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Things To Do In Chicago With Young Kids

Watch A Play Or A Musical

Kid-Friendly Things to Do in Chicago

Chicago has a vibrant theater scene with over 200 venues ranging from storefront, low-budget theaters to major cultural centers with multi-million dollar shows. There is truly something for everyone in your group. Best of all, you can often catch a play, comedy, or a musical at a great price, as Hot Tix sells half-price tickets online and at a few city locations.

See The City From The Top Of The Willis Tower

Once known as the Sears Tower, the Willis Tower looks no less cool after its 2009 name change. Sleek black and a bit like something youd make out of Lego as a kid, it not only looks cool: the views from it are insane. Theyre bound to be. We mean, the observation deck of the Willis Tower is the 103rd floor. 103rd! From this unreal viewpoint you can see over fifty miles and out across four states.

For those of you who dont get wobbly knees and vertigo, theres The Ledge. This is a glass platform that literally sticks out of the tower itself. Standing on it, you can see the street between your feet 412 metres below. Definitely one of the most iconic things to do in Chicago .

River Roast Social House Chicago Illinois

River Roast Social House is the latest offering from James Beard Award-winning executive chef Tony Mantuano, offering stunning waterfront views of the Chicago River from its indoor dining room and seasonal outdoor patio. The contemporary-style tavern serves classic British comfort fare with New American twists, showcasing meat, fish, and vegetable entrees roasted and carved tableside by servers. Diners can share housemade charcuterie and cheese boards or choose from select roasts such as applewood-smoked rack of pork, roasted leg of lamb, or fire-roasted whole fish, complemented by hearty side dishes such as creamed spinach with garlic and fennel, potato croquettes, or brioche supper club mushrooms. Inventive cold-brewed cocktails are complemented by an extensive list of regional Midwestern craft beers and a selection of fine imported wines.

315 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL 60654, Phone: 312-822-0100

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Things To Do With Teenagers In Chicago

Most of the options we detail on this page are geared towards older kids, but teens can be hard to please.

We work with a lot of school groups in Chicago and have narrowed down a list of what always ends up as a favorite activity.

  • Walking Tours – any of our walking tours would be a great option and since we work with school groups often we know how to keep it fun! If you don’t mind your teen hearing stories of true crime, our tours are open to all ages and our Chicago Ghost tour and Lincoln Park Gangster tours might be of interest.
  • Sporting Event – taking in one of the professional sports team will be fun for a fan of any age.
  • Best Museums of TeensAny of the museums listed in the section above would be good options –

There is something to do in Chicago for every interest and with the wide variety of museums and exhibits you’ll find something that will suit interest or be relevant to a topic being studied in school.

Things To Do In Chicago: The Field Museum

Are your kids a little restless? If you have some free time from your ...

Inspiring curiosity about life on earth for over a century, the Field Museum is one of the worlds largest natural history museums, maintaining a collection of over 24 million specimens and objects.

The collection is displayed in a range of diverse, permanent exhibitions that include cultural artifacts, gems, meteorites, fossils, and rich anthropological assemblages from around the world. It also offers educational and scientific programs based on these collections, as well as a temporary exhibition program of traveling shows and in-house produced topical exhibitions.

Supporting the Field Museums academic research faculty and exhibit development, the Field Museum Library is home to over 275,000 books, journals, and photo archives focused on a variety of natural history fields, such as geology, archaeology, and ethnology.

1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60605, Phone: 312-922-9410

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Cheer On A Sports Team

Kids of all ages can enjoy cheering on the local professional teams, from baseball to football.

Here are a few of the more popular teams in this city:

Even better, admission to these attractions with a tourist pass may include Fast Track / Skip the Line entry which is a great option when traveling with families so you don’t spend time waiting in line just to get in to an attraction.

Milwaukee Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Catch a short flight to Milwaukee, where you can join an exciting and fun scavenger hunt adventure! One of the best ways to explore the city, youll use your surroundings to solve clues and complete challenges.

You can stop and go as you please, and take as much time as you need, admiring and learning about the attractions as you go along. Its a really laid-back trip, and a great experience for couples, friends, and families.

