There are so many things to do with kids in Chicago during the summer, it seems endless. Summertime in the midwest is seriously the best especially in the northern states. When I was a little kid some of my favorite memories were the quick family vacations we would take. I love Chicago because of the quantity of things there is to do and any place on water is a huge bonus! Although I am not a mother…yet, I do have two nieces (6 and 3 years old) that live in the Chicago area that love to see new things. They are movers and shakers in tiny bodies, haha! I love to tag along with them when I can. There are so many cool, quick places that can be seen during the summertime in Chicago.
Chicago! We LOVE Chicago. There is a ton to do and it is a quick trip from Michigan or a ton of other locations in the midwest. Chicago has a ton to offer; museums, zoos, parks and a beach. Not to mention, it’s right on Lake Michigan and absolutely beautiful in the summertime.
Lincoln Park Zoo
This year was my first time visiting Lincoln Park Zoo and I loved it! It’s FREE!! The zoo itself isn’t very big so it doesn’t have to take all day to walk around. It took us about 4 hours to see the whole zoo (45 minutes of that was standing in line for face painting). The kids didn’t get too tired, the adults didn’t get too tired and by the time we were done everyone was in a good mood…success! When we were done with the zoo, we walked across the street a couple blocks to RJ Grunts which was great for a quick bite and very kid friendly- they have the best salad bar! Outside the zoo, there is a park area that overlooks part of the city. Other people were having picnics and kids were running around- it was perfect to just take a seat, rest and people watch.
Tip: For parking- the zoo charges about $30-35 but there is parking on the street that you can find for cheaper or sometimes free.
Shedd’s Aquarium is perfect for a rainy day or super hot day. The amount of sea life is amazing to see! They have different exhibits and during the summer (2019) they will have a “Stingray Touch” that is open from late May to mid September. A family could spend about 5 hours inside seeing everything between the exhibits and different shows that they offer. I loved it too because there was a lot of things I’ve never seen before.
The admission for non-Chicago residents is $39.95 for adults and $29.95 for children. Chicago residents are 50% off.
Tip: They offer free days for Illinois residents on June 17, 18, 24 ,25, August 26-27, September 3, 4, 9-11, 16-18, 23-25, 30.
Everyone that my sister talks to says that this is one of the coolest things to take kids to in Chicago. She hasn’t taken the kids yet but plans to this summer. This is one of the more expensive things to do with kids too because there are so many exhibits and different museum entries. Plan your visit and see what fits your family best, here.
Chicago just improved and opened the Riverwalk downtown between Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive. This is a cool attraction for all ages including kids. There are lots of restaurants, artwork, river boat rides & etc. My nieces ( & their parents) favorite thing to do is play the yard games at a restaurant along the riverwalk while my sister and her husband enjoy a cocktail and people watch. This is definitely a great way to distract your kids while you enjoy some adult time.
Maggie Daley Park
This is probably one of the coolest parks I’ve been to. It’s a huge, free park downtown Chicago where Lake Michigan is on one side and the city is on the other. The kids love this park because there are so many different areas and things to explore. We could spend hours here. It’s easy to access from many different entrances. Pack a lunch and let the kids run wild. You can easy spend a few hours here.
Navy Pier has a lot of different options for families. There are boat rides that go out into Lake Michigan or you can watch the boats coming in and out of the marina. During the summer there are bands that play outside. There is a fountain in front of the Children’s Museum that all the kids love to play in especially my nieces. My sister loves it because it’s a free thing that the kids think is the best thing ever. Make sure to bring a change of clothes! You could also visit the Children’s Museum which is in Navy Pier.
One of my first picks to do on a summer day would be the beach! Letting kids run around, play in the water while overlooking Lake Michigan with the city behind you is my literal dream day. There is a public beach right downtown that you can hangout all day at. In the summer it’s busy but what beach isn’t.
What are your favorite things to do with kids in Chicago?