on the Mag Mile.
  • Wifi is included
  • Cribs available upon request
  • Two pools
  • An inviting outdoor space


She BuysTravel Tip: Join the free Radisson Rewards program before you book to get access to members-only rates, freebies when you stay and earn points for future rewards.

Celebrate Christmas in Chicago by ice skating at Millenium Park!
Ice Skating in Millenium Park. Choose Chicago Photo Courtesy of Ranvestel Photographic

Hilton Chicago

720 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60605

Another venerable grand dame of a hotel, the Hilton Chicago is located in the South Loop. It overlooks Chicago’s Grant Park and is close to Buckingham Fountain, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Field Museum.

Amenities in this historic hotel include a heated indoor pool, two hot tubs, spacious sundeck and indoor running track, perfect for letting the kids run off some steam on a cold winter day in Chicago and keeping the whole family busy.

Why the Hilton Chicago Works for Families

  • Two-room suites and connecting rooms are available
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Book the “Breakfast Included” package to get breakfast each morning.
  • Military discounts available


SheBuysTravel Tip: Join the free Hilton Honors program before you book to get access to the best rates, perks for your visit and earn points for future free stays.

Leo and Cleo, the robots at Hotel EMC2, one of the best kid friendly hotels in Chicago
Hotel EMC2’s robots, Leo and Cleo. Photo courtesy of Hotel EMC2

Hotel EMC2, Autograph Collection

228 E. Ontario Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

This chic Marriott Autograph Collection property in Chicago’s River North Streeterville neighborhood lives at the “intersection of art & science.” And the big draw here is the robots named LEO and CLEO. They serve all sorts of amenities to hotel guests upon request. When one SheBuysTravel contributor stayed there with her daughter, they called LEO via the in-room Alexa unit three times, asking for water, slippers and extra toiletries. They didn’t actually need any of those things, but having them delivered by robot was too much fun to pass up.

The rooms in the EMC2 are on the small side and our SheBuysTravel found the layout to be a bit jarring, with the shower front and center instead of hidden away in the bathroom. However, she says she and her daughter felt perfectly comfortable.

And the comfy Serta Perfect Sleeper mattresses with gel memory foam made it tough for them to drag themselves out of bed for a yummy hot breakfast at the hotel restaurant, The Albert (after Einstein, of course).

a guest room at the Hotel EMC2
The shower is “front and center” in a guest room at the Hotel EMC2. Photo courtesy of Hotel EMC2

Why the Hotel EMC2 Works for Families

  • Great location close to Water Tower Place, Mag Mile shopping and Oak Street beach and the lakefront walking and biking path.
  • Cool, science-oriented theming for a great STEM experience that makes learning fun for the whole family.
  • ​Leo and Cleo, the robots that deliver whatever you request (via Alexa, of course) to your room.


Hampton Inn Chicago/North Loop entrance
Photo courtesy of Hampton Inn Chicago/North Loop

Hampton Inn Chicago Downtown/North Loop

68 E. Wacker Place
Chicago, Illinois 60601

This is not your typical off-the-interstate Hampton Inn, although I LOVE those. Hampton Inn has long been my family’s go-to brand when we road trip across the USA.

But the Hampton Inn Chicago is in a category by itself. I swooned the first time I stepped inside this beauty with its 1920s Art Deco design, terrazzo floors and a wall mural over the ornate elevators – remnants from when the building housed the Chicago Motor Club.

Located in the River North area of the city, the hotel offers easy access to Millennium Park and “the Bean” for your must-do family selfie. It’s also close to Chicago’s theater district, shopping on State Street and Navy Pier.

Why Hampton Inn Chicago Works for Families

  • Cribs and high chairs available upon request.
  • Coin-op laundry facilities on-site
  • Indoor pool and fitness center and outdoor patio
  • Yummy hot breakfast is included in the room price — a HUGE plus for a family feeding ravenous teens in downtown Chicago.
  • Wifi is included and available throughout the hotel


Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown

600 North State Street
Chicago, Illinois 60654

We love Embassy Suites properties; they are the epitome of family-friendly hotels. When She Buys Travel founder Kim Orlando stayed at the Embassy Suites on State Street with her teen son, she loved the space in the rooms, the location of the hotel and of the free food!

Her room had a living room with a pull-out sofabed (or a large, comfy twin bed), kitchenette with fridge, sink and microwave, bedroom with a sink and vanity and two large flat screen TVs. Plus, there’s an actual door between the two sections so parents can get some privacy or stay up after little ones go to sleep.

Why the Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Works for Families

  • Free food twice day, including a hot breakfast each morning and snacks and drinks on weekday afternoons, a huge savings for families traveling with ravenous tweens and teens.
  • Suites have 2 flat-screen TVs, a microwave, minifridge coffeemaker, living room with pull-out sofas and dining area
  • Kids stay free with an adult.
  • Indoor pool, a hot tub and gym.
  • The Red Line subway is a block away, which makes getting around the city a breeze.
  • There is a full grocery store right next door if you need to stock up on room snacks.


Get a room with a view at Hotel Zachary, a great family friendly hotel in Chicago.
Get a room with a view at Hotel Zachary, a great family friendly hotel in Chicago. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way

3630 N. Clark Street
Chicago, Illinois 60613

This hotel is outside the central city, but definitely worth a visit if you’re traveling with a Cubs fan. The Hotel Zachary is right across the street from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. The rooms are large for a boutique hotel. Mine had a million-dollar view of Wrigley Field. I would have been able to watch batters at the plate through a tiny peekaboo slot in the Wrigley Field stands had the Cubs been playing. Sadly, they were not. But it was still fun for a lifelong Cubs fan to stay in the heart of Wrigleyville.

The 173-room boutique hotel has 20 spacious suites. It takes its name from Zachary Taylor Davis, the architect who designed Wrigley Field more than a century ago. If you can’t get tickets to go to the game, stay in and watch it on the 65-inch TV in your room.

Note that the hotel often requires multi-night stays on game weekends. In addition, we recommend taking a rideshare or the nearby Red Line L to the hotel. Parking is uber expensive and Wrigleyville streets are clogged and sometimes closed to vehicles on game days.

Why Hotel Zachary Works for Families

  • Proximity to Wrigley Field makes it a must-stay spot for baseball fans.
  • Pets stay free
  • Mini fridges are available upon request
  • Rooms are larger than average city hotel rooms
  • Strong and reliable wifi is included
  • Free bottled water


She BuysTravel Tip: Join the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program before you book to get access to perks and earn points for your stay. 

Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of She also is the mom of two now grown kids who have traveled with her since that first, fateful plane ride when one preschooler discovered a barf bag in his seat pocket and his sister, finding none in hers, demanded, “I want a barf bag too!” She has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, an editor at Chicago Parent and Catalyst Chicago and an instructor in the graduate school at Northwestern’s prestigious Medill School of Journalism.
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