You use your smartphone to play the game and navigate the historic streets of Milwaukee, enjoying its modern and unique culture.

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Things To Do In Chicago: Webers Bakery

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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Top 10 Things To Do With Kids In Chicago

We went to Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier | Chicago Adventures!

Whether youre a local, a first-time visitor, or soon-to-be resident, here are our 10 favorite things to do in Chicago for families and kids:

  • Hunt for dinosaurs at The Field Museum. Your kids will have the opportunity to meet Sue, the largest, best-preserved T-Rex on the planet, at Chicagos Field Museum. Additionally, the interactive learning center has dozens of activities for kids of all ages.
  • Spend a day with the real wild things at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Thanks to the city of Chicago, you can see the animals for free at the Lincoln Park Zoo. One of the aims of this zoo is to promote conservation, which means not only encouraging the protection of the planet but also investing in the preservation of endangered animal species.
  • See the fish at Shedd Aquarium. With more than 32,500 animals representing 1,500 species, Shedd is the largest indoor aquarium in the world. Whether youre searching for the tiniest seahorse to the largest whale, Shedd has sea creatures of all sizes to captivate your childs imagination.
  • Go stargazing at the Adler Planetarium. Voted one of the prettiest planetariums in the county, Adler Planetarium has been helping kids explore Chicagos sky since it opened in 1930. The planetarium is also within walking distance of the aquarium which makes it the perfect spot for a day of exploring the depths of the oceans and the heights of the galaxies.
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    Have A Drink At A Chicago Speakeasy

    With Al Capone and other gangsters running the show in Chicago during the Prohibition, alcohol still flowed freely albeit in an underground way. Behind-closed-doors clubs that were known as speakeasies came into life, serving illicit alcohol to those who couldnt do without it, i.e. almost everyone.

    The Violet Hour is a good way to relive that era of tommyguns and moonshine liquor except this time with fancy cocktails. A bit of a hidden gem, especially if youre into hipster vibes and all that jazz , having a few drinks here is a great thing to do in Chicago at night.

    Head Up High For The Ultimate Chicago Views At 360 Chicago Or The Skydeck

    There are two different ways to see the city from some of the tallest buildings in downtown. 360 CHICAGO is located 1000 feet above Michigan Avenue in the John Hancock building, some 94 floors above street level.

    Thrill seekers will love TILT, the moving platform that literally tilts riders away from the building in a glass enclosed box for a view unlike any other.

    Skydeck is located on the 103rd floor of the Willis tower, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. This Chicago observation deck is where visitors come for the Ledge, glass boxes that extend outside of the building providing 360 degree views of the city.

    Its not for the faint of heart, but its definitely one of the fun things to do in Chicago with a teenager.

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    Family Friendly Restaurants In Chicago

    One of the best ways to explore a new city is to taste test your way.

    If you’re still in the mood for sightseeing, why not take a dinner cruise?

    You’ll get a guided tour of the river front and a meal to boot. Look into the different dinner cruise options on our post here.

    Food tours are another way to experience Chicago in a different way.

    We have a whole post about the best Chicago Food tours, included a number of our self guided food tours.

    Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Oz Park

    Things To Do In Chicago With Kids

    In the North Side of the city youll find a pretty unusual thing to do in Chicago. Namely, its a park dedicated to all things Wizard of Oz. Theres Dorothys Playlot, the community-based Emerald Garden, and statues of the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto. Before you get your hopes up, there is no Yellow Brick Road.

    Youre probably wondering: Why? Good question. It all started because of one the areas more famous former residents: L. Frank Baum. A Chicago-native who lived in the Lincoln Park area in the 1890s, he was the author of the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In his honour the city transformed this once run-down area into the space it is today.

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    Stroll Around Garfield Park Conservatory

    Theres a lot of city in Chicago. A lot of buildings. A lot of skyscrapers. All those tall, tall manmade structures might get to you after a while especially if youre not from a city. So if you need some space, the Garfield Park Conservatory is the place for you.

