Unless otherwise stated, all attractions have Disabled Access.

  1. Chicago Children’s Museum

    The engrossing, imaginative exhibits here emphasize doing – be it digging up a dinosaur bone or designing a water channel. A central, three-story rope tunnel immediately snares the attention of older visitors, though there are age-appropriate attractions for infants to pre-teens. If this place can’t exhaust the younger set’s energies, nowhere can.

  2. Lincoln Park Zoo

    Free admission encourages repeat visits to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Many exhibits, including the working Farm in the Zoo and the Children’s Zoo, allow kids to pet the animals. In summer a motorized “train” makes a scenic loop around the park, while on the pond, swan-shaped paddleboats float among the ducks.

  3. Navy Pier

    Kids make a beeline for Navy Pier’s old-fashioned carnival rides including a 10-storey Ferris Wheel and musical carousel. The ships that line the docks, from sleek, tall-masted schooners to powerful motor boats will also grab their attention. All the restaurants here are family friendly, and even the sculptures that line the Pier in summer are designed to withstand climbers .

    Navy Pier
  4. Elevated Trains

    Chicago’s elevated trains (the El) provide an inexpensive roofline tour of the city. The Brown Line in particular warrants riding en famille from Chicago Station south over the Chicago River and around the Loop, threading between the massive buildings of the financial district. Sit in the first row of the front car for an exciting view of the city ahead of you .

  5. Shedd Aquarium

    Upon arrival, head straight for the Oceanarium to watch the thrilling dolphin and beluga whale show. Staff trainers frequently choose children in the audience to help them reward the marine mammals with a snack after each trick. At the daily Tide Pool Touch and reptilian Animal Encounters kids can indulge their urge to lay hands on the critters .

  6. Westfield North Bridge Mall

    Level 3 of this tony Michigan Avenue mall is primarily devoted to children’s retailers including clothiers Oilily Children, Benetton Kids, The Children’s Place, and Hello Kitty! specialist, Sanrio. Across the hall from the Lego store, the Lego Construction Zone sets out Lego bricks for play. The fourth floor food court sells kid-favored foods like hot dogs and pizza.

    • 520 N. Michigan Ave.

    • Open 10am–8pm Mon–Sat, 11am–7pm Sun

  7. Emerald City Theatre Company

    In Chicago there’s a theater company for every demographic and Emerald City is its troupe devoted to young audiences. Expect lively productions such as Where the Wild Things Are as well as holiday season shows in weekend-only midday matinees at Lincoln Park’s Apollo Theater.

  8. Museum Of Science & Industry

    Though this museum dazzles kids and adults alike with its submarine ship and replica coal mine, it’s The Idea Factory that’s designed just for Junior. With the pulling of gears and shifting of knobs, kids experiment through play with balance, construction, magnetism, and more. A current-fed waterway encourages boat building. Arrive early on weekends or expect to have to wait for access .

  9. Wrigley Field

    A baseball lover’s park, Wrigley is a small and intimate stadium that’s far less intimidating for children than many larger stadia . A ticket to anywhere in the grandstand allows you to walk around and get to the rooftop terrace with its great views: the outfield stands can get rowdy, but a neighboring family section bans the beer that fuels the “bleacher bums.”

  10. The Café at American Girl Place

    Vendor of dolls with educational aims, American Girl Place feeds its fantasy world, literally, in a café where dolls are welcome in clip-to-the-table chairs. Lunch leans to simple crowd-pleasers like tomato soup, while dinner supplies standards like chicken potpie. In between, the imaginative tea proffers chocolate pudding in a flowerpot or heart-shaped sandwiches. Reservations recommended .

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