From sky-high views to deep dish pizza to educational artistic experience, you can help your student and youth groups experience what Chicago has to offer.
Activities and attractions
360 CHICAGO (Formerly John Hancock Observatory)
Sky-high views are the draw at this attraction on The Magnificent Mile, where an observation deck, café, and new stadium-style seating offer spectacular views. Kids can get a unique viewpoint of the city on TILT, a thrilling feature that allows groups to lean out over The Magnificent Mile for downward facing views from 1,000 feet up. Groups can enjoy discounts on tours and more. 875 N. Michigan Ave., 94th floor
Learn about Chicago history, architecture, and culture on these walking and bus tours. Private educational student tours are also available. 30 E. Adams St. #425
Lincoln Park Zoo
This free Chicago zoo is open year-round, offering a budget-friendly experience that kids are sure to love. 2001 N. Clark St.
Mercury Skyline Cruiseline
These boat tours are perfect for groups of all ages, featuring specialty cruise options such as a “Science Is Fun Cruise” and an “Urban Adventure Cruise.” Group rates are available. 112 E. Upper Wacker Drive
Explore the outdoors, as well as iconic sights and architectural wonders, at this sprawling urban park, where free events take place throughout the year. 201 E. Randolph St.
The home to a number of museums, rides, attractions, and dining options, this one-stop destination has it all for student and youth groups looking for fun and excitement. 600 E. Grand Ave.
Give groups the thrill of their lives with a super fast speedboat cruise. Private charters are available for groups. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Students and youth can learn all about Chicago’s architecture, history and culture on these boat tours. Group rates are available. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Kids won’t believe the thrill of The Ledge: a glass box observation box that puts them 103 stories over the city. Groups of 20 or more receive a discounted rate, with lunch options available. Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Drive
Spirit of Chicago
Sightseeing, music, and dining come together in one exciting destination when you book a group tour through Spirit of Chicago cruises. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Wendella Sightseeing Boats
With a narrated sightseeing tour of Chicago’s dramatic architecture, history and culture, Wendella offers an array of tour options perfect for student and youth groups. Discounted rates are available for groups of 20 or more. 400 N. Michigan Ave.
Let the kids loose with this interactive game that blends lacrosse, hockey, and basketball with bumper cars. The venue also offers laser tag and dining. 1825 W. Webster Ave.
Take them out to a ballgame at this iconic stadium, home of the Chicago Cubs. Group ticket options are available. 1060 W. Addison St.
Serving traditional German cuisine since 1898, this restaurant welcomes groups to its Old World-style restaurant. Private dining rooms and menus are available. 17 W. Adams St.
Big Bowl Chinese and Thai
Chinese and Thai dishes are served in a casual environment. Kids menus and special dietary menus are available. Multiple locations
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Enjoy fresh seafood in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere. Kids menus and special dietary menus are available, as well as student programs. 700 E. Grand Ave., Suite 131
It’s hard to go wrong with pizza and pasta dishes, so plan a meal at this Italian eatery, where private dining is available. Multiple locations
Dave & Buster’s
Arcade games, bowling, and billiards come together with dining in this lively, fun experience. Youth packages and experiences are available. 1030 N. Clark St.
Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
This unique steakhouse features a parade of delicious dishes, as well as gourmet salad options and vegetarian dishes. Children’s pricing is available. 661 N. LaSalle St.
This healthy eatery focuses on dishes made from scratch, offering options to suit a variety of tastes: sushi, Chinese dishes, Mexican cuisine, pasta, sandwiches, soup, and more. Foodlife has 14 different kitchens, and vouchers are available for groups. Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave.
Gino’s East of Chicago
This famous deep-dish pizza is the perfect spot to give groups a true taste of Chicago, while satisfying large groups with a modest budget. Party packages are available. Multiple locations
Stuffed pizza, deep-dish pizza, and Italian specialties are the draw at this Chicago mainstay. Private dining rooms are available. Multiple locations
Hard Rock Café
Rock ‘n’ roll, music memorabilia, and delicious food make this spot a must-visit destination for student and youth groups looking for a lively dining experience. 63 W. Ontario St.
