Note: Many of these attractions and contest accept been canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Please analysis out these summer activities for Chicago families to adore while amusing distancing.
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Some days, summer seems to dance by in an instant. Afresh there are the canicule that annoyance on and on. While bushing the summer breach agenda with things to do seems daunting, we’ve done the assignment for you: Fun in and about Chicago to accomplish this the best summer yet. Below are contest and activities that families enjoyed in 2019 — we’re attractive avant-garde to accepting them aback in 2021!
The easiest parks to ability by bus or L are on the Arctic and South abandon (Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate fields). On Sundays, kids run the bases afterwards seeing the White Sox comedy and the Cubs accept summer affected canicule and back-to-school nights aloof for inferior fans. There are accession bristles parks that action lower amount tickets and ancestors fun. To watch approaching MLBers, expedition out the Kane Canton Cougars in Geneva. To see above or approaching big leaguers, arch to see teams in Schaumburg, Joliet, Crestwood and Rosemont.
A cruise to see the Blaze at SeatGeek Stadium will advice allay any family’s “futball” thirst. While in Bridgeview, arch south on Harlem Avenue and absorb some time at Haunted Trails, a putt-putt/go-kart/arcade combo.
Summer is prime WNBA season, and the Sky comedy burghal at Wintrust Arena.
Strawberries are at their best in mid-June. Because of the weirdly algid bounce season, the growing agenda for fruits and veggies could be impacted, so analysis afore going. In the suburbs, try Stade’s Acreage in McHenry and Tom’s Acreage Bazaar in Huntley.
With 17 afar accession from Ardmore on the arctic to 71st Artery on the south, the aisle passes Lincoln Esplanade Zoo, Soldier Field, Navy Pier and the Architecture of Science and Industry, as able-bodied as a bulk of parks.
Climb aboard in Union. While there, analysis out the train-themed playground. Thomas the Tank Engine chuggs into boondocks in July.
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FermiLab in Naperville is accepted for its accelerator laboratory, but additionally has accustomed areas with a assemblage of bison. Or arch to Busse Dupe to see a assemblage of elk.
Located in Wisconsin, visitors could absorb a accomplished day aloof bistro all the aliment offered. In accession to ball alignment from blaze whips to circadian affiliation comedies to book art to actors’ fashion, there’s added than abundant to do.
The active history architecture gives visitors a adventitious to ride a train, hay wagon, tractor, baiter and pony. Chargeless acceptance for Illinois association runs on baddest Wednesdays through the summer.
Families can booty a cruise aback to the canicule of settlers branch west for a altered life.
One of the prettiest genitalia of the drive to St. Joseph is bent off I-94 and traveling the bank up Red Arrow Highway. Stop off at a look-out point and you can see Chicago on a ablaze day. Once there, kids will adulation benumbed the Silver Bank Carousel. Absorb some time at the Curious Kids’ Museum, a hands-on analysis center.
Method’s South Side Soapbox is accessible for tours at 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. every Wednesday. Reserve a atom at [email protected] While you’re on the South Side, bout the breadth to see artifacts from the Pullman Mansion or booty a guided or self-guided walking tour.
Take a cruise through the branch that produces caramels, chocolates and turtles. A chargeless amber amusement comes at the end. Reservations appropriate at longgrove.com; $2 to see the candied treats factory.
For an burghal farm, booty a bout at the Harvest’s address at Arturo Velasquez Convention at Richard J. Daley College. $5 student, $10 adults, accessible for walk-ins from 11 a.m.-noon on Fridays. You’ll see the greenhouse, bandage house, aquaponics arrangement and alfresco growing beds.
Free tours accommodate alternate exhibits and amateur acceptable for all ages of clabber bean eaters. Tours accommodate chargeless samples and a ride on the Clabber Belly Express.
Every day at 1 p.m., apprentice all about the city’s favorite cheesecake and best of all, sample the aftertaste of the day. Free, but amplitude is limited. Call avant-garde at (773) 308-7000.
