The campground was on a lake and we got a lake front site. There are only 15 RV sites and 15 tent/small RV sites, all with 20 amp electric only. There was also group camping and about a dozen cabins. Each site had a picnic table, fire ring, and lantern post. We got a tent/small RV site. The site was fine, but it likely wasn’t designed by campers. The electric box was on the right side of the site, the fire ring was on the left, and the picnic table was at the neighbors site. So we had to move our table back, step over our electric cord all weekend, and enjoy a fire while sitting behind our camper. This was all odd, but not awful, We were there to explore the city! The bathhouse was unfortunately having issues. Well water was in use and it wasn’t safe to drink according to the signs, and it had stained the toilets, sinks, and showers. They were aware of the issues and were working to change the water source. The campground is new and still working out the kinks. We believe this place will only improve with time and will become difficult to book in the future.
Within the campground there are great paved sidewalks, including one that goes along the lake to connect the camp store to the fishing pier. They offer many different rentals at the store. The campground also has trails that connect to great hiking and mountain biking. Fishing and paddling were popular on the lake. Our favorite aspect of this campground was seeing everyone out of their camper and tent. This allowed the kids to make friends and we met several great campers.
We got a unexpected request for this trip that we couldn’t pass up: we were asked to try a product called Caveman Coffee. The Cold Brew we tried is concentrated, so you get a number of servings from each bottle. We also received MCT oil. MCT oil is (based on our basic understanding) coconut oil concentrated down to just the really healthy parts. We thought this would be an easy coffee option for a busy weekend. This felt like a good fit as we typically are loyal followers of clean eating and usually have a variation of bulletproof coffee each day. The results? It was a really good cup of cold brew coffee that was easy to make at the campground. We mixed one part coffee to two parts water and about an ounce of MCT oil, shook it in a jar with ice, and enjoyed. We can envision making a healthier coffee treat by adding a little coconut milk and a little maple syrup. This would be a great option for the travels days when we don’t have time for pour over coffee. When we got home, we found it also makes for a great pick me up on the way to swims meets and ballgames.
We really didn’t have a plan in place for this trip, we kind of just headed out. We started Saturday at Millennium Park. We explored the gardens and fountains, saw Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, and Pritzker Pavilion. From there we headed up Michigan Avenue and walked the Magnificent Mile, checking out the Chicago River, Hancock Tower, and several shops along the way. The kids were in awe of the size and beauty of the buildings around us. The experience walking through the city was so different for them than NPS and historical sites we usually visit.
After lunch, we drove up Lakeshore and headed north to Lincoln Park to meet a friend. This drive was also good site-seeing. We haven’t seen Lake Michigan often, but the size and color of the lake is stunning. Lots of people were out on the lake enjoying the beautiful day. We walked through the Lincoln Park Zoo and then walked to find a playground at Oz Park. The zoo and park were great attractions in a neat and dynamic neighborhood.
One goal for the weekend was to see The Museum of Science and Industry. We used our reciprocal membership from The Southern Illinois Science Center to gain free general admission! We still paid for parking and the Brick by Brick Lego exhibit, but our home membership again saved us a lot of money on admission charges. We waited in line and entered the MSI when it opened and stayed until it closed – which was six hours on the day we attended – and we could have spent another day exploring the exhibits.
Our final adventure in Chicago may have been our favorite – Maggie Daley Park. Our friend that we met up with in Lincoln Park asked if we played at the playgrounds there and recommended that we go back to Millennium Park as Maggie Daley was adjacent to it. Maggie Daley Park is a new level of playground. Near the lakeshore, there are multiple playgrounds that all seem to have a water theme: a ship, a boat dock, a lighthouse, and a massive suspension bridge covered in climbing opportunities and slides. These playgrounds were packed and tracking the kids was a task. The bridge playground is kind of set in a bowl, so the parents can walk the upper ring to try and keep an eye on the kids. The park also has beautiful gardens, a climbing wall, and the skating ribbon. The skating ribbon goes around the climbing wall and serves as a skating rink in the winter and is used for roller-skating the rest of the year. You could rent skates or Razor scooters from the Park District, which is what we did. Riding a Razor scooter around a skating rink is a blast; doing this for 30 minutes racing an eight and ten-year old that are excellent Razor scooter racers is exhausting!
As a family, we have traveled from Maine to Florida and North Dakota to Arizona. We’ve hiked into the Grand Canyon and have ridden bikes in the Everglades. But going on a camping trip in Chicago started with some hesitation. “Is this really a good idea?” We wondered this and friends and family asked us the same thing. It turned out to be an excellent idea! The campground, although not yet perfect, was perfect for our trip. The city sites were awe-inspiring. The Science & Industry Museum was great and Maggie Daley Park ranks among the top park we been to, and we’ve been to a lot! We will keep Chicago in mind for the near future as there is still much to explore. As the summer progresses, we will be heading toward the other side of Lake Michigan when we go Cricket Camping!
Shane and Jessica
Cricket Camping is an Amazon Affiliate. From time to time, we may refer to a product we have purchased and provide a link to purchase the same product directly from Amazon. If you chose to purchase the product using our link, and based on our recommendation, Cricket Camping will earn a commission, which helps us continue sharing our experience through this website.
Thank you for your support.