Chicago is a place where there’s something for everyone, especially kids. A city so vibrant and alive with cool buildings, great parks, and awesome food, be sure to check every single thing on this must-do list when visiting with your children!
1. Navy PierNavy Pier is a burst of colour in the heart of the city, and it is a kid’s dream come true. From the towering Ferris Wheel, seasonal celebrations, and special events to festivals, fireworks, entertainment and public shows in the exhibition hall space, there is always something happening here, winter, spring, summer and fall. Be sure to check out their Children’s Museum and the IMAX theatre in particular; these are the top two highlights of Navy Pier that will make your trip even more memorable for kids.
2. Enjoy the view of the city from 1,450 feet (442 metres) up
3. Dive into the sea world in Shedd Aquarium
4. Be seen at the Bean
5. Lincoln Park Zoo
6. Get traditional in Chinatown
On top of the scenic and artistic routes to take throughout Chinatown, you can look into getting some of the best food that is offered. This is because they have only the finest Chinese dishes. Each of their restaurants uses only the best ingredients, and also aims to please each and every person that walks in. Try a bite of tradition by splurging on some of the best dim sum, tiny dumplings, and roasted pork, both of which are readily available throughout Chinatown. The streets of Chinatown are all lined with amazing restaurants, so just take your pick and have a good time.
7. Get starry-eyed at the Adler Planetarium
8. Get a 360-degree view of Chicago at the John Hancock CenterMagnificent Mile. You can enjoy a cocktail or coffee at the bar while the kids are awestruck watching the sunset. All around the observation deck are interactive panoramic touchscreens in seven languages, which give you more information about the place and building. And while you’re there, don’t forget to try TILT – an exhilarating one-of-a-kind attraction that literally TILT’s visitors to a 30-degree angle over Michigan Avenue.
9. Let your child find their inner builder at the Museum of Science and Industry
It’s a great place for kids to ignite their creativity. They even have an Idea Factory designed just for young scientists age 10 and under. They have everything they need in this tiny research facility built just for them, giving them loads of opportunities to test and observe theories of construction, simple machines, light, magnetism, air pressure and more. It’s truly a playground for the mind and for young scientists!
10. Discover your favourite Chicago pizza jointEveryone loves pizza, especially kids, and especially when this pizza is something special. The pizza in Chicago is a pizza pie. The deep surface packs so much more flavor, filled with large amounts of cheese and topped with a chunky tomato sauce. From its flaky crust to its zingy tomatoes, it’s a perfect bite every time, and it will sure be a treat for kids. It might get a little messy, but that’s just part of the fun. Be sure to try a ‘za from The Art of Pizza, Lou Malnati’s or Pequod’s Pizza.
11. Visit the home of the Cubs at Wrigley Field
12. Have a fern-tastic time at Lincoln Park Conservatory
It offers visitors a wholesome experience with their four different display houses, namely the Palm House, the Fern Room, the Orchid House and the Show House. Each comes with something different, from technicolor flower shows to serene greenery, it’s sure to make you feel transported away. The best part? Admission is free for all!
13. Go to the Art Institute
14. Take a cruise along the Chicago River
15. Bike, run or stroll by the Chicago Lakefront Trail
The Chicago Lakefront Trail also provides direct access to a number of amenities popular with locals and tourists alike, and thus is often crowded on warm days. Some of the notable cultural landmarks along the way include: the Museum of Science and Industry; the Field Museum of Natural History; Shedd Aquarium; Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum; the Chicago Children’s Museum; the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum; and the South Shore Cultural Center.
16. Show your kids the beauty of the Chicago Cultural Center
17. Oz Park
18. Grant Park
19. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
20. Treat your child to something sweetWhimsical Candy is Chicago’s very own fun, original candy store. This candy store sells some of the most innovative and delicious artisanal candies, from nougats to the good ol’ chocolate bar. However, their most unique and famous offerings are the Lah Dee Dahs, a roll of handmade nougat wrapped around a decadent handmade sea salt caramel, and covered with a little chocolate on top. They even have “instructions” of the different ways you can enjoy this delectable dessert, which surely makes for a fun eating experience.
Chicago is fun for everyone
Chicago events and attractions are never short on fun. And it’s truly fun for the whole family. There really are endless options to keep the family entertained with plenty of kid-friendly itinerary suggestions.
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