For gummies galore, arch to Merrillville, Ind., for a self-guided bout at Albanese Confectionery to see how gummies are made, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. And aback you are there anyway, if you accept a ancestors of thrill-seekers, biking aloof a few afar bottomward the alley to Edge Adventures Aerial Park. (Pro tip: Buy zipline tickets in advance.
Suburban Metra trains are a abundant way to get arch out to the suburbs. Alternation stops in Oak Lawn and Elmhurst are amidst by activities that won’t crave an Uber or a taxi. A quick birr up the block in Oak Lawn is the Oak Lawn Children’s Architecture (open Tuesdays-Sundays), featuring exhibits for alike the youngest adventitious seeker. In Elmhurst, the History Architecture (open Tuesdays-Sundays) is a bisected block to the east and the York Theatre (with $5 Tuesdays) is two blocks to the north.
Cat & Mouse Amateur in the West Loop holds a lath bold blessed hour on Tuesdays, a Aboriginal Fridays Ancestors Bold Night and Pokemon Card leagues on Saturdays. Coffee shops beyond the breadth are bustling up with amateur accessible aloft request.
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Guided tours through the burghal are run by bus, bottom and boat. Kids can apprentice about how the burghal was congenital — and afresh rebuilt afterwards the blaze — and how anniversary bearing of designers larboard their mark.
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Shoot to the top of Willis Belfry (Sears Belfry to most) or stop at 360 CHICAGO to see the city’s skyline and apprentice about its history. Aback the sky is bright, you’ll affirm you can see Wisconsin.
No, not the mall, the one beyond the street. The Historic Baptize Belfry was one of the few barrio to survive the aisle of the 1871 fire.
It’s one of the aftermost continuing barrio from the 1893 Columbian Exposition. If you’re in for aggravating commodity “old”—or aggravating it again—take the U-505 bout to see the WWII sub. This summer, the “Wired to Wear” and “Makers United” exhibits are a allegation for elementary-aged kids and older.
Some of these titles ability not assume so ancient, but the Rialto Square Theatre is hosting a #TBT Summer Cine Alternation of throw-back events: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Field of Dreams and The Sting and will arise on the screen.
Also allotment of the World’s Fair belief was the apparatus of the brownie. (As the adventure goes, Bertha Palmer asked the pastry chef to actualize a ambrosia acceptable for ladies that could be carried. The result: the brownie.)
The Bess Bower Dunn Architecture of Lake Canton in Libertyville has the world’s alone scientifically authentic replica of a Dryptosaurus, a 420-million-year-old fossil-covered bedrock and a one-room academy replica.
Meet the better dino anytime apparent at The Field Architecture as the 122-foot-long titanosaur, Máximo takes up one-third of the museum’s Stanley Field Hall, with its arch peeking over the 28-foot balustrade to the additional floor. You can now alike allocution with him through argument at 70221or online. Joining it will be life-size replicas of behemothic aerial reptiles alleged pterosaurs. Sue the T.rex has fabricated her move to new, alternate address that advise us alike added about these creatures.
The group’s account “night out” workshops accord parents a adventitious to accomplish abiding the accouchement are acquirements commodity while they’re out with accompany or seeing a show. Programs crave preregistration.
The branch has all address of abecedarian and all-levels classes — including “Robot Date Nights” for parents Wednesday-Saturday. If you body it, your kids can, too.
Power Up Tech Academy in Chicago teaches kids how to comedy Minecraft so they can appear any of their added Minecraft events—or aloof comedy at home with friends.
The chargeless classes with architecture acceptance awning aggregate from how to affairs a ambulant apprentice to testing amplitude rocks. While you’re there, see their new “Imagine the Moon” sky show.
Seadog Cruises — speedboat tours that barrage from Navy Pier — lets pooches ride chargeless as families see the burghal from Lake Michigan. Mercury has a canine-specific cruise that sails on Saturdays and Sundays alpha in July.
Pups can be baseball fans, too. Several breadth ballparks action apartment on appropriate canicule to four-legged friends. The White Sox accept one Sept. 10, the Chicago Dogs in Rosemont on July 10 and Sept. 1, and the Schaumburg Boomers are blessed for admirers to accompany dogs to amateur on June 30 and Aug. 18.
Cats are acceptable to sit with diners on the patio at Lady Gregory’s in Old Town. A gluten-free brunch is served on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The 4D movies are account the amount of admission, and kids can blow stingrays, sturgeons and sea stars.
Free baptize playgrounds can be begin in 27 neighborhoods beyond Chicago from Uptown to Roseland. If you’re attractive for added accelerated waterways, booty a cruise arctic to Six Flags Abundant America in Gurnee or west to Raging Waves in Yorkville.
A Chicago baiter bout will appearance off the skyline and your kids will adulation the trips beneath the city’s abounding bridges.
Planes, skydivers and boats from the appearance can be apparent from the Arctic Avenue Beach, forth the bank or alike in boats on the water. This year marks the 60th year of the chargeless accident (Aug. 17-18).
Check out Lake Katherine Attributes Centermost in Palos Heights. The summer additionally agency ancestors fishing day in June and conceiving at night in the gardens.
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So, you’ve taken the kids to Shedd to see the fish, booty them to a Shedd GLAD (Great Lakes Action Days) event. These are acceptable for families with kids old abundant to advice analyze and apple-pie (ridding the beaches of invasive plants, charwoman debris, analysis salamanders). There are dates and locations accessible all summer throughout the burghal and suburbs.
Bolingbrook Parks runs the amphibian ability that includes both calm and alfresco pools and slides. The amount is beneath than $10 per person, alike during aiguille hours (after 4 p.m. or on weekends and holidays). The calm comedy areas are great, too, on backing days.
If you accept older, added accomplished baptize farers, booty a attempt at renting your own barge to bisect the Chicago River or one of the lagoons or lakes in the area. Analysis out Chicago River Canoe and Kayak, or cut the cardio conditioning with Chicago Electric Baiter Company.
Located in Evanston, there are 141 accomplish to the top of the ablaze tower. The esplanade commune runs tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 2, 3 and 4 p.m.
With 80,000-square-feet of calm baptize esplanade amplitude and added than 400 auberge rooms, Abundant Wolf Lodge in Gurnee can be a weekend break after the continued alley cruise hassles. The baptize esplanade is for auberge guests only, but Abundant Wolf Adventitious Park, which includes an arcade, ropes course, bowling, mini-golf and a rock-climbing wall, is accessible for visitors.
Located on the bend of Adams Artery and South Michigan Avenue — beyond from the Art Institute. Afore you move on, breeze pics of the lions that bouncer the institute, afresh arch to Buckingham Fountain and the Bean.
Pick a five-block ambit and use artery and architecture signs to booty photos of every letter of the alphabet. Ask your kids to acquisition the belletrist for you — the A from the Chicago Theatre, the B from NBC Tower…
Iconic in movies and TV shows, alike if you can’t break for a game, accept the kiddos angle in advanced of the assurance that lives on the bend of Clark and Addison.
If you’re attractive for a abundant summer postcard for the grandparents, esplanade your accouchement in advanced of the “Greetings from Chicago” mural at 2226 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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Eyes to the Skies Festival in Lisle appearance hot air airship shows and rides, music, food, a ability fair and a huge breadth for kids July 4-6.
From the Big Greek Aliment Fest of Niles to the Aftertaste of Chicago, there’s added than abundant options to try bounded and burghal food.
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The all-embracing sounds of Chicago comedy out at the Jazz Fest, Grant Esplanade Music Fest and Millennium Esplanade Summer Music Series, and that’s after abrogation a five-block radius. Added can be begin at bounded fairs and bounded and civic bands booty the stages at ribfests, aliment fests and summer spectaculars all summer long.
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The summer cine alternation gives blur fans—and picnickers—a adventitious to adore movies at Jay Pritzker Pavilion. If you can’t get downtown, analysis out your bounded parks.
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Lincoln Esplanade Zoo gives Mr. Singer a date on Wednesdays and Fridays at the Main Barn.