    One of the last conservatories in the US often called landscape art under glass this place is bursting with greenery and tropical plants. If you love your succulents and your Instagram gallery is full of artsy pics of houseplants, we urge you to go here. Case in point: theres a Palm Room, with a zillion varieties of palm. One of our favourite hipster things to do in Chicago.

    Admire One Of The Best Art Collections In The World At The Art Institute Of Chicago

    The Art Institute of Chicago has been chosen time and time again as one of the premier art museums in the world. If youre in Chicago with a teenager who loves art, this is the place to be.

    The collections span from ancient times to modern day, and includes works of artists from Monet to Diego Rivera and more. The architecture inside is just as stunning, so allow plenty of time to take it all in.

    NOTE: To save money when visiting The Art Institute and other popular attractions, consider investing in a CityPASS.

    A CityPASS offers discounted admission on five of Chicagos top attractions including The Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Field Museum, Skydeck Chicago, and Adler Planetarium. You can buy your pass here.

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    Stroll Along The Riverwalk

    See the artwork , party boats and restaurants as you take a scenic stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk. The path winds along the Chicago River and through the Loop .

    The riverwalk also has some yummy restaurants and is the place to catch a boat ride on the Chicago River. Those things arent free, but sitting on the benches along the riverwalk to people watch is always free!

    Go Above It All In Chicago

    35 Things to do in Chicago | Top Attractions Travel Guide

    Take in Chicago from above from the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. My daughter was wowed by the view of the bustling Navy Pier below. Look up to see Willis Tower soaring over Chicago. Parents may remember it as the Sears Tower before it was christened with its current name. Here’s a fun fact for your kids. Willis Tower was once the tallest building in the entire Western Hemisphere. That is until One World Trade Center in New York made a stake for its claim.

    A few blocks from the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, you can reach the 103rd floor Willis Tower Skydeck. From here families take in incredible views spanning across four states. Feeling brave? Step out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony that extends four feet from the side of the building. Try to keep your knees from shaking as you look at Chicago from over 1,300 feet in the sky.

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    Muntu Dance Theatre Of Chicago

    1809 E 71st St #203Chicago, IL 60649 241-6080

    Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago is a dance company that hosts incredible recitals of contemporary and traditional African and African-American performance arts, including dance, music, theater, folktales, etc.

    I am not sure if this would be enjoyable for kids that are very young .

    But if you are traveling with preteens or slightly older kids, they are likely to enjoy the performances and even learn something new.

    You should take a look at their calendar to see when and where they are performing.

    Things To Do In Chicago: The Chinese

    Opened in 2005 in Chicago’s Chinatown, the Chinese American Museum of Chicago has a mission to promote the history and culture of Chinese-Americans living in the Midwest. The museum is located in the 1896 former warehouse and later seat of the Quong Yick Co. It was damaged by fire in 2008 and was renovated and reopened in 2010. The museums permanent exhibition is called the Great Wall to Great Lakes: Chinese Immigration to the Midwest, which shares the stories of Chinese immigrants and their journeys to the Chicago area. The exhibition My Chinatown: Stories from Within is a 16-minute video about the people of Chinatown their families, journeys, customs, and work in Chinatown. The video was produced in collaboration between the Chicago History Museum and the Chinese American Museum of Chicago. The museum celebrates Chinese New Year every year with live Chinese traditional music, Chinese chess, lion dancing, calligraphy design, and great food.

    238 West 23rd Street, Chicago, IL 60616, Phone: 312-949-1000

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    Free Things To Do With Kids In Chicagoland

    Enjoy family fun without spending a dime with these free activities.

    The Chicago area offers so much family fun ranging from amazing museums, thrill-seeking attractions and unique desserts. But when going out with kids, we know some of these excursions can get really expensive.

    Sometimes we want to visit a kid-friendly place without spending a dime. Lucky for us, Chicago and the surrounding suburbs do offer some great, free options for families. We gathered some of our favorite free things to do with kids in Chicagoland both indoor and outdoor!

    And if youre looking for more budget-friendly ideas, find free local events in our online calendar and save the dates for these upcoming free museum days.

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