The Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower and Art Institute of Chicago

We had family in town during the Thanksgiving holiday and decided to purchase combination tickets to the Skydeck Chicago and Art Institute of Chicago. With a toddler in tow, we didn’t have time to do both in the same day. However, we had seven days to visit the Skydeck Chicago once we used our tickets at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Unfortunately the museum was very busy the day before Thanksgiving and my son didn’t have much patience because we walked through during his nap time. Since I was trying to prevent my son from having a meltdown, we went to the the Family Room at the Ryan Learning Center (entry is free and located the same building as the museum). My son loved the family room and playing with other kids. Next time, I won’t purchase a ticket to the museum. Instead I’ll spend the afternoon at the Ryan Learning Center with my son while out of town guests explore the museum.

We luckily had a few minutes, before my toddler had a meltdown, to walk through the Andy Warhol exhibit (open through January 26th, 2020). And to take a glance at the American Gothic painting.

The Monday after Thanksgiving, we took the ‘L’ train (Chicago’s elevated transportation system) to The Loop (in downtown Chicago) and walked over to the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). My son loves taking the ‘L’ train as he gets to watch the scenery.

The Skydeck and Ledge (or the glass boxes) are located on the 103 floor of the Willis Tower. We took the elevators all the way up in less than 90 seconds so we had to pop our ears along the way. The ticket price and trip there were worth it. There are windows all the way around and you can see so much of Chicago, Lake Michigan, and the Chicago River. We enjoyed soaking in the view and taking lots of photos before getting in line for the Ledge. Luckily on a Monday morning the line didn’t take too long and my son didn’t have a meltdown while waiting. Standing in one of those glass boxes was quit the experience. My toddler loved it and started running around inside the box, trying to open the window. I think he’s going to be an adrenaline junkie one day.

After the Skydeck, we headed out for lunch at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican Grill, La Cocina. Not the most authentic Mexican food, but the burritos and tacos we ordered were very good. And my son loved the chicken quesadillas.

Overall I recommend the Skydeck with kids of all ages. And I recommend the Ryan Learning Center for ages one and up. If you have young kids, you’ll probably want to skip the art museum.

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