Family-Friendly Fun in Chicago

familychiChicago is a great city for families. There’s so much to see and do here, and most of the major sights are appropriate for both children and adults. Whether your kids are barely out of diapers (or still in them) or nearly out of high-school, there’s an activity for every age.

Many of Chicago’s museums offer extra activities and tours designed for kids. At the Shedd Aquarium, kids can go behind the scenes with an animal care staff member, get hands on with certain animals, or attend a special kids camp. On Tuesdays, there are also activities planned just for toddlers. The Chicago Children’s Museum, located at Navy Pier, offers interactive exhibits designed to teach kids about the world around them.

Many of Chicago’s theatres offer shows that may appeal to younger kids, and several produce plays just for the younger set. Adventure Stage puts on theatre for kids, by kids, using child actors, and the Chicago Children’s Theatre offers live interpretations of famous fables and fairy tales for kids.

Parks and Zoos

Chicago’s parks a great places to unleash the little ones for some play time. In Grant Park, kids love catching their distorted reflection in the Bean sculpture or watching the Crown Fountain spurt water from a digital “face”. The free Lincoln Park Zoo is beloved by kids of all ages. Older kids will enjoy learning about the animals and seeing them up close, while younger kids can take a ride on the Zoo Train and feed some gentle barnyard animals at the petting zoo.

The Magnificent Mile
Shopping with a cranky kid in tow doesn’t sound like much fun, but the Magnificent Mile isn’t all about fancy boutique and designer clothes. There are lots of shops that will appeal to kids as well, like the larger than like Ghirardelli Chocolate store or the little-girl’s-dream-come-true store, the American Girl Place, where kids can have a tea party with their favorite doll while mom and dad whip out the charge card to buy all the latest must-have doll accessories. Younger kids are also sure to love a carriage ride down Michigan Avenue.

Photo by wallyg