Chicago is a great city for families! There are plenty of things to do with kids in Chicago.
From museums to amusement parks, there is something for everyone.
In this blog post, we will discuss 28 of the best things to do in Chicago with kids.
Whether you are visiting or live in the city, this list will help you make the most of your time with your children!
#1. Adler Planetarium
Looking for something fun to do with the kids in Chicago? Then be sure to check out the Adler Planetarium! Not only is it a great place to learn about our solar system and the universe beyond, but there are also plenty of interactive exhibits and shows to keep everyone entertained.
And if you happen to visit on a clear day, you can even head up to the rooftop deck to get a stunning view of the city skyline. Trust us, the Adler Planetarium is an unforgettable experience for both kids and adults alike!
#2. Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier
Chicago is a great city for families, with countless things to see and do. One of the most popular attractions is the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier. Standing at nearly 200 feet tall, it offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan.
The slowly revolving wheel is also a great way to take in the sights and sounds of Navy Pier, which is filled with restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
Best of all, the Centennial Wheel is accessible to everyone, making it a great activity for families with young children or limited mobility.
So whether you’re looking for a thrilling ride or just a chance to take in the sights, be sure to add the Centennial Wheel to your list of things to do in Chicago with kids.
#3. Chicago Architecture Center
The Chicago Architecture Center is a must-see for anyone visiting the Windy City, and it’s especially fun for kids.
Located in the heart of downtown, the center offers a variety of interactive exhibits that allow visitors to explore the city’s rich architectural history.
One highlight is the “Building Blocks” exhibit, which features large foam blocks that children can use to create their own skyscrapers. There’s also a scale model of the city that kids can explore, and plenty of opportunities to take photos with famous landmarks like the Willis Tower and Cloud Gate.
The center also offers a variety of educational programs, making it the perfect place to learn about Chicago’s unique architecture.
#4. Chicago Botanic Garden
The Chicago Botanic Garden is a hidden gem in the Windy City, and it’s the perfect place to spend a day with the kids. With over 27 gardens and four natural areas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden is a great place to start, with its interactive water play area and sensory garden. Kids can also explore the Railway Garden, where they can get an up-close look at miniature trains as they travel through tunnels and over bridges.
And don’t forget to stop by the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden to see how food grows. With so much to see and do, the Chicago Botanic Garden is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
#5. Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is a great place to take kids of all ages. There are three floors of interactive exhibits, including a water play area, a play space for babies and toddlers, and an art studio.
Kids can also pretend to be firefighters, chefs, and construction workers in the “You Are Here” exhibit. The museum also offers a variety of programs and workshops throughout the year.
And if you get hungry, there’s a cafe on site. The Chicago Children’s Museum is located in Navy Pier, and admission is free for children under one-year-old.
#6. Chicago Children’s Theater
A visit to the Chicago Children’s Theater is a must for any family with young kids. Located in the heart of the city, the theater offers a variety of shows that are sure to appeal to children of all ages.
The theater’s current season includes such titles as “The Princess and the Pea,” “The Wiz,” and “Rapunzel.” In addition, to live performances, the theater also offers workshops and classes that allow kids to get involved in the creative process.
Whether your kids are aspiring actors or just looking for a fun afternoon activity, a trip to the Chicago Children’s Theater is sure to be a hit.
#7. Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago’s Cultural Center is a must-see for families visiting the Windy City.
Located in the heart of downtown, the Cultural Center is home to two world-class museums: the Chicago Children’s Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Both museums offer interactive exhibits that are fun for kids and adults alike. In addition, the Cultural Center houses a theater, an art gallery, and a music school.
Families can also enjoy free concerts and movies in the beautiful setting of Preston Bradley Hall. With so much to see and do, the Chicago Cultural Center is sure to please everyone in the family.
#8. Chicago Magic Lounge
Chicago is a great city for kids, with plenty of fun things to see and do. One of the best attractions in the city is the Chicago Magic Lounge. Located in the historic Uptown Theater, the lounge is a haven for magicians and magic lovers of all ages.
Visitors can watch live performances, take part in magic workshops, and even learn some tricks themselves. The friendly atmosphere and wide variety of activities make the Chicago Magic Lounge a perfect place for a family outing.
So if you’re looking for something fun to do with your kids, be sure to check out the Chicago Magic Lounge.
#9. Chicago Riverwalk
The Chicago Riverwalk is a great place to take the kids for a day of fun. There are plenty of things to see and do, and the whole family will enjoy getting out and about in the fresh air.
One of the best things to do on the Riverwalk is to take a ride on one of the many tour boats. The kids will love getting up close to the buildings and seeing all the sights from the water.
You can also explore the riverbanks on foot, and there are plenty of stops along the way where you can learn more about the history of Chicago and its relationship with the river.
In addition, there are plenty of places to eat and drink along the Riverwalk, so you can make a day of it without having to go too far from home.
