With so many fun things to see and do, from stepping onto a ledge on the 2nd tallest building in the U.S. to splashing around an award-winning public art installation, Chicago is the perfect family travel destination. The city’s parks and expansive lakefront give a taste of nature while the bustling Loop is brimming with world class museums, theaters and architecture. Kids will delight in the historic elevated train transit system, the welcoming zoo located at the heart of the city, and not to be missed, a Chicago-style hot dog. Here are seven don’t-miss experiences for families visiting Chicago.
Ride the “El’, a.k.a. the Elevated Tracks. The Chicago elevated train system loops around the city from above, giving riders a pigeon’s eye view. Hop on the Brown Line and take a ride around the Loop during non-peak travel times and you’ll enjoy a fun spin around the city. For maps and schedules, visit TransitChicago.com.
Meet and greet the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Lincoln Park Zoo is a beautiful zoo located within one of the prettiest city parks. It’s educational, fun, and perhaps best of all, free! Open year round, this zoo features animals big and small, from giraffes to geckos. The Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo and the Farm-in-the-Zoo, two zoos within the zoo, are great for kids looking to get up close and personal with the creatures. Don’t forget to take a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel, located on the east end of the zoo.
Take off your shoes and splash around Millenium Park’s Crown Fountain. Chicago’s brilliant new park is a wonderful spot to take an evening stroll, catch a live (free!) show, or admire some of the best public art installations in the world. Take off your shoes and dip your toes into the Crown Fountain, located at the southwest corner of the park: Watch out for the spitting images that blast water every few minutes! And be sure to take a snapshot of your family’s reflection in the beloved giant bean, a.k.a. Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture.