From Michigan Avenue to the Magnificent Mile, Chicago boosts tons of kid-friendly activities to keep the whole family entertained. Visitors can hop on the Navy Pier Carousel, admire the view from Sears Tower Sky Deck, explore the Museum of Science and Industry, and more. Here are some of our favorite family-friendly places to visit and things to do for your next trip to the Chicago area.
1. Shedd Aquarium includes a lizard lair, an 1,000-seat amphitheater with Pacific white-sided dolphins, a lizard lair, and more. If you’re traveling with younger kids, then check out Tots on Tuesdays, which includes story time, crafts, videos, dancing, singing, and more for the preschool set.
2. Surrounded by restaurants, stores, and other attractions, Navy Pier Park combines early twentieth century charm with modern day excitement and thrill rides. Navy Pier is one of Chicago’s most popular landmarks and tourist attractions. Go Chicago Card can ride the following attractions for free before 5:30 pm: the Ferris wheel, 18 hole mini-golf, a light tower, a wave swinger, and an old-fashioned carousel.
3. Conveniently located in Navy Pier, the Chicago Children’s Museum has three floors packed with interactive activities, multicultural performances, workshops, and more. In Inventing Lab, kids learn about inventions by Chicago-area students and play on a giant Grand Piano Slide. Dinosaur Expedition lets visitors see what it’s like to be part of a dinosaur expedition as they explore a recreation of the 1997 Sahara expedition that discovered a species of fish-eating dinosaur. BIG Backyard combines art and technology in a jumbo-sized garden filled with giant toadstools, over-sized insects, and more. Bring your Go Chicago Card for free admission daily before 5:00 pm.
4. Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is the ultimate interactive museum with around 2,000 exhibits. Plan to spend several hours exploring the a U-505 German submarine captured in 1944, a walk-through human heart, and numerous other exhibits exploring computers, health and human anatomy, aviation, and more. Little girls will adore Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, a miniature palace that cost almost a half million dollars to construct. Free admission with the Go Chicago Card.
5. First-time visitors to Chicago should be sure to check out the Sears Tower Skydeck, which is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The Skydeck offers virtual tours highlighting Chicago’s landmarks and history and smaller attractions designed for kids.