Fun Things to Do This Spring with Chicagoland Kids

Photo credit: iStock/Solange_ZChicago winters are rough. Once the cold has finally passed, we welcome spring with wide open arms. There’s so much to look forward to during this season, including spring holidays, nature hikes and museum visits. And, the most exciting part of spring is that families are ready to escape hibernation and explore Chicagoland again!

To get the season started, we’ve put together this simple guide to help you plan out your spring activities for 2024. From March to May, there’s enough activities and creative ideas to guarantee you’ll have three months of fun planned before you know it. We’ve featured family guides for Easter, Mother’s Day, Earth Day and other spring holidays. Don’t worry, we also included plenty of indoor options, because April flowers are almost always guaranteed to bring May showers in Chicago! 

Take a look below to find our latest suggestions of things to do with your family in Chicagoland this spring. Also, be sure to bookmark or come back to this guide regularly because we’ll be adding more exciting spring activity ideas all season long!

SPRING FAMILY ACTIVITIES   |   AT-HOME SPRING ACTIVITIES   |   SPRING BREAK IDEAS   |   SPRING HOLIDAYS

SPRING FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Chicago White Sox
Photo credit: Guaranteed Rate Field

Chicagoland springs to life once warm weather hits. Don’t let sorting through the seemingly endless choices of seasonal activities and events become just another chore on your spring cleaning list. 

We’ve made narrowing down your choices a bit easier for you with these kid-approved picks, from outdoorsy nature centers and family hikes to indoor learning and fun at museums and play spaces. 

Take a hike

After a long winter, your family will love soaking up the sun at one of these nature centers around Chicagoland. For more outdoor fun, journey to a magnificent waterfall and take a family hike. 

Play your heart out

This spring, change up your normal routine and venture to a new playground. These awesome playgrounds have tunnels, slides, rope courses and endless obstacles to climb and explore. Rainy day? We’ve got you covered with these great indoor play places.

Take a day trip by train

All aboard! Your next adventure is just a Metra train stop away. Ride the train to charming downtowns lined with boutiques and shops, and eat your way through new towns. The best part? You don’t have to worry about parking! 

Catch a baseball game

Chicago is lucky enough to be one of the cities with two major league baseball teams. Take in the ivy at Wrigley Field and catch a Chicago Cubs game or travel to the South Side for a Chicago White Sox game. Both teams host family days on select Sundays. 

Go kayaking

Chicagoland has plenty of beautiful forest preserves, but have you ever thought of getting off the beaten path and exploring the river? This spring, take the family on a kayaking adventure at one of these local forest preserves.

Try an extreme sport

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with spring sports like soccer or track, but why not let loose with these unique sports around Chicagoland? Hint: think adrenaline-filled activities like indoor skydiving, playing soccer in giant inflatable bubbles or (kid-safe) ax throwing. 

Learn something new 

There are so many museums located on stunning campuses around Chicagoland. Why not get out and explore them, and learn something new while you’re at it? These new exhibits are great for families, and most museums offer free admission days

Go mini golfing

Miniature golf is a classic (and challenging!) activity for all ages. Your family will love checking out these outdoor mini golf courses. Rain delay threatening to end your game? Head to one of these indoor golf courses.

Visit a local farm 

Chickens, alpacas and lambs — oh my! Discover where produce, eggs, honey and more come from when you visit these farms around Illinois. Many offer private tours, meet and greets with animals and a chance to shop organic goods produced on the farm. 

Where to Play Indoor Mini Golf in Chicagoland

Practice your swing at these cool mini golf courses!

Magnificent Waterfalls to Spot Near Chicago

If you're up for a little adventure, these spots near Chicago feature breathtaking waterfalls.

Local Farms Near Chicago to Explore with Kids

E-I-E-I-O! These local farms promise family fun for everyone.

AT-HOME SPRING ACTIVITIES

Plants to Grow with Kids
Photo credit: iStock/hannatverdokhlib

The urge to get out of the house can be overwhelming after a long Midwest winter. Avoid burning out on outdoor activities before summer gets here by relaxing with these fun at-home activities. From crafty projects to relaxing with a family movie night, we have plenty of suggestions for staying busy at home this spring. 

Start a garden

April flowers are sure to bring May showers — so make use of the rain and use it to water your new garden. Start with these plants that are easy to grow with kids, and watch your garden grow! 

Host a family movie night

Cozy movie nights are great any time of year. Our Watch This, Do That series features kid-friendly titles and recommended activities you can do as a family once the credits have rolled to further the fun. 

Create a vision board

Making a vision board is an artistic way for kids to dream big. Get crafty with friends by hosting your very own vision board party

Make a decadent dessert

There’s no better way to enjoy warm weather than with ice cream. Whip up delicious milkshakes (including boozy adult versions!) using these simple recipes

Dig up dinos

Create your own excavation site at home and embark on your very own dino dig. This activity is great for inspiring curiosity and discovery in your kids, as well as helping younger kiddos develop their motor skills. 

Sweat it out with a virtual workout

You don’t have to go outside to work up a sweat! Kids will love these virtual and interactive workouts that feature some of their favorite characters and movies. There’s workouts for the whole family, too, including zumba, pilates and full-body routines. 

