This interactive Chicago family fun list isn't curated by an editor...it's crowdsourced from regular parents adding the best Chicago family attractions they've tried with their kids.

Zoom in on the map to see fun kids activities near you in Chicago and the suburbs, read parent reviews, and remember to chime in to share your own favorites.

This is only the beginning of the Chicago family activities you'll find on Upparent. Set your location at the top of the screen, check out our family event calendar, and browse Upparent for many more things to do in Chicago with kids!


 
    Johnson's Farm Produce Market & Garden Center

     (696.2 mi)

    Strawberries start in early June followed by blueberries and raspberries in July/August

    Erin P.:  Johnson's Farm is home to the largest garden center in the area. There is nothing like local, home grown Johnson strawberries - whether you want to go to the field to pick your own or purchase them pre-picked inside the market. They provide helpful tips for picking your own berries and produce and a tram out to the field. Join them for their fun farm weekends, too, for additional kids activities, including train rides, pedal cars, slides, tunnels, a jump pillow and more!

    Bronzeville Children's Museum

     (723.1 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  The Bronzeville Children's Museum opened in 1993 as the first and only African-American children's museum in the country. One hour tours are provided to introduce children to four different subject matters allowing them to play as they learn. Tours occur ever hour on the hour. Learn about African American inventors, STEM leaders, athletes, innovations in medicine and more. Each exhibit is play based, with age appropriate toys and activities to match.

    Museum of Science and Industry

     (724.0 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  Chicago families love MSI! The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the largest science museums in the world. Exhibits focus on both history and on the future of science and science education, but kids love the interactive exhibits and jaw-dropping experiences geared just for them. They have an amazing model train exhibit, too, that train-enthusiast kids (and adults!) go wild for.

    This museum is located a little south of downtown, but a very quick drive. Its campus has tons of open park area for kids to burn off some energy and right next to the lake, too.

    Northerly Island Park

     (727.3 mi)

    Free admission

    Sarah D.:  Northerly Island trails are an extension of the museum campus and Chicago's famous Lakefront Trail. These paved, pristine trails traverse a hilly, lakefront expanse of Illinois prairie and savanna that form a peninsula out into Lake Michigan. Renowned for the presence of migratory birds, Northerly Island is a sanctuary along the shoreline of a bustling city. With easy access via an on-site lot, this sanctuary is the perfect place to spend time in nature.

    Adler Planetarium

     (727.4 mi)

    Gina I.:  Chicago's most popular stargazing spot offers education and entertainment for visitors of all ages. Explore a variety of out-of-this-world exhibits and breathtaking shows, and check out the Planet Explorers area, where kids can climb, crawl, play, and join the crew on a mission to space!

    Seadog Cruises

     (727.7 mi)

    Erin P.:  My mom used to love taking us to Chicago and going for a ride on the Seadog, and I look forward to continuing the tradition with my own kids one day! You can enjoy views of Buckingham Fountain, Grant Park, Chicago Harbor, and Chicago’s Museum Campus. A great summer activity! Thrill seeking Chicago families should try the extreme thrill ride, where speeds hit 45 mph and they do 360 degree spins. You'll get wet!

    Navy Pier

     (727.7 mi)

    Free (attractions extra)

    Kristy Pepping:  Navy Pier may be a "touristy" attraction, but even if you are from Chicago, there is so much to do and explore that you may have never seen before, including restaurants, shows, cruises, and events. Most notably, kids can enjoy one of the best children's museums in Chicago, as well as the Centennial Ferris Wheel that offers stunning views of the city skyline.

    Field Museum

     (727.8 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  If you have dinosaur lovers this is THE place to go. The great thing is you can go in and spend a few hours inside, but then it is right on the lake so you can spend time outside and walk the path along the lake! It is an amazing museum. Don't miss the SUE exhibit!

    Shedd Aquarium

     (728.0 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  See whales, dolphins, sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and more! Many exhibits are play-based, like the Polar Play Zone, where your kiddo can slip into a penguin suit and waddle around! Experience touch tanks, animal chats, dolphin and whale shows, shark feedings and behind-the-scene tours, sleepover events, youth camps, and more.

