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17 Things to Do in Chicago with Kids

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There’s no question that the Windy City is one of the most popular cities in the USA, and it’s not just because of the deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs. Here are 15 fun things to do in Chicago with kids, including fantastic parks, zoos, and museums.

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The Field Museum, 40 million artifacts and specimens, with interactive features like iPad games and a glow-worm cave!

The Shedd Aquarium has more than 32,500 animals representing 1,500 species.

The Adler Planetarium

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Ferris wheel – 200′ high Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier offers 360-degree views and enclosed gondolas. The pier is also home to Chicago’s Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

360 CHICAGO – A 94th-floor observatory deck (formerly John Hancock Observatory) where you can see up to 55 miles out and four states.  This is a great place for a birds eye view of the city’s amazing architecture and a panorama of Lake Michigan.

The Bean at Millennium Park – Cloud Gate is the three-story, 110 ton elliptical steel sculpture by British artist Anish Kapoor aka “The Bean”.  It is probably the most instagrammed spot in Chicago, especially because it reflects the Chicago skyline. Crown Fountain designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa is a favorite spot for kids.

Museum of Science and Industry – The largest science institution in the Western Hemisphere. With a huge variety of family-friendly programming on everything from tornados to robots.

Lincoln Park Zoo costs nothing to enter. Don’t miss the Treetop Canopy Climbing Adventure

Maggie Daley Park This 20 acre public park is in the Loop community area of Chicago near the Lake Michigan shoreline. Take a lap around the winding skating ribbon, ascend the 40-foot climbing wall or run around the city’s most whimsical playgrounds.

Take A Cruise – Explore the sights of Chicago with a cruise on Lake Michigan or the Chicago River departing from Navy Pier!

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – visit the 2,700 square-foot Butterfly Haven and take part in the daily First Flight Butterfly Release.

The 606 – A 2.7-mile elevated path that runs through Logan Square, Wicker Park and Humboldt Park.  Once an abandoned rail line, now turned public park.  A Resident Astronomer for the 606 Trail sets up public observation sessions on the 2nd Friday of each month.

Chicago Botanic Garden – Twenty-seven breathtaking gardens spread across 385 acres displaying millions of plants & flowers.  There is a huge butterfly exhibit here too!

Chicago Children’s Museum located at Navy Pier where kids can splash, climb, build, and explore.

Chicago Riverwalk – A continuous winding riverfront walkway with restaurants, bars and urban attractions.

Beaches!  Chicago has some great family friendly ones!

Visit Chicago Beaches with kids

Check out these other great family friendly US cities.

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