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What to Pack for Chicago with Kids

Four Seasons Chicago exterior

Chicago is an amazing city. It offers incredible museums and zoos, several professional sports teams, a beautiful downtown area, and nearby Six Flags Great America. The weather ranges from blistering cold to insanely humid and hot. You want to be prepared so you can fully enjoy your trip. This is what to pack for Chicago with kids.

What to Pack for Chicago with Kids

1. Clothing

2. Accessories

3. Baby Items

4. Bathroom Essentials

5. Medications and First Aid

6. Documentation

7. Payment Methods

8. Miscellaneous Items

9. Six Flags Day Bag Packing

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What to Pack for Chicago with Kids

1. Clothes to Pack for Chicago

Chicago Weather

Chicago weather is rough. There is no sugarcoating this one.  Check the weather at the time of your trip.

The averages are as follows:

Winter

Average High: Mid-30s

Average Low: Mid-20s

Spring

Average High: Mid-50s

Average Low: Mid-40s

Summer

Average High: Low 80s

Average Low: High 60s

Fall

Average High: Low 60s

Average Low: Low 50s

What to Add to Your Chicago Packing List

What you pack will depend upon the season. Pack what you need from the list below that is weather-appropriate.

Pro tip: Pack laundry pods and do laundry during your trip. You just cut your luggage in half.

A. Shorts 

B. T-shirts – Don’t forget shirts you want to wear to specific sporting events.

C. Long-sleeved shirts 

D. Pajamas

E. Socks

F. Gym shoes 

G. Sandals or flip-flops

H. Bras

I. Underwear

J. Swimwear – Two per person. Hang the wet suits in the bathroom and rotate.

K. Pants 

L. A jacket 

M. A winter coat

N. Winter boots

What Not to Pack

A. Formal wear

B. Workout gear – Unless you’re going to work out after a long day of sightseeing.

C. A sewing kit 

Brookfield Zoo heart sign

2. Accessories

What to Include When Packing for Chicago

A. Ponchos 

B. Sunglasses 

C. Hats 

D. Hair ties

E. Goggles 

F. Floaties or lifejackets 

G. Gloves and mittens

H. Scarves

I. Winter hats

What Not to Pack

A. A large selection of jewelry

Chicago Four Seasons view

3. Baby Items

Babies require a lot of junk, but you don’t need to pack things you can get at the hotel. When in doubt, call ahead to double-check.

What to Add to Your Chicago Trip Packing List

A. Formula and baby food 

B. Bibs

C. Pacifiers

D. Sippy cups

E. Bottles

F. Diapers – Both regular and swim (but not more than you need).

G. Wipes

H. Stroller 

I. Car seat – Unless offered by your ground transportation provider.

J. Breast pump and accessories 

K. Dish soap and bottle washer

What Not to Pack

A. Pack and Play – Unless your hotel doesn’t have one, which is unlikely.

B. Baby monitor – Unless you’re in a giant room where you can’t easily hear your child.

C. High chair – Not worth it.

six flags great america

4. Toiletries and Bathroom Essentials

Pro tip: Purchase travel bottles to bring your favorite products in smaller quantities.

Things to Pack for Chicago

A. Toothbrush

B. Toothpaste

C. Mouthwash

D. Floss

E. Hairbrush

F. Hair styling products

G. Glasses

H. Contact solution and extra contacts

I. Face wash

J. Makeup 

K. Deodorant

L. Sunscreen

M. Razors

N. Shampoo – You only need this if the hotel does not provide it or you need a special kind. Tear-free is probably not at the hotel.

O. Conditioner – Same criteria as the shampoo.

P. Body wash – If the hotel doesn’t provide it.

Q. Loofah

R. Cotton swabs

S. Tissue

T. Tweezers

U. Laundry detergent pods

V. Feminine hygiene products

W. Lotion – If you need a specific kind that the hotel doesn’t provide.

X. Hand sanitizer 

Y. Nail file

Z. Chapstick

What Not to Pack

A. Nail clippers – Unless you’re going on a long trip.

B. Hair dryer – Confirm this, but it is almost definitely in the room already.

C. Anything you can get from the hotel

chicago museum of science and industry

5. Medications and First Aid

What to Pack

A. Medications

B. Medical equipment

C. Vitamins

D. Motion sickness medicine – For Six Flags or if you won’t feel well in stop-and-start city traffic.

E. Pain relievers – For both adults and children.

F. Thermometer 

G. BAND-AIDs

H. Antibacterial cream

What Not to Pack

A. Full bottles of anything

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6. Important Documentation

You don’t have to print these items; ensure you can access them on your phone.

What to Pack

A. Tickets for Six Flags, museums, zoos, and sporting events

B. Airline reservation confirmations and boarding passes 

C. Hotel reservation confirmations 

D. Rental car and ground transportation reservation confirmations 

E. Identification for all travelers

F. Priority Pass card

G. Health insurance card

H. Proof of car insurance – If applicable.

What Not to Pack

A. Any unnecessary or duplicate documentation with your personal information

shedd aquarium exterior

7. Methods of Payment

What to Pack

A. Credit cards

B. Cash – Use sparingly. Cash doesn’t earn travel points.

C. Debit card

What Not to Pack

A. A lot of cash 

brookfield zoo giraffes

8. Miscellaneous

What Should You Bring to Chicago?

A. Travel entertainment 

B. Snacks 

C. Refillable water bottle

D. Cell phones and chargers 

E. Portable cell phone charger 

F. Cooling towels – Only if it is really hot. Check the weather.

G. Noise-canceling headphones – Only if your kid is freaked out by loud noises.

H. Gum 

What Not to Pack

A. Night light – Crack the bathroom door and leave the light on.

B. Hamper – An empty suitcase is a rolling laundry basket.

C. Shoe organizer – You shouldn’t have that many shoes anyway.

D. Extra towels  

E. Pool toys

F. Cameras – Smartphones take pictures.

four seasons chicago

9. Six Flags Great America Day Bag

A. Methods of payment

B. Identification

C. Theme park tickets

D. Cell phone and portable cell phone charger

E. Jackets – Only if needed.

F. Ponchos

G. Sunscreen

H. Motion sickness medication

I. Pain relievers

J. Hats

K. Sunglasses

L. Cooling towels – Only if needed.

M. Tissue

N. Feminine hygiene products

O. BAND-AIDs

P. Refillable water bottle

Q. Baby stuff you need on a typical day

R. Gum

S. Hand sanitizer

T. Chapstick 

buccaneer battle ride at six flags great america

Final Thoughts – What to Pack for Chicago with Kids

The city has punishing weather, but it is worth a visit. Use this list to decide what to pack for Chicago with kids to maximize your trip.

Visit Chicago. You will not regret it.

what to pack for chicago with kids pin

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