trvljunkiefamily's Passport
 

Botanicgarden_452-002

Member since:
21 March 2011

Icon_superoo_orangeSuperoo '12, '13, '14

Icon_pictureBeen to 182 Attractions
Icon_star177 Reviews
Icon_star189 First to Review
Icon_camera2728 Photos
Icon_thumbsup31 Helpful Votes
Compliments
About Me & My Family

We are a family of 4 (one 2 year old and a 4 month old) that loves to travel and explore. Our goal this year is to do one family fun activity a month. I'm here to share our findings.
Our Family's Travel Personality
adventurous, curious, rowdy, relaxed, energetic, easy_going, scheduled
We Just Got Back From
Indianapolis, Indiana
Our Favorite Vacation Spot
Hawaii
A Place We'd Love To Visit
Hawaii
Favorite Vacation Memory
Honeymoon with the hubs in Hawaii; proposal in France
Worst Travel Moment With My Kids:
Our ER visit for my toddler ;(
Websites I Like:
For more detailed reviews and pics: http:www.otheplaceswego.com

Reviews & Photos

177 Reviews


March 18 2015
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Geneva Restaurant | kids travel, kids activities
Geneva Restaurant
323 E. Upper Wacker Drive,
Chicago,
Illinois
"Hearty breakfast buffet"
Located in the Swissotel Chicago Hotel, we decided to pop down for some breakfast. After perusing the items on display, we decided to stick with the breakfast buffet for $29. Besides the fresh fruit, cereals, eggs, and potatoes, we could order eggs any style including omelets. Thought that was a nice touch! We were also able to order pancakes which ended up being delicioius. One of my favorite parts of the breakfast buffet was the assortment of swiss pastries. My sweet tooth thanked me also!

All in all a pretty tasty breakfast but a little pricey.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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March 07 2015
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Swissotel - Chicago | kids travel, kids activities
Swissotel - Chicago
323 E Wacker Drive,
Chicago, Illinois
"Kids themed rooms made the stay!"
Our latest staycation brought my family of 5 to the Swissotel Chicago primarily because we heard about the VIK (Very Important Kid) program. We all had a much needed retreat, and the boys never wanted to leave their room!

Location:
The Swissotel is located right in downtown a few minutes drive (or a nice stroll) away from the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and Millenium Park.The parking rate was typical - valet parking with in and out privileges cost $70 (Ouch, I know!) Tip: You need to go down to the garage level to pick up your vehicle.

Rooms:
One of the main reasons we decided to stay at this hotel was to check out their VIK (Very Important Kid) program catering to the youngest hotel guests and booked the Swissotel Kids Suite Package. We loved that we received our own suite and the kids stayed in an adjoining room. Our corner suite was awesome. Plenty of room to move
about with a large sitting area, two bathrooms, and awesome views to boot. It was also nice to see that we could request different pillow options.

Kids Amenities:
While we loved our very own room, the boys couldn't get enough of the adjoining room, a dino-themed room complete with dino bedding, a dino table with board games (Dino-opoly, anyone?), stuffed dinos, blocks, and more! They were in love! In fact, the kids were so smitten with their room that they hardly wanted to leave their room. That hardly ever happens! We thought it was so cute to see the dino theme even in the bathroom - dino toothbrush holder, dino bath rugs, towels, rubber toys. For once, we didn't have to struggle to get them to take a shower or use the bathroom. Another great perk about their package is that tickets to either the Shedd Aquarium or the Field Museum is included. So thoughtful!

Service:
We believe that one of the factors that separates hotels from each other is how they treat their customers. When reserving the room, I had mentioned I was celebrating my birthday. Lo and behold, after stepping away from our room, we noticed a tray with a birthday cupcake with prosecco and gourmet chocolates. It was such a nice gesture! The kids were pretty stoked because they found cookies and milk for them also.

Restaurants:
The hotel has three restaurants attached - The Palm for dinner and a coffeeshop. We had the opportunity to dine at Geneva Restaurant for their breakfast buffet and left with our bellies satisfied. Read more about Geneva here: http://www.trekaroo.com/restaurants/geneva-restaurant-chicago-illinois

Amenities:
On the 42nd floor there's a Spa with a fitness centre and pool. The fitness centre looked pretty nice with plenty of cardio equipment and a nice selection of weight machines. The best part? Working out while looking at the view of the city.

We did spend some time in their pool. We appreciated the fact that the water wasn't freezing but since it was a lap pool 3 feet deep or so the kids were restricted in some of the water play. Nevertheless, they still had a blast!

