Chicago is such a fun city to visit with kids. They’ve got a ton of great attractions for kids. It’s impossible to see (and actually experience) everything the city has to offer in just a couple of days, but we were able to check a few items off of our Chicago bucket list while we were there!
Here are our favorite things to do in Chicago:
Things to do in Chicago with Kids: Ride Chicago’s “L” Train
We stayed with family who live just outside the city in Glenview, so we took the train into the city, which was a fun experience on its own! It’s a bonus if you have kids who are big into trains (my son is not huge into trains, but enjoyed it nonetheless!). We took the train into the famous Union Station and walked around the city from there.
Fun Places in Chicago: Spot Public Art by Picasso and Miro
Before our visit, my son and I were really into reading Miro’s Magic Animals and The Boy Who Bit Picasso, which are about a young boy’s experience knowing these two famous artists (who were friends of his parents, according to the book). Both books were a great way to introduce young kids to art – so we were stoked to find out that both Miro and Picasso had public art statues in Chicago (which we found by happenstance).
To get the location, you can search on Google Maps, but they are both about a 20 minute walk from the train station in the direction of Millennium Park (which is where we were headed).
Family Things to do in Chicago: Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate AKA the Bean at Millennium Park
Known as “the Bean,” this sculpture’s real name is Cloud Gate and it was created by British artist Anish Kapoor. It’s polished stainless steel, so you can photograph yourself in the reflection, or photography the cityscape in the reflection.
By the time we arrived, it was CRAZY crowded, so I’d suggest getting there as early as possible, especially if you’re staying in city limits and don’t have to take the train in.
It’s touristy, but it’s always cool to see something so iconic in person!
Fun Places for Kids in Chicago: Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park connects to Millennium Park via the BP Pedestrian Bridge. We went here after hanging out at Millennium Park. It’s definitely one of the coolest playgrounds I’ve ever been to – they have massive slides and a variety of other play structures.
There’s also ice skating in the winter, a climbing wall and mini golf, if you have time.
This spot also gets crowded, depending on the weather, but it’s worth a trip just to experience the awesome play spaces! It’s also inclose proximity to Lake Michigan’s waterfront, if you want to combine the two into one visit.
Family Things to do in Chicago: Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Botanic is technically outside the city of Chicago in Glencoe, which was convenient to where we were staying. We spent the morning here after out excursion downtown the day before.
There’s a lot to see here for a whole variety of audiences. We walked around the gardens for a bit. They have a Model Railway Garden with miniature trains within miniature landscapes and cityscapes. The kids enjoyed this for sure!
They have a decent restaurant with good selection and even a couple of well-labeled vegan options.
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