    Bobby's Bike Hike

     (728.2 mi)

    Lisa R:  Consistently rated one of the best guided tours in Chicago, Bobby's Bike Hire has a range of walking and biking tours specially tailored for tourists, families with young kids, date night, etc. It's a great way to catch up on Chicago history, learn about new places that you'll want to return to again and again, and (best of all) learn obscure facts that will impress your friends!

    Maggie Daley Park

     (728.3 mi)

    Free

    Yoli B:  The incredible 3-acre Play Garden at Maggie Daley Park is one of the best playgrounds in Chicago and is not to be missed. All of the playground equipment is special and includes slides, bridges, swings, boats and more. Each playground is moderately fenced in, as well. Check it out in warmer months and you may be able to hear the summer concerts from adjacent Millennium Park! Additional fun family activities like mini-golf and rock climbing have fees.

    Millennium Park Crown Fountain

     (728.5 mi)

    Free

    Shila:  Millennium Park's Crown Fountain consists of two 50-foot glass block towers at each end of a shallow reflecting pool. It is a popular gathering place and one of the best splash pads in the city! The fountain acts a public play area and offers people an escape from the summer heat while walking through the fountain's ankle high water.

    Millennium Park

     (728.5 mi)

    Free

    Kristy Pepping:  Millennium Park is located on famed Michigan Avenue and within walking distance to several hotels, restaurants, and shopping. It also provides the backdrop for several (often free!) cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, awesome outdoor movie nights, and more. Kid specific attractions include an outdoor ice skating/roller skating ribbon, rock climbing, splash parks, mini golf, Maggie Daley Park playground, and lush gardens to run or take a leisurely stroll through. Remember to take a picture at "The Bean" sculpture (aka Cloud Gate)!

    Thomas Hughes Children's Library

     (728.8 mi)

    Free

    Kelly R.:  The bright and colorful children's space located on the second floor of the massive Harold Washington Library offers plenty of fun kids activities in Chicago's South Loop. Areas organized by age are filled with fun STEAM and tech activities, play opportunities, a tween digital media space, and plenty of cozy seating and reading nooks.

    Wendella: Chicago's Original Architecture Tour

     (728.8 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  This comprehensive tour takes you on a boat ride through the heart of Chicago while a professionally-trained guide shares the story behind its legendary architecture and renowned skyline. There is an indoor section on the boat if it is chilly outside, along with bathrooms and snacks for a comfortable ride. Several different tours are available, including a shorter, family-friendly version of the Chicago River Architecture Tour at only 45 minutes.

    Chicago Water Taxi

     (728.8 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  The Chicago Water Taxi may be your mode of transportation while going to work, but it can also be fun as a tourist or as part of a Chicago family staycation! It's a great way to quickly (and cheaply) see the sights and architecture that Chicago has alongside the river without taking a formal tour, and is a fun boat trip for kids!

    If you're arriving downtown via Metra to either Oglivie or Union Station, just walk a couple blocks to the river and you've arrived! You can ride the Chicago Water Taxi to Navy Pier, Chinatown, Michigan Ave, or even the Museum Campus.

    The Walnut Room

     (728.9 mi)

    Serving lunch and dinner

    Kristy Pepping:  Before it was Macy's, it was Marshall Field's. The founder, Marshall Field, was from Chicago and his flagship department store still stands on State Street today. Inside this historic building, a lot has changed, but the Walnut Room remains true to tradition. This iconic restaurant is located on the 7th floor and was the first restaurant ever opened in a department store. If you are visiting during Chicago's Christmas season, they have an enormous tree in the center of the room - viewable from upstairs in the store, too. Make a whole day of shopping and dining on Chicago's State Street!

    American Girl Place

     (728.9 mi)

    Shila:  American Girl Place is a retail store for everything American Girl and is located on the exciting strip of Michigan Avenue at Water Tower Place. It's a destination in itself! Enjoy selections that appeal to girls and grown-ups alike—plus, they offer special seats just for doll friends. Reservations recommended.

