15 things to do on Presidents Day with kids


If you’re able to enjoy the day off with your kids on Presidents Day, why not explore the city? There are plenty of events across Chicagoland to enjoy on Feb. 17, from celebrating our presidents to visiting special museum exhibits. We’ve rounded up the best things to do with your family and we also sprinkled in a few other special events you can enjoy during Presidents Day weekend.

Watch a movie.

Has it been a while since you’ve been to the theaters? Sonic the Hedgehog comes out during Presidents Day weekend. If you feel like chilling at home, you can catch Toy Story 4,To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (perfect for tweens and teens!), and other family shows and movies streaming online in February.


Splash around.


Spend the day at these indoor water parks near Chicago. Even parents would love to join in on the water fun!


Go to the Chicago Auto Show.


Catch the last day of the Chicago Auto Show, which also happens to be Family Day! Your kids will love to run around McCormick Place to see all the cars and participate in some fun interactive activities.


Meet a past president.


The kids might not be in school, but make it a learning day with these special presidential events. On Feb. 17, you can meet the Lincolns at the Chicago History Museum.


See an enchanted railroad.


The Enchanted Railroad is only at The Morton Arboretum through Feb. 23, so you’ll have to take your train-obsessed kids ASAP!

Chicago Auto Show


Go ice skating.


It might be the middle of February, but depending on the weather, some of your favorite ice skating rinks in the Chicago area might still be open including the Ice Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park and McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park.


Sign your kids up for a camp.


Do you have to work on Presidents Day? There are spots open for some day-off camps. Some attractions offering a day-off camp are The Laboratory Collective, Swedish American Museum & Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration and Lincoln Park Zoo.


Volunteer as a family.


If you have “volunteer more” on your family resolutions list for 2020, then download our guide to these family volunteering opportunities in Chicagoland.


Go to a museum.


Head to a museum on Presidents Day! Check out some of these new special exhibits including Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s Dragons Alive! The Science and Culture of Reptiles and Chicago’s Night Sky at Adler Planetarium. Some museums are even offering free days such as Adler Planetarium, Chicago History Museum and Shedd Aquarium.


Jump around.


If you want the kids to release some energy, visit some of these indoor play places in the Chicago area.

Take a break from Chicago’s winter.


You don’t have to leave Chicago to take a break from the cold! Here are a few places to warm up: The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumGarfield Park Conservatory and Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier. Also, take in more than 10,000 blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden’s The Orchid Show running through March 22.


Read some Presidents Day books.


Check out these educational books for Presidents Day from your local library. With a range of books from toddlers to tweens, you’ll even learn something new about our presidents!


Celebrate Black History Month.


There are several ways for Chicago families to learn more about the accomplishments of African Americans. Since it’s Black History Month, plan to visit the DuSable Museum of African American History or explore the Black Creativity program at the Museum of Science & Industry.


Eat your heart out.


Explore a new suburb or city neighborhood while grabbing a bite to eat.


Looking for more fun things to do?


Check out our calendar to see all the local events happening on Presidents Day.


Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.


This article originally published in Feb. 2019. It has been updated with the most recent information.


Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Chicago Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.
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