Are you looking for new ways to make memories with your kids beyond your usual time at home? No video games, no streaming, no screens, just your family enjoying life and living in the moment? I think we could all use a little bit of that. However, if you’re a bit of a hermit, knowing what’s beyond your front door can leave you perplexed and lost on what Chicago kids can do and enjoy beyond YouTube and TikTok. Or perhaps you already have your go-to places but crave something new, like a local gem that has somehow been overlooked. If you fit in either of those categories, this list is for you! Each one of these locations has an opportunity to learn something new, laugh, have fun, interact or try something new.
Five Interactive Places for Chicago Kids
Lincoln Park Zoo
Connecting people with nature and wildlife around them is what Lincoln Park Zoo does best. Kids can lead their own adventure and take a self-guided tour of their impressive Chicago grounds. They are full of exhibits home to hundreds of animals, plants, and gardens to explore. From lizards, lemurs, polar bears, and Egyptian Fruit bats to fauna and floral species, your kids will always have something to see. Keep an eye on their event calendar and plan your visit during a fun seasonal event you’ll never forget! Before you leave, stop by their gift shop and pick up a fun memento! So you and your kids can be reminded of your fantastic day at home.
Maggie Daley Park
What was once an expansive surface parking lot is one of Chicago’s most loved parks for kids. It was named after Maggie C. Daley, Chicago’s longtime first lady, who was dedicated to enriching the lives of children and improving the community. This park offers so many fun and exciting opportunities to enjoy as a family. You can enjoy a walk in Cancer Survivors’ Garden, Play Garden or Picnic Groves, or visit the Fieldhouse. If you need something more energetic for your kids, take on the Climbing Wall, grab tickets for the Ice Skating Ribbon or partake in Mini Golf or hit the Tennis Courts.
For those who need to go fast, there are always Roller Blades, Micro Scooters & Bungee to get your adrenaline going. When you need a breather, stop by the Rink Cafe. You can use that time to look up Programs & Events coming up for you and your family to enjoy!
Chicago Children’s Museum
Before you say museums and your Chicago kids aren’t exactly simpatico, this isn’t the kind of museum we remember as a kid. They believe wholeheartedly that children learn best through play. So their mission is to create a community where play and learning connect. This museum was designed to allow the community to gather, experiment, and be creative while being accessible and inclusive for all. From babies to big kids, there are exhibits for all to enjoy. Whether it’s a play space, a spot to be creative, a place to dig into science, reach new heights or become an engineer, your kids (and you) can make memories and create a new favorite place to visit.
If you love a great view, this one’s for you, but you’ve got to enjoy the height to see it! An iconic part of Chicago’s skyline, the Centennial Wheel gives you a 360° view of Chicago at nearly 200 feet in the air. Their enclosed gondolas offer security and impressive views, no matter the season, that can render your little ones speechless in complete awe of their city.
Kohl Children’s Museum
With 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits and programs beautifully aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards, there are many opportunities to play while building their love for learning. Their displays focus on children from birth to age 8 to spark their imagination and engage their curious minds. While 15 of their exhibits are permanent and range from creativity to engineering, 2 exhibits change throughout the year. So each visit features something a little different, giving you something new to learn each time.
Chicago Kids just want to have fun! And with a list like this, it’s impossible not to enjoy! Get out and make those lasting memories and live in the moment.
So are you ready for more Chicago family content? Then check out the blog links below for more helpful articles on all things family in Chicago. Also, feel free to browse more featured photo sessions in my photography portfolio. But before you go, start the conversation today about your next photo session!