    360 CHICAGO and TILT

     (728.9 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  There are a few landmark buildings that are must-see stops when visiting Chicago. One of them is the former Hancock Center located on Michigan Avenue. Go to the 94th floor of the building for some great views at 360 CHICAGO. 360 CHICAGO observation deck is also home to TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue.

    The Willis Tower and John Hancock buildings both compete for skydeck view experiences, but both are great - and you get a view of the opposing building! It just depends on what location you find yourself in for the day. Hancock is along the mega shopping district on Michigan Avenue closer to the lake, while The Willis Tower is conveniently located right off the Metra commuter trains a bit southwest.

    Chicago Riverwalk

     (729.1 mi)

    Free

    Sarah Calamita:  The Chicago Riverwalk is an amazing space that runs from downtown to the lake. Along it you will find outdoor kids games, restaurants, bars, live music, kayaks, cycle boats, bike rentals and more. You can also take the water taxi there from various parts of the city, which kids will love!

    North Avenue Beach

     (729.3 mi)

    Memorial Day-Labor Day Swimming

    Free

    Shila:  One of Chicago's most popular beaches, North Avenue Beach features a unique, ocean-liner inspired beach house. In addition to the obvious sand & water, the beach also has a multitude of bikers, runners, walkers and rollerbladers streaming down the lakefront trail. It's a cool people watching spot. Most notably, though, this beach boasts one of the best views in and of the city.

    Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower

     (729.3 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  Skydeck is located on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, the tallest building in Chicago. This 360-degree experience offers a fun way of experiencing the city, and those who dare can walk out onto The Ledge, a glass balcony that extends 4 feet away from the building.

    Doughnut Vault

     (729.5 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  The best doughnut shop in the city is in an old bank vault off a little side street in River North. Plan to wait in line, but they are fresh and to die for. (If you can't make it there, Fire Cakes and Stan's are the 2 runner ups!)

    Chicago History Museum

     (729.6 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  Chicago History Museum is located at the South end of Lincoln Park. The building itself is beautiful and the museum hosts a great selection of rotating, interactive exhibits; it's the perfect place to bring your budding historian! Kids can step inside an old L train car, or pretend to be a steam train conductor. There's also a sensory exhibit geared for youth where they can dress up as a Chicago hot dog! Illinois residents 18 and under, and non-residents 12 and under, always enjoy free admission.

    Wateriders History and Architecture Tour

     (729.7 mi)

    Shila:  This 2 hour kayaking tour guides you down the Chicago River as it flows through downtown. From the water level up, you'll look up to mega skyscrapers, the riverside promenade and learn about Chicago's famous architecture while kayaking along the Chicago River. Other tours include a sunset tour, Navy Pier fireworks tour, gangsters tour, and a moonlight tour.

    Green City Market

     (729.9 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  Chicago boasts one of the best farmer's markets in the country! There is a variety of fresh and prepared foods (so even if you're visiting from a hotel, go there to soak in the vibe and grab a smoothie, grilled cheese or crepe!), music and cooking demos. It is across from an iconic hotel (go grab a coffee at the Lincoln Hotel beforehand) and across from the Zoo, if that's a destination.

    Lincoln Park Zoo - Nature Boardwalk

     (730.1 mi)

    Free admission

    Sarah D.:  The Nature Boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo is an oasis in the concrete jungle. This beautiful expanse in Lincoln Park stretches through Illinois prairie and wetland ecosystems with half a mile of boardwalk. The trail can be found at the southernmost end of the Lincoln Park Zoo and provides an educational experience for visitors including seasonal presentations. This trail provides access to the famous Chicago Lakefront Trail and North Avenue Beach.

    Lincoln Park Zoo

     (730.1 mi)

    Free

    Shila:  Lincoln Park Zoo is home to rhinos, monkeys, tigers, bears, lions, penguins, giraffes, exotic birds and more! Open daily and always free since it was first established in 1868, it is one of the best things to do in Chicago with kids for those who live here as well as those who are visiting.

    Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

     (730.1 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  This is a great museum to explore any time of year, with plenty of indoor conservation-based exhibits to complement the beautiful outdoor sanctuary. Kids especially love the bright and warm Butterfly Haven, interactive RiverWorks water play area and indoor playground.

    Lincoln Park

     (730.1 mi)

    Kelly R.:  The Lincoln Park area is a great spot to enjoy plentiful green space and to capture great skyline views from the north side. Take a walk along the lakefront or the nature boardwalk. Both paths are within blocks of the (free) Lincoln Park Zoo and Lincoln Park Conservatory. Stop in at any one of the many family-friendly restaurants for lunch, like RJ Grunts or the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder. And be sure to admire the historic tree-lined streets throughout the neighborhood. There are several playgrounds in the area, too, including the one at Oz Park - a local favorite!

    Lincoln Park Conservatory

     (730.2 mi)

    Free

    Gina I.:  From koi fish to tropical palms to ancient ferns, this conservatory houses both unique plants and grows thousands of plants used in local parks. Visit the Orchid Room featuring a gorgeous array of exotic blooms, and the live model train run that's set up during winter- when it's also toasty warm inside! The free Lincoln Park Zoo and Lily Pool are next door.

    Oz Park

     (730.8 mi)

    Free

    Yoli B:  The Wizard of Oz statues (including Dorothy in her ruby slippers) and sprawling play structure make this one of the best playgrounds in Chicago! The wooden playground is built like a castle and maze and has tons of bridges to climb, tire swings, and even a wooden train. This park is great for hide and seek!

    Blue Man Group Chicago

     (731.3 mi)

    $49–$69

    RebeccaH:  A dynamic combination of art, music, comedy and technology, Blue Man Group encourages audiences to reconnect with their inner (and outer) child in order to see the world through a new perspective. Blue Man Group originally debuted at the Briar Street Theatre in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood in 1997. Three bald and blue men explore today’s cultural norms with wonder, poking fun at the audience’s collective quirks and reminding them how much they all have in common. The show is continually refreshed with new music, stories, custom instruments and state-of-the-art technology.

    Wrigley Field

     (731.9 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  Even if you don't like baseball and aren't a Cubs fan, you will have a blast at Wrigley Field, the home of the beloved Cubs. It is a beautiful stadium in a fun neighborhood. Make sure you eat a hot dog there. Outside before game day you can access Gallagher Way which is a fun green space where they have a splash pad and kids games out 2 hours before the game. The atmosphere around Wrigley on game day is second to none.

    Southport Corridor

     (732.4 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  If you want to venture beyond the touristy areas and check out a neighborhood, the Southport Corridor is the best! Chain stores, cute boutique stores (for both kids and adults), coffee shops, great restaurants (Crosby's is one of the most family friendly restaurants in the city), ice cream (Jeni's is to die for) and playground/splash pads (Juniper Park or Margaret Donahue Playground) and a Thursday night farmer's market. Take a cab or the brown line to Southport.

    The 606

     (733.4 mi)

    Sarah Calamita:  The 606 is Chicagos's form of NYC's High Line. It's in a fun, trendy neighborhood with lots of stores and restaurants. Take the blue line to Damen (or hop in a cab) and get on the 606 at Damen Ave. A really great walk, bike, scooter in a fun green space!

    Humboldt Park Swan Boats

     (734.2 mi)

    April-September

    Kelly R.:  Pedal around Humboldt Park Lagoon in one of the cool swan boats offered for hourly rental. It's such a unique thing to do with kids during the milder months of the year!

    Garfield Park Conservatory

     (734.8 mi)

    Free

    Shila:  Stroll through acres of indoor and outdoor botanical gardens featuring plant species and landscapes from around the world. The perfect family activity in Chicago to get in touch with nature all year long.

