Best places to escape to around Chicago

Maybe it's the freezing winter, the scorching summer, or you've just got the urge to get back to nature. You helped us pick the best spots to escape with your family. From day trips to museum sleepovers, you're sure to find a nice place to weather, whatever season Chicago is in.
 
 

Best place to warm up during Chicago's winter: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

When it seems like all of Chicagoland has gone into hibernation, head to this indoor gem. Kids will adore the treehouse, water play area and lots and lots of live animals. Plus, the Butterfly Haven is a welcome reminder that spring is just around the corner ... eventually.

 
 

Best place to warm up during Chicago's winter: Finalists

  • Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Goldfish Swim School
  • KeyLime Cove
  • Santa's Candy Castle in Santa Claus, Ind.
 
 

Best view of Chicago for parents to enjoy: The Signature Room

When you're 95 stories up in the John Hancock Center, the city literally is at your feet. On a clear day, be sure to snag a window table to enjoy your upscale meal. It's worth waiting for a bird's-eye view of the Mag Mile or Lake Michigan.

 
 

Best view of Chicago for parents to enjoy: Finalists

  • The Walnut Room
  • The Drake Hotel
  • Willis Tower
  • Navy Pier
 
 

Best day trip for Chicago families: Lake Geneva, Wis.

For a change of pace from Lake Michigan, head just 80 miles from downtown Chicago to our charming northern neighbor. But after relaxing at the beach, cruising the lake, browsing quaint shops and enjoying yummy ice cream, don't be surprised if your day trip turns into a long weekend away.

 
 

Best day trip for Chicago families: Finalists

  • Kenosha, Wis.
  • Taltree Arboretum & Gardens
  • KeyLime Cove
  • Starved Rock State Park
 
 

Best museum sleepover in Chicago: Shedd Aquarium

You can't actually swim with the exotic fish, but putting your sleeping bag next to one of the tanks for an overnight is the next best thing. Families with kids 5 and older bunk in for fish-filled fun, including animal encounters, dinner and dancing, and an aquatic show.

 
 

Best museum sleepover in Chicago: Finalists

  • Adler Planetarium
  • The Field Museum
  • The Museum of Science and Industry
  • Kenosha Public Museum
 
 

Best place for your family to enjoy Chicago's summer: Lincoln Park Zoo

It happens to the best of us: summertime whines of, "Mom, I'm bored!" When you hear it, head to Lincoln Park Zoo. With more than 200 species of animals, plenty of space to run around, awesome views of Chicago's skyline and free admission (!), it's a win-win for the entire family.

 
 

Best place for your family to enjoy Chicago's summer: Finalists

  • Biking on the lakefront
  • Any of Chicago's beaches
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • The Morton Arboretum
 
 
 







 
 
 
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