101 Best Things To Do With Kids In Chicago

  1. Explore the Museum of Science and Industry and the historic Robie House when you visit the Hyde Park.
  2. Enjoy Lego rides and workshops by master builders at the Legoland Discovery Center Chicago.
  3. Experience shark feeding, get up close and personal with penguins or beluga whales at Shedd Aquarium.
  4. Learn more about stars, see planetarium shows, and celestial artifacts at Adler Planetarium.
  5. Stroll, play, sing, and dance at a scenic zoo in Garfield Park Conservatory.
  6. Watch shows, concerts, festivals, and other blockbuster events with your family at Soldier Field.
  7. Challenge your kids to experience The Ledge at the Willis Tower, a glass-bottomed panoramic viewing deck that’s 1,454 feet up!
  8. Cruise, kayak, and canoe along a revamped riverfront which offers the prettiest views of the city at Chicago River.
  9. Head up to 360 Chicago, an observation deck inside the John Hancock building that allows your family to get a sweeping view of the Magnificent Mile.
  10. Stroll, dine, and explore the walkway at Chicago Riverwalk with your kids.
  11. Explore Wrigley Building, the must-see building for architecture enthusiasts.
  12. See one of the most loved Neogothic skyscraper in Chicago, the Tribune Towers.
  13. Explore Chicago Loop, Chicago’s most recognizable landmarks, from museums and skyscrapers to parks and outdoor sculptures.
  14. Enjoy concerts and comedy shows at the Chicago Theatre.
  15. Watch a Major League Baseball game in the ivy-covered home of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
  16. See 300,000 works of art ranging from ancient works to pieces created by today’s foremost artists at the Art Institute of Chicago.
  17. Let your kids experience a moving platform that tilts you out over unique panoramic perspective at 360 Chicago Observation Deck.
  18. Experience a 360-degree view of the city skyline, explore the Chicago River, and dine in restaurants at Marina City.
  19. Watch live performances and special events at Biograph Theater.
  20. Visit a 5-story domed movie theater that has 2,000 exhibits and more than 35,000 artifacts at the Museum of Science and Industry.
  21. Explore and take photos with your family at one of America’s top schools with the best architectural blend, the University of Chicago.
  22. Explore Frederick C. Robie’s House, a prairie-style home honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  23. Explore one of the city’s tallest and most expensive architectural masterpiece buildings at the Rookery Building.
  24. Dine with your family at the historic Palmer House Hilton.
  25. Experience Chinese culture, art, and cuisine at the Chicago Chinatown.
  26. Shop and dine at Chicago’s most exclusive and expensive stores at Water Tower Place.
  27. Have a walking trip with your family and explore the labyrinth underground walkway that connects many of Chicago’s most established businesses at Chicago Pedway.
  28. Explore the home of the Cubs, as well as different sports bars and restaurants at Wrigleyville.
  29. Watch concerts, plays, art exhibits, film screenings and lectures in one of the city’s architectural gems at Chicago Cultural Center.
  30. Experience first-hand author readings, film screenings, and workshops at American Writers Museum.
  31. Dine, watch, and see numerous concerts, events and music memorabilia at Hard Rock Cafe Chicago.
  32. Enjoy exploring a mile-long interior park trail and a five-acre lagoon perfect for fishing at Northerly Island.
  33. Learn the history and understand the details of the intricate artistry of trading at the Chicago Board of Trade Building.
  34. Check out and be fascinated at the Tiffany glass mosaics and bronze relief sculptures at Marquette Building.
  35. See one of the city’s first large-scale pieces of public abstract art at Chicago Picasso.
  36. Walk, bike, and run while admiring Chicago’s best lakeside view at Chicago Lakefront Trail.
  37. Visit historic artifacts, paintings, books, manuscripts, sculptures, and photographs collection at the Chicago History Museum.
  38. Let kids explore interactive exhibits and dig for dinosaur bones at Chicago Children’s Museum.
  39. Experience a premier Midwest sports venue, home to the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks teams at the United Center.
  40. Visit Chicago Temple, a Methodist church that’s 23 floors high and considered the tallest church in the world.
  41. Take photos with one of the most famous sculptures, ‘Abraham Lincoln: The Man,’ which was heralded by the New York Evening Post as “the most important achievement American sculpture has yet produced”.
  42. Watch shows at House of Blues, the concert house which was modeled after an opera house in Prague, and hosted renowned musicians such as The Who, Pearl Jam, and Al Green.
  43. Explore Prairie Avenue Historic District, an area that was once known as “Millionaire’s Row”.
  44. Enjoy sketch comedy and improv where many legendary comedians started, at The Second City.
  45. Watch a show with your family and have dinner while wearing a period costume at Tommy Gun’s Garage.
  46. Visit Driehaus Museum which showcases collections of European and American fine furniture and artworks that typify the Gilded Age.
  47. Watch cutting-edge performances that incorporate circus acts from the Lookingglass Theatre Company.
  48. Join one of the free photography tours offered the first Saturday of each month at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
  49. Rent kayaks or canoes and go on sightseeing cruises on Lake Michigan.
  50. Enjoy a full medieval-style feast with your family, while cheering throughout the show that includes falconry, horsemanship and jousting tournaments.
  51. Eat original deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno, the birthplace of pizza, which started 70 years ago.
  52. Give kids a taste of what it feels like to dig up dinosaurs and fossils at Field Museum Pop-Up Dig Site.
  53. Have fun at the Chicago Summer Dance in Grant Park.
  54. Encourage your kids to read more at the Harold Washington Library.
  55. Appreciate the beauty of the flowers and numerous plants at the greenhouse and do some instagrammable poses with the beauty of nature in the background at Lincoln Park Conservatory.
  56. Splash around between the two 50-foot glass block towers that project funky facial videos at Millennium Park Crown Fountain.
  57. Ride a gigantic Ferris wheel and watch Navy Pier Fireworks.
  58. Bike, run, and stroll at an abandoned rail line at The 606.
  59. Enjoy different family activities, cultural play, hands-on classes & educational demonstration at Garfield Park Conservatory.
  60. Explore and trail in this natural oasis full of native wildflowers, grasses, oak trees at Emily Oaks Nature Center.
  61. Fish, bike, have a picnic, hike, kayak, birdwatch and more in this network of pools, channels, and islands at Skokie Lagoons.
  62. Fish, trail, and run in a quarry turned park at Palmisano Park (formerly Stearns Quarry).
  63. Teach kids what a stereo viewer is, how to work a boot jack, and many more in a restored 1906-07 Kinder House at Des Plaines History Center.
  64. Know real historical currency and artifacts, interact with the different games and simulations at Chicago Fed’s Money Museum.
  65. Pass a talking statue, look for clues & nearby signs, and interact with moving statues at Statue Stories.
  66. Play with fountains and sprays with this Lincoln Park gem at Adams Water Playground.
  67. Stroll and enjoy an innovative green city at Lurie Garden.
  68. Visit the fossil museum and shop with all kinds of stones and gems, fossils, crystals, shells, jewelry, and Native American finds at Dave’s Rock Shop.
  69. Wall climb, play in a mirror maze, have fun in the spiral slide at Maggie Daley Park.
  70. Join the Kidical Mass Family Bike movement.
  71. Take in the self-guided hiking trails and spot ducks, geese, and wildflowers at Crabtree Nature Center.
  72. Climb in an eagle’s nest, crawl in a fox den, create their own puppet shows at River Trail Nature Center.
  73. See Día de Los Muertos items, masks, figurines, and objects made of low-fire ceramics, paper-mâché at National Museum of Mexican Art.
  74. Hunt for animal homes, learn the history of the land, discover items found on the site and visit the nature nook at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.
  75. Join the Cat & Mouse’s West Loop location‘s drop-in craft event every Sunday from 10 am – 12 pm.
  76. Check out exhibits like the Dinosaur Exhibition, WaterWays, and the Tinkering Lab at Chicago Children’s Museum.
  77. Visit a nature trail where kids can get hands-on with nature in the discovery room, handling natural objects and learning with interactive displays.
  78. Enjoy a great family-friendly Montrose beach where you can enjoy free parking, restroom, and grills.
  79. Let kids find a treasure trove of fascinating facts and fun at Downers Grove Museum.
  80. Families can view cars, and enjoy live entertainment at the Main Street Train Station.
  81. Step back in time to experience life on a working farm in the 1890s at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago at the Kline Creek Farm.
  82. Learn awesome origami with your kids.
  83. Enjoy a picnic in the woodlands, visit the nature exhibit, participate in a program, explore 3 miles of trails, and play in Wander Woods at Heller Nature Center.
  84. Let kids enjoy free workshops at Home Depot including building toolboxes, fire trucks, and mail organizers, learning do-it-yourself skills, and tool safety.
  85. Step back into the 1880s for a look at when Schaumburg was a rural German farm community.
  86. Enjoy hands-on nature play activities at the “Farm-in-the-Zoo” at Play Days at the Farm.
  87. Take part in this global music-making festival on the Summer Solstice.
  88. Get up close and personal with butterflies, search for stick bugs camouflaged on a twig, see small animals, and walk along the outdoor nature path at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.
  89. Let kids discover their love for music on Saturday Jams.
  90. Hike and birdwatch in fields, forests, marshes, and streams at Spring Valley Nature Sanctuary.
  91. Go back in time and participate in family activities and games of the 1880s at Volkening Heritage Farm.
  92. Stop by the Nature Nook, a free, interactive, educational area complete with books, puzzles, puppets, games, and activities at the Wildwood Nature Center.
  93. Bring your kids to Critter Connection where they will learn about the featured animal, and be able to pet it.
  94. Explore through an oak-hickory woodland, floodplain, and scenic ravines and pine plantations at Thorn Creek Nature Center & Preserve.
  95. Learn about our farming heritage and experience it first-hand at Wagner Farm.
  96. Have picnics and do artistic endeavors with your family at Figment Chicago.
  97. Learn about the animals and their way of life at Phillips Park Zoo.
  98. Teach your kids how to find great bargains at Maxwell Street Market.
  99. Enjoy a morning filled with nature-based stories, music, and movement with your little ones at Lurie Garden.
  100. Get up close to hundreds of beautiful fish and sea life, and see stunning corals, starfish, snails, sea cucumbers, and many more exotic water residents at Old Town Aquarium.
  101. Explore the natural world, with hands-on exhibits in addition to a natural playscape for outdoor educational experiences, featuring a pollinator garden, rain garden, and interactive play elements at Plum Creek Nature Center.

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