Family-Friendly Activities and Spots in Chicago Illinois & Video

Family-Friendly Activities and Spots in Chicago Illinois

Table of Contents (Quick Links)

View all our CITY GUIDES

Listen (English voice)

Chicago Illinois Video

Chicago, Illinois is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and spots. Whether you’re looking for educational experiences, outdoor adventures, or cultural attractions, Chicago has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore ten sections highlighting various family-friendly activities and spots in Chicago, Illinois.

1. Navy Pier

Located on Lake Michigan, Navy Pier is a popular destination for families visiting Chicago. It offers a variety of attractions, including the iconic Ferris wheel, carousel, and mini golf. Families can also enjoy boat tours, live performances at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and a wide selection of restaurants and shops. Navy Pier is a great place to spend a day with the family, with stunning views of the city skyline and the lake.

  • Ferris Wheel: Take a ride on the Ferris wheel for a panoramic view of Chicago’s skyline.
  • Carousel: Enjoy a classic carousel ride with the family.
  • Mini Golf: Play a round of mini golf on the pier.
  • Boat Tours: Take a boat tour and explore Lake Michigan.
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Catch a live performance at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
  • Restaurants and Shops: Explore the variety of dining and shopping options available at Navy Pier.

Chicago Illinois

2. Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a free zoo located in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park. It is home to a wide variety of animals, including lions, giraffes, monkeys, and polar bears. Families can enjoy strolling through the zoo’s beautifully landscaped grounds, attending animal feedings and demonstrations, and even taking a ride on the carousel. Lincoln Park Zoo is a must-visit for animal lovers and offers a fun and educational experience for the whole family.

  • Animal Exhibits: Explore the diverse range of animal exhibits, including lions, giraffes, and penguins.
  • Carousel: Take a ride on the zoo’s classic carousel.
  • Animal Feedings and Demonstrations: Attend scheduled feedings and demonstrations to learn more about the animals.
  • Picnic Areas: Enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas within the zoo.
  • Children’s Zoo: Visit the Children’s Zoo, which offers interactive exhibits and a petting zoo.

Chicago Illinois

3. Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and offers a wide range of interactive exhibits and educational experiences for families. From exploring a real U-505 submarine to witnessing a tornado in the Science Storms exhibit, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The museum also features a kid-friendly play area, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater. It’s a perfect place for children to learn and have fun at the same time.

  • U-505 Submarine: Explore a real World War II submarine and learn about its history.
  • Science Storms: Experience the power of nature through interactive exhibits.
  • Kid-friendly Play Area: Let your children unleash their creativity in the play area designed just for them.
  • Planetarium: Discover the wonders of the universe in the museum’s planetarium.
  • IMAX Theater: Watch educational and entertaining films on the giant IMAX screen.

Chicago Illinois

4. Millennium Park

Millennium Park is a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike. It is home to several iconic attractions, including the famous Cloud Gate sculpture, also known as “The Bean.” Families can enjoy free concerts and events at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, have a picnic in the park, or cool off in the Crown Fountain. The park also features beautiful gardens, art installations, and a skating rink during the winter months. Millennium Park is a must-visit destination for families looking to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

  • Cloud Gate: Take memorable photos at the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture.
  • Jay Pritzker Pavilion: Attend free concerts and events at the outdoor pavilion.
  • Picnic Areas: Enjoy a picnic in the park’s designated areas.
  • Crown Fountain: Cool off in the interactive Crown Fountain.
  • Gardens and Art Installations: Explore the park’s beautiful gardens and art installations.

5. Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world and offers a fascinating underwater world for families to explore. Visitors can witness a variety of marine life, including dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, and sharks. The aquarium also features interactive exhibits, educational presentations, and animal feedings. Families can even participate in behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters for a more immersive experience. The Shedd Aquarium provides an exciting and educational adventure for all ages.

  • Marine Life Exhibits: Explore the diverse range of marine life, including dolphins, beluga whales, and sea turtles.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Engage with interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on learning experience.
  • Educational Presentations: Attend educational presentations to learn more about marine life.
  • Animal Feedings: Witness scheduled animal feedings and learn about their diets and behaviors.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Go behind the scenes to see how the aquarium operates and meet the experts.

