Have you made your travel plans for the year? If you’re at a loss at what to do, you MUST attend the Chicago Travel and Adventure show this weekend. Not only can you plan your next vacation/staycation for the year, but there is enough for for the entire family. Bring the whole family so they can have fun! Read on and then enter for your chance to win tickets. Hurry, contest ends Thursday, January 15!

FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

  • Camel rides – imagine trekking through the Sahara desert while riding a camel 

  • A Segway track
  • Vintage replica trike rides
  • Meet animals! Pet real Alaskan Husky sled dogs and wild friends from SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment.
  • Watch cultural performances and even get to learn a few new dance steps at the Global Beats Stage. See performances like: Belly dancing, Nordic Folk Dancing, Mexican Folkloric Dancing, Bollywood and Classical Indian Dancing, Native American Dancing, Indonesian Cultural Dancing, Hawaiian Dancing, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop Dancing, Irish Dancing and Thai Cultural Dancing.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

  • A great list of travel experts and celebrities including:
    • Patricia Schultz, Author of 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (I’ve had this book forever and have dutifully checked off places)
    • Pauline Frommer, Editorial Director of those handy and information Frommer travel guides
    • Renowned photographer Ralph Velasco (download his uber cool app My Shots Lists for Travel)
    • Cheryl Strayed author of Wild that has also turned into a movie
  • New this year includes the Savvy Traveler Theater with tips on travelling. You’ll find me here!
  • Taste of Travel Stage – Chicago area chefs transform international cuisine for the contemporary palate. Yes, samples will be served after each demonstration! See the schedule here.

TIPS TO ENJOY THE CHICAGO TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE SHOW
This is our second year attending as a family and quite honestly it can get a little overwhelming. Here are some tips to enjoy the show with kids!

  • If you love hoarding grabbing travel brochures like I do, be prepared to come home with tons of brochures/travel swag. All those small nifty free items? Yep, they all add up and get heavy! Better to have a few extra hands.
  • Like I said, it can get overwhelming with over 300 exhibitors, so take some time to check out their informative website and game plan who you want to see. Here’s a few that have caught my eye from the Midwest:
      • French Lick Resorts – Named America’s Best Historic Resort by Historic Hotels of America, French Lick Resort has a roster of seasonal kid’s activities including hayrides, crafts, cooking and sports.
      • Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands provides a mix of historically significant sites, family-fun amusements, gorgeous scenery and outdoor recreation.
      • Double JJ Resort in Wisconsin offers family activities galore, including horseback riding and an indoor water park.
      • Wildman Adventure Resort in Wisconsin creates trips for families ranging from rugged tent sites to decked-out lodges full of kid-friendly adventures and exciting sports such as whitewater rafting, paintball and rock climbing.
      • Journey back in time with Old World Wisconsin, where visitors time travel to the late 19th century through sights and sounds of the era with hands-on educational experiences including tending to a chicken coop and riding replica tricycles, also available for a spin at the Show.
  • There’s tons to do for the families so check out the schedule and again plan what you want to see. Print out this handy schedule at a glance here: http://travelshows.com/files/Documents/CH_AtAGlance.pdf
  • Since it’s at Rosemont Convention Center stay at a hotel connected such as the Hyatt Regency O’Hare or those close by such as the modern Aloft hotel.

NITTY GRITTY

Where: Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N. River Rd, Rosemont, IL)
When: Saturday, January 17 and Sunday, January 18, 2015.
Time: Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m.
Tickets: Single and two-day tickets are currently available online for a discounted rate of $11 (single-day) and $17 (two-day) with promo code: CHPR, and are also available on-site for $16/$25. Children 16 and under are admitted for free. Purchase tickets in advance at: www.TravelShows.com/Chicago
Stroller-friendly: It does get a little bit crowded at time to navigate but it wouldn’t be too bad with an umbrella stroller. Plus it’s a great way to stash/carry your goodies that you pick up.
Food: There is a concession stand available

Interested in attending the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show? Enter away and winners will be emailed on Thursday 1/15. Good luck!

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What or who are you looking forward to seeing?