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Guide to Chicago for Families

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Chicago has so many things to see and do, for kids of all ages! Get the family together and set off for a fun-filled day at one or more of the following destinations.

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Nature Lover

7 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

7 Places

Shedd Aquarium

Aquariums

Wrigley Field

Arenas & Stadiums

The Field Museum

Speciality Museums

Lincoln Park Zoo

Zoos

Millennium Park

Historic Walking Areas, Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Navy Pier

Piers & Boardwalks, Theme Parks

Buckingham Fountain

Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Diana R's City Tips

  • It's easy to navigate Chicago as most things are accessible by 'L' train or bus. The CTA sells unlimited public transit cards for 1, 3, 7, and 30 days.
  • Chicago is very hot in the summer and freezing in the winter — always pack layers. And if it's going to rain, it'll rain sideways so make sure you have a sturdy umbrella!
  • Food is available everywhere in Chicago, and so are public parks and beaches. Why not pack a lunch for the family and have a picnic! (Weather dependent of course).
  • Save
    Shedd Aquarium
    Aquariums
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    My favorite place to visit in Chicago — it never gets old! I have been to numerous aquariums around the world, and none have ever compared to the Shedd. Bring the family for the day, but there's so much to see that be warned, you might need to come back tomorrow for round two!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • There's almost too much to see in one day, so choose wisely and pace yourself. If you can, arrive right when it opens so you have the best chance of fitting in your favorites.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #26 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Rainy Day Shedd Visit 20/11/2017
    • Second visit as good as the first 20/11/2017
    • Shedd Aquarium
    Address:
    1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
    Chicago, IL 60605-2490
    Phone:
    +1 312-939-2438
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    09:00 - 17:00
    Sat - Sun
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Wrigley Field
    Arenas & Stadiums
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    Especially if you happen to be visiting Chicago during baseball season, you have to get to Wrigley Field! The beautiful iconic ballpark on Clark and Addison is one of my favorite places in the world, and home to the one and only Chicago Cubs. Catch a game at the park or just head over to Wrigleyville and explore. Go Cubs!!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • The ballpark is within a block of the Addison red line stop on the 'L.' On game day, expect the train to be packed with Cubs fans decked out in their favorite gear.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great classic ballpark 19/11/2017
    • Fly the W! 19/11/2017
    • Wrigley Field
    Address:
    1060 W Addison
    Chicago, IL 60613-4397
    Phone:
    +1 773-404-2827
    Other:
  • Save
    The Field Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    Right by the Shed Aquarium you'll find the Field Museum, but you'll need a full day to explore this one as well! Prepare to be greeted by dinosaur bones and invited to play with interactive galleries at one of the country's best museums. I once had a field trip here as a child and spent the night with the mummies — talk about spooky!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Arrive early to ensure you can see everything you want to by the end of the day. The museum closes at 5pm but opens as early as 9am.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Jurassic World Exhibit 19/11/2017
    • Bit boring 19/11/2017
    • The Field Museum
    Address:
    1400 S Lake Shore Dr
    Chicago, IL 60605-2827
    Phone:
    +1 312-922-9410
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Lincoln Park Zoo
    Zoos
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    Right in the middle of the city ... you'll find a zoo! Open year round, Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to spend the day walking on the wild side, and it's one of Chicago's top family destinations. Plus, did I mention that it's free??

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Family
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Check the Lincoln Park Zoo website for daily zoo activities and exhibits.
    Plan to stay:/
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Much improved 20/11/2017
    • A small treasure 19/11/2017
    • Lincoln Park Zoo
    Address:
    2001 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614-4757
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-2000
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Millennium Park
    Historic Walking Areas, Parks, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    Although it's beautiful in the summer, I recommend heading to Millennium Park in the winter when they turn part of it into an ice-skating rink! It's magical skating between the snowflakes with the city skyline as the backdrop — just make sure to dress everyone for the cold! In summer, check out the Crown Fountain and kiddie splash area for some water fun. And of course, don't miss exploring the funny reflections in 'the bean'.

    Good for
    • Family
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • If you can bring ice skates or rent them somewhere else prior, I highly recommend it. Though the line to get on the ice is usually small, the line to rent skates can be huge!
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Glorious 20/11/2017
    • Great Park 20/11/2017
    • Millennium Park
    Address:
    201 East Randolph Street
    Between Michigan Avenue & Columbus Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60601-6530
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-1168
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    06:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Navy Pier
    Piers & Boardwalks, Theme Parks
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    Although I tend to shy away from the crowds that flock to Navy Pier, stopping by for the Ferris wheel is definitely worth it! The Ferris wheel provides a unique view of the city, but be prepared for the height and the speed — you go really high at the speed of a turtle. Perfect for taking pictures though!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The ferries wheel operates weather permitting, but make sure it's a nicer day before you go. Remember the gondolas are open aired, so if it's cold out, you'll feel it!
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Awesome 20/11/2017
    • Views of the city like no other 20/11/2017
    • Navy Pier
    Address:
    600 E Grand Ave
    Chicago, IL 60611-3419
    Phone:
    +1 312-595-7437
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 20:00
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Buckingham Fountain
    Fountains, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Diana R Says:

    In the summer there's nothing more refreshing than visiting the Buckingham fountain in downtown Chicago. On a hot day when the wind picks up and blows the fountain spray in your direction, there's no better place to be to cool off! Short of swimming in the Lake itself!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The fountain only operates from April through October, but you can still stop by to see the light decorations around Christmas.
    Plan to stay:/
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #23 of 667 things to do in Chicago
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • A disappointment 18/11/2017
    • It's a fountain 18/11/2017
    • Buckingham Fountain
    Address:
    Grant Park
    Chicago, IL
    Phone:
    +1 312-742-7529
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 23:00
    Other:
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