    Dearborn Observatory

     (735.4 mi)

    Friday nights

    Free

    Gina I.:  Where can you see the stars and learn from Northwestern University Physics & Astronomy students? The Dearborn Observatory! The observatory makes its 18.5 foot refracting telescope available to the public every Friday night. You can make reservations in advance, or show up for the walk-in tours and hope it's not too crowded.

    Note that the dome is not climate controlled, and that several staircases must be climbed in order to reach the telescope.

    Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens

     (736.9 mi)

    Free admission

    Erin P.:  Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens is an 85-acre non-profit park that features woodlands, prairie, wetlands, gardens and a 10-acre lake. Adventure seekers can rent canoes or kayaks, or those who prefer dry land might enjoy hiking, jogging or walking along the lake. Their nature center includes reptiles and other animals, as well as books and exhibits for kids. It offers the opportunity for hands-on learning and also hosts several kid-friendly nature programs throughout the year. There is also a children's play area in the Children's Forest.

    Skokie Sports Park

     (737.3 mi)

    $7-$11

    Shila:   Skokie Sports Park is top rated golf range that also features two adventure mini-golf courses for the entire family: Traveler's Quest and Kid's Quest. Traveler's Quest is themed with world-wide landmarks, while Kid's Quest is complete with interactive, climbing obstacles on the holes. The mini-course, taking after its premier golf range, is also extensively built with lush landscaping, water falls, and spacious greens.

    The Children's Farm at The Center

     (738.9 mi)

    $8/person

    Gina I.:  The barn animals change seasonally but they often have a variety of chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, pigs, goats, cows, sheep, horses, ponies and donkeys. Farm volunteers invite the public into each animal pen and are ready to supply information about the animals to inquiring visitors.

    Centennial Park Aquatic Center (Orland Park Recreation & Parks Department)

     (739.7 mi)

    Alexandra F.:  Centennial Park Aquatic Center offers a zero-depth pool with a water play feature for younger children, various slides, a cliff jump, and a lazy river with waterfalls. Two of the larger slides are a 328-foot tube slide and a 200-foot flume slide.

    Skokie Lagoons

     (740.1 mi)

    Free

    Sarah D.:  The Skokie Lagoons covers 894 acres of amazing waterscape and beautifully-kept marshes enjoyed by water-lovers from all over the northern suburbs! On any given day, see kayaks, canoes, rowers or even sailboats from the shorelines. With 7.5 miles of trails, 5.9 of which are paved, these trails offer incredible views of nature. With picnic areas and canoe rentals, this is a wonderful day in nature hiking in a natural urban waterscape!

    The Junction Diner

     (740.9 mi)

    Joseph Kelley:  This themed restaurant has a large interactive model train table, and a train that goes around the diner's counter style seating delivering food. Check out their party packages when planning your next birthday party!

    Brookfield Zoo

     (741.6 mi)

    $29.95/adult, $20.95/child

    Brittany Kozielski:  Brookfield Zoo houses around 450 species of animals on 216 acres. Don't miss their dolphin show! After going to the zoo for years I discovered the Hamill Family Play Zoo & Wild Encounters. The Play Zoo is perfect for kids up to age 10 and is very hands-on and lots of fun. During the day you can hear a zookeeper discuss certain animals and walk around with them for kids to pet. Enter the Wild Encounters section and you will be surrounded by red pandas, llamas, alpacas, wallabies, and reindeer...and can even pet and feed some of them!

    Illinois Prairie Path

     (743.0 mi)

    Alexandra F.:  The Illinois Prairie Path was North America’s first successful rails-to-trails conversion in the 1960s, and is currently a multi-use nature trail for non-motorized public use. The trail is roughly shaped like a Y: the primarily urban main branch begins in Maywood and continues to Wheaton, where it branches into separate paths to Elgin and Aurora (with additional spurs to Geneva and Batavia). Amenities along the way include bathrooms, drinking fountains, parks and playgrounds.

