18 things to do with your baby in Chicagoland

For all new parents out there, you don’t know how lucky you are for raising a child in Chicago! We know a lot happens in that first year, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring with your little one. We’ve rounded up the best things to do with your baby in the city and suburbs.

Attend a story time.

Your baby loves reading at home, so why not take him to a story time? Consider Spanish story time with Ms. April at 57th Street Books, where you can listen to stories in Spanish and shake your maracas.

Explore some nature.

There are plenty of nature centers throughout the Chicago area where you can take a stroll with your baby. Here are some indoor nature centers you can visit all year long.

See a butterfly haven.

If you need a break from the cold, step foot into Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum’s Judy Istock Butterfly Haven. The greenhouse is filled with 40 species of exotic butterflies that will keep your baby’s eyes moving. Every day at 2 p.m., enjoy the First Flight Butterfly Release, where butterflies and moths fly for the first time.

Take a swim.

Splashing around in an indoor pool will make them giggle. Why not start them with swimming lessons, too?

Dance around at Juicebox.

Introduce your baby to music at Juicebox, one of our favorite free music programs in the city. Stop by the Chicago Cultural Center or Garfield Park Conservatory to interact with a great lineup of children’s performers.

Sign up for a music class.

MCA Stroller Tour, Photo Credit: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Old Town School of Folk Music’s Lullabies class is perfect for ages 5 months and under. You’ll rock your baby to sweet lullabies. And when they grow out of that class, consider the Wiggleworms program.

Stroll through a museum.

On the first Wednesday of each month, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago offers a 45-minute stroller tour at 11:30 a.m. You’ll be able to learn about the museum’s current exhibits as your baby rides along.

Go to the zoo.

Your babies will go wild seeing animals at the zoo. Spend the day at Lincoln Park Zoo or Brookfield Zoo for some family fun.

Stare at The Bean.

Introduce Millennium Park to your little ones and we bet they would love to stare at their reflection on The Bean. While you’re there, explore the slides, swings and more at Maggie Daley Park.

Book a photo session.

Your baby won’t be little forever! Preserve these memories with a professional photo session. TK Photography (who also happens to take photos for our print issue) offers Smash Cake & Birthday Sessions if you’re looking to save for a special occasion.

Join the Newborn Fan Club.

It’s never too early to start raising baseball fans at home! Luckily, both the White Sox and Chicago Cubs have newborn fan clubs, which help rep your baby for her first baseball game.

Head to the mall.

If you’re craving a shopping day, check out these malls with play spaces to keep you and baby happy.  Work out with your baby.

Gain a new workout buddy with these Mommy and Me classes at Prenatal Fit. If your baby is between 6 weeks and 12 months old, then he or she can be involved with these classes including yoga, pilates, aerobics and more.

Attend this weekly Baby & Me Program. 

At Kohl Children’s Museum, the Baby & Me Program is a free meet-up group for new parents. A nurse from Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is also there to answer any of your questions.

Take a class at Bubbles Academy.

Whether your baby is a pre-crawler or starting to walk, Bubbles Academy‘s got a class to help introduce the arts. Bubbles also offers a variety of special events throughout the year.

Stop at an indoor play space.

Don’t feel intimated by the thought of taking your baby to a play place. Luckily, some of these indoor play spaces have areas geared for littles or special toddler times. A few of our favorite drop-in spots for babies are hellobaby, Little Beans Cafe and Waterlemon.

Have a beach day.

When the weather’s right, you’ll love nothing more than to see your baby explore the beach, and react to the sand and lake. Consider these family-friendly beaches in the city and suburbs.

Spot some fishies. 

Here’s a way to get up close to some of your favorite underwater animals. Even your baby will be obsessed with staring at all the fish at Shedd Aquarium.


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