10 Chicago To-Dos for Kids
Between its hands-on attractions and family-friendly adventures,
Chicago has hundreds of events and entertainment for children. Here are just a few of the
fun activities your kids will love to explore.
1. Be a trainer for a day at Shedd Aquarium.
Have kids pull on a pair of rubber boots and go behind the scenes at
the Shedd. Through the "Trainer for a Day" program, children assist
trainers as they feed, teach and care for marine creatures ranging from beluga whales to penguins. (Advance reservations required.)
2. Indulge your "American Girl."
Take your little ladies to American Girl Place for an unforgettable afternoon of tea time, a visit to the Doll Hair Salon and a special photo shoot with their dolls. Then retire to your room at The Peninsula which, upon request, will include an American Girl® doll bed — yours to keep — plus a monogrammed pillowcase and doll blanket.
3. Explore the world of Xtreme Bugs.
The Brookfield Zoo literally crawls with bugs as it presents the first animatronic exhibit of epic proportion. Buzz over for this limited-engagement exhibit (May 19 – Sept. 7) featuring more than 1,100 real bugs and 25 gigantic moveable models.
4. Go on a scavenger hunt at Skydeck Chicago.
There's only one place in the world where you can stand more than
100 stories up and see iconic Chicago landmarks: The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower. On your next visit, print the Scavenger Hunt checklist and see how many sites your kids can spot.
5. Cruise Chicago on two wheels with a Segway tour.
Ages 12+ (with adult supervision)
Glide around Grant Park, zoom around the Museum Campus or ride
along the picturesque lakefront, all while steering a simple-to-use Segway.
6. Splash around in Crown Fountain.
Spending time outside in the summertime sun? Cool off with a stop by Crown Fountain in Millennium Park, flanked by two 50-foot towers projecting video images of the faces of real Chicagoans.
7. Ride the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier.
Modeled after the very first Ferris wheel, built for the 1893 World's
Columbian Exposition in Chicago, this high-soaring ride at Navy Pier offers incredible views of the city from more than 150 feet in the air.
8. Be a "Mythbuster" at the Museum of Science and Industry.
At Mythbusters: The Explosive Exhibition (through Sept. 3), your curious kids can expose the truths behind science's popular myths. Can you blow down a brick house? Will running in the rain keep your drier than walking? Test these theories and more.
9. Join the Quaker Chewy Kids Corral at Wrigley Field.
Ages 12 and under
On a Cubs game day, get to Wrigley Field early — gates open two hours before the first pitch — and your kids may be selected as one of 30 children to watch pre-game batting practice from the field. Batter, up!
10. Be a junior zookeeper at Lincoln Park Zoo.
What does a zookeeper really spend the day doing? Your kids can find out through the "Junior Zookeeper" program at Lincoln Park Zoo, where they learn about animal training, see tools of the trade and discover what it's like to prepare meals for the zoo animals.
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