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10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Chicago

If you’re looking for a fun family vacation, Chicago is the perfect destination. With countless attractions, activities, and events, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City. Here’s a list of some of the best things to do with kids in Chicago that will make for an unforgettable experience.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the most popular destinations in Chicago for families with kids. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the aquarium is home to over 32,000 animals, including dolphins, beluga whales, sea lions, penguins, and more. Kids can explore the aquarium’s many exhibits, touch tanks, and even watch live feeding demonstrations. The aquarium also hosts special events throughout the year, such as story time and sleepovers.

The Shedd Aquarium is also home to the Abbott Oceanarium, which features a 270-degree view of the Pacific Northwest. Here, kids can get up close and personal with animals such as sea otters, seals, and sea lions. The Abbott Oceanarium also hosts educational programs, such as Shark School and Sea Lion Shows.

For a truly unique experience, kids can even participate in the Shedd Aquarium’s Animal Encounters program. Here, they can touch and feed the animals, learn about their habitats, and even take part in an animal rescue mission.

Chicago Children’s Museum

Another great place for families to visit is the Chicago Children’s Museum. Located in Navy Pier, this interactive museum offers a variety of exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. From the Dinosaur Expedition to the WaterWays exhibit, there’s something for everyone at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

Kids can also explore the museum’s many interactive exhibits, such as the Play It Safe exhibit, which teaches kids about fire safety and emergency preparedness. The museum also offers a range of special activities, such as cooking classes, puppet shows, and art workshops.

One of the most popular attractions at the Chicago Children’s Museum is the Skyline Rooftop, an observation deck that offers stunning views of the city. Kids can also take part in the museum’s many science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs, which are designed to help foster creativity and problem-solving skills.

Field Museum

The Field Museum is one of the most popular destinations for families with kids in Chicago. Located in Grant Park, the museum is home to an extensive collection of artifacts and specimens from around the world. Kids can explore the museum’s many exhibits, including the Ancient Egypt exhibit, which features mummies, sarcophagi, and other artifacts from ancient Egypt.

The Field Museum also hosts a variety of educational programs, such as a fossil dig and an interactive dinosaur exhibit. Kids can also participate in the museum’s many hands-on activities, such as the DNA Discovery Center, or take part in a scavenger hunt.

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For an extra special experience, kids can even take part in the museum’s sleepover program. Here, they can explore the museum after dark, listen to stories by the fire, and even take part in an animal-themed scavenger hunt.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is the perfect place for kids who are interested in space. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the planetarium offers a variety of interactive exhibits and activities, such as the Sky Theater, which offers a 360-degree view of the night sky.

Kids can also explore the planetarium’s many interactive exhibits, such as the Space Station, which offers a realistic simulation of what it’s like to live and work in space. The planetarium also hosts a variety of special events, such as the Star Party, where kids can observe and learn about the constellations.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the Adler After Dark program, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the planetarium. Here, kids can explore the museum after hours, watch a movie in the planetarium theater, and even take part in a live science show.

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a must-see destination for any family visiting Chicago. This iconic pier offers a variety of attractions, such as the iconic Ferris wheel, an IMAX theater, and the Chicago Children’s Museum. Kids can also explore the pier’s many shops, restaurants, and even take a ride on the carousel.

The pier also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as music and dance performances, fireworks shows, and even the popular Saturday Night Fireworks. For an extra special experience, kids can take a ride on the Seadog speedboat, which takes passengers around the pier and offers stunning views of the city skyline.

For an even more unique experience, kids can also participate in the pier’s Junior Greeter program. Here, they can explore the pier with one of the pier’s knowledgeable guides and learn about the history and culture of the area.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a great place for families to spend the day. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the park offers a variety of attractions, such as the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, the Lurie Garden, and the Crown Fountain. Kids can also explore the park’s many interactive exhibits, such as the Music Garden, which features musical instruments that kids can play.

The park also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, such as movie screenings, music and dance performances, and art workshops. Kids can also take part in the park’s many educational programs, such as the Junior Scientist program, which offers hands-on activities and experiments.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the park’s Junior Greeter program. Here, they can explore the park with one of the park’s knowledgeable guides and learn about the history and culture of the area.

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Cubs Game

A trip to Chicago wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Wrigley Field. Here, kids can take in a Chicago Cubs game and experience the energy and excitement of America’s pastime. While at the game, kids can explore the field, get autographs from the players, and even take part in the pre-game festivities.

For an extra special experience, kids can also participate in the Cubs Kids Club. Here, they can receive exclusive benefits, such as discounts, special events, and even a chance to meet the players.

For a truly unique experience, kids can also take part in the Cubs Junior Home Run Derby. Here, they can take part in a home run derby and compete with their peers for a chance to win prizes.

Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) is a great place for kids to explore the world of science. The museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits, such as the Science Storms exhibit, which offers a hands-on look at the power of nature. Kids can also explore the museum’s many interactive exhibits, such as the Baby Chick Hatchery, which allows kids to watch baby chicks hatch.

The museum also hosts a variety of special events, such as the Science Fair, where kids can explore the world of science and compete for prizes. Kids can also take part in the museum’s many educational programs, such as the Science Club for Kids, which offers hands-on activities and experiments.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the museum’s sleepover program. Here, they can explore the museum after dark and even take part in an animal-themed scavenger hunt.

Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago is one of the most popular destinations for families with kids in Chicago. Located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, the Skydeck offers stunning views of the city from 1,353 feet above the ground. Kids can also explore the Skydeck’s interactive exhibits, such as the Ledge, which offers a view of the city from the glass floor.

The Skydeck also hosts a variety of special events, such as the Skydeck Lights Out event, where kids can explore the Skydeck after dark. Kids can also take part in the Skydeck’s many educational programs, such as the Skydeck Junior Ranger program, which teaches kids about the history and culture of the city.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the Skydeck’s Junior Explorer program. Here, they can explore the Skydeck with one of the Skydeck’s knowledgeable guides and even take part in a scavenger hunt.

Chicago Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place for families to experience the wonders of the animal kingdom. Located in Lincoln Park, the zoo is home to over 1,300 animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and more. Kids can explore the zoo’s many exhibits, such as the African Savannah, which features giraffes, zebras, and other African wildlife.

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The zoo also hosts a variety of special events, such as animal shows, music performances, and even sleepovers. Kids can also take part in the zoo’s many educational programs, such as the Junior Zookeeper program, which teaches kids about animal behavior and conservation.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the zoo’s Animal Encounters program. Here, they can touch and feed the animals, learn about their habitats, and even take part in an animal rescue mission.

The Bean

The Bean, located in Millennium Park, is an iconic sculpture that offers a unique view of the Chicago skyline. Kids can explore the sculpture’s many interactive exhibits, such as the Under the Bean exhibit, which features a 360-degree view of the city. Kids can also take part in the sculpture’s many educational programs, such as the Bean Tales program, which teaches kids about the history of the sculpture.

For an extra special experience, kids can also take part in the sculpture’s Junior Greeter program. Here, they can explore the sculpture with one of the sculpture’s knowledgeable guides and learn about the history and culture of the area.

Conclusion

Chicago is a great destination for families with kids and there are countless fun things to do. From exploring the Shedd Aquarium to taking in a Cubs game, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City. With so many attractions, activities, and events, Chicago is the perfect destination for an unforgettable family vacation.