    Kohl Children’s Museum

     (746.0 mi)

    Kristy Pepping:  Kohl Children’s Museum offers more than a dozen interactive, hands-on exhibits including a play cafe to transact food orders and dine in, a pretend grocery store, a hands-on water play area, pretend veterinarian's office and more! The Adventures in Art room provides more than enough art supplies to create your own masterpieces. There is an outdoor playground area, as well as an in-house restaurant.

    Go Ape Zip Line & Treetop Adventure

     (746.3 mi)

    Lisa R:  The tree top ropes courses at Go Ape bring you closer to nature and your chimpanzee ancestors in one go. You'll spend 2-3 hours hiking through the tree top canopy with the aid of suspended ropes and zip lines. The cost of admission includes all of the necessary safety gear and a 30-minute class on safety and course etiquette. Ten to fifteen year olds must be accompanied by an adult 18+, while 16-17 year olds only need a signed waiver. Additional adventures are also available!

    The Grove Interpretive Center

     (748.3 mi)

    Free admission

    Shila:  Glenview Park District's The Grove is a walkable outdoor history museum. The newly renovated Interpretive Center serves a showcase for local history and nature, and as an educational programming space. At the Interpretive Center, you can explore the large animal tanks and the exciting new Turtle Island habitat, discover new exhibits that let you follow in the footsteps of Illinois naturalist Robert Kennicott, meet a full-size prehistoric relative of the modern-day sloth, and so much more!

    The Choo Choo

     (749.1 mi)


    Joseph Kelley:  Since 1951, this train-themed restaurant's success can be attributed to its friendly environment, homemade food, and a model train run that delivers food to your counter seat. Popular meals on wheels include old-fashioned burgers, Chicago-style hot dogs, and sloppy Joes. Milkshakes and malts are also recommended. If it's your birthday, they'll play a special song for you--train whistle toots and all! And you can even arrive via the Metra! The UP-NW Des Plaines train stop is 1 block away.

    Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve

     (749.4 mi)

    Free admission

    Sarah D.:  The Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve boasts 11 miles of trails, many of which are 8 feet wide limestone navigable by stroller or wheelchair. I recommend Waterfall Glen for the main trail access to Rocky Glen trail (.2 miles) which leads to a beautiful waterfall of the same name. The views are amazing, the access parking lot is nearby, and the trail is suitable for all ages!

    Big Surf Wave Pool

     (752.5 mi)

    Day pass or membership

    Shila:  This is an outdoor, zero depth entry wave pool where 10-minute periods of flowing waves (around 3-foot crests) send kids bobbing about on floaters. There is plenty of lounge space on deck, as well as concessions.

    Lost Mountain Adventure Golf

     (753.6 mi)

    $7.75-$10

    Kristy Pepping:  Lost Mountain is located in Chicago's western suburb of Woodridge that is built around a mystical three-tiered waterfall. As the saga goes, "Lost Mountain is said to be the last remnant of the fabled Illini Mountains" more than 2 million years ago. The course today challenges young adventurers through daunting holes, bridges, rivers, passing quick sand and racing rapids, and more obstacles to theme. Make your way to the summit of Lost Mountain!

    Pirates' Cove Children's Theme Park

     (756.8 mi)

    June-August

    Kristy Pepping:  Pirates Cove, located in Chicago's northeastern suburbs, is referred to as Elk Grove's "hidden treasure." This is a local theme park, though non-resident families often make the trip to uncover what the pirates have in store! Kids love the playful pirate ship, paddle boats, slides, carousel, train and daily performances. All attractions are themed and aimed to please the youngest buccaneers.

    Bison's Bluff Nature Playground

     (759.9 mi)

    $3/hour for non-resident kids

    Yoli B:  Located at the Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, Bison's Bluff has one of the best playgrounds in the Chicago suburbs. You have to see it in person to believe all the activities to do here. There is a waterfall that empties into a rock pond designed for exploration, and every structure is designed for either climbing, music-making, or learning! I've personally spent 3 hours at this park without one kid complaint; now that is a "win" in my book!