Chicago Illinois

6. Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park is a sprawling recreational area located in downtown Chicago. It offers a wide range of activities for families, including playgrounds, climbing walls, an ice skating ribbon, and mini golf. The park also features beautiful gardens, picnic areas, and a field for sports activities. With its diverse range of offerings, Maggie Daley Park is a great place for families to spend a fun-filled day outdoors.

  • Playgrounds: Let your children explore the imaginative and interactive playgrounds.
  • Climbing Walls: Challenge yourself on the climbing walls suitable for all ages.
  • Ice Skating Ribbon: Enjoy ice skating during the winter months on the park’s unique ribbon-shaped rink.
  • Mini Golf: Play a round of mini golf with the family.
  • Gardens and Picnic Areas: Relax and enjoy the park’s beautiful gardens and designated picnic areas.

Chicago Illinois

7. Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. It houses a vast collection of artworks from various periods and cultures, making it a great place for families to explore and appreciate art. The museum also offers interactive exhibits and programs specifically designed for children, allowing them to engage with art in a fun and educational way. From famous masterpieces to contemporary works, the Art Institute of Chicago is a cultural treasure that shouldn’t be missed.

  • Artworks: Discover a wide range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Engage with interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on art experience.
  • Family Programs: Participate in family-friendly programs that encourage creativity and learning.
  • Gift Shop: Browse the museum’s gift shop for art-inspired souvenirs and books.
  • Café: Take a break and enjoy a meal or snack at the museum’s café.

8. Chicago Children’s Museum

The Chicago Children’s Museum is a place where children can learn, play, and explore through interactive exhibits and educational programs. The museum offers a variety of exhibits that cater to different age groups, from infants to tweens. Children can engage in imaginative play, experiment with water and bubbles, and even learn about the principles of physics through hands-on activities. The Chicago Children’s Museum provides a safe and stimulating environment for children to discover and learn through play.

  • Imaginative Play: Let your children’s imagination run wild in the museum’s play areas.
  • Water and Bubbles: Explore the science of water and bubbles through interactive exhibits.
  • Physics Exhibits: Learn about the principles of physics through hands-on activities.
  • Art Studio: Engage in creative activities and art projects in the museum’s art studio.
  • Outdoor Play: Enjoy outdoor play areas with climbing structures and sandboxes.

9. Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is America’s first planetarium and offers a fascinating journey through space and the universe. Families can explore interactive exhibits, attend live sky shows, and even experience a simulated space mission. The planetarium also features a telescope viewing area, allowing visitors to observe celestial objects. From learning about the solar system to discovering the mysteries of the universe, the Adler Planetarium provides an educational and awe-inspiring experience for all ages.

  • Interactive Exhibits: Engage with interactive exhibits that explore space and astronomy.
  • Sky Shows: Attend live shows that take you on a journey through the night sky.
  • Simulated Space Mission: Experience a simulated space mission and learn about the challenges of space exploration.
  • Telescope Viewing: Observe celestial objects through the planetarium’s telescopes.
  • Gift Shop: Browse the planetarium’s gift shop for space-themed souvenirs and books.

10. Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a stunning oasis of nature and beauty located just outside the city. Families can explore the garden’s diverse collection of plants, stroll through themed gardens, and even participate in hands-on gardening activities. The garden also offers educational programs and workshops for children, allowing them to learn about the importance of conservation and the environment. With its tranquil setting and abundant natural beauty, the Chicago Botanic Garden is a perfect place for families to relax and reconnect with nature.

  • Themed Gardens: Discover a variety of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden and a rose garden.
  • Plant Collection: Explore the garden’s diverse collection of plants from around the world.
  • Hands-on Gardening Activities: Participate in gardening activities and learn about sustainable practices.
  • Children’s Programs: Engage in educational programs and workshops designed for children.
  • Tram Tours: Take a tram tour to explore the garden’s vast grounds.

Chicago Illinois


Chicago, Illinois offers an array of family-friendly activities and spots that cater to all ages and interests. From iconic attractions like Navy Pier and Millennium Park to educational institutions like the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Whether you’re exploring the city’s cultural offerings, immersing yourself in nature at the Chicago Botanic Garden, or delving into the wonders of the universe at the Adler Planetarium, Chicago provides endless opportunities for family fun and discovery.


Navy Pier:

Lincoln Park Zoo:

Museum of Science and Industry: