And ten additional ideas for kids
Unveiling the magic of the Windy City, Chicago is a city defined by striking architecture, innovative culinary experiences, and a vibrant art scene. Here’s your guide to the top 15 attractions in Chicago:
Affiliate Disclaimer: Our blog posts may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we receive a modest commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us fund our team of travel writers, allowing us to continue providing you with the latest travel news, tips, and inspiration. Your support keeps this blog alive and thriving, and we appreciate it immensely. Thank you!
1. The Art Institute of Chicago
Home to one of the best and largest fine art collections in the United States, the Art Institute of Chicago is a must-visit for art lovers. Explore everything from the classics to contemporary masterpieces in this world-renowned institution. Website
2. Millennium Park
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is best known for the iconic Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately referred to as “The Bean”. The park also hosts a variety of public art installations, concerts, and festivals. Website
3. Navy Pier
Offering stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline, Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long pier that boasts restaurants, shops, and a variety of entertainment options, including the iconic Centennial Wheel. Website
4. The Magnificent Mile
This prestigious section of Michigan Avenue is Chicago’s premier commercial district. It’s a bustling area filled with high-end stores, boutiques, and restaurants, making it a perfect destination for shoppers and foodies. Website
5. The Field Museum
Explore the natural history of our planet at The Field Museum. With exhibits ranging from dinosaur fossils to ancient artifacts, this museum offers a rich and exciting learning experience for visitors of all ages. Website
6. Museum of Science and Industry
This museum offers an interactive way to learn about science, technology, and industry. With exhibits on everything from space travel to robotics, it’s an ideal spot for families with children. Website
7. Willis Tower Skydeck
Take in the breathtaking views of Chicago from the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the Western Hemisphere. The Skydeck’s glass balconies allow visitors to look straight down at the city from 1,353 feet up. Website
8. Chicago Riverwalk
Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the scenic Chicago Riverwalk. Stretching for 1.25 miles, it features restaurants, boat rentals, and public art installations, providing a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city. Website
9. Lincoln Park Zoo
This historic zoo offers a diverse range of wildlife in well-maintained habitats. It is one of the few free zoos in the United States and is open 365 days a year. Website
10. Wrigley Field
No visit to Chicago is complete without a trip to the historic Wrigley Field. Whether you’re a Cubs fan or not, it’s worth visiting this iconic ballpark that has been the city’s pastime for over a century. Website
11. Chicago Cultural Center
This architectural landmark offers a wide variety of free cultural programming. Don’t miss its stunning stained-glass domes, one of the largest in the world. Website
12. Shedd Aquarium
Home to over 32,000 animals, Shedd Aquarium, is a fantastic place to spend a day learning about marine life from all over the world. Website
13. Adler Planetarium
As America’s first planetarium, it offers a unique way to explore the universe. Its exhibitions, shows, and events are designed to inspire the next generation of explorers. Website
14. 360 Chicago
At the top of John Hancock Center, this observatory offers stunning views of the city’s skyline, Lake Michigan, and on clear days, four neighbouring states. Website
15. Grant Park
Known as “Chicago’s front yard”, Grant Park is a vast urban park featuring landmarks like Buckingham Fountain, the Museum Campus, and Soldier Field. It’s also home to music festivals like Lollapalooza. Website
Kid-Friendly Locations in Chicago
- Chicago Children’s Museum – Located on Navy Pier, this museum offers interactive exhibits designed to inspire creativity and problem-solving in children. Website
- American Girl Place – If your child loves American Girl dolls, a trip to this store will be like a dream come true. It’s more than just a shop, with a doll hair salon, cafe, and theatre where kids can watch live musical performances. Website
- Maggie Daley Park – This expansive park offers a unique playground with a range of play structures and also features a mini golf course and a climbing wall. Website
- The Kids’ Table – A cooking school for kids, offering hands-on cooking classes, camps, and parties for children as young as two years old. This can be a fun and unique experience for kids who show an interest in cooking. Website
- Brookfield Zoo – Known for its extensive range of wildlife, this zoo’s interactive exhibits make it a fun and educational outing for kids. Website
- Garfield Park Conservatory – One of the largest and most impressive conservatories in the United States. It’s a great way for kids to connect with nature and learn about various plant species. Website
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center – A fun-filled adventure for LEGO enthusiasts. Children can explore the play zones, build and race LEGO cars, and even take a LEGO factory tour. Website
- The Museum of Science and Industry – With interactive exhibits and an onsite domed theatre, this museum makes science fascinating and accessible for children. Website
- Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – This museum offers a range of interactive exhibits focusing on nature and the environment. It’s renowned for its butterfly haven. Website
- Skydeck Chicago – Kids will enjoy the thrill of standing on the glass-bottomed ledge and looking down at the city from 1,353 feet up in the air. Website
Transport in Chicago
Chicago’s public transportation is comprehensive and convenient. The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) operates the city’s buses and “L” trains. You can plan your journey and purchase tickets through their website Website or the Ventra app.
Another popular mode of transportation is by bicycle. The city’s Divvy bike-sharing program allows you to rent bikes throughout the city. More information and rental options can be found on their Website.
Chicago’s Seasonal Temperatures
|Average Temperature (°C)
|Average Temperature (°F)
|Winter (Dec – Feb)
|-4 to 1
|24.8 to 33.8
|Spring (Mar – May)
|4 to 17
|39.2 to 62.6
|Summer (Jun – Aug)
|18 to 28
|64.4 to 82.4
|Autumn (Sep – Nov)
|8 to 18
|46.4 to 64.4
- Always check the weather before you go; it can change quickly in Chicago.
- Chicagoans are friendly! Don’t hesitate to ask for directions or suggestions.
- Chicago is known for its food. Don’t miss the Chicago-style pizza and the Chicago-style hot dog.
- Chicago’s neighbourhoods are diverse and worth exploring. Each has its own unique charm and attractions.
- When visiting museums or attractions, check for discounted or free admission days.
- The city is known for its music festivals, parades, and events, so check local listings.
- Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings, as with any major city.
Chicago is a city full of excitement and history, awaiting your discovery. With this guide, we hope you’ll make the most of your visit to this magnificent city.