What To Do In Chicago With Kids

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What To Do In Chicago With Kids
























  • Millennium Park
    • Don’t miss out on taking a picture with Cloud Gate (or the bean as some call it)
    • Splash around in the shallow reflecting pool of Crown Fountain if it’s warm, however the images projected onto the 50 – foot, glass block towers are available to see year round.


  • 606 Trail
    • This abandoned rail line is now 2.7 miles worth of recreational trail and park. Makes for a gorgeous run, bike ride, or walk with the kids.
  • Willis Tower Skydeck
    • Are you brave enough to step out onto the ledge at 1,353 feet in the air?! This destination makes for the perfect photo op
  • 360 Observation Deck (John Hancock Building)
    • Here you will experience 360 degree views of the city 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile, eat / drink in the clouds on the 96th floor, and experience TILT! A moving platform that tilts you out over Michigan Ave from the 94th floor!
  • 18 mile lakefront trail
    • Run, walk, push the stroller along gorgeous Lake Michigan! Stop in any of the wonderful lakefront neighborhoods along the way!
  • Maggie Daley Park
    • Meet the playground to top all playgrounds! Kids of all ages will get a kick out of exploring this unique and amazing park!
    • Don’t forget the climbing structures and mini golf to take your outing to the next level!
    • Ice Skate along the skating ribbon in the winter
  • Navy Pier
    • Get your 360 degree view of Chicago when you ride the giant Centennial Ferris Wheel. Not to mention more rides, musical and theatrical entertainment, and dining.
  • Chinatown
    • This is one of our favorite downtown destinations. We love the food, market, and little shops.
    • If you are looking for a satisfying meal, I recommend Phoenix for Dim Sum and Joy Yee for … well, anytime of the day.
  • Chicago Riverwalk
    • Stroll along the beautiful riverwalk to enjoy art, dining, kayaking, boat rides, and more!
    • Don’t let the kids miss seeing the Centennial Fountain and water arc spray over the river every hour!
  • Scavenger hunt to find as many Chicago murals as you can
    • Chicago is a wonderful city but you can get stuck going to the same tourist destinations over and over. Travel off the beaten path by making a walking tour for yourself of the Chicago murals.
    • You’ll find yourself visiting a variety of great neighborhoods and who knows where the adventure will take you!
    • This is a perfect multi-visit scavenger hunt
  • Garfield Park Conservatory
    • You will love a visit to this conservatory when the weather is cold, rainy, or even too hot! The kids can spend hours in the children area and there are also 12 acres of outdoor gardens
    • Free admission but please leave a donation!
    • We also love the weekly children events!
      • Morning Glories: Mondays, 10 a.m – noon
      • Wild Wednesdays: 4 p.m – 7 p.m
      • Fiddleheads: Sat & Sun Noon – 4 p.m
  • Yoko Ono’s Sky Landing & Osaka Japanese Garden
    • At Jackson Park (near The Museum of Science and Industry) there is a beautiful Japanese garden. Don’t miss the springtime blossoming of the cherry blossoms in the beginning of May!
    • You will also find Yoko Ono’s sculpture, Sky Landing. Comprising of 12 ft. tall lotus flower petals symbolizing peace.
  • The Morton Arboretum
    • Located in Lisle, this arboretum is a perfect place to connect with nature. The grounds are beautiful, children will adore the Children’s Garden, and there are always great exhibits to experience like the trolls and Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks
  • View constellations at Dearborn Observatory
    • Located in Evanston, the Dearborn Observatory is open every Friday night from 9 – 11 p.m to look through the historic 18.5″ refracting telescope.
    • 9 – 10 p.m is reservation only, and 10 -11 is available for walk- ins.
    • On the last Friday of the month during these same observing hours, you can meet astronomers and have your astronomy questions answered! Stop by anytime during the two hour window.
  • Fermi-lab Ask A Scientist
    • Held from 1 – 4 p.m on the first Sunday of the month
    • A 3 hour session that includes a tour, a presentation by a scientist, and a Q & A period.
    • The minimum age for the tour is 10 years old.
  • Art Institute of Chicago
    • One of the oldest art museums in the United States and contains the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art outside the Louvre!
    • Although there is a fee for adults, admission for children are free!
    • Almost daily, drop in, art making for children and families!
  • Hyde Park Art Center
    • Free and open 7 days a week
    • 6 galleries filled with contemporary art
    • After school, weekend classes, and workshops all year round for children.
