Chicago is a great place to have fun with the whole family. If you’re looking to get out for some quality family time, there are plenty of options to choose from. No matter the time of year, the age of your children, or your budget, you can plan a day in the city that your kids will love.
To help you plan, here are six of the best activities for kids in Chicago:
1. Chicago Family Fun Festival
The family Fun Festival is hosted in Millennium Park and spans seven weeks. Enjoy creative activities like music, storytelling, face painting, and arts and crafts. For the more energetic kiddos, ziplines, inflatables, and rock climbing walls are also available.
Museums and cultural institutions throughout the city will host activities that change from week to week. If you’re visiting for a while or you live in the area, make sure to come around more than once to see what else is offered.
Admission is free, so feel free to bring all of your kids, your neighbor’s kids, your nieces, nephews, and any kid you find along the way (Not really. Leave other people’s kids alone). The day begins at 6 am and ends at 11 am. Millennium Park is located centrally within the city, so it’s easy to get to with the public transportation system. It’s also easy to step out and enjoy other parts of the city if you don’t want this to be the main event.
2. Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is probably one of the first things that people consider when they’re trying to plan a family day. There are exhibits designed for three different age groups: babies and toddlers, ages 4-8, and ages 9 and up.
While most museums feature activities like painting stations, building blocks, and other creative spaces designed specifically for little ones. That’s understandable. It’s a children’s museum, after all. But, the Chicago Children’s Museum makes a point of offering something for the whole family. At the beginning of 2020, the museum featured grown-up art that you can play in!
Whether you’re right in the thick of it — crawling around with your little ones and playing games — or standing on the sidelines, people of all ages can enjoy these exhibits. Say goodbye to planning days that are “just for the kids” and embrace places that offer fun for everyone! Your kids will have more fun if you’re enjoying yourself too. And you won’t be checking your watch every five minutes, ready to move on to the next thing.
The Chicago Children’s Museum is also conveniently located right on the Navy Pier. You can dip in for a few hours, and then come back out for other rides, shopping, food, entertainment, and more.
3. Kids Sundays at Wrigley Field
If you have little sports fans in your family, a visit to Wrigley Field is the perfect way to wrap up a weekend trip. According to CNN, going to Wrigley Field is one of the top ten things to do while you’re in Chicago. Not only is it a staple for the North Side of the city, but they have special Kids Sundays with family-friendly events. They’ll make your kids feel special while you get to take in the game.
When you visit on one of the Kids Sundays, the first 1,000 kids (14 and under) to enter the park get to run the bases and imagine they’re scoring the winning home run. Of course, this takes place after the game so that the field is in pristine condition for the teams. You’ll also have the perfect bargaining chip to keep your kids well-behaved. WIth a treat coming at the end of the day, they’ll have something to look forward to — though you should be prepared to answer “How much longer?” about 100 times.
Need some time along with your partner or spouse? Don’t feel bad about checking out one of the great daycare facilities in Chicago. Your kids will love it just as much as you’ll love having a bit of grown-up time.
If you have the right Chicago daycare provider, then yes, it will actually be an activity your kids enjoy. Cool Things Chicago has an article that details the best daycares in Chicago.
According to the article, LadyBug & Friends is one of the best options. They cater to children 15 months and older for both full-time or part-time care. Creativity, uniqueness, emotional well-being, and respect for cultural diversity are just a few of the values that this care facility prioritizes. When your child stays with LadyBug & Friends, they will also receive healthy and nutritious food and plenty of rest.
If the weather is nice, multiple daycares are hosted in the city’s beautiful parks, like Peterson Park. Your child can play outside, get some fresh air, and exercise while playing with other kids their age. These groups also tend to be more receptive to one-time drop-in care since they are held outside.
5. Wonders of Winter
Visiting this midwest city may not seem like the best idea in the middle of winter. However, you could be missing out on a lot of fun winter activities for your kids. The Wonders of Winter in DuPage County is one of the best things to do in the Chicago area in February. While it is out in the suburbs a bit, it would have to be to allow you to really enjoy the snow.
Wonders of Winter is on the property of a Tudor Revival mansion that was built in the 1920s. On the grounds, you can ride a horse-drawn wagon, make smores, ice fish, and go snowshoeing. When your fingers and toes start to go numb, head inside to warm up for a bit. These are the main everyday events. However, there are also special events offered that change throughout the season. Admission is free, but some activities do require a fee.
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