Explore Chicago

The Top Things to Do With Kids in Chicago

Kids think the world revolves around them, right? Lucky for you, Chicago has so many activities for kids, they'll never get a chance to get bored.

Family Friendly Chicago

"Families can find fun in every corner of Chicago," says Sue Zeiler, founder of popular event site ChicagoKids.com. "From world class culture at museums in the heart of the city, to local gems like family-friendly parks, restaurants and shops in Chicago's many vibrant neighborhoods, Chicago is a great family destination vacation."

Lincoln Park Zoo

This 49-acre zoo in the heart of the city is one of the nation’s oldest, with more than 1,200 animals. 

Millennium Park

The #1 tourist attraction in the Midwest! Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities.

Chicago Children's Museum

Geared to children under age 12, this Navy Pier museum includes a hands-on art gallery, "Skyline" where kids learn how Chicago’s tall buildings stay standing and the "Dinosaur Expedition" where kids dig for bones. Daily 10 am-5 pm, Th 10 am-8 pm. Admission $14.95; seniors $13.95; free for members and children under 1.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This 73,000-square-foot museum focuses on the biodiversity of the Midwest. One of the most popular exhibits is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, featuring more than 1,000 winged beauties in a tropical setting. M-F 9 am-5 pm, Sa-Su 10 am-5 pm. Admission $9; students and seniors $7; children $6.

Belmont Theater District

The Lakeview neighborhood has so many great local theater companies that they banded together to create this partnership to strengthen each one individually.

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is home to an array of fascinating aquatic animals from around the world. Highlights include the Wild Reef shark habitat and the Caribbean Reef exhibit, where divers hand-feed fish and sharks in a 90,000-gallon aquarium. M-F 9 am-5 pm, Sa-Su 9 am-6 pm. General admission $39.95; children 3-11 $29.95.

Museum of Science and Industry

MSI—the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere—is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and foster curiosity. Discover a World War II submarine ot take in a show on the five-story movie screen. Daily 9:30 am–4 pm except Thanksgiving and Christmas D

Adler Planetarium

This lakefront attraction on the Museum Campus features loads of otherworldly exhibits. The $14 million, ultra high-res, 360-degree Grainger Sky Theater features the sky show "Planet Nine," all about the search for a new ninth planet.

Navy Pier

Go A Little Overboard At Navy Pier! It's where fun lives large, whether you're a visitor or local, with family or friends.

Chicago Sports Museum

This interactive museum commemorates the world of sports using simulated experiences, relics and stats. The museum engages visitors to measure up against players like Blackhawk Patrick Kane and Bulls Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. Relive the glory of the Cubs' historic win at the 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series exhibit.

Chicago History Museum

Explore Chicago’s past and present with exhibits like the intricately restored "L car no. 1" and memorabilia from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Permanent exhibit "Lincoln’s Chicago" highlight the life, presidency and death of our 16th president. M,W-Sa 9:30 am-4:30 pm, Tu 9:30 am-9 pm, Su noon-5 pm.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Since 1908, visitors have been able to roam this historic landmark under glass, which boasts two acres of tropical rain forest palms, desert cacti and ancient cycads. The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden has real and replica plants for touching and exploring, plus regular take-home art activities.

Swedish American Museum

Located in Chicago’s historically Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville, this family-friendly museum highlights the history, culture and traditions of Swedish immigrants in Chicago.