Chicago in 3 days with a teenager (part 1 of 3)
One of our traveling traditions meant that we found ourselves in Chicago for 3 days with our oldest teenager last week. If it was good enough for Ferris Bueller, it’s good enough for Junior!
Our first planned activity was a lake side segway tour. Last summer, I took a segway tour in Washington DC, and it was a fun alternative to biking or walking. Most segway tours have a minimum age so be sure to check on it. Chicago Segway Tours minimum age was 12, but I’ve seen them as high as 15. Junior is only 14, even though he is taller than his dad, so we were good to go. Our tour was along the lake and several harbors, past Buckingham Fountain and around the museum campus.
Everyone wore helmets and we were required to practice our segway skills inside the warehouse like storefront before we the tour began. Most of the tour was in a single file line, but still fun. Even though you are leaning a little bit, it is a long tour standing still. We stopped to bend and stretch our legs a couple of times, so it was fine. No water or snack were provided, but one stop was in front of a hot dog stand that had a variety of options. Overall, we enjoyed the tour, the novelty of the segway, and seeing the lakefront up close. On prior trips to Chicago, Hubby and I have rarely made it to the lake front, so this was a nice change.
The next stop was Navy Pier since it was right across the street from Chicago Segway Tours. We had some lunch and wandered Navy Pier inside and out. Junior was not interested in riding the iconic ferris wheel, so we just enjoyed the weather while I read a loud a brief history of Navy Pier. Thank goodness for smart phones, right? But I have to say there seemed to be a lot of things for little kids on Navy Pier. A children’s museum, a maze, crystal gardens, the ferris wheel and other carnival type rides.
Our last stop for the day was the SkyDeck at Willis Tower. Although most people still call it the Sears Tower, even the locals. Does anybody even know what the Willis company does? Not me. Anywho, we arrived at the Willis tower in the late afternoon. Our City Pass included the tower and the ability to use the fast pass line. I’ll talk more about the time and money saving City Pass in another post.
The SkyDeck is 103 floors up. An informational video talks about all of the smaller monument heights (like the Eiffel Tower) you are virtually passing as you ascend. The elevator will open up to the east side of the building with sweeping views of the lake and the skyline. Take your time admiring all the views as you walk around to the SkyDecks. There are 3 or 4 SkyDecks that are rectangular glass enclosures that jut out about 5 feet from the west side of the building.
There are ropes to divide the space and facilitate visitors entering the SkyDecks to take pictures or jump up and down if you wish. Junior and I jumped up and down a few times, and took pictures of the street below our feet. I haven’t included them in this post because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, excitement, or fear factor for you! After your elevator ride back down, don’t forget to visit the west side of the building and look up to see where you were just standing…or jumping!
Don’t forget to check in tomorrow when we head to the museum campus!