Backyard Adventure: Chicago Skydeck

After dinner last night, we took the kids to The Skydeck in Chicago for an impromptu outing. From an enclosed glass balcony on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), we could see all of Chicago’s twinkling lights and the dark, smooth expanse of Lake Michigan. It was an evening that will always stand out in our memories, partly because the experience itself is so phenomenal, but also because it was so spur of the moment. This is the way summer life should be – grabbing exciting moments here and there because you can! The days are longer, there isn’t any homework to do, mornings have a slower start — why not explore the world a little? Sometimes an unexpected trip is just enough of a getaway to make you feel like you’ve escaped your everyday life and refreshed your perspective. We’ve decided to take a few of these quick, surprise trips with our kids this summer to explore the nearby scenery and learn a few things along the way too. This post is the first in a series called “Backyard Adventures” where I will share with you all of the details of our unexpected jaunts around the Chicagoland area.  I hope they inspire you to try something new near your home. If so, be sure to check back and leave a comment to share your story.

Here is my daughter standing in the Skydeck on the 103rd floor of the world's 3rd tallest building, Willis Tower in Chicago.

This is the view when you look down through the glass floor — that is the street below. I have to say it is very disconcerting at first, but then you get used to it.

Standing on the floor of the Skydeck.

The views are incredible from every angle.

I love this city!

Admission is $18.00 for adults, $12.00 for kids – 3-11. Summer hours are 9:00am – 10:00pm. We were told the crowds lighten up after 5:00. We had no trouble going straight up without a wait at 8:00 last night.

Definitely worth the price of admission!





  1. SmilynStef  July 13, 2013

    I’ve been during the day … but an entirely different view at night. Awesome photos … looks like a fun time was had by all.

    • camilla  July 13, 2013

      Daytime would be wonderful too!

  2. Resa  July 13, 2013

    What fun. I highly recommend an adventure I did with my girls a few years ago. We did a ‘trip around the world’ and hit Andersonville, Pilson, Chinatown, Little Italy and Greektown in a single day and sampled food in each neighborhood.

    • camilla  July 13, 2013

      Such a great idea, Resa!!! Love it!

  3. Susan L.  July 13, 2013

    What lucky kids you have! 🙂

  4. Sophie  July 14, 2013

    Impressive !!! Your pictures are wondeful ! The second one looks like a contemporary paint. I love the idea to explore your area and to share it with us.

  5. catie  July 14, 2013

    so beautiful & amazing!
    my stomach lurches a little just looking at the photos.
    i’m not sure i could stand on the glass floor.
    what a shot of your daughter, looking so young & so stylish.
    would be fun to take another photo like this in 2 or 3 years.

  6. Cindy  July 15, 2013

    So very cool! We have NOTHING like that here, so i really appreciate your pictures. When we visit Chicago, thst is sonething we’ll have to do!!

    What you’re doing, how you envision summer break, is exactly the way I see it. We spent Friday night outfoors under a gorgeous sunset and sliver of a new moon, watching an outdoor movie after stopping by our city’s version of food trucks – stationary AirStream trailers! – for dinner.

    • camilla  July 15, 2013

      Cindy – That sounds like the perfect evening! I was thinking of taking my girls to an outdoor movie too – such a different experience and so smart to take advantage of these beautiful summer nights. So much better than being cooped up in a movie theatre. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! XO, C