This weekend, January 17th and 18th, there will be a ton of family fun to be had, all under one roof at the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. As locals know, it is difficult to find indoor family entertainment during the winter months, but this show promises to have something for everyone.
The travel show is the ideal place for travel lovers to dream, plan, and book their next vacation. Travel experts, chefs, and celebrities (Samantha Brown, Patricia Schultz, and Pauline Frommer to name a few) come together to inspire adventure seekers of all ages and give them advice on how to make their travel dreams a reality. On Saturday, January 17th, the show runs from 10 am – 5pm, and on Sunday, it runs from 11 am – 4 pm. Single day and two day tickets are available in advance (discounted with code CHPR) or at the door. Children ages 16 and under are FREE with a paid adult admission.
I know what you’re thinking, I love to travel, but what could kids possibly want to do at a travel show? Just wait until you hear the wonderful fun they have planned for the kids!
Meet Animals from Sea World
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment will have a variety of wild animal friends in attendance and knowledgeable staff on hand to answer questions from the most curious of children. Animals might include a Peregrine Falcon, a Pixie Frog, a Black and White Ruffled Lemur, a Screech Owl, an Echidna and several penguins, but animals won’t be confirmed until right before show time.
Ride a Camel
I had to do a double take when I read this one, but it is true, visitors will be able to ride atop a camel and imagine what it would be like to ride through the sands of the Sahara. Watch out kids, I think I might have to try this one myself!
Meet Alaskan Sled Dogs
White Wilderness Sled Dog Adventures out of Minnesota will have their Alaskan huskies on hand for kids to pet and they will be available to answer questions about their dog sled and yurt trips through the Minnesota wilderness.
Ride a 19th Century Adult Tricycle
Stop by the Old World Wisconsin booth and experience what it was like to ride a 19th century tricycle. This was no child’s toy, but a riding option for both men and women. Not something one gets to try every day!
Sample Global Cuisine
If your kids aren’t foodies yet, they will be after sampling the cuisine from specialty chefs at the Taste of Travel Stage. Chefs will prepare and create their own unique recipes, and samples will be available to transport your tastebuds around the world. Can you say yum? For a full schedule, click here.
Watch Performances on the Global Beats Stage
Dancers and musicians from around the world will perform on the Global Beats stage both days of the travel show. Kids will enjoy listening to music from around the world, learning about different cultures, and learning a few new dance steps along the way! For a full schedule, click here .
Ride a Segway
Segways come indoors and visitors will have an opportunity to ride a Segway around a track and learn all about these amazing two wheeled, electric human transporters.
Dream and Plan Family Adventures
Everyone will enjoy the opportunity to meet experts in the travel field and discuss opportunities for traveling to destinations both near and far. Companies such as Un-Cruise Adventures specializes in small group, hands-on small cruise exploration to some amazing natural wonders. They even have a program called “Kids in Nature” which focuses on kid-friendly activities for specific itineraries. Road Scholar offers educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countries for the whole family. Tours include creative journeys like “A Family Adventure in Magical Oxford: From the Narnia Chronicles to Harry Potter” and “Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Badlands: Expanding Horizons.” My kids would love both of these. Plenty of other groups have family specific travel itineraries, but you have to go to the event to find out which ones are right for your family.
Speakers and Seminars
There will be plenty of speakers and seminars over the course of two days, and while most children won’t sit still, you may want to leave the kids with your spouse while you make time to hear one or two. As I mentioned earlier, Samantha Brown from The Travel Channel will be speaking both days, there will also be Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, as well as numerous well respected travel journalists and experts. Click here for a complete schedule.
Try to Win Prizes
As with most big conventions and conferences, there are many opportunities to win prizes. Find the ones you want to enter and good luck to you! Available prizes can be found here.
I can’t wait to visit the show. See you there!
*Photos are courtesy of the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show. In the interest of full disclosure, I was asked to write this post on behalf of the Chicago Travel and Adventure Show, but all opinions are my own.