Family Trips: See Chicago with the Kids
When you think of Chicago many things come to mind: arts, culture, history, and of course, its famous title as The Windy City. One thing that may come as a surprise is that Chicago has an incredible amount of activities for children and is a superb place for family trips. In fact, there is so much to do for children that it may take several vacations to take it all in. Live like a local in a Chicago vacation rental, use public transportation to get around the city, and do not leave without a night out for deep dish Chicago style pizza!
Two popular theme parks are a great option for a day of family fun in Chicago.
- Six Flags is an experience with entertainment for the whole family. With rides ranging from mild, such as Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine, to off-the-scale thrill rides like Batman, Six Flags Great America is a pleasure for the entire family.
- LEGOLAND is an adventure where you can ride your dragon through the Medieval Castle, discover all the Lego building secrets from the Master Model Builder, visit the 4D Theater and much, much more. Spend the day with everyone's favorite building bricks.
Educational and Cultural Attractions
Chicago also boasts some of the world’s top educational and cultural attractions.
- The Art Institute of Chicago: This famous art center is a museum and gallery that features both rotating displays and permanent collections.
- The Field Museum of Natural History: Every kid will want to visit this museum, especially since it includes, Sue, the world’s most complete T-Rex!
- The Museum of Science & Industry: This is considered the largest and most complete museum of its type in the Western Hemisphere.
- Shedd Aquarium: Hands down, the largest aquarium in the world.
- Adler Planetarium and Museum: Superb astronomy and space travel museum; was the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
- Kohl Children’s Museum: An education center that focuses on the fun of learning; perfect for a family trip.
Chicago is also home to several zoos including the Brookfield Zoo, which includes a play zoo, children’s zoo and also a butterfly garden. Famous Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the nation and home to an incredible display of wildlife.
Of course, when mentioning the attractions for family fun in Chicago, the Navy Pier is essential. Filled with museums, restaurants and entertainment, this site, which was originally built in 1917, has become a vacation destination point. It is the home to culture, such as the Shakespeare Theatre, festivals and the Navy Pier Park. The park is famous for its 150-foot Ferris Wheel, as well as an 18-hole miniature golf course. The park is also home to the Skyline Stage, which features famous musical groups and entertainment. Running along the pier is Dock Street, a pedestrian and bicyclist haven, where cruise dinner ships give you a view of the city from Lake Michgan.
Getting Around Chicago
Chicago is bustling and busy, and the good news is that it also has one of the biggest rapid-transit systems in the United States. The EL train is a great way to get around with the family to many of your stops. For the fastest travel, try to avoid rush hour. That is a perfect time to enjoy the many restaurants and dining areas in Chicago. For kids, try the Rainforest Café; you will not be sorry!
Next time, maybe you'll want to leave the kids with Grandma and see some of Chicago's more grown-up sights - see our guide to romantic getaways in the city.