Best Things to Do with Kids This Summer in Chicagoland

Maybe we’re a bit biased, but something really special happens in Chicago and the suburbs when summertime rolls around. The weather is amazing (even on those hot days!), more people are out, and there are so many activities and attractions to pack in one season. We want to help you make summer 2021 the best one yet with Chicago Parent’s summer fun guide!

Below, you’ll find the best things to do with kids in Chicagoland this summer. We included your favorite summer activities not to miss such as spraygrounds and splash pads and outdoor mini golf courses. Plus, get the latest info on celebrating your favorite summer holidays with local events and family-friendly activities in mind.

We also have expert advice on tackling summer issues such as brain drain, at-home accidents and more. Make sure you bookmark this page because we’ll be adding the latest seasonal activities and tidbits to make the most of your summer. Enjoy! ☀️




Summer is a great time for families to enjoy new experiences and travel destinations. And lucky for local parents, Chicagoland is filled with summer activities for the whole family to enjoy. This summer, we’re happy to welcome some our favorite local traditions like fairs and fests, and  free movies in the parks. You can also take advantage of the outdoors with camping, hiking and more. Don’t forget about family travel, too! No matter what your family is most interested in, there’s something for everyone during the summer season in Chicagoland and beyond.

Cool Places to Travel with Your Kids Before School Starts

From Kings Island to Medusa's Slidewheel and more, here a few last-minute excursions to enjoy with the kids before the new school year.

Beautiful Flower Fields Worth the Drive

These flower fields near Chicago feature tulips, sunflowers, lavender and more depending on the season.

Outdoor Attractions for Chicago Families

Make the most of a beautiful day at these fun, local attractions.

Berry Picking Farms Near Chicago

Pick your way through these awesome spots worth the drive from Chicagoland.

Movie in the Park Events for Families in Chicagoland

Grab some snacks and enjoy these fun family flicks at a park in the city and suburbs.

Summer Festivals for Families in Chicagoland

Explore our iconic festival scene.

Chicagoland Farmers Markets for Families

Check out these farmers markets that make sure families have a fun time.

Exhilarating Midwest Outdoor Adventures to Try This Summer

Crank up the fun as a family with these exciting experiences worth the drive.



Many holidays happen during the summer month. Some of the big ones include Pride Month, Juneteenth, Father’s Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Skip the holiday planning this year with our family guides below. In each guide, you’ll find the best local events, family activities and more to make it a great celebration. We also included some fun at-home activities as well.

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With kids spending more time at home during the summer, there’s a lot for parents to juggle in the next few months. Have you planned summer camp yet? Find some great options in Chicago Parent’s summer camp guide. We also included tips on summer brain drain, backyard pool safety and more. Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to make sure your kids can have a safe and engaging summer!

Summer Unleashed: Discover More Family Fun in 2022

The world is slowly getting back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the best events and tips to make it a great summer.

Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain

Your kids can keep learning this summer with these ideas.

At-Home Summer Accidents to Avoid with Kids

Stay safe with these tips.

Tips to Survive Camping with Kids

Get ready for the outdoors with these camping tips to keep your family sane.