Do some spring cleaning

Don’t roll your eyes at this one! You don’t have to scrub the entire house to give your home a spring refresh. Use these simple strategies to start reorganizing and kick off your spring cleaning

5 Easy Plants to Grow with Kids

Gardens are nature's outdoor playgrounds!

Free Online Workouts To Keep Your Family Energized

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How to Host a Vision Board Party for Kids

Get crafty when envisioning your goals for the new year.
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SPRING BREAK IDEAS

Photo credit: Travel South Dakota

By the time spring break rolls around, it won’t just be your kids who are ready for a break! Recharge the entire family with a relaxing vacation, or hop in the car and hit the gas on a family road trip. If your clan is more of the stay at home and chill variety, we have some great staycation activities to keep the kids entertained while you take a break. 

Take a family vacation 

Ready for a family vacay? Travel to one of these spring getaway destinations to soak up the sun, or head to the beach. We’ve compiled the best places to play, eat and explore in Clearwater, Florida, and Gulf Shores, Alabama

If you’ll be flying to your final destination, be sure to read our tips for traveling with kids in our family guide to Chicago’s airports.

Go on a road trip

Buckle up! Nothing says spring break like a family road trip to one of these Midwest destinations. Not sure where to start planning? Try one of these spring break destinations within driving distance of Chicago, and check out our tips for surviving your first family road trip

For extra fun, stop at a wacky nearby roadside attraction on your way home.

Stay and play

Have all of the fun without the time-consuming travel arrangements by planning a family stay-cation! Plan a weekend trip to an indoor water park, or stay downtown and show your kids the Windy City. Can’t spring for a staycation budget? There are plenty of free things to do during spring break. 

Sign up for camp

Can’t get away from work while the kids are on spring break? Send them to spring break camp. Choose a STEM camp hosted by Museum of Science and Industry for curious kiddos, or enroll your little artists in a creative arts camp. There’s nature camps, stop motion camps and even more unique opportunities for your child to have the best spring break ever. 

Make a Splash at Chicagoland’s Coolest Indoor Water Parks

Chicagoland families can drive to these indoor water parks in four hours or less.

Spring Break Camps for Chicagoland Kids

Looking to keep your kiddos occupied during their break from school? Try these camps in the city and suburbs.

Exciting Spring Family Getaways for a Change of Scenery

Have an exciting spring break at these kid-friendly travel destinations.

SPRING HOLIDAYS

Photo Credit: iStock/lisegagne

Spring officially kicks off on March 20, but there are so many other ways to celebrate. Go green on St. Patrick’s Day, enjoy a bunch of egg hunts for Easter, celebrate the planet on Earth Day and more. We’ve got plenty of ideas for families celebrating these spring holidays with crafts, recipes, events and other activities.

Women’s History Month – March 2024

Celebrate the strong women in your life and around the world all March with these Chicagoland events. We’ve also rounded up some books you can read with your child. 

Ramadan – March 10 to April 9, 2024

We’ve rounded up family-friendly activities, events and recipes to break fast and teach your kids about the importance of the holiday. Plus, we’ve compiled some Ramadan children’s books to read together as a family. 

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17, 2024

St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal in Chicago. See what all the fuss is about at these events around town, or get into the spirit of the luckiest holiday at home with our St. Patrick’s Day Guide for Chicago Families

Holi – March 25, 2024

The Festival of Colors is a Hindu holiday that welcomes spring. Our Holi Guide for Chicago Families is filled with colorful activities, crafts and events to celebrate the popular holiday. 

Easter – March 31, 2024

Consider our Easter Guide for Families your own personal Easter basket; it’s filled with holiday crafts, Easter egg hunts and activities and delicious treats you can make as a family. Plus, we have some great ideas for non-candy items you can put in your kids’ Easter baskets. 

April Fool’s Day – April 1, 2024

Don’t miss an opportunity to have a laughter-filled day of pranks and fun with your kiddos! We compiled some funny practical jokes (all in good fun!) to play on your kids this April Fool’s Day. 

Passover – April 22-30, 2024

Fill your Passover celebrations with fun activities and crafts, educational books about the story of Passover and delicious matzo recipes that kids will love. 

Earth Day – April 22, 2024

Show Mother Nature a little extra appreciation on Earth Day with these volunteer opportunities and activities for families. Or, get outdoors by visiting a Chicagoland nature center

Cinco de Mayo – May 5, 2024

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by learning about Mexican-American culture. Our Cinco de Mayo guide for Chicagoland Families includes local events, activities and crafts you can enjoy with your kids. End the day with one of these delicious Mexican treats

Mother’s Day – May 12, 2024

Does your ideal Mother’s Day include going out with the family? Or maybe you’d rather stay in for a cozy family brunch and an afternoon of crafting with the kiddos? We put together a complete guide to celebrating the Best Mom Ever that even includes some amazing gift ideas

Our Favorite Passover Activities for Kids

From snacks to books and fun games, kids will learn so much about Passover.

Cinco de Mayo 2024 Guide for Chicagoland Families

Teach your child an appreciation for Mexican culture with these events, recipes and cultural centers.

Ramadan Guide for Chicagoland Families

Find events, books, activities and more.
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