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, flying with kids during the pandemic 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! We included a few of our favorite summer travel ideas in this section, but you can find even more destination ideas in our family travel guide for Chicago families. No matter what your family is most interested in, there’s something for everyone during the summer season in Chicagoland and beyond.

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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 how to plan some activities with unvaccinated kids in mind. Hopefully, these tips will be helpful to make sure your kids can have a safe and engaging summer!

5 Tips to Survive Camping with Kids

Stay safe and sane while going off the grid.

5 Ways Kids Can Avoid Summer Brain Drain

Your kids can keep learning this summer with these ideas.

How to Pick the Best Sunscreen for Your Kids

Protect your family's skin this summer with these tips.

How to Plan Activities with Unvaccinated Kids in Mind

What experts suggest for kids ages 2-12.