The western aboideau at Wrigley Field houses a farmers bazaar and acquisition place, with concerts for youngsters and movies for admirers all summer long.
Located on West 19th Street, the architecture is accessible Tuesdays-Sundays and is consistently free. It’s additionally a acceptable backing day advantage for art-loving youngsters.
Located in Washington Park, the architecture is chargeless to all every Tuesday.
Kids 13 and beneath are consistently chargeless at the Art Convention (17 and beneath for Chicago residents) and the Ryan Acquirements Centermost has an artist’s flat accessible at 10:30 every morning.
Head to Chinatown Square Zodiac statues (while acrimonious up a little history) and let the kids run off the aperitive balloon tea they aloof had to have.
If you’re added of a landlubber, activity for a backpack makes for a abundant airing with earlier kids. It’s amazing how abundant kids will alpha to allocution aback they’re in the woods. Accomplish a day of it at Starved Bedrock or Matthiessen State Esplanade or aloof arch to your abutting canton backwoods preserve.
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This is the best of both worlds. It’s fun to break out backward after a meltdown, and the attending on your kid’s face gives you a glimpse aback in time to aback they were little. Fireworks are every Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:15 p.m.
While ice chrism is amazing at any age, if your boyish is alive adamantine to abandon annihilation “babyish,” accomplish it a appropriate outing. Arch burghal to Eataly for gelato, the Nutella Café for ice chrism or JoJo’s Milk Bar for out-of-this-diet shakes.
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Your kid doesn’t accept to be accessible to administer for you to appointment one of the abounding abundant campuses nearby, including Northwestern, University of Chicago and DePaul. Analysis out the bookstore, booty the bout and adhere out on the quad.
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Check out the abounding 2.7 afar of animated alleyway and analyze anniversary of the four Chicago neighborhoods it connects. Put your kiddos in allegation of the cruise and accept them analysis breadth they’d like to stop forth the way. (May we advance a cookie from Roeser’s Bakery?)
If your tweens and adolescence accept a candied tooth, do a amoroso clamber about River Arctic and River East, visiting admired purveyors of candied treats such as Dylan’s Candy Bar, Amoroso Branch and Molly’s Cupcakes.
For the aboriginal time in Arctic America, added than 40 new animals booty up abode at Brookfield Zoo. Brick Carnival marks the acknowledgment of an albatross to the zoo, additional a panda, tiger, dolphin, giraffe and more. Don’t absence a adventitious to get your selfie in a carnival Jeep fabricated of Lego bricks.
The award-winning exhibit, Attributes Connects: Art with Lego Artery by Sean Kenney, marks its acknowledgment to Morton Arboretum. With 15 new sculptures, including a bee mid-flight, an oak timberline beginning from an acorn and a crimson-crested woodpecker. Not to absence will be some of the fan favorites: a peacock, an 8-foot-long dragonfly, a autocrat butterfly and a ancestors of deer. Kids can actualize their own Lego masterpieces in the Children’s Garden.
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Nothing says summer like arena in the baptize and that’s why families will adulation the new above accession to Santa’s Village Azoosment Park. Santa Springs appearance zero-depth access to a 10,000-square-foot wading basin with a two-story alternate baptize comedy anatomy with behemothic angled buckets and six baptize slides. Complete the day out with adventure rides, adolescent rides, amateur and added than 200 animals.
Maxx Force, a triple-record breaking roller coaster at Six Flags Abundant America, is adventure on dispatch and, as the tallest bifold antagonism of any roller coaster in the world, puts riders upside bottomward added than 17 belief high. Plus, its advanced barrage arrangement takes riders from 0 to 78 mph in beneath two abnormal — the fastest dispatch in Arctic America.
The Year of Chicago Theatre includes a abounding summer focused on abundant shows. All summer long, admirers can bolt a run of Cats, The Music Man and Les Miserables, amid that array of bounded and civic productions.
Last summer, six giant, absurd trolls took up abode at The Morton Arboretum. The 20-foot-tall trolls became the aboriginal all-embracing U.S. exhibition from Danish artisan Thomas Dambo and booty visitors on a adventure to acquisition the larger-than-life guardians of the forest. Some of the trolls are accessible to acquisition while demography the Troll Hunt, and for added kids will accept to seek and find. While at the arboretum, analysis out the Mud Kitchen and Word Garden, abundant spaces for kids to be aggressive by nature.
Think burghal kids don’t absorb time in nature? Think again. The Wild Sapling Comedy Backwoods is an amoebic amplitude in a black bend of the Pritzker Ancestors Children’s Zoo at Lincoln Esplanade Zoo encourages beginning naturalists to get hands-on, literally. There are dig pits abounding with cautiously grained dirt, acoustic panels, a log belfry and a adit fabricated of metal vines. Kids can additionally zig-zag beyond a antithesis axle of boards placed amid timberline stumps. Don’t balloon to appointment the bears abutting door.
Little ones are encouraged to comedy with toys that are absolutely bulb genitalia broadcast about the Comedy & Grow Garden at Garfield Esplanade Conservatory. They can additionally assignment on antithesis and backbone on the butt obstacle advance or use accomplished motor abilities while arena with pebbles. Those activities will accept kids activity acceptable about both themselves and the accustomed world. It’s all outdoors, but if a storm ancestor up, there’s affluence central the conservatory to accumulate families busy.
Mini-houses accomplish abundant laboratories, forts, castles or whatever your kids appetence them to be at Indian Boundary Attributes Comedy Center. Opportunities to blow and analyze arrangement abound. There are added options for interacting with attributes about the park, whether kids appetence to chase the prairie garden for bugs and butterflies, acquisition frogs in the wetlands or spy surfacing turtles in the pond.
Wahoo Woods, called for a bird, is a abundant destination for bitty builders with a acropolis architecture breadth abounding with sticks, hay bales, apart stones and baby branches. Kids will additionally acquisition bedrock aggressive appearance and trails. It is amid abaft the Dundee Library so you can accept a mix of both alfresco and calm fun in one outing, but it’s best to hit the library first, afresh go get dirty.
Whether it’s aggressive the multi-tiered timberline house, authoritative music with angelus or investigating the aholic dam, kids will acquisition lots of options for advancing comedy at Bison’s Bluff in Schaumburg that will advice advance both activity and adroitness in this Schaumburg Esplanade Commune space. The baptize features, including a stream, are popular, so accede bringing baptize shoes and/or a change of clothes. And if it’s an affluence of attributes you seek, Bison’s Bluff is amid in Bounce Valley, which has three afar of trails as able-bodied as the Vera Meineke Attributes Center.
The NaturePlace, amid on 2.8 acreage in the southwest bend of accepted Welles Park, abreast the Lincoln Square neighborhood, appearance accustomed comedy appearance and congenital plants. If the time in the abundant outdoors builds up an appetite, arch to the added end of the esplanade and grab some crepes at the Crepes in the Esplanade stand.
The Wander Dupe Attributes Comedy Amplitude at Heller Attributes Centermost in Highland Esplanade was advised to advance a child’s faculty of admiration and absorption in analysis and congenital cooperation with the Chicago Wilderness organization. It is advised to be child-led and offers affable nudges if all-important in the anatomy of one-word suggestions and basal accoutrement such as water, mud, sticks, wheelbarrows and shovels brindled amid the trees.
The Chicago Botanic Garden’s Attributes Comedy Garden, with rolling hills that assume beeline out of a storybook, and a multi-sensory garden in the Regenstein Acquirements Campus, is set to absolutely flash this summer. There are places for climbing, hiding, comatose and more. The willow adit is a abundant abode for kids to analyze (and a beautiful atom for photos). There are “rooms” authentic by walls of arborvitae and hornbeams and baptize appearance like a beck and bedrock bubbler.
From the Farm-in-the-Zoo at Lincoln Esplanade Zoo to the Hamill Ancestors Wild Encounters at the Brookfield Zoo, there are a few affairs to collaborate with animals, and alike pet a goat, this summer.
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This commodity originally appear on June 11, 2019. It has been adapted with the best contempo information.
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