House of Blues Chicago
A mix of American and international cuisine is served at this rockin’ eatery, where a kids menu is also available. 329 N. Dearborn St.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Serving up deep-dish pizza for more than 40 years, this classic Chicago eatery serves up mouthwatering Italian fare. Kids meals are also available. Multiple locations
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
For a fast, casual meal, this spot serves up fresh sandwiches, salads and soups. Individual box lunches are also available. Multiple locations
Walk on the wild side at this jungle-themed restaurant, where a kids menu, activities, and attractions like a “live volcano” keep things interesting. Multiple locations
Roti Mediterranean Grill
Wraps, pita pockets, rice plates, and salads are the name of the game at this fresh, delicious Mediterranean eatery, offering unique flavors and budget-friendly options. Multiple locations
Immersive sky shows, hands-on exhibits, and interactive displays make this planetarium an easy choice for space-themed outings. Group menus and special group experiences are available. 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive
The Art Institute of Chicago
With impressive collections of art and historical pieces spanning thousands of years, this comprehensive museum offers an array of experiences to suit your group. Student tours are available. 111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago History Museum
Hands-on exhibits and kid-friendly features make this the perfect spot to give groups a behind-the-scenes look at Chicago and its history and culture. Student programs are available. 1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago Sports Museum
Not only is there an impressive collection of artifacts and sports memorabilia, but a combination of interactive skill challenges and simulated experiences. Guests of Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch receive complimentary admission. 835 N. Michigan Ave.
Science, history, nature, and culture seamlessly blend together at this exciting museum, where kids could discover everything from dinosaurs to mummies to Chinese artifacts. Discounted admission and special perks are available for groups.1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
View the private residence, workspace and important architectural works by esteemed architect Frank Lloyd Wright with a group tour. Customized group tours for 10 or more people are available. 951 Chicago Ave., Oak Park, IL
This free museum gives groups a behind-the-scenes look at the Federal Reserve System, the Chicago Fed and currency. Guided group tours are available. 230 S. LaSalle St.
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Modern paintings, sculpture, video, and installations are on display at this thought provoking museum. Pre-paid, discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more. 220 E. Chicago Ave.
Museum of Science and Industry
Space, science, robotics, and machinery can be discovered in this educational museum, as well as informative IMAX movies. For groups of 15 or more, discounted admission and guided special-interest tours are available. 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Bees, bugs and butterflies can be found at this nature-focused museum, where kids can learn all about the world around us. Group discounts are available. 2430 N. Cannon Drive
Dive into the world of whales, sharks, otters, and other marine species at this immersive aquarium that 32,000 animals call home. Educational group experiences are available. 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Smart Museum of Art
This free art museum on the University of Chicago campus features artwork from four main pillars: Asian art, European art, contemporary art and modern art and design. Guided and self-guided group tours are available. 5550 S. Greenwood Ave.
Auditorium Theatre at Roosevelt University
This magnificent theatre has been presenting ballet, music, and special presentations for more than 125 years. Group pricing and special benefits are available for groups of 10 or more. 50 E. Congress Pkwy.
Blue Man Group
This bold, innovative show features music, humor and mystical blue characters for a rollicking, kid-friendly production. Group tickets are available. 3133 N. Halsted St.
Broadway In Chicago
Give groups a one-of-a-kind experience with a Broadway production. Age-appropriate musicals often come to town, and past performances include The Lion King, Roald Dahl’s Matilda, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and more. Group sales and student discounts are available. Multiple locations
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Housed in a theatre that evokes the design of Shakespeare’s Globe in London, this professional theatre company features everything from classic Shakespeare works to special family-friendly productions to outdoor performances during summer months. Discounted rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.
The ComedySportz Theatre
All ages can attend these hilarious comedy shows, where improv performances will have audiences laughing for hours. Private customizable shows are also available. 929 W. Belmont Ave.
Emerald City Theatre
This special theatre for young audiences provides age-appropriate programming and plays for more than 80,000 children every year. Discounted group rates are available. 2936 N. Southport Ave.
Broadway hits, daring dramas, and side-splitting comedies draw in diverse audiences each year. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more. 170 N. Dearborn St.
Bring your group to this thought-provoking theatre, where brilliant adaptations, important dramas, and special events wow attendees. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. 821 N. Michigan Ave.
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Treat groups to a night of profound sound with a classic operatic performance, daring drama, or a special event. Groups pricing is available. 20 N. Wacker Drive
Steppenwolf Theatre Company
With engaging performances, special events young adult programming, this dynamic theatre is a great introduction for student groups. A variety of discounts and special student pricing options are available. 1650 N. Halsted St.