We did something different this year for Labor Day weekend…we stayed in town and had a staycation at the Marriott Downtown on Michigan Avenue.
We normally go back to New Orleans for Labor Day or take a trip somewhere but we thought it would be a good idea to stay in Chicago to enjoy the city since Luke just started kindergarten and it was a bit stressful on me. And I really didn’t want to add to the stress of planning another trip.
We’ve never done a staycation before and were pretty excited about it. Both Charlie and I agreed that we needed to change our mindset…meaning not think about going home, even if we forgot to bring something, and spend our time around the hotel.
The Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile is in a great location. It’s right on Michigan Avenue (aka The Magnificent Mile) with great shopping and dining literally right outside the front and back doors. Charlie and I kept on talking about the location because we thought about our past vacations and how we always loved the accommodations that were near places for sightseeing or eating. The hotel seems to fit all of our criteria…plus it was kid-friendly.
We checked into our hotel room and immediately went to the window. The view from our room was stunning. I’m pretty sure every room at the hotel has great view because the hotel is located in a central location.
We knew Luke would love the staycation because he seems to love staying in hotels. He loved this hotel so much that he didn’t want to leave. So we found a few things for him to do inside the hotel and let him play with his cars around the room. We did manage to get out and about a bit to see the sights around the hotel.
Here is a little snippet of the things we did during our staycation, which included some kid-friendly things at the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile.
Ate Lunch at Harvest
We had lunch at Harvest, the hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant, where everything not only tasted delicious but was also very fresh. We were told that a lot of things on the menu came from the hotel’s rooftop garden. And thank goodness the restaurant had a kids menu so I didn’t have to ask the waiter to have the chef make something off the menu for Luke. We ordered the grilled cheese sandwich with a bounty of fruit for Luke. The portion was quite large for a kids meal. He liked it so much, he finished everything on his plate.
Walked Along Michigan Avenue
I’ve always wanted to walk along Michigan Avenue during the early morning hours since it’s less crowded. We got up early during our staycation and walked along the Magnificent Mile and even got a chance to snap some pictures in the middle of the Magnificent Mile.
Worked Out at the Fitness Center
Okay, I didn’t work out. Charlie and Luke did. They played around with the big balance balls and then we found the on-demand feature in the fitness center’s fitness studio, which had all sorts of different workout to choose from, including some kids options. It was a pretty cool feature since the fitness studio wasn’t just for adults but for kids too. Also, if your kids get bored, you can go down to the fitness center and have your kids watch and work out to some videos geared for them. Can I add that the fitness center at the hotel is one of the biggest and nicest I’ve ever seen? You can also enjoy great views of the city while you work out.
Went to the Field Museum’s Jurassic Park Exhibit
The hotel has a partnership with the Field Museum’s Jurassic Park Exhibit so it was convenient to be able to get the museum tickets at the front desk and head over to the Field Museum. The exhibit was perfect for Luke since he’s into dinosaurs. I can’t believe the exhibit made the dinosaurs look so life-like.
It’s kind of great to be a tourist in your own city. You see things a bit differently and you appreciate all the great things Chicago has to offer (even more than before). I always tell people that Chicago is a great place to visit but seeing it from a tourist’s point of view really helps with that recommendation. I think we’re going to do more staycations because this one seemed to make for some lasting family memories.
Thank you to the Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile for a fun staycation! All photos and opinions are my own.