Chicago is one of the places in your traveling list with your family. If so, you should come to this city from April to May and September to October. Because this is the best time to visit Chicago – quite perfect for a family trip. There are many best things to do in Chicago, the US with kids. From the museums to the amazing show and exciting attractions for everyone is all ages. Chicago promising to bring a wonderful trip to your family.
1. 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory)
One of the best things to do in Chicago is going up till 1,000 feet in just 40 seconds over Chicago’s legendary Michigan Avenue at 360 CHICAGO (formerly John Hancock Observatory). Therefore, your family can go up to the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center. From this height, you can admire the stunning view of Chicago’s lakefront, the magnificent skyline, and four neighboring states.
While your family is here, you should not miss out on the interactive exhibit on the Ground Floor. This is highlighting Chicago’s rich history and showcasing nine of the city’s culturally unique neighborhoods. Besides that, you also can rent an audio guide tour when arriving there to explore more about the history and architecture of the magnificent city.
It is quite crowded on the weekend or on public holidays. If possible, you should avoid this time since your family may be stuck in a long queue. 360 CHICAGO located on the Magnificent Mile and close to Navy Pier, it’s quite easy to access to Chicago’s premier shopping and dining districts. You can plan for shopping after this visit.
2. Centennial Wheel
If you think that go up to the observation deck to see the overview of Chicago is not satisfied with your family. Then, you can consider seeing the stunning of Chicago in another way. The Centennial Wheel is one of the place allow everyone to admire panoramic views over downtown, Lake Michigan, and Navy Pier. You and your family can get inside the gondola that can carry up to 8 people per ride. On the way slowly to go up, your kids can see the spectacular views of the iconic Chicago skyline, the many attractions on Navy Pier.
This wheel was built in 2016 on the occasion of Anniversary of the opening of Navy Pier with features 42 gondolas. Therefore, the main view should be Navy Pier toward Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River. Sometimes, they also have some attractive shows on public holidays in the Navy Pier. Hence, you can check their website for either the showing time or opening hours since they may close in days with the bad weather.
3. Chicago River Architecture Cruise
Chicago is really famous for many architectures among the city’s renowned landmarks. If you would like to make a trip to discover all these wonderful architectures in Chicago. This is a great thing to do in Chicago with kids. Either, you simply just want to open your kids’ eyes with the best thing of sightseeing along the Chicago River. You can book a 75-minutes tour. This tour is running to exploring the hidden architectural gems among the city’s renowned landmarks.
Your family will downstream to the Chicago River and passes through more than 40 structures, sails under historic bridges including Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, Trump Tower, Marina City, Willis Tower. Don’t forget to bring your camera and wear sports shoes for your comfort during your experience on the cruise.
4. Adler Planetarium
Adler Planetarium is the planetarium that like a museum for everyone would like to learn more about astronomy and astrophysics. Although this is a museum but it’s quite different from the normal museum. Besides studying, you can interact and explore how wonderful of the astronomy in a show or movie. This is one of the amazing things to do in Chicago with kids.
Whatever your kids are really interested in science or they just curious about this world. You can bring them here for a day’s visit with many fun and exciting things to do. Learning about the history of the universe from the creation of the cosmos to modern-day space exploration. Besides that, you don’t miss out on these two shows in Adler Planetarium: One World, One Sky – Big Bird’s Adventure and Historic Atwood Sphere with many live visual animations. The show conveys useful and receptive messages for everyone from kids to adults.
5. Chicago History Museum
Exploring the Chicago History Museum to learn about the history of Chicago start from the 19th-century. Chicago was grown up from the trading outpost to a bustling port as this present.
Opening your kids’ eyes to show them Chicago’s history with five senses. The exhibition is displayed in many manners that give the visitor the best way to experience. Your family can watch, touch, and see all of the sections of these exhibitions inside the museum.