#10. Chicago Shakespeare Theater
If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do with your kids in Chicago, look no further than the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Founded in 1986, this world-renowned theater company produces a variety of classic and contemporary works, making it the perfect place to introduce your little ones to the magic of live theater.
And with ticket prices starting at just $15, it’s an affordable way to spend an afternoon or evening together as a family.
Not sure what show to see? The theater’s current season includes productions of “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Charlotte’s Web,” and more.
Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can sign up for one of the company’s behind-the-scenes tours, which offer a unique look at how a professional theater company operates.
No matter what you see, your kids are sure to have a memorable experience at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
#11. DuSable Museum of African American History
Chicago is home to a wealth of cultural attractions, and the DuSable Museum of African American History is a great place to take kids. Founded in 1961, the museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of African Americans.
The museum’s Permanent Collection features a wide range of artifacts, from slave shackles to paintings by contemporary artists. In addition, the museum offers a variety of programs and events for families.
The Children’s Gallery offers interactive exhibits on topics such as slavery and the Underground Railroad, while the Education Department provides classes on African American history and culture.
The DuSable Museum is a great way for kids to learn about the significant contributions of African Americans to our country’s history.
#12. Gallagher Way
Located in the heart of Chicago’s Loop, Gallagher Way is a pedestrian-only plaza that features a variety of shops and restaurants. It’s also home to the Chicago Riverwalk, which offers stunning views of the city skyline.
Best of all, Gallagher Way is within walking distance of many of Chicago’s most popular attractions, including Millennium Park and the Art Institute of Chicago. So whether you’re looking for a place to eat lunch or just want to take in the sights, Gallagher Way is definitely worth a visit.
#13. Garfield Park Conservatory
Located in the west side of Chicago, Garfield Park Conservatory is a must-see for any family looking to spend a day exploring the city. The Conservatory is home to a wide variety of plant life, including tropical plants, cacti, and flowers.
Kids will love getting up close to the plants and learning about how they grow. In addition, the Conservatory offers a number of kid-friendly programs, including story times and art classes.
And best of all, admission is free. So whether your kids are interested in plants or just need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, be sure to add Garfield Park Conservatory to your list of Chicago must-sees.
#14. Harold Washington Library
The Harold Washington Library is a great place to take kids in Chicago. Not only is it the largest public library in the city, but it also has a number of fun features that kids will love.
The Children’s Learning Center is a great place for younger kids to explore and learn, while the Summer Reading Program is perfect for older kids who want to stay sharp during the summer months.
Best of all, the library offers a variety of free events and programs throughout the year, making it a great value for families. Whether your kids are looking to learn or just have some fun, the Harold Washington Library is a great option.
#15. Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is one of the best things to do in Chicago with kids. The museum’s mission is to teach children the lessons of the Holocaust so that they can build a better future.
The museum achieved this by incorporating interactive exhibits, personal testimony, and educational programming. The museum is also home to the Oscar Schindler Gallery, which tells the story of how one man saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust.
Families can also take part in a variety of hands-on activities, such as creating art or writing letters to Holocaust survivors. By teaching children about the horrors of the past, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center helps them build a better future.
#16. Kohl Children’s Museum
Chicago is a great city for families, with plenty of things to see and do. One of the best attractions for kids is the Kohl Children’s Museum. This hands-on museum is designed specifically for children aged 0-8, and features a range of interactive exhibits.
Kids can explore a replica grocery store, experiment with science, play in a treehouse, and much more. The museum also offers a range of programs and events, such as story times, sing-alongs, and Science Saturdays.
With so much to see and do, the Kohl Children’s Museum is a great place to spend a day with kids in Chicago.
#17. Maggie Daley Park
Chicago is a great city for families, with plenty of kid-friendly attractions to keep everyone entertained. One of the best places to visit with kids is Maggie Daley Park.
Located in the heart of downtown, the park offers a variety of fun activities for kids of all ages. The centerpiece of the park is the Play Garden, which features two large playgrounds, a spray pool, and a climbing wall.
There is also a carousel, an ice skating rink, and a putt-putt course. In addition, the park hosts special events throughout the year, such as movies in the park and holiday celebrations.
With so much to do, Maggie Daley Park is a great place to spend a day with the family.
#18. Millennium Park
Millennium Park is one of the best things to do in Chicago with kids. It’s a great place to run around, explore, and play. The park has a lot of open space, as well as playgrounds, sculptures, fountains, and gardens.
Millennium Park is also home to the famous “Cloud Gate” sculpture. Kids will love running through the rainbows created by the reflections in the sculpture. The park is open all year round, and there are always plenty of things to see and do.
In the summer, kids can cool off in the Sprayscape water playground. In the winter, they can go ice skating at ice rink. Millennium Park is a must-visit for families visiting Chicago.
#19. Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago
Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago offers a variety of engaging and educational dance performances for kids of all ages. Founded in the early 1970s, Muntu is committed to preserving the traditional dances of Africa and the African diaspora.
