1 Spend a day in Millennium Park and Art Institute of Chicago
Millenium Park is one of the city's major cultural centers. It a perfect place to spend all day with family. Its free and very clean and has lots of things to offer.
Let your kids to splash in the Crown Fountain, go to famous Cloud Gate which is known as "The Bean", spring is a perfect time to visit Lurie Garden full of blooming flowers, birds, dragonflies... Also there are a lot of outdoor music,
amazing public arts and beautiful architecture. Check their website for upcoming events.
There are Daley Bicentennial Plaza where you will find one of the newest playground in the city.
Next to Millennium Park is Art Institute of Chicago. Its a museum which really made art exhibits interesting for kids - they can touch a lot of art works and even create their own in Kraft Education Center. Also ask for the special designed booklet for families with children in visitor center of museum to make trip interesting for your kids. Art Institute of Chicago has the largest collection of Impressionist works outside of the Louvre. The museum's collection is huge, so is the place - you can spend days in this place an not see everything. It is possibly the greatest art museum in the world. Children under 14 free admission.
Every parent should take their child here. Museum of Science and Industry is landmark museum features more than 800 interactive exhibits, including the refurbished U-505 Submarine and YOU!The Experience, featuring high-tech, hand-on exploration of the body, mind and spirit. The key highlights include U-Boat tour, Pioneer Zephyr Tour, Boeing Flight Tour, Apollo spacecraft exhibit, Mirror Maze and Fairy Castle exhibit. Kids of all ages will have a blast! Open daily 9:30 am-4pm. Show up early and get your tickets for the special exhibits before they sell out.
The trip to Chicago will not be complete without visiting Michigan Avenue and Magnificent Mile and do shopping or window shopping. Michigan Avenue is a huge shopping district with various mid-range and high-end shops line this section of the street. There are very nice kids shops there:
In Water Tower Place - 758,000 sq ft shopping mall - you will find:
American Girl Place - shop for the girls with big imagination
The Lego Store - building blog wonderland
Marbles: The Brain Store - one-of-a-kind specialty store with a smart collection of hand-picked, expert-tested, certifiably fun ways to build better brains. There are a lot of nice family games!
Candyality - carries thousands of bulk items and sweet treats including gummies, sours, taffy, and more. Need M & M’s in 21 colors? How about your favorite flavor of Jelly Belly’s? They even have a licorice bar offering a selection from many corners of the world.
Then go out from Water Tower Place and walk 2 blocks left and there will be Disney Store. I am sure you already know what to expect there =)
Then just walk and enjoy views of the this beautiful street and may be do some shopping for you too!
In 20 minutes from Disney Store will be famous Garrett Popcorn Shop. The smell of Garrett popcorn haunts the streets, willing you to come in. A definite must buy when in Chicago!
It is a perfect place for families and a lot of things you can do there:
Must see Lincoln Park Zoo. Its one of the nation's oldest zoo, has more than 1200 animals and its free. There are so many animals to see from farm animals to polar bears to lions and black bears.
After the zoo pass by South Pond going to Lincoln Park Conservatory. Inside, there's an interesting collection of ferns and tropical plants, beautiful flowers during spring, the amazing orchid room (year round), peaceful ponds, and a selection of edible plants, which is especially fun for little kids. Open 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
After walk to Lincoln Park Lily Pool (Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool) and its up to you how long you want to spend there. Its a hidden gem is a very beautiful place, so just walk around or better have a small picnic.
Next on the way is The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Its not a big museum but has a lot of hands on activities for kids (and adults). Its perfect for a day visit with kids, and be sure not to miss the butterfly conservatory on the rooftop - there are so many beautiful, friendly butterflies--expect them to land right on you. The exhibit has a lot to offer for children of all ages.
And if you have some power and time left go to Kathy Osterman Beach. It is a very nice beach and not too crowded. There is a playground at the far end and a cafe with bar which is very nice. There are also restrooms and a shower area and a couple of life guards on duty.
You can make it in one day or dedicate one day for each place.
Shedd Aquarium is a home to an array of fascinating aquatic animals. Meet sharks, belugas, otters, dolphins... Highlights:
Wild Reef - shark habitat
Caribbean Reef - watch divers hand-feed fish and sharks in 90,000-gallon aquarium
Abbott Oceanarium - encounter beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and sea otters.
Polar Play Zone - can slip into a penguin suit and try being a bird in the Icy South play area
The Behind the Scenes Tour
The lines can get very long and you skip the wait if you have ordered tickets in advance. Be sure to allow plenty of time to see all of the attractions. Allow about 4 hours, excluding the shows, to see most of the exhibits.
Open 9 am - 5 pm
Not far from Shedd Aquarium is Adler Planetarium features loads of other-worldly experience. The $14 million, ultra high-res. 260-degree Grainger Sky Theatre features the new sky show Destination Solar System. They offer many other shows. Get there early to get a full pass and see as many of the shows as you can. There are good kids shows: Earth, Moon & Sun and One World, One Sky: Big Bird's Adventure.
Discover planets beyond our solar system. Get hands-on with family friendly displays. Build exploration skills on a deep space adventure. Use scientific tools to investigate the star and eight planets that make up our Solar System. Become a space explorer.
Open 9:30 am - 4 pm (up to 4:30 pm on weekend).
Navy Pier is the 50-acre playground of entertainment, museums, activities, restaurants, and shops is the perfect place for some family fun time.
Start with Pier Park: a ride on the 150-foot Ferris wheel, which offers sweeping views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. Also check out the whimsical musical carousel, Wave Swinger lift-and-twirl ride, miniature golf course, remote control boats, and more. Purchase ride tickets online or at the ticket booth located in Pier Park.
Then have fun in Chicago Children's Museum. Dig for bones on a dinosaur expedition. Scale a three-story schooner, from cargo hold to crow’s nest. Make a big splash in a squirting, pumping water playground (raincoats provided!). Tinker with real tools and materials in the ultimate DIY maker-space. Dress up as a firefighter, drive the truck and put out a “fire.” Paint, print, sew, sketch and sculpt in an authentic art studio. Construct a skyscraper, fish in a river, shop in grocery store and much more. Chicago Children’s Museum is three floors of fun for kids (ages 10 and under) and their families! Thursday evenings: 5 – 8 pm - Free admission for everyone! Free admission all day for ages 15 and younger! Regular open hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.Next go watch movie in Navy Pier IMAX Theatre. Check movies and schedules HERE.
If its not so late yet visit Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze is Chicago’s only self-paced, full sensory maze experience where you navigate your way through 4,000 square feet of tunnels, mazes and fun. Interactive games, informative narration and a good sense of direction will help you find your way out and bring the history of Chicago to life!
And finish your day with beautiful Fireworks Cruise on Wednesday and Saturday evenings during the summer.
Or any other cruise.
Have a good day and best travels!!!
See you soon again ;)