Are your kids astronaut wannabes? Or maybe a holiday tradition in your family is to re-watch Macauley Culkin’s Home Alone every year. Either way, the brand new, dual-branded 342-room Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop and the historic 1928 Whitehall Hotel have packages designed for the little ones in your family.
The Over The Moon package at the Hilton, for example, brings “edu-tainment” into your vacation by mixing fun and an opportunity to learn about the moon. The package is timed to coincide with this year’s 50th anniversary of the historic 1969 Moon Walk — a milestone being celebrated in a variety of lunar-themed exhibits at Chicago’s Adler Planetarium, located within easy walking distance of the hotel.
The Over The Moon family package, which required a two-night minimum stay, includes accommodations priced from $299 a night; a copy of Moon’s First Friend: One Giant Leap for Friendship, a New York Times best-selling book written by noted children’s author Susanna Leonard Hill; Aeromax Junior Space Explorer Inflatable Space Shuttle pool floats to use in the hotel’s indoor heated pool; and, of course, a selection of Moon Pies, which, for those who don’t know, is an iconic treat that is a cross between a cookie and a cake. The package also includes late check-out, when available.
In addition to taking in related planetarium exhibits and shows, including “Imagine The Moon” and “Moon Mission,” families can visit The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Grant Park and Soldier Field, all located nearby.
All 146 guestrooms at Hilton Garden Inn Chicago Downtown South Loop feature a mini-fridge, microwave oven and Keurig coffeemaker. There also is complimentary WiFi throughout the property, a 24-hour business center and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Families also can take advantage of The Shop, a 24-hour, grab-and-go retail space with a self-serve specialty coffee bar.
Meanwhile, the 196-room Homewood Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown South Loop offers a combination of studio and one-bedroom accommodations, featuring fully equipped kitchens, 49-inch HDTVs and separate living and sleeping areas.
Got movie buffs in the family? You can relive Home Alone, shot in Chicago 30 years ago, at the Whitehall Hotel, which will fete the longevity of the holiday classic with a Home Alone Whitehall package.
The special includes accommodations in a guestroom decorated for the holidays, DVD copies of Home Alone and Home Alone 2, two Turtle Dove ornaments by the John Perry studio — who designed the same for the film — a minibar stocked with fresh baked cookies and M&M jars, and a framed photo of Buzz’s girlfriend (fans of the film will understand the reference).
The Whitehall will also offer a room service delivery of a Little Nero’s Pizza, served in the same box as in the movie; mac n’ cheese; Pepsi; and a fully loaded ice cream sundae. Available through Jan. 5, 2020 with select blackout dates, the package is priced $169.
Santa Barbara is perfect for couples. It’s no wonder the city nicknamed the American Riviera is a place to walk hand-in-hand through the urban wine trail, gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over dinner at an award-winning restaurant or listen to the crash of waves and call of seagulls along the country’s oldest operating wharf. Yet, it’s also a great place to bring kids.
Walking across The National Mall, I literally crossed paths with Lonnie G. Bunch III, the Smithsonian Institution’s first African American CEO. Dr. Bunch, who first visited the Smithsonian as a 10-year-old Civil War buff, was told by his father, “Here’s a place where you can understand yourself and your country and not be worried by the color of your skin.” Bunch, who famously created the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, was quoted as saying, “I wanted to give back to those institutions that shaped everything I am.”
By Hainan Airlines
Sure, we’re barely dipping our toes into winter weather, but isn’t it more fun to think ahead to the warm weather family fun your crew could have at the Jersey Shore? Luckily, Atlantic City, New Jersey, offers far more than sandy beaches and casinos — enough to entertain all ages in all sorts of weather.