Best Chicago Attractions for Families

Like many great cities, Chicago isn’t lacking in attractions for people of all ages. Whether young or old you are sure to find your entertainment in this metropolis. However, the multitude of choice can complicate things a bit. With limited time certain groups of people might have, they have to prioritize. This goes especially for families. Coordinating the schedules of both parents and kids can be tricky. Therefore, wasting time wandering around exploring just doesn’t make sense. In light of that, we compiled a list of the best Chicago attractions for families, to save you time on researching. Yes, we’re that nice. Enjoy!

Navy Pier

Although we promised to be specific, we can’t help it but start off with an attraction that has several activities in store for you and your family. The 3,300 feet long structure houses several interesting choices for a family day out,  making Navy Pier easily one of the best Chicago attractions for families. Here are some of them:

  • Take a cruise on one of the sightseeing or dinner cruise ships
  • Sail on the beautiful sailing ship “Windy”
  • Visit the Chicago Shakespeare theatre
  • See the Crystal Gardens
  • Get lost in Funhouse Maze
  • Visit Pier Park and take a ride on the Centennial wheel and other rides
Buildings, pier and water.
Navy Pier with its many options is one of the best Chicago attractions for families

Museum of Science and Industry

This huge museum boasting 35 000 artifacts has some of the most incredible machines on display. Want to show your child two world war 2 fighter planes locked suspended in combat like manner in the air? They have it. How about a full-size German submarine? Maybe a decommissioned train? Or even a live tornado! Yes, the Museum of Science and Industry truly has many wonders to offer. Therefore it easily makes our list.

Chicago Botanic Garden

A 385-acre mix of 27 gardens makes Chicago Botanic gardens into one of the Best Chicago attractions for families to visit. Here you will not only find some of the most beautiful plant life on display but also incredibly interesting seasonal events. Things like Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, featuring more than a thousand hand-carved Jack-o’-Lanterns lining the walkways in the garden. Or Butterflies and Blooms, where your children can see hundreds of butterflies live and learn about their life cycle.

The 606 Trail

If your children are more of a sporty type, you can take them biking along the 606 Trail. This converted rail line running along Bloomingdale Avenue is now a popular pedestrian park and cycling path. It is also not devoid of its own events if you want to add some additional flair to your cycling experience.

Kohl Children’s Museum

When we asked our friends that work as Chicago movers, about the best Chicago attractions for families, they were quick to point out Kohl Children’s Museum. It’s 17 engaging permanent exhibits, like Pet Vet a workshop introducing children to taking care of pets or Whole Foods Market, where your children can play a stocker, baker, cashier or a shopper in a fully functioning simulated store.

Chicago Riverwalk

Maybe you’re looking for a place with a little less activity and a little more relaxation. If that’s the case come with your family to the Chicago Riverwalk. Take a walk along the water, or enjoy a day out in one of the parks of the Riverwalk. You could also grab lunch at one of the waterfront restaurants or even rent a boat! the whole relaxed atmosphere makes Riverwalk one of the best Chicago attractions for families

One of the best Chicago attractions for families is the Chicago Riverwalk with buildings and water.
The Chicago Riverwalk is one of the most relaxing places to visit with your family

Millennium Park

Now, this is a true landmark in one of the best Chicago neighborhoods. The 24.5-acre park featuring the now famous Cloud Gate, called by the locals – The Bean, is a great place to visit with your family. Here you will find the beautiful Lurie Garden, the interactive work of art that is the Crown Fountain and public art exhibitions. Also, there is no better place in Chicago for a picnic, especially in the spring and summer when you can settle down on the lawn of the Pritzker Pavilion and enrichen your picnic with a free outdoor concert!  For all these incredible options we just couldn’t leave this quintessential Chicago place out of our list of best Chicago attractions for families.

The Cloud Gate and the Millennium Park buildings are some of the best Chicago attractions for families
The Cloud Gate reflecting the Chicago Skyline is one of the cities landmarks.

Lincoln Park Zoo

The list of the best Chicago attractions for families would be incomplete without Lincoln Park Zoo. This incredible place features a collection of about 1200 animals, and what even better, you can visit it for free! Boasting all kinds of animals ranging from mammals to reptiles and birds, the Zoo is also known for its baby animals on display. Additionally, Lincoln Park Zoo offers events like Children sing-alongs that you can visit with your family.

Willis Tower Skydeck

One of the Chicago landmarks that all people researching moving to Chicago can tell you about is the Willis Tower. This iconic skyscraper used to be the world’s tallest building for some 30 years. What makes it appealing for a family visit, especially if you have teenager children is its protruding observational deck, known as the Ledge, extending out of the building and offering a dizzying view of the streets below. Additionally, there is a tour on offer where you can learn about this Chicago landmark and its history

Shedd Aquarium

One of the items that easily made it to the list of the best Chicago attractions for families must be the Shedd Aquarium. This indoor aquarium used to be the largest aquarium in the world.  Furthermore, it was the first inland aquarium to have a permanent saltwater fish collection in the world. No less impressive today it features some of the most incredible marine exhibits that can be seen anywhere in the world. We’re talking about things like a recreation of the Amazon all with piranhas and anacondas. Then there’s the Wild Reef, recreating a Philippine coral reef, complete with a living coral and a wide variety of sharks, fishes, and rays. Finally, it features an oceanarium too. All in all a great place for a family visit!

Deciding between these best Chicago attractions for families

With this article, we’ve tried to single out the best Chicago attractions for families. This is not to say that this great city doesn’t have any more interesting options for your family to explore. One might say we’ve just scratched the surface. However, we’re certain that whichever of these you chose for your family visit, you will have a great time, and that’s what makes them the best!