Especially, you also can feel the intensity of the Great Chicago Fire when this accident was depicted. Meanwhile, there is an audio tour that available for the galleries: Crossroads, Chicago Authored and Facing Freedom. They are approximately 40 minutes long, you can rent it on-site. Either, you can provide your ID and rent an audio tour iPod for free at the front desk.
6. Blue Man Group Show
Do you want to watch a show was performed by aliens? That should be a great thing to do in Chicago with kids! There is a show called Blue Man Group Chicago with all of the men in blue color. Blue Man Group Chicago is the newest show that was revamped with more fun and excitement to audiences around the world.
Besides the music, your family also can enjoy the magic of these fun characters. These Blue Men will dazzle you with music, comedy and a multimedia show like none other.
This show is kid-friendly and they can watch it with their parents. Therefore, don’t miss this chance to bring your kids to Briar Street Theatre to enjoy the show in 2 hours. Since The Briar Street Theatre doesn’t have a parking car, you should take a taxi to there.
7. Architecture Center Exhibit
Chicago is really the land for the architecture-lovers. They have an Architecture center which is a museum display many models of buildings in Chicago. Whatever your kids are interested in architecture or they just curious about it, you can bring them here.
Exploring more than 4,200 buildings in one spectacular room at the cinematic and interactive Chicago City Model Experience. The Chicago Architecture Center or CAC is one of the places for exciting programs and imaginative, new interactive exhibits.
The center located at 111 East Wacker, just steps from Michigan Avenue and above the dock for the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise. If your family has a passion for architecture, you may spend a half-day inside this Center, don’t forget to bring water since the center is quite huge.
8. Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago does not only have the Architecture Center but also has an Art Institute with over 300,000 pieces of world-class collection. Normally, most people interested in Art could not miss out on this Institute in Chicago.
This is a chance for your kids to admire the iconic masterpieces Pablo Picasso’s “The Old Guitarist”, Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”, and Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” in real. Exploring hundreds of thousands of artworks and get an intimate view of some of the world’s most famous artists. Therefore, take this chance to learn more about the vast collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings with your kids.
When you are visiting the Art Institute with your kids, don’t forget to visit the Ryan Learning Center for free family art-making activities. At this center, your family can do create your own tour of the museum with the new digital interactive tool or you can book a free guided walking tour at noon.
9. Segway Tour along Chicago’s lakefront
If you would like to book a tour to explore the city for the whole family, you can think about the Segway Tour of Chicago. This tour will lead you to discover the city in an amazing way by segway. Your kids probably haven’t used this vehicle before. However, you don’t worry too much, the tour guide will help your family. Definitely, your kids will be interested in this modern vehicle.
The tour’s route is along Chicago’s lakefront to see the best sights in the city. The tour also goes around Millenium Park and Grant Park leisurely to enjoy the spectacular views of the Chicago skyline and beautiful lakefront. You should prepare the sports shoes and water for your kids before the tour. By the way, tour only available with kids from 12 years old above, and not suitable for pregnant women.
10. Wicker Park Donut Tour
You can set aside the classic tour since Chicago is having a Donut Tour that is really kid-friendly. Almost kids like to eat a donut – the sweet bun with many flavors and colors. While the parents would like to go around the city for sightseeing, the kids may feel boring with the normal tour. In order to make the list of things to do in Chicago with kids to be more attractive, you can think about this tour.
This Wicker Park Donut Tour comes for the demand that your family can combine between sightseeing and eating with the delicious buns. Base on the stops that your family will pass by to taste the samples of each bun, you can visit and learn more about the location’s history with your kids. Some of the stops in Wicker Park include Intelligentsia Coffee, Stans Donuts, and Ipsento 606. This tour is 2 hours long with a tour guide that will lead you to some of Wicker Park’s best donut locales.
Chicago is a modern city with a lot of things to do with kids around the city. In order to help your trip be more fun and helpful, you can refer to some tips above to plan your trip. Therefore, it is not difficult to find the best things to do with kids in Chicago. You only need to prepare your luggage and ready to conquer the amazing things ahead.