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The Best Outdoor Activities for Kids in Chicago

Chicago is a great city for kids. It has a wide range of activities and attractions that make it an ideal destination for families. From museums and zoos to outdoor activities, there are plenty of things to do in Chicago that will keep the whole family entertained. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the best outdoor activities for kids in Chicago, so you can start planning your next family vacation.

Visit the Beach

Chicago is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the United States. With miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, there are plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing and sandcastle-building. The Chicago Park District also operates several beachfront parks, which offer a range of activities for kids, including playgrounds and splash pads.

For a truly unique experience, take the kids to Montrose Beach. This beach is home to the Montrose Dog Beach, where well-behaved dogs are allowed to run free and play in the water. It’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun and furry friends.

If you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, take the family to the North Avenue Beach. This beach is a bit off the beaten path, but it’s known for its clean sand and the stunning views of the lakefront.

Ride the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier

Navy Pier is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The pier is home to an iconic 150-foot Ferris wheel, which offers stunning views of the city skyline. There are also plenty of other rides and attractions to keep the kids entertained, including a carousel, a swinging pirate ship and a 4D theater.

The pier also offers a variety of dining options, so you can grab a bite to eat while you’re there. And if you’re looking for a more educational experience, take the kids to the Chicago Children’s Museum, which is located at the end of the pier.

No matter how you decide to spend your time at Navy Pier, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Go Kayaking on the Chicago River

Chicago is home to a unique urban kayaking experience. The Chicago River is a great place to explore by kayak, and there are plenty of companies that offer guided tours. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned paddler, you’ll be able to find a tour that’s right for you.

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On the tour, you’ll be able to explore the river and get up close and personal with the city’s iconic architecture. You’ll also be able to spot wildlife, including ducks, herons and other birds.

Kayaking on the Chicago River is a great way to get out on the water and experience the city from a different perspective.

Visit the Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The zoo is home to more than 1,200 animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes and gorillas. There are also plenty of interactive exhibits, so the kids can get up close and personal with the animals.

The zoo also offers a variety of educational programs, including behind-the-scenes tours and hands-on activities. And if you’re looking for a unique experience, take the kids to the zoo at night, when the animals are more active.

No matter how you decide to spend your time at the zoo, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Explore the Millennium Park

The Millennium Park is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The park is home to a variety of interactive exhibits, including the Crown Fountain, an outdoor art installation that features a giant video screen and water jets. There is also an ice rink in the winter and a free concert series in the summer.

For a truly unique experience, take the kids to the Lurie Garden. This five-acre garden is home to a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, and it’s a great place to take a stroll and explore the natural beauty of the park.

No matter how you decide to spend your time at the Millennium Park, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The aquarium is home to more than 32,000 aquatic animals, including dolphins, beluga whales and sea otters. There are also plenty of interactive exhibits, so the kids can get up close and personal with the animals.

The aquarium also offers a variety of educational programs, including behind-the-scenes tours and hands-on activities. And if you’re looking for a unique experience, take the kids to the dolphin show, which is a must-see.

No matter how you decide to spend your time at the Shedd Aquarium, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Take a Boat Tour of Lake Michigan

A boat tour of Lake Michigan is a great way to explore the city from a different perspective. There are plenty of companies that offer guided tours, including boat tours of the Chicago skyline, the harbor and even the nearby beaches.

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On the tour, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the city’s iconic architecture, and you’ll also be able to spot wildlife, including birds and other aquatic creatures. It’s a great way to spend a day on the water and experience the city in a unique way.

No matter how you decide to spend your time on the lake, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Ride the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier

The Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The wheel is 200 feet tall and offers stunning views of the city skyline. There are also plenty of other rides and attractions to keep the kids entertained, including a carousel, a swinging pirate ship and a 4D theater.

The wheel also offers a variety of dining options, so you can grab a bite to eat while you’re there. And if you’re looking for a more educational experience, take the kids to the Chicago Children’s Museum, which is located at the end of the pier.

No matter how you decide to spend your time on the Centennial Wheel, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Go Biking on the Lakefront Trail

The Lakefront Trail is a great place to go biking with the kids. The trail is 18 miles long and offers stunning views of the lake and the city skyline. It’s a great way to explore the city and get some exercise at the same time.

The trail is also home to several parks and beaches, so you can stop and explore along the way. And if you’re looking for a more educational experience, take the kids to the Museum of Science and Industry, which is located along the trail.

No matter how you decide to spend your time on the Lakefront Trail, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Explore the Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. The conservatory is home to a variety of plants, trees and shrubs, and it’s a great place to take a stroll and explore the natural beauty of the park.

The conservatory also offers a variety of educational programs, including behind-the-scenes tours and hands-on activities. And if you’re looking for a unique experience, take the kids to the Garfield Park Maze, which is an interactive maze with more than 2,000 plants.

No matter how you decide to spend your time at the Garfield Park Conservatory, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a great way to explore the city from a different perspective. There are several companies that offer guided tours, including horseback tours of the Chicago skyline, the harbor and even the nearby beaches.

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On the tour, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the city’s iconic architecture, and you’ll also be able to spot wildlife, including birds and other aquatic creatures. It’s a great way to spend a day on the water and experience the city in a unique way.

No matter how you decide to spend your time on horseback, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Go Sailing in the Harbor

Sailing in the harbor is a great way to experience the city from a different perspective. There are several companies that offer guided tours, including sailing tours of the Chicago skyline, the harbor and even the nearby beaches.

On the tour, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with the city’s iconic architecture, and you’ll also be able to spot wildlife, including birds and other aquatic creatures. It’s a great way to spend a day on the water and experience the city in a unique way.

No matter how you decide to spend your time on the water, it’s sure to be a memorable experience for the whole family.

Conclusion

Chicago is a great city for kids, and there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep the whole family entertained. From beaches and zoos to boat tours and horseback riding, there are plenty of unique experiences to explore in Chicago. We hope this blog post has given you some ideas for your next family vacation in the city.