  • The Field Museum
    • Among the many exhibits, the timeless favorite are the dinosaur fossils. Take your family to meet Sue and Titanosaur.
    • Don’t miss the great children’s play area in the Crown Family Play Lab
  • Adler Planetarium
    • Visit during the day, or at night, and explore the universe together!
  • Museum of Science and Industry
    • Extremely fun and interactive
    • Your whole family will have a blast with the hands on exhibits and interactive learning.
  • Shedd Aquarium
    • 32,500 aquatic creatures from around the world
    • Make a stop at the Polar Play Zone for young children
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
    • Inspiring appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities.
    • Admission for adults is only $10, children 6-11 are $3, and 5 and under are FREE
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
    • Home to one of the country’s largest Mexican art collections, including more than 7,000 seminal pieces from ancient Mexico to the present.
    • Free admission
  • Engine 18 Firehouse tour
    • Chicago Fire uses a real firehouse to film the show!
    • 1360 S. Blue Island Ave.
    • You cannot do a tour when they are filming but you can watch from a distance!
  • American Science and Surplus
    • Wander the aisles and explore the oddities.
    • There are so many unique and random items to explore, whether you choose to purchase or night.
    • Makes for a fun and unique adventure
  • Wildwood Nature Center
    • 1.5 acres of restored, native prairie
    • Fully stocked catch and release pond
    • Free, great for children to explore
    • Animal feedings every Wednesday and Saturday
  • Willowbrook Wildlife Center
    • Glen Ellyn, IL
    • Native wildlife with permanent disabilities are provided homes along the outdoor exhibit trail. Residents include red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, owls, red foxes, groundhogs and raccoons.
    • Butterfly garden
    • 1/2 mile nature trail
  • Kline Creek Farm
    • Experience life on a working farm of the 1890s
    • West Chicago, IL
  • Lambs Farm
    • Visit the farmyard, petting area, ride the train and carousel, and learn in the discovery center
    • Grab a bite at Magnolia Cafe & Bakery, the on site restaurant.
  • Thomas Hughes Children’s Library
    • The newly remodeled Thomas Hughes Children’s Library offers customized learning experiences for early learners, elementary learners and tweens, is on the 2nd floor of Harold Washington Library Center.
    • Fun space to explore
    • Story time and playgroups all week long including evening playgroups!
  • Tour Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in Chicago and Oak Park 
    • Sign up for one of the pedal or walking tours through Oak Park to explore the worlds largest collection buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and visit his studio.
    •  Visit the acclaimed Robie House in Hyde Park, Bach house in Rogers Park, and the Rookery in the loop.
    • A combination or walking tour can definitely be a family friendly outing if you choose the right one. Or explore on your own! I spent many a weekend touring Frank Lloyd Wright homes with my family as a child.
  • Chicago Magic Lounge Show on Sundays
    • On Sundays, the Chicago Magic Lounge features a family friendly magician!
    • The menu features kid-friendly items like mini Home Run Inn pizzas and chicken fingers, as well as special brunch cocktails for the adults!
  • Emerald City Theatre
    • Chicago’s largest theatre for young audiences
    • Before every performance there is an activity in the lobby before the show
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theatre
    • The CST Family Series presents a convergence of abridged Shakespeare productions, timeless fables and fairy tales, interactive music concerts and musical theater created with families in mind.
  • Second City Comedy Show
    • The youth and teen ensemble is a 50 min show consisting of improv and sketch from The Second City Kid & Teen programs highest level class.
    • A funny, family friendly show that runs on Saturdays at 6 p.m





  • Head to the burbs and explore some charming downtown areas (Glen Ellyn, Naperville, Hinsdale, Lake Forest, Evanston)


  • Lego Land
    • 2 rides, 10 lego build and play zones, a 4D cinema, and much more!
    • Sensory Friendly Lego experience (Play Well Days) on the first Saturday of every month from 8:30 – 10 a.m. for families affected by autism and other sensory sensitive disorders.


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  1. […] Chicagoland. However, if Dad doesn’t want to be around a crowd, choose something fun from our Top Things To Do In Chicago guide or maybe give Dad a quiet day at home alone while you take the kids out to any of the fun […]

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