    Volkening Heritage Farm

     (760.3 mi)

    Free admission (except for special events)

    Gina I.:  Step back in time, and experience Schaumburg as an early German settler at Volkening Heritage Farm. Authentically dressed interpreters will show you around the 1880s farmhouse, let you help with seasonal farm chores, and teach you all about what life was like for some of Schaumburg's early residents. Visit the barn and say 'hello' to the local livestock. While you're there you may even see some chickens roaming freely throughout the grounds!

    Meineke Park Challenge Course

     (761.1 mi)

    Free

    Shila:  If your kids love parkour and America Ninja Warriors, you’ve got to check out the Schaumburg Park District’s free outdoor challenge course featuring unique obstacles, ninja steps, floating boards, a vault wall, 40-yard dash & more. Digital timers even allow the little ninjas to score their performance.

    Naper Settlement

     (761.9 mi)

    $4-$12

    Shila:  Naper Settlement is a 19th century outdoor living history museum featuring 12 acres of learning and interactive family-friendly opportunities. Above that, Naper Settlement has a wooden fort-inspired playscape out back that features a trading post, sensory prairie garden, a playground, picnic tables and a seasonal splash pad with water cannons and ground water jets. Naper Settlement is steps away from dining, shopping and the Naperville Riverwalk.

    Pilot Pete's

     (762.5 mi)

    Alexandra F.:  This aviation-themed, casual-dining restaurant is perfect for the plane-loving kids in your family! Check out the reasonably-priced kids menu with all the perennial kid favorites, and sit back and enjoy watching planes and helicopters land and take off from just outside your window!

    Blackberry Farm

     (777.9 mi)

    May-October

    $7-$10

    Yoli B:  Blackberry Farm is a part of Fox Valley Park District's living-history museum. The Adventure Playground looks like an old farming community with climbing deck, rope tunnels, bridges and tons of slides. The coolest part will be watching your kid zip line from the silo back to Earth! In addition to the incredible playground, admission to Blackberry Farm includes access to its historical sites, rides and attractions, including the Discovery Barn, train, hay wagon, paddle boats, carousel and ponies.

    Marge Cline Whitewater Course

     (779.7 mi)

    Vanessa M.:  Bring the family on a wild ride down the Fox River at downtown Yorkville's Marge Cline Whitewater Course. You can B.Y.O.Boat or check out the Yak Shack for boat, kayak, and tube rental. The river breaks into two sections, one for beginners and one for more experienced paddlers, and the pedestrian bridge makes a great observation spot for family members who may not be keen to participate. Nearby restaurants and playground make this destination a fun day trip for families!

    Von Bergen's Country Market Sunflower Maze

     (790.9 mi)

    Alexandra F.:  This family run farm outside of Chicago offers a gorgeous sunflower maze three times over the summer and early fall for a truly unique (and picturesque!) family activity. Maze availability is heavily dependent on weather, so be sure to check their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information. The maze begins blooming around mid-July. In addition to the sunflower maze, you can enjoy freshly grown produce from the market for much of the year, and plenty of fall family fun.

    All Seasons Orchard

     (792.7 mi)

    Sean Keisman:  All Seasons Orchard is one of the largest u-pick apple orchards in northern Illinois with more than 15,000 apple trees and two orchards. Their wagon ride will take you to one or both orchards, depending on the pick-your-own apple varieties that are available. They also have thousands of pumpkins to choose from whether you want to pick your own or grab an already-picked pumpkin from their pumpkin farm. The orchard also includes a corn maze, petting zoo, bunny village, giant swings, pedal karts, and more.

    Illinois Railway Museum

     (795.4 mi)

    April-September

    Yoli B:  Do you have little ones that can't get enough of their train table, or watching the trains pass by? If so the Illinois Railway Museum is a perfect place to spend the day. They have collections of vintage rail cars and modern subway cars. Exhibits are outdoors and in hangar style facilities and the best part is you can touch and climb aboard most of the cars and engines. Pack a lunch or eat at the onsite diner, but make sure you enjoy the 25 minute train ride before you leave! This is the venue for the annual Days Out With Thomas.

Primary photo:   Sawyer Bengtson on Unsplash

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