Readers Share the Safest Places for Chicago Families to Explore

As our favorite Chicagoland attractions continue to reopen, are you and your family ready to visit them? Some of our readers have already been out and about at these locations with new COVID-19 safety guidelines in place. We asked these locals what they thought of their recent visits to help us build the growing list below.


Got your own thoughts? Share them with us in our survey and we’ll update this article based on new submissions.


Lincoln Park Zoo



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A post shared by Ting ⭐️ (@stl6vf) on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:52am PDT


The Chicago zoo reopened to the general public on June 29. While admission is still free, visitors must register tickets in advance since they’re limiting guest capacity. Face masks are also required for ages 2 and most zoo buildings are closed. One reader suggests, “Go to the bathroom before you leave home! Their bathrooms aren’t necessarily set up for social distancing or avoiding hand contact on sinks, hand dryers or doors.”


2001 N. Clark St., Chicago


North Park Village Nature Center



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A post shared by Pear Tree Preserves (@peartreepreserves) on Aug 7, 2020 at 2:25pm PDT


Exploring nature is a great way to social distance from others. North Park Village Nature Center has a 46-acre nature preserve that allows kids to wonder. Families will notice social distance indicators on the trails including reminders to wear a face covering. Tip from a reader: Bring bug spray and sunscreen.


5801 N. Pulaski Road, Chicago


Museum of Science and Industry


While the Museum of Science and Industry recently opened this month, limiting total guest capacity gives plenty of visitors space to explore while social distancing. Masks are required and some exhibits may be temporarily closed.


5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago


The Morton Arboretum



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A post shared by Sarah Marx (@frostonepurltwo) on Jun 11, 2020 at 6:51pm PDT


One of the first Chicagoland attractions to reopen in June, The Moron Arboretum has plenty of space to keep a safe distance from others. Advanced reservations are required for everyone, including members. The Children’s Garden has also reopened starting Aug. 17 with access from noon-4 p.m.


4100 IL-53, Lisle


Art Institute of Chicago



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A post shared by Yingyi Huang (@koyi____) on Aug 7, 2020 at 11:26pm PDT


In its reopening guidelines, The Art Institute of Chicago has set up designated signs to help guide visitors. Non-members must purchase tickets in advance. One parent appreciated other safety details such as allowing only one family per elevator trip and water-bottle filling stations.


111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago


Anderson Japanese Gardens



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A post shared by CS Counseling and Therapy (@cscounselingandtherapy) on Aug 9, 2020 at 10:12am PDT


It’s a bit of a drive from Chicago, but it’s all worth it when you see the beautiful Anderson Japanese Gardens. Tip from a reader: you can still buy koi food at an outdoor table. Bring cash because the cost is $1 per bag.


318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford



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