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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Illinois

Best In Chow Food Tour Chicago Food Planet

The BEST THINGS to do in CHICAGO WITH KIDS || Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium- Adventure 10

I have always wanted to do a food tour, but wasnt sure how it would go over with the kids. It ended up being great! We choose the right tour that was all about classic Chicago food which is also a lot of kids favorites. The Best In Chow Food Tour by Chicago Food Planet.

The tour was 3 hours long and we walked about 1 1/2 miles around Chicago stopping at a variety of restaurants to sample the food and also some Chicago landmarks where our guide gave us a great history lesson on Chicago and on the foods we were trying.

It was cool how we included not only history on Chicago, but also a lot of history and interesting facts about how these foods ended up being Chicago classics.

Eating 5 different kinds of foods can sound like a lot, but with the walking and the breaks in between to learn more about Chicago, the food it was perfect. Plus it kept the kids occupied and full so they were great and really enjoyed it.

At the end of our trip Carson said it was his favorite thing we did in Chicago! Book your tickets for the Best In Chow Food Tour now. Or try theSecret Food Tour and get your tickets here!

Leaning Tower Of Niles

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Located in Niles, Illinois, the Leaning Tower of Niles is a half-sized replica of the real thing.

Though it wasnt constructed for any official purpose, it was recognized by the Italian government in 1934, and Niles and Piza were established as sister cities shortly afterwards.

Today, the tower is considered one of the biggest tourist attractions of Niles.

It has four fountains and a pool in addition to a full arrangement of antique, still-ringing bells, so its a great place for sightseers.

Its also something of a beacon for summertime fun many musicians and buskers camp out in front of the tower when the weather is nice, and its a common place for joggers, painters, dog walkers and food vendors.

You might not ever get the chance to travel to Italy, but you can have a little taste of it with a trip to the Leaning Tower of Niles.

Schedule a visit and make sure that your camera is ready for all sorts of selfies!

Address: 6300 W Touhy Ave, Niles, IL 60714, United States

Unleash Your Inner Scientist At Chicagos Museum Of Science And Industry

The Museum of Science and Industrys mission is to inspire the creative genius in everyone. After exploring through 14 acres of world class hands-on exhibits, kids and adults will no doubt leaving being inspired.

As the largest science museum in the western hemisphere, it is nearly impossible to see and do everything in one day.

Younger kids can spend the majority of the day playing at the Idea Factory with interactive exhibits perfect for the pint-sized science fans. Kids will be amazed at watching a toy created from start to finish at the ToyMaker 3000.

Young train fans will marvel at over 30 trains chugging through 1,400 feet of track and landmarks. They can even climb aboard a tour of the Pioneer Zephyr, Americas first diesel-electric passenger train.

Older kids will be fascinated with Science Storms by making Mother Natures phenomena such as tornadoes, tsunamis, or lightning interactive. Talk about mind over matter! Adults will enjoy hopping aboard an actual U-505 World War II German submarine.

For more hands-on-fun, The Discovery Center Museum in Rockford is worth a visit. The exhibits may be loads of fun, but families should make time for its outdoor science park that combines a wooden playground with hands-on experiments.

Book your hotel in Rockford for more science fun!

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Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library And Museum

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Did you know that Abraham Lincoln served as the Congressman of Illinois?

Most people remember him as the 16th president of the United States, and many have heard about his iconic birth in a log cabin, but the little details of his political career are often overlooked.

This doesnt apply to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, however.

Every inch of the building is dedicated to preserving the history of its namesake.

From his birth to his assassination, you can follow the progress of Lincolns entire life.

Full-sized dioramas recreate some of the most extraordinary moments in his life.

Some of the museums exhibits are quite grand, including an original copy of the Gettysburg Address others are more mundane, including a recreation of his glasses and shaving mirror.

If youre a fan of honest Abe, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is more than worth the price of admission.

Its a point of pride in terms of Illinois attractions, and itll provide amazing insight into one of the countrys most popular leaders.

Address: 212 N 6th St, Springfield, IL 62701, United States

Rock Springs Nature Center

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The Rock Springs Nature Center is a great place to hang out on hot summer days or cold winter days. There are many fun and educational exhibits that focus on habitat and history in Illinois. The Ecocenter is a hands-on and interactive museum exhibit inside the nature center. This exhibit features life-sized native wildlife inside their habitat, and shows how the environment in Illinois is ever-changing.

The other part of the nature center houses live animals like turtles, snakes, fish, and salamanders. The nature center also has a free-to-the-public library, which is great for curious kiddos when that weather doesnt allow outdoor exploring.

