New Family Attractions to Enjoy in Chicagoland

Where to turn on little brains this year.

With new museum exhibits, immersive attractions and themed events popping up every day, it can be difficult to decide which attractions are worth the hype and which ones your family is better off skipping.

On your next day out, check out one of these new Chicagoland attractions that the entire fam will enjoy.

Blow your mind at Museum of Illusions

Photo credit: Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions will reveal its new expansion on Nov. 4. Bigger, better and even wackier than ever, families can challenge their minds with fascinating illusions, funny photo ops, brain-teasing puzzles and more mind-boggling fun.

Rediscover classic children’s books at Storyland

“Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites,” is bringing classic children’s books to life — including titles like “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter — through hands-on activities that promote literacy and vocab skills. 

See a new dino at Field Museum

Photo credit: The Field Museum

Head to the Field Museum to see the world’s largest predatory dinosaur, a Spinosaurus. It was 46 feet long with a crocodile-like snout and paddle-like tail when it roamed 95 million years ago. The new dino is part of the Griffin Dinosaur Experience at the museum.

Explore nature sculptures at The Morton Arboretum

See five large-scale sculptures made from reclaimed tree branches and other natural materials by Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska. The sculptures, “Of the Earth,” range from 5- to 14-feet tall and 45 feet long.

Mine for treasures at Volo Museum

The Volo Museum has opened a new mining depot, Munchin’ Junction, where families can mine for treasures. This summer, watch for the opening on Jurassic Jen’s 9-hole dino-themed golf course and the addition of a 40-foot outdoor stage where a 12-character animatronic band performs.

Learn about plastic pollution at MSI

Walk beneath the ocean’s surface to see the impact of plastic pollution in the new immersive experience, “The Blue Paradox,” at the Museum of Science and Industry. Then learn real ways families can stop plastic waste from becoming plastic pollution. MSI says about 26 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year and our Great Lakes are also at risk.

Hang out with sea lions at Shedd Aquarium

Photo credit: ©Shedd Aquarium/Brenna Hernandez

Shedd is launching a new 45-minute sea lion encounter that might even include a touch opportunity. 1:45 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting in late July. Check out our family aquarium guide for tips on visiting with kids. 

Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram

- Advertisement -


Best Chicagoland Libraries to Visit with Kids

Having fun isn’t hard when you have a library card!

Watch This, Do That: Trolls Band Together

See Branch and his brothers, also known as BroZone, back together after years of being apart.

Jurassic Quest Returns to Navy Pier with Larger-Than-Life Dinosaurs

Go digging for fossils, meet baby dinos and more at the world’s largest traveling dinosaur event.

- Advertisement -