Day 1 - Chicago Southland
Spend the morning at the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens. Naturally a great place to explore, learn and discover some of nature's wonders. Looking for a great way to get some exercise with the family? Need to get away from the strains of the daily grind? Just want to connect with nature? Try a hike on one of our trails. Hoping to instill a love of nature in your grandchildren? Take some time to wander through the gardens. Smell the roses, check out the cultivars, and get some ideas for your own backyard. Want to learn more about the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees? Discover the wild side of Lake Katherine and learn what flies, crawls and grows along the shore.
Next, enjoy a hearty meal the whole family will love at Cracker Barrel in Tinley Park. With a wide variety of menu options, including all-day breakfast, even the pickiest of eaters will find something delicious. Kids will love the mini confetti pancakes, served with bacon or sausage. Try any of the classic Cracker Barrel favorites, including the Country Morning breakfast, chicken fried chicken or weekly specials like the Friday fish fry. And of course, everyone can enjoy a game of Cracker Barrel's famous triangle peg game! When you're done eating, take a stroll through the old country store. Choose from home decor, clothing items, furniture and, of course, toys!
End the day at Odyssey Fun World. Odyssey Fun World opened its doors in 1995 as a 45,000 square foot indoor facility in Tinley Park, and has been serving the community as an out of this world Family Fun Center ever since. In 1996, they expanded their indoor facility by adding an 11 acre outdoor park. Currently, they house three indoor rides, a Laser Trek arena, a gaming lounge and exploration adventure (a four-story tunnel and ball pit area). The 11-acre outdoor park consists of two go-kart tracks, two 18-hole mini-golf courses, nine multi-speed baseball and softball batting cages, speed boats (go-karts on water), bumper boats and an inflatable kids park. One of the mini golf courses is wheelchair accessible! Chippers Café offers a large variety of foods ranging from grilled cheese to grilled chicken, and its dining area seats over 500 people.
Day 2 - Chicago Southland and Beyond
Spend the second day of your trip at Brookfield Zoo! You'll never run out of things to do at Brookfield Zoo, but you may have trouble figuring out what to do first. The zoo covers an area of 216 acres and houses around 450 species of animals. Brookfield Zoo opened on July 1, 1934, and quickly gained international recognition for using moats and ditches, instead of cages, to separate animals from visitors and from other animals. In 1960, Brookfield Zoo built the nation's first fully-indoor dolphin exhibit, and in the 1980s the zoo introduced Tropic World, the first fully-indoor rain forest simulation and the then-largest indoor zoo exhibit in the world. Other exhibits include: the Seven Seas Exhibit, Butterflies! (seasonal), the Australia House, Children's Zoo, the Fragile Desert and Rain Forest, Habitat Africa, the Living Coast, Regenstein Wolf Woods, the Swamp and much more!
To finish off the day take the kids to a Windy City ThunderBolts game! The Windy City ThunderBolts are a professional minor league baseball team located in Crestwood, Illinois, and are entering their 13th season in the Frontier League in 2011. The ThunderBolts won the Frontier League championship in 2007 and 2008 becoming only the second team in league history to win back to back championships. One low price includes reserved a box ticket, hot dog, bag of chips, 12 oz. fountain drink and an ice cream treat.
Day 3 - Chicago
What child (or adult) doesn't like LEGOs? Start your day in Chicago at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. When you step inside the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, you'll think you've just jumped into the world's biggest box of LEGOS! Reach out and touch the stars in the 4D cinema, learn top LEGO building secrets from the Master Model Builder, ride a dragon through the Medieval LEGO Castle, see iconic local landmarks in MINILAND, make a celebration even more memorable in one of our special party rooms, and much, much more! It's the ultimate place for all LEGO fans young and old. A visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center is your passport to a LEGO world of color, creativity and fun. With over 2 million LEGO bricks under one roof, what will you discover!
After LEGOLAND, move on to a fun-filled afternoon at Chicago's Navy Pier. Located on the upper deck, between the Crystal Gardens and the Pepsi Skyline Stage is Pier Park. Pier Park is an outdoor landscaped area which features attractions such as a Ferris wheel, a musical carousel, an old-fashioned swing ride, an 18-hole miniature golf course and more. The 150 foot-high Ferris wheel is open year-round and is great fun for kids of all ages! Modeled after the very first Ferris wheel, which was built in 1893 for Chicago's World's Columbian Exposition, the Navy Pier Ferris wheel provides unparalleled views of the Chicago skyline and lakefront. Located near the Ferris wheel, the musical carousel was designed exclusively for Navy Pier. It's a whimsical work-of-art that recreates the Pier's golden age of the 1920s when a similar attraction delighted another generation of visitors. The carousel's 36 hand-painted animals represent the different styles found throughout the history of carousels.
Also located on Navy Pier is the Chicago Children's Museum. The Children's Museum is the place where play and learning connect! The museum's family-friendly blend of interactive exhibits and innovative educational programs make learning about math, science, reading, the arts, and diverse cultures come alive for kids through age 10 and their families. At the Chicago Children's Museum, visitors can build a dam in Waterways, create a flying machine in Inventing Lab, enjoy an "outdoor" adventure in Treehouse Trails, build a skyscraper in Skyline, or create collaboratively in daily Kraft Artabounds Studio workshops. The museum also hosts a range of traveling exhibits and special performances throughout the year.
And for the little girls in the group, a visit to American Girl Place is a must! American Girl Place is more that just a store - it's a place where her imagination can soar. The store features all of the characters-from historical favorites to My American Girl dolls to their current Girl of the Year-plus Bitty Baby and the Bitty Twins. Add to the fun by exploring outfits, accessories, and furniture that help make every doll's world complete. Then browse the bookstore with titles that will open up your granddaughter's imagination. Chicago's American Girl also houses the American Girl Cafe and the American Girl Photo Studio. Your girl can take home a souvenir issue of American Girl® magazine with her face on the cover! Plus, their larger-than-life Celebration Screen lets girls shine in a whole new way and the American Girl stylists can treat your girl's American Girl doll to a new 'do!
After a fun filled 3-day tour, it's time to relax by your hotel's pool and order in pizza party (available at most hotels)!
**Please note: Itinerary may be modified to meet your group’s specific needs. Locations and selections are subject to availability. Please contact Tobie at Tobie@VisitChicagoSouthland.com or 708-895-8200 to obtain current pricing and confirmation of dates and locations.
Lake Katherine Nature Center
Odyssey Fun World
Windy City ThunderBolts
American Girl Place
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