One of our favorite rooms in the nature center is bird viewing window. There is a big comfy couch in front of a wall-sized window that allows you to comfortably enjoy many birds as they come and go from the many feeders. If you are going to be in the area be sure to check out their website, as they often have educational events for children year-round, making it one of the best family-friendly places to explore in Illinois.

Bird Viewing Window at at Rock Springs Nature Center

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Things To Do In Chicago: Pleasant House Bakery

Located in Chicagos Bridgeport neighborhood, Pleasant House Bakery is a new bakery/café that serves an assortment of mouthwatering baked goodies, freshly baked breads and pies, pastries and desserts and homemade beverages, including homemade sodas.

Specializing in traditional savory pies and specialty sweets, Pleasant House Bakery is famous for their homemade Royal Pies, which are made with the highest quality meats and ingredients. Try the Steak and Ale, Chicken Balti or Cold Pork Pie accompanied by chips and veggies.

Pleasant House Bakery offers both dine-in and carryout options and features dinner specials throughout the week.

2119 South Halsted Street, Chicago, Illinois 60608, Phone: 773-523-7437

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Rock Springs Conservation Area

We are bringing things back to the middle of the Prairie State with our third favorite outdoor Illinois destination Rock Springs Conservation Area. Rock Springs is one of 5 conservation areas in Macon County, Illinois. Their mission is to promote the conservation of natural and cultural resources by acquiring, maintaining, and restoring natural areas and cultural sites so as to leave them unimpaired for future generations.

At Rock Springs, there is so much to learn about native Illinois. You can easily spend a day learning, exploring, and enjoying without spending a dollar. Its many trails lead through historic prairies with native grasses and wildflowers. There is a paved bike trail as well as many grass and dirt trails.

One of our favorite places to hike through is the old Christmas tree farm, which now boasts tall pine trees and an open forest floor. If hiking is not your thing you can still spend the whole day here learning at the historic prairie house, fishing from the ponds with borrowed equipment from the nature center, or exploring the nature center itself.

Pine Forest at Rock Springs

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Pack Up The Car Gather The Kids And Motor On To Rockford

Is it zooming down a slide at the one of nation’s largest public water parks that trips your trigger? Well, if you measure fun in gallons, then the impressive 1 million gallons of water and pure fun at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor waterpark is the perfect summer spot for you and the kids.

Volcano Falls, featuring go karts, laser tag and miniature golf is every little kids dream And if you have a need for speed, then head over to the Rockford Speedway, one of only two NASCAR-sanctioned tracks in Illinois. Their quarter-mile oval hosts crazily entertaining demolition derbies and other specially themed events throughout the year.

How about cheering on our championship water ski show team at a free performance? The Ski Broncs perform on the waters of the Rock River every Wednesday and Friday night in the summer.

Or, visit with Jane, a 65 million year old T. rex — don’t worry, she won’t bite. She was found in the Badlands of Montana and is one of the most significant dinosaur finds in the history of paleontology. All this and more is waiting for you and your family at the Burpee Museum of Natural History. The fun doesn’t stop there, view our full list of things to do with kids in Rockford, IL and start planning your visit now!

Six Flags Great America

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Wanna get your kids moving in the morning? Mention those six beautiful flags. That should do the trick. Plan a day at Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor to get the blood flowing with classic rollercoasters like Superman, Batman and the Joker, or catch some age-appropriate entertainment at one of the many shows throughout the day.

Oh, and did we mention their world-record-holding wooden coaster? When it opened in 2014, Goliath officially staked its claim as the tallest, fastest, and steepest wooden rollercoaster ever built. But lets be honestthe real thrill is seeing the terrified look on a loved ones face when Goliath makes its 180-foot drop at 72 mph.

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Warren Dunes State Park

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With its gusty sand dunes sweeping dramatically across the coast, Warren Dunes State Park is definitely among Illinoiss most beautiful places.

Part of the reason for its allure is its proximity to Lake Michigan.

Theres a diverse biological landscape that includes everything from crystal clear beaches to alpine-esque trees and groves, so whether youre looking for a summer getaway or a fall drive through the changing leaves, you can enjoy it here.

Other activities include hiking, camping, swimming, stargazing and jet skiing.

You can even break out your metal detector and comb the sand for buried treasure at certain areas of the beach!

Do you like nature photography?

Do you want to hop in a postcard and live in nature photography for awhile?

Grab your gear and hit up Warren Dunes State Park.

The sightseeing is amazing, and since campers are always welcome in the park, you can experience the sights both day and night.

