Pack your bags, round up the kids, and head off to Chicago for some much-needed family quality time. Yes, you read that right, Chicago is brimming with kid-friendly attractions that promote learning without being boring.
Kids generally learn best, and retain what they learned, when they are having fun and are engaged in the activity. There really is no better way to get kids involved in the learning process than getting into the trenches and visiting places.
Take a tour of family-friendly attractions in Chicago and watch as your young ones soak up information like a sponge while laughing and being a kid. Before stopping at your first attraction, leave backpacks and bags in a luggage locker for safekeeping.
Gather the kids and head over to one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Lincoln Park Zoo has free admission and is the perfect place to spend an entire day with the kids exploring and learning about different animals and habitats.
Visit the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, take a ride on the carousel, ride a locomotive, and enjoy exciting, entertaining, and educational animal shows. Be sure to check out the Farm-in-the-Zoo experience and time with common farm animals.
If you happen to be visiting during the spring, your kids can participate in the scavenger hunt that leads them through Lurie Garden. It is a self-guided hunt and you can even help the younger kids with the clues.
Visit Millennium Park for an afternoon of fun. In the summer, watch the kids as they splash in Crown Fountain’s pool and race under the water as it cascades down the fountain. Pack and picnic and make a day of it at the park.
Come back in the winter and strap on your ice skates for an afternoon or evening of ice skating at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Grab some hot chocolate and a snack at one of the concessions or check out the food trucks that frequent the park.
With over 2,000 different animals to see, the Brookfield Zoo is an amazing place to visit. The zoo sits inside a nature park that covers 216 acres so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a lot of walking.
The Brookfield Zoo opened its doors in 1934 and has been dedicated to providing fantastic educational programs by using animal ambassadors to teach people about the different species and their habitats.
Sign your kids up to feed the giraffes, or head over to Seven Seas and watch a dolphin show. You and your kids will have a blast when you spend an afternoon exploring all Brookfield Zoo has to offer.
Your kids will not be bored when you visit Maggie Daley Park, a 20-acre park located near the shores of Lake Michigan. Play an amusing game of miniature golf that leads you through themed obstacles such as a mini-Willis Tower or mini-Wrigley Field.
Watch your children explore the 3-acre Play Garden that was inspired by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice and Wonderland. The older kids will be thrilled to spend time at the Skating Ribbon or the climbing wall.
When in Chicago, don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along the iconic Navy Pier, a 3,300-foot pier that runs along Lake Michigan’s shoreline. Grab the kids and head to the Streeterville neighborhood and spend a few hours at Navy Pier.
Aside from terrific views of Lake Michigan, the pier has the Wave Swinger, a 1920s musical carousel, and a towering Ferris wheel. The Ferris wheel has climate-controlled pods so you can take a ride during any season. Afterward, visit several of the cute shops along the pier and then sit down to a movie at the IMAX Theater.
While you are at the Shedd Aquarium, plan to spend some time at the Field Museum and Adler Planetarium which are right next door. While at the aquarium you will be able to explore the vastness of the oceans.
You will feel like you are truly walking underwater when you enter the aquarium and will have the unique experience of seeing many endangered aquatic species up-close and personal. There are over 32,000 different animals at the Shedd Aquarium.
You can even sign your kids up for amazing activities such as the shark feeding tour, behind-the-scenes tour, or the trainer for a day program. Your kids can even personally interact with stingrays and learn more about these interesting creatures
The Chicago Children’s Museum opened its doors in 1982 and is located at the iconic Navy Pier. A few hours at this children’s museum will not be enough. Plan to spend most of the afternoon so your kids can see every inch.
The museum offers interactive exhibits that allow kids to use all five of their senses and encourage learning and using their imaginations. The WaterWays exhibit is especially popular as is the Dinosaur Expedition.
Watch your children as they explore the Treehouse Trails and use their senses as they make their way through windy tunnels and intricate mazes. After they tire of the museum, head out and see more of Navy Pier.
While not what you would normally think of when looking for kid-friendly attractions, the Art Institute of Chicago is actually a great place to visit with youngsters in tow. The Thorne Miniature Rooms are a big hit with kids and will leave them in awe.
Each of the miniature rooms has been created to put art and architecture on a level that children will find fascinating. They will have a whole new perspective when they wander through the Thorne Miniature Rooms.
While at the Art Institute of Chicago, visit the Ryan Education Center. Admission is free with paid admission to the museum. Interactive workshops for kids under 14 years old are always popular.
There are many kid-friendly attractions throughout Chicago for you to enjoy when you have your kids along. There will be plenty of fun and memory-making time with your kids. Get out and let their imaginations run while they soak up a bit of history and culture along the way.
Christina Vieira, a Traveler, a Planner, and a Mom. She is also the owner of Showcase the World Travel, a modern travel agency that helps busy Moms take the vacation they deserve without adding “planning it all” to their to-do lists. Afterall, Mom should get to enjoy their vacation too.
She specializes in Disney, Caribbean, Europe, and has helped dozens of families have magical vacations that they will always remember. She loves traveling with her two-year old daughter, Annabelle. Her favorite destinations include Walt Disney World, Wyoming, and Prague.
If you are ready to have the family vacation you’ve been dreaming of, without spending time researching, planning and making it happen, schedule a call today. I’m here to help busy working Moms plan, organize and book the perfect family vacation. With me, all you have to worry about is enjoying your well-earned time away with your family. If you are ready to stop trying to do everything on your own and see how I can help you schedule a complimentary trip planning session now.
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