Where to Stay in Chicago: Family Hotels + Neighborhood Guide

Let’s face it, Chicago is one massive city!

Do a quick search of Chicago neighborhoods and you’ll find over 100 neatly defined communities, neighborhoods, and suburban cities. Every neighborhood is a little different, but there’s no doubt Chicagoans love and embrace the uniqueness of each one.

With so many different, unique options, it’s no wonder we had such a hard time narrowing down where we would stay during our family trip to Chicago!

Finding the perfect neighborhood for families with kids requires a unique combination of factors: ease of getting around, unique local culture, great food options, and lots to do at your doorstep too!

Picking the best place to stay in Chicago with kids is a tough task, but here are a few of our favorites to help you make your decision.

Read on for my top 5 Chicago neighborhoods for families:

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5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

Lincoln Park

Best for: outdoorsy families

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is ideal for families who love to get out and explore (especially on a bright, sunny day)! North Avenue Beach, the (free!) Lincoln Park Zoo, and Lincoln Park Conservatory are all a stone’s throw away, while a quick ride on the L will bring you north to Wrigley Field or south to the Magnificent Mile and Loop quite easily. (PS. Don’t miss a Chicago Architecture River Cruise!)

To Do In/Near Lincoln Park | Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Lincoln Park Conservatory, North Avenue Beach, Chicago History Museum

Family Hotels in Lincoln Park

Chicago Getaway Hostel ($)

Hotel Lincoln ($$$)

Or Find Family-Friendly Airbnbs in Lincoln Park

$40 Free Airbnb Credit from Our Next Adventure

5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

West Loop

Best for: foodie families

Families who like to eat will love being in West Loop, where tons of Chicago’s newest and trendiest restaurants are located. While the restaurants here wouldn’t exactly be characterized at family-friendly, even an early dinner at The Publican is quite doable (and worth it!). If you’re hard-pressed to get a reservation at Girl & the Goat, a breakfast at sister-restaurant Little Goat will certainly please both the kids and adults.

To Do In/Near West Loop | Randolph Street Market Festival, Mary Bartelme Park, Chicago French Market, Union Station

Family Hotels in West Loop

Homewood Suites by Hilton West Loop ($$)

Ace Hotel Chicago ($$$)

Or Find Family-Friendly Airbnbs in West Loop

25 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

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5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

Bucktown

Best for: alternative families

10 years ago, no one probably ever would have recommended this area for families, but…times are changing folks! For families looking for a more eclectic experience, immersed in great culture and casual food options, Bucktown (or even Wicker Park to the south or Logan Square to the west) is a great spot to be! The area is outside the hustle and bustle of the city, yet only a 15 minute ride away on the Blue Line to take you to the heart of the Loop. Not that you’d ever really have to the leave though; Damen Avenue is lined with plenty of shops and restaurants to pack your itinerary and the 606 Bloomingdale Trail offers a neat way to explore the area. (PS. a neighborhood food tour is a great way to spend the day here too!)

To Do In/Near Bucktown | Damen Avenue shopping, Bloomingdale Trail, Wicker Park

Family Hotels in Bucktown

Urban Holiday Lofts ($)

Wicker Park Inn ($$)

Or Find Family-Friendly Airbnbs in Bucktown

5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

River North

Best for: center-of-the-action families

River North is all about location, location, location. If you want to be close to the Magnificent Mile shopping, Navy Pier, Millenium Park, and an unlimited number of riverfront eateries and sidewalk patios, River North will be perfect for you. You can, of course, hop the L to just about anywhere in the city, but with a location this central you’ll probably find yourself simply walking. Rentals options here vary wildly in price, but you can certainly find a few affordable gems among the ridiculously expensive penthouse condos.

To Do In/Near River North | Magnificent Mile shopping, Navy Pier, Chicago Riverwalk, 360 Chicago, Architecture River Cruise

Family Hotels in River North

Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile ($$)

ACME Hotel Company Chicago ($$)

Omni Chicago Suites ($$$)

Or Find Family-Friendly Airbnbs in River North

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5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

South Loop

Best for: budget-savvy families

Want affordable luxury close to all of Chicago’s kid-friendliest activities? Then South Loop may be just right for you. The former industrial area that gave way to high-rise condos took a bit of a beating during the financial crisis. So while things are picking back up here, snagging a 2 bedroom luxury condo for under $150/night is quite doable! You may be a slightly removed from some of the city’s sights, but you’ll be steps from the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. And when you’re ready to explore further, you’ll still be well-linked to the rest of the city via public transportation.

To Do In/Near South Loop | Millenium Park, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium

Family Hotels in South Loop

Essex Inn Chicago ($$)

Hilton Chicago ($$)

Marriott Marqius Chicago ($$$)

Or Find Family-Friendly Airbnbs in South Loop

25 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

Which Chicago neighborhood suits your family best?

Read Next: First Timers Trip to Chicago: a 3-Day Itinerary

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5 of our favorite Chicago neighborhoods that are best for families with kids + family hotel recommendations. #chicago #family travel // Family Travel | Travel with Kids | US Travel | USA | United States | Midwest Travel | Chicago Itinerary | Vacation Ideas | Things to Do | Best Neighborhoods | Best Place to Stay | Family-Friendly | Kid-Friendly | Hotels and Motels | Airbnbs | Neighborhood Guide | Where to Stay | Best Hotels | Affordable Hotels for Families

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