Address: 12032 Red Arrow Hwy, Sawyer, MI 49125, United States

Lincoln Park Zoo Chicago Il

Founded in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S. and a leader in animal conservation and care. Offering free admission for all visitors, the zoo aims to connect, educate and inspire the local public with nature through a free, family-oriented wildlife experience.

The zoo covers 35 acres of a variety of habitats built to cater for over 200 animal species, which include big cats, primates, reptiles, sea animals, and birds. Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the top Chicago attractions.Visit the Regenstein Macaque Forest, home to a troop of Japanese macaques soaking in the hot springs. Go on an African journey through the Regenstein African Journey exhibition that features rhinos, giraffes, and aardvarks.

Stroll through an exhibition of nature-inspired sculptures set amid the zoos beautiful gardens and look at an ancient burr oak tree that dates back to 1830.

2001 N Clark St, Chicago, Illinois 60614, Phone: 312-742-2000

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Fireworks At Navy Pier

Navy Pier, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Illinois, puts on free fireworks show over Lake Michigan twice a week at 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10:15 p.m. Saturdays, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Its synchronized to music, which can be heard all along Navy Pier.

Entry to Navy Pier is free, and it hosts many free special events, including live music performances. So its a nice family-friendly place to take a scenic stroll. The pier juts out into Lake Michigan and offers some of the citys best Chicago skyline views .See my list of fun things to do at Navy Pier here.

Ferne Clyffe State Park

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Ferne Clyffe State Park is an all-time favorite for my family. Its versatility in scenery and low difficulty trails make it an easy place to spend the entire day with little kids. Tucked right in the middle of the Shawnee National Forest, Ferne Clyffe has some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring rock formations. One of my childrens favorite rock formations has been named Spider-Man Rock because you can slide down like Spider-Man does on buildings. In addition to rock formations it boasts beautiful waterfalls and tons of fern-covered foliage.

Spider-Man Rock

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Giant City Camping And Lodge

The campground at Giant City is one of my familys favorites. We have camped here in both the summer and fall seasons and thoroughly enjoyed both. Each time weve stayed weve eaten one meal at the Giant City Lodge restaurant, which is great. In addition to 85 campsites, they also offer 34 cabins with heating/air conditioning. Just down from the Lodge and restaurant is a Nature Center, which is a great place to start your day and learn about all that you may see while hiking the trails of Giant City. If you are looking for a one-stop place to camp/stay, hike, eat, and learn, then Giant City should be on your list!

Giant City Nature Trail

Spend A Day At Navy Pier In Chicago

Navy Pier, located on the shores of Lake Michigan, was once used for shipping and recreational purposes, but today it has become Midwests #1 tourist destination. Theres so much to do for families. Sure, theres the iconic 15 story Ferris Wheel that you can ride, but the family fun doesnt stop there!

Stop by the Chicago Childrens Museum where learning through play is the main agenda. Or catch a kid-friendly Chicago Shakespeare Theater show or an IMAX movie. Cruise on Lake Michigan with a scenic Shoreline cruise or a thrilling Seadog cruise. Enjoy seasonal offerings like Winter Wonderfests holiday happenings or fireworks on summer nights.

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Best Western River North

Another nice hotel option is the Best Western River North. This is a great hotel if you are looking for a more affordable option, but also want a nice big room. Plus it is located in a great location to be able to walk to a lot of the downtown attractions.

Our room was huge and had 2 double beds and a pullout bed. They also have a large pool that was perfect for our family and allowed the kids to burn off some energy.

Another plus was their onsite restaurant that had pizza for dinner, a bar and a great breakfast selection. It was snowing when we were there so it was nice that we didnt have to leave the hotel, but could stay right on site to get a tasty and convenient dinner and breakfast.

Our kids favorite thing about the hotel was the free ice cream sandwiches and Push-Ups that they had behind the front desk. Plus they were unlimited so you could get as many as you wanted! Learn more about the Best Western River North hotel here.

Things To Do In Chicago: Webers Bakery

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You know you are in the right place when you enter Webers Bakery the smells of fresh bread, creams, chocolate, and fruit will instantly make your mouth water. Webbers is one of the oldest family-owned bakeries in Chicago. German immigrant Erich H. Weber opened the original bakery in 1930 at 45th and Kedzie, in the Chicagos Southwest Side, and as the business grew it eventually had to move to a larger space in 1937. Webers Bakery is the place to go for their famous donuts, delicious European breads and pastries, ornate wedding cakes, fabulous pastries, cookies, brownies, and so much more. Everything is made fresh from the best ingredients and hand-crafted. You can be sure that you will find something to tempt you in their tantalizing displays and you will probably leave with more than you planned.

7055 W Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60638, USA, Phone: 773-586-1234

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