Sunday, October 21, 2018

Exploring Chicago with TripAdvisor

Are you planning a trip to Chicago with the whole family, or going there for an event? It’s a big city and so many forget all the family friendly activities that you can do besides shopping of course. When we are looking for activities our first place to book from is TripAdvisor, even if we don’t know exactly what we want, there are so many ideas to go off of.

With TripAdvisor you can go and look at activities to do in whatever city you want, hotels, and reviews on restaurants. When I say there's a lot of options, I mean 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide.

One of my favorite things about TripAdvisor is that you can book whenever. You don’t have to book weeks in advance (unless you want to), you can do it right before you want to do an attraction. You can even buy “skip the line” tickets.

The other thing is their 24/7 customer service is amazing. I have actually had to call them due to an error on my end and they were so kind and helped me fix MY mistake, in which I was so grateful.  

The main reason we went to Chicago was to go see Fall Out Boy, who happens to be Canon’s favorite band. So when we saw they were going to be at Wrigley Field we couldn’t help but say YES!

Since the concert was on Sat night and only a small portion of the weekend we really needed to find other things to do. This is where TripAdvisor really helped us in the planning and just a few clicks to book. As is was just Dan, myself and Canon for this trip we really centered around things Canon would like.

Friday night we left and arrived in Chicago heading straight for the hotel. If you never stayed at the Kipton Gray you need to. It’s a beautiful hotel. The location is perfect as well if you want to be downtown. Blocks from shopping, shows and so much more.

Saturday morning we got up and ready for the day. We headed downstairs where my fav Starbucks was and had some breakfast. Being that I’m in a wheelchair, and we didn’t want to drive we took an Uber to the Adler Planetarium and spent the good part of the day there.

Part of your tickets include 2 shows and if you want to add more later you can. The first one we chose was destination Solar system which was my favorite of the 2. Jesse (our guide) was super funny and you were never board during the half hour presentation. The second show was Nine Planets where it talks about all of our current planets and the possible ninth.

Overall, we had a blast and learned a lot. Many places throughout the building are hands on interactive stations that canon just loved. I recommend getting their early so you can spend as much time as you want and not feel rushed.

Gino’s East is a pizza place that so many know and love. We have never been there so before we headed to the concert we decided to stop by and have some. We got the mozzarella sticks and a deep dish all meat pizza. Both were really good. I’m a fan of lots of sauce so this was perfect for me.

Saturday night we saw Fall Out Boy at Wrigley and as Canon’s first concert he had the time of his life. Machine Gun Kelly and Rise Against opened for them.

Sunday morning before we left town we decided to do one last thing with the help of TripAdvisor. Overcoming our fears (Canon and mine) of heights, we went to the top of the Willis Tower (formally known as Sears Tower) Observation Deck. Get there right as they open or you will be in line for a long time. Our line wasn’t too bad but it was still a wait. Once up to the top floor (103 floors) you can see for miles on a clear day. When I say for miles, I mean miles. You can see parts of WI, IL, MI and IN which is really cool. I thought I wouldn’t do well so high up as I’m very very scared of heights. Canon and Dan both loved the view as well but Canon didn’t do as good on the Sky Deck as it was clear at the bottom. When you look down, you see 103 floors straight down to the ground.

On your next trip to Chicago please consider Willis Tower for one of your stops and check out TripAdvisor for even more  ideas on how to make your trip yours from river tours, bus tours, food and so much more.

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Disclosure: The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free. Top Notch Material blog will always provide honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products reviewed. We will only recommend products or services that we feel are of benefit to our readers. If you have any questions, please contact me at katrina dot gehman {at} gmail com. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 


  1. Wow so many things to do that appeal for kids, I never thought of Chicago as anything but for adults to have fun. I couldn't get on the Willis tower observation deck. I feel woozy looking at the pictures! Gino's East has me starving, and a good thing Eggplant Parm is coming out of my oven in a few minutes!

  2. Could not pay me enough to stand on that clear section no no no......... The pizza looked so so good. I had a layover once in chicago but stayed at the airport. Someday I would like to go there.

  3. Lol, in Chicago, I would set up camp in those amazing pizza places and delis. But no way could I go out on that skywalk.

  4. I love planetariums. I can always learn something new. I'd stand on that clear glass. Love looking down.

  5. I have never been to Chicago. Looks like their are a lot of fun things to do. That pizza is AMAZING!

  6. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. I have been to Chicago a few times myself, and it's such a beautiful city. One to see for sure.

  7. Clifford PerkinsTuesday, August 27, 2019

    When I visited Chicago I had a terrific time. That city has the best museums ever and the food, well if you can't find it in Chicago it doesn't exist.