This beach is pure Chicago fun. With a new harbor, beach with concessions and restrooms and a handicapped-accessible park, there's a little something for everyone. Plus, in addition to great views of the city, visitors will love the public art display of 18 trees painted in vibrant hues along the lakefront.
Crazy, wild, in-the-air fun makes Pump It Up just the place for kids to let out their inner jumping bean. Kids can bounce, slide, climb and jump on the oversized inflatables. Even better, many locations have special areas set aside just for toddlers, so no chance of accidents with bigger jumpers.
Firefighters have exhausting jobs, so it's only fitting this spot for the kiddie set gets them ready for naptime. The Schaumburg play place has fire trucks and ambulances to explore, a house for practicing rescue techniques and a craft area. Plus, drop-ins include a lesson on fire safety - fun and educational!
Windy City Fieldhouse in Logan Square was simply made for kids. With eight multi-purpose courts, a kid can play to their heart's content and still not run out of room. It even offers open gym times and fun mini-camps for days when kids aren't in school. Score.
Illinois is nothing but flat? Wrong, wrong, wrong. Starved Rock is filled with canyons, waterfalls and trails that take you back to when the Native Americans lived here. This historic park offers some of the best views you'll see only 90 minutes from Chicago.
What other spot in the city has an actual "Play Manifesto"? It's no wonder, since this place is perfect for kids of all ages - whether they're fishing in Treasure Trails or building in the Tinkering Lab. Temporary exhibits rotate through to guarantee no two visits are ever the same.
We expect to see lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) when we visit any zoo. But what about bald eagles, roadrunners (yes, they're real!) or lowland tapirs? Head to Brookfield Zoo to introduce your kids to these lesser known species and maybe you'll leave with an aspiring zoologist or conservationist.
With nearly 400 pieces of railway equipment, this is the spot to show some locomotive love. Kids can learn the history of Chicago's train culture, take a ride on a streetcar or restored train, and pose for pics throughout the open-air museum. Be sure to check the website for some train-tastic events.