10 Kid-Friendly Activities To Do With Kids In Chicago

by Jill P 

We love Chicago! It’s such a fun place to spend the weekend or enjoy a quick mini-road trip from Kalamazoo. We love the museums, the shopping, food, and all there is to do.

Here’s some of our favorite, kid-friendly activities.

What’s your favorite places to visit while you’re in Chicago? Let us know in the comment section below.



(The Field Museum)



1. Hunt for Dinosaurs

See Sue, the largest, best-preserved T-Rex on the planet, is the star of The Field Museum. Make sure you check out the Crown Family PlayLab has six themed play areas and is perfect for younger kids. Before your visit, download one of the Family Adventure Tours or pick one up at the museum’s Information desks to help children make the most of the exhibitions.


(Shedd Aquarium)


2. See the Fishes

With more than 32,500 animals representing 1,500 species, the Shedd Aquarium has plenty for families to explore. Not to miss is the aquatic show with dolphins, whales, and sea otters. Reader tip: get there early or as close to opening as possible to avoid the crowds.


3. Play Astronaut

The Adler Planetarium has a great kids area where your kiddo can pretend like they are an astronaut getting ready for their next space mission.  Plus, they offer plenty of family friendly shows, including One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure.

chicago ferris wheel

(Navy Pier)


4. Ride on a Ferris Wheel

Take a spin on the iconic Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier. You’ll love the view that you get from atop the Ferris Wheel. Aim for a clear day for the best views of the city. The 150-foot Ferris wheel and the hand-painted musical carousel are fun things that the kids will enjoy.


(Chicago Children’s Museum)

5. Play Like You’re A Grown Up

The Chicago Children’s Museum offers plenty of opportunities for the kiddos to play firemman or a construction worker. The Chicago Children’s Museum is a great museum and perfect for kids 10 and under. My kiddo loved the museum most when he was 3-5 years old.

chicago architecture

(Chicago Architecture Tour)


6.  Take A Cruise

During a 90-minute Chicago Architecture Tour, the guide delivers cool facts about 50 buildings along the Chicago River. We loved our cruise down the Chicago and we have a huge number of pictures to prove it! This is best for older kids and you’ll love the chance to enjoy this unique view of Chicago.


7. Go Shopping

The kids won’t mind an afternoon of shopping as long as it’s at the Lego Store, Dylan’s Candy Bar, or the American Girl Store. On our recent trip to Chicago, we made a game out of all of the candy shops that we could find. Hershey’s, Ghiradelli, and Dylan’s Candy Bar were some of our favorite finds and made our walk through Michigan Mile a lot more fun.

 rainforest cafe

(Rainforest Cafe)

8. Grab A Bite and Be Entertained

There are plenty of options for the kids to eat and be entertained. Some of our favorites include Rainforest Cafe (wait for the thunderstorm every 1/2 hour) or Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. offers plenty of opportunity to watch all of the action on Navy Pier.


9. Visit the Zoo

Pretend like you’re a local and head to the  Lincoln Park Zoo which is FREE. There are plenty of animals and exhibits to see. Popular creatures at the Lincoln Park Zoo include the brand new Red Pandas at the Kovler Lion House, the playful snow monkeys, the young snow leopard Taza, and many more Or if you plan to head during the Christmas season, head to the Lights at The Zoo which are spectacular, but be prepared for the crowds.


10. Head To A Playground

Maggie Daley Park is one of the newest parks right in downtown Chicago. If you go in the summer or early fall, head there early to avoid the crowds. Or if the winter, skate the ribbon which is a loop of ice skating trail around the park. See a full review here from our friends at Little Lake County.



Hope this gives you some fresh ideas for your next family trip to Chicago!