Things to do in Chicago with Kids: Complete list

Things to Do in Los Angeles with Kids

Chicago is a lively city with a plethora of fun activities just waiting to be explored by kids and families. From interactive museums to outdoor adventures, educational experiences to creative activities, and seasonal events to festivals, there is something for everyone in the Windy City. Let’s dive into the exciting world of things to do in Chicago with kids!

If you’re in Chicago with kids, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit the city’s acclaimed museums and zoos. These attractions offer a perfect blend of entertainment and education.

At the Museum of Science and Industry, kids can immerse themselves in a world of interactive exhibits. From simulating space missions to exploring the inner workings of the human body, this museum brings science to life like never before.

One of the most popular exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry is the “Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle.” This intricate dollhouse features over 1,500 miniatures and took seven years to complete. Visitors can marvel at the tiny details and craftsmanship that went into creating this enchanting display.

Animal lovers will be thrilled to visit the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the United States. Here, they can experience unforgettable animal encounters, observing and learning about a wide variety of fascinating creatures in naturalistic habitats. Check out their youth programs.

Founded in 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo is home to over 200 species of animals. Visitors can see everything from majestic lions to playful penguins. The zoo also plays a vital role in conservation efforts, participating in breeding programs to help protect endangered species from around the world.

Chicago’s outdoor spaces offer plenty of opportunities for kids to burn off energy and have a blast. One of the most exciting outdoor destinations is Navy Pier. This iconic landmark provides a fantastic array of attractions, including a ferris wheel, carousel, and boat rides, guaranteeing a day of fun and adventure.

For a more tranquil outdoor experience, head to Millennium Park. Kids can enjoy picnicking in the lush greenery, exploring the interactive Crown Fountain, and marveling at the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean”.

Another must-visit outdoor spot in Chicago is Lincoln Park. This sprawling park offers a zoo, nature museum, and plenty of green space for kids to run around and play. Families can also enjoy the beautiful gardens and lily pond within the park, making it a perfect place for a leisurely afternoon stroll.

For those seeking a bit more adventure, a visit to The 606 is highly recommended. This elevated park and trail system stretches through several Chicago neighborhoods, providing stunning views of the city skyline and a unique urban hiking experience. Kids can bike, skate, or simply walk along the trail, immersing themselves in the vibrant energy of the city.

Learning can be lots of fun, especially in Chicago’s educational hotspots. The Chicago Children’s Museum is a treasure trove of hands-on exhibits that engage young minds in play-based learning. From water exploration to building challenges, kids will be both entertained and educated.

Delve into ancient history at the renowned Field Museum. This massive institution offers fascinating exhibits, including a vast collection of dinosaur fossils, ancient artifacts, and engaging displays that transport children back in time.

Another must-visit educational destination in Chicago is the Adler Planetarium. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, the Adler Planetarium is a hub of astronomical exploration. Visitors can marvel at the vastness of the universe through high-powered telescopes, interactive exhibits, and immersive shows that bring the wonders of space to life.

For a more hands-on learning experience, head to the Museum of Science and Industry. This iconic museum is housed in a historic building and offers a wide range of interactive exhibits covering topics such as technology, transportation, and the environment. Visitors can participate in experiments, explore a real submarine, and even witness lightning strikes in the museum’s famous Tesla coil show.

For budding artists and musicians, Chicago offers a range of creative activities that inspire creativity in kids of all ages.

The Art Institute of Chicago provides art classes specially designed for children. Here, they can experiment with various art techniques and create masterpieces while being guided by professional instructors.

Immerse your child in the world of creativity at the Art Institute of Chicago, where they can explore a wide array of artistic mediums such as painting, sculpture, and drawing. The institute’s classes are not just about creating art but also about understanding the history and significance of different art movements, fostering a deep appreciation for the arts in young minds.

At the Old Town School of Folk Music, children can embark on a musical journey. From guitar lessons to singing classes, this institution provides a platform for kids to express themselves through music.

Expand your child’s musical horizons at the Old Town School of Folk Music, where they can not only learn to play instruments but also delve into the rich cultural heritage of folk music. Through interactive sessions and performances, children can develop a love for music that goes beyond just playing notes, instilling in them a sense of community and tradition.

Throughout the year, Chicago hosts a multitude of seasonal events and festivals that are sure to delight children and families alike.

Experience the vibrant spirit of summer at the iconic Taste of Chicago festival. This event offers a chance to indulge in scrumptious food from various local vendors, enjoy live music performances, and participate in fun-filled activities for kids.

When winter arrives, the city transforms into a magical wonderland with ZooLights at Lincoln Park Zoo. Thousands of sparkling lights illuminate the zoo, creating a mystical atmosphere. Kids can enjoy ice carving demonstrations, ice skating, and even visit Santa’s workshop.

But the excitement doesn’t end there! In the crisp days of autumn, families can immerse themselves in the Chicago International Film Festival. This prestigious event showcases a diverse selection of films from around the world, providing a unique cultural experience for both children and adults. From animated features to heartwarming documentaries, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Springtime in Chicago brings the Cherry Blossom Festival to the city’s stunning parks. Witness the beauty of cherry blossoms in full bloom, participate in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and marvel at captivating performances by taiko drummers. This festival is a celebration of nature’s renewal and a perfect opportunity for families to embrace the changing seasons together.


As you can see, Chicago is a city that knows how to cater to its young visitors. With a myriad of fun-filled activities and vibrant attractions, there is no shortage of entertainment and learning opportunities for kids in the Windy City. So plan your next family trip to Chicago and let the adventure begin!

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