If you love a good adrenaline rush, there are lots of exciting ways a family of thrill-seekers can up the excitement level this summer.
Unafraid of getting wet? Try out Seadog’s Ultimate Thrill Ride
Lake Michigan looks and feels a little different when you’re zooming on it at 45 mph. While this ride goes 30 percent faster than other speed boat rides offered by Seadog, speed is just one element of the adventure. The 30-minute ride also features full 360 degree spins, slalom runs, and sharp twists and turns. Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. All passengers must be 48” tall. Booking online in advance is strongly recommended and the ride departs from Navy Pier’s Dock Street at 600 E. Grand Avenue.
Up for some international intrigue? Head to SafeHouse Chicago
Passwords, code names, hidden messages and surprises at nearly every turn increase the excitement level when dining at SafeHouse Chicago. A scavenger hunt that will have you looking over your shoulder makes your family’s experience even more interactive. Even those not looking to engage in espionage will enjoy the food, including freshly breaded cheese curds and tasty burgers, and adults will like the fun cocktails. SafeHouse is located at 60 E. Ontario and is kid-friendly for lunch and an early dinner, but after 8 p.m. you have to be at least 21 to enter.
Feel the need for speed? Motor out to Chicagoland Speedway
For kids 14 and older, zooming around the track at the Chicagoland Speedway at speeds up to 155 mph may be just the adrenaline rush they’re seeking. Different experiences are offered at different times of the year. The NASCAR Racing Experience will be on site July 7-9 and back again in August, Rusty Wallace Racing Experience is there the weekend of July 22 and the Richard Petty Driving Experience will be offering ride along opportunities in September. The Chicagoland Speedway is at 500 Speedway Blvd. in Joliet.
Want to jump waves? Get on over to Jet Ski Chicago
If you’re up for a joyride along the lakeshore with your kiddo, head to Jet Ski Chicago at North Avenue Beach just off 1600 N. Lake Shore Dr. Jet ski drivers must be at least 18, and they can take kids out with them as passengers as long as they fit into one of the life vests. (Vests are available for passengers as small as toddlers) Staff says that often a parent will rent for an hour and take kids out one at a time. You must book a jet ski online in advance.
Dare to defy gravity? Lean in (or rather, out) at TILT at 360 Chicago
Chances are you tell your kids not to look down on anyone or anything, but when you experience TILT at 360 Chicago, you can’t help it. A platform literally tilts guests outward 30 degrees so they can gaze downward from more than 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. It definitely adds an extra layer of excitement when playing tourist in the city for a day. 360 Chicago is located in the John Hancock Center at 875 N. Michigan.
Want to experience weightlessness? Ride the Joker Free Fly Coaster at Six Flags
Six Flags Great America calls itself the “Thrill Capital of the Midwest” and it is bolstering that claim with its newest ride, the Joker Free Fly Coaster. It flips riders head-over-heels six times and simulates a feeling of weightlessness. Riders must be at least 48” tall. As if that’s not enough, there are many other thrill rides that await at the amusement park, located at 1 Great America Parkway in Gurnee.
Ready to fly? Take to the skies with Chicago Aerial Tours
A ride in a helicopter is one way to spice up your family’s weekend plans. See the highlights of Chicago’s skyline from above in a 15-20 minute tour. Airplane tours that last around half an hour are also available. Parents need to accompany kids and there is no minimum age.
If you’re worried that the Screaming Lizard is one of those gentle water slides, don’t be. The thrill begins when the rider steps into an enclosed capsule and a trap door opens beneath them. They accelerate up to 37 mph in the looping, 45 degree angle slide. Magic Waters is located outside of Rockford at 7820 Cherryvale North Blvd. in Cherry Valley.