The company’s dancers are all highly trained and experienced performers and their shows are always exciting and enjoyable. In addition to their regular performances, Muntu also offers dance classes for kids of all levels.
These classes are a great way for kids to learn about different cultures and styles of dance, and they’re also a lot of fun. If you’re looking for an enjoyable and educational activity for your family, be sure to check out Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago.
#20. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
This world-renowned museum has something for everyone, from exciting hands-on exhibits to captivating shows and demonstrations. Kids will love exploring the many interactive displays, and they’re sure to learn something new about the world around them.
The Museum of Science and Industry is also home to an award-winning Omni theatre, where kids can watch educational films on a five-story screen. With so much to see and do, the Museum of Science and Industry is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
#21. National Museum of Mexican Art
The National Museum of Mexican Art is a great place to take kids in Chicago. Not only is it educational, but it’s also interactive and fun. The museum has a wide variety of exhibits that cover everything from pre-Columbian art to modern-day Mexico. And best of all, admission is free.
Kids will love exploring the different galleries and seeing all the colorful artwork. They’ll also enjoy the hands-on activities, like making their own masks or learning how to weave.
For a truly memorable experience, plan to visit the museum during one of their Day of the Dead celebrations. There will be traditional food, music, and dance performances – perfect for getting into the spirit of Mexico.
#22. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
This museum has something for everyone, with interactive exhibits on everything from bugs to birds.
Kids will love getting up close and personal with some of the museum’s resident animals, and they’ll also enjoy exploring the butterfly garden. In addition, the museum offers a variety of educational programs that are perfect for families.
Whether you’re looking to learn about nature or just have some fun, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a great place to bring your kids!
#23. Shedd Aquarium
If you’re looking for a fun and educational activity to do with your kids in Chicago, a visit to the Shedd Aquarium is a great option. The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, and it houses over 32,000 animals from all over the globe.
Kids will love seeing the wide variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals on display, and they can even pet some of the animals in the interactive stingray touch pool.
In addition to the main aquarium exhibits, the Shedd Aquarium also offers kid-friendly shows and educational programs. Whether your kids are curious about marine life or just looking to have a fun day out, a visit to the Shedd Aquarium is sure to be a hit.
#24. The 606 Trail
If you’re looking for a fun and family-friendly activity in Chicago, look no further than the 606 Trail. This elevated walking and biking trail runs along an old railroad line, offering gorgeous views of the cityscape.
Along the way, you’ll find plenty of things to keep the kids entertained, including playgrounds, art installations, and green spaces. And best of all, the 606 Trail is completely free to enjoy.
So whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to add the 606 Trail to your list of must-do activities with kids in Chicago.
#25. The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see for anyone visiting the Windy City, and it’s also a great place to bring the kids. The museum houses an incredible collection of art from around the world, spanning centuries and cultures.
And while some of the works on display can be quite mature, there are also plenty of kid-friendly options. One highlight is the Thorne Miniature Rooms, a series of 68 miniature dioramas that recreate historic interiors from various time periods.
Kids will also enjoy seeing the massive bronze lions that flank the museum’s entrance, which has become a symbol of Chicago. The Art Institute is a great way to introduce kids to the world of art, and it’s sure to be a highlight of any trip to Chicago.
#26. The Escape Game Chicago
If you’re looking for a fun and unique activity to do with your kids in Chicago, look no further than The Escape Game Chicago. This live escape room is perfect for families with kids ages 10 and up.
You’ll have 60 minutes to work together to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to escape the room before time runs out. The Escape Game Chicago offers two different rooms to choose from: Secret Service and Lost Temple.
Both rooms are family-friendly and will offer a fun challenge for everyone. Whether you’re a family of puzzle solvers or you’re just looking for a fun way to spend an hour together, The Escape Game Chicago is the perfect activity for you.
#27. The Field Museum
The Field Museum is one of the best things to do in Chicago with kids. Located in the heart of downtown, the Museum is home to a wide variety of exhibits and attractions.
Kids will love exploring the ancient Egyptian tombs, seeing the famous T. rex skeleton, and checking out the live reptiles in the Swamp. The Museum also offers a number of kid-friendly programs and activities, including Chicago’s popular “Egg-cellent Adventure” Easter Egg Hunt.
And don’t forget to stop by the Museum Shop for some unique souvenirs. With so much to see and do, The Field Museum is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.
#28. Willis Tower Skydeck
When visiting Chicago with kids, be sure to add the Willis Tower Skydeck to your itinerary. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, and for good reason.
The views from the 103rd floor are simply breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see for miles in every direction. The Skydeck also has a glass floor, which is sure to be a hit with daredevil kids.
They can step out onto the glass and look straight down to the streets below. For an even more exhilarating experience, add a visit to the Ledge, a series of glass boxes that extend four feet out from the side of the building. The Skydeck is open year-round, so you can enjoy the views no matter what time of year you visit Chicago.