Bummers:
My only complaint (besides the parking) is that there is also a cost for wi-fi.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a hotel that spoils your kids silly and leaves mom and dad happy, then look no further than the Swissotel Chicago. We can't wait to come back!

Disclosure: This review is based on a complimentary stay at the Swissotel Chicago. I received no other compensation besides the hotel stay. The hotel did not state any requirements that I express a particular point of view. All opinions are my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 28 2014
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Santa Claus Land of Lights | kids travel, kids activities
Santa Claus Land of Lights
78 North Holiday Blvd.,
Santa Claus,
Indiana
"Favorite Light Shows"
The holiday lights show, located at Lake Rudolph Campground, was one of our highlights of our visit at Santa Claus, Indiana.

Nitty gritty: Passes to enter the campground are $15 each car. Not only did we get to see the light show, but we also received a coupon for a free photo with Rudolph at the Santa Claus Store. *Tip: Coupons for the light show are available at select McDonalds locations.

The Fun:
We visited Santa Claus Indiana on the third weekend in December, and although there was a line to enter, we found the line to enter went rather quickly. As we drove past the 1.2 miles of lights, we followed the story of none other than Rudolph, the red-nosed-reindeer. My normally impatient kids were hooked as I started reading the different pages of book as we drove by. Interestingly enough, the lights correlated to the specific page being told. It was really neat! As with most light shows, we were able to turn to a station to hear music. Other than the following the story, other favorite parts included passing through the tunnel of lights (3 times) and driving through a fog (first time we've seen this.)

Bottom line:
If you happen to visit Santa Claus, Indiana during the holiday, you must take a spin through Lake Rudolph's Land of Lights. Although a little pricey, it was well worth it and has become one of our favorite memories from our trip.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 22 2014
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Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort | kids travel, kids activities
Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort
78 N Holiday Blvd,
Santa Claus, Indiana
"The perfect stay during Christmas in Santa Claus"
Our stay at Lake Rudolph was the highlight of our holiday stay at Santa Claus, Indiana. It was the ideal place to stay - close to all the attractions, tons of room to play, and a way to relax and destress from the holiday madness.

Location: We found the location to be perfect and no more than 5 minutes from any popular attraction, dining, and the local grocery store.

We visited during Santa Claus, Indiana's Christmas celebration held during the first three weekends of December. and had the opportunity to stay at their Rudolph's Christmas Cabin, which was absolutely fantastic! With a master king bedroom and a loft with 4 twin mattresses and another king size bed, we found plenty of room for our two boys to play and move about. In fact, my boys had claimed the loft as their own personal playroom and was always hard to have them leave!

AMENITIES
Needing to stick to a budget and with a limited number of places to eat, It was super convenient driving across the street to their local grocery store (Holiday Foods) and to cook meals with their full size kitchen complete with an electric stove, full size fridge, dishes, pots, and utensils.

The family room outfitted with a couch, DVD player, and electric fireplace was perfect and roomy for my family. Unlike other hotels or places we've been, the temperature control was spot on. The bathroom was an adequate size but we did find that the bathtub/shower was the perfect size for our small kids, but maybe a bit small for taller adults. Other amenities that we love include free wi-fi.

Since we visited during the winter, we weren't able to take advantage of all the campground has to offer including a swimming pool, fishing, paddleboat and kayak rentals, and mini golf. We would have loved to sit and relax and grill on the huge porch with a picnic table, chairs, and grill. We'll just have to come back!

BOTTOM LINE:
For any family visiting Santa Claus, Indiana, it would be hard to find an accommodation better than Lake Rudolph. Located close to all the action and accommodations fit for any family, this is the perfect place to stay.

TIPS:
If you're visiting during their Christmas Celebration, you must check out their light show on the campground, Santa Claus Land of Lights. Review here (http://www.trekaroo.com/activities/santa-claus-land-of-lights-santa-claus-indiana)

Disclosure: We received a complimentary stay for the purpose of facilitating this reviews. No compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.
 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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December 11 2014
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Pinstripes South Barrington | kids travel, kids activities
Pinstripes South Barrington
100 West Higgins Road,
Barrington,
Illinois
"Eat and bowl!"
We were here for Sunday Brunch with Santa, and we loved it. The food was excellent and plentiful! They also had a waffle station bar - bananas foster waffles were to die for! While we were scarfing down our food, my two toddler boys spotted Santa from afar and called him over. Loved that we didn't have to wait for Santa and the whole experience was very casual. To top off the afternoon, we went bowling and had a fantastic time - bumper bowling and all!

Bottom Line: We would definitely recommend Pinstripes for good food, bowling, and Santa (if he's around!)

 
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
kids travel, kids activities
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