What to Do with Chicago Kids When School Is Closed

School's closed, now what? We've got you covered.

The Omicron variant continues to affect families during COVID-19 pandemic. Some school districts in the Chicago area have canceled classes or have switched to remote learning due to COVID-related staff shortages and a rise in cases in their area.

Many families are also experiencing last-minute school cancellations. One example is Chicago Public Schools as they’re currently negotiating with the Chicago Teachers Union over COVID-19 safety in schools. If your child’s school is closed for the day, here are some options to make the most of their day.

Virtual Learning

Online Learning Resources

If you don’t want to have your kids take a break from learning, there are plenty of online resources for them. We’ve shared our favorite online learning resources, including online classes, apps and podcasts.

Educational YouTube Channels

Don’t feel guilty if you put them in front of the TV or iPad. We’ve got you covered with educational YouTube channels to help pass the time or maybe even learn a new skill.

Cool Science Experiments

For parents who want to join in on the learning, try one of these DIY science experiments at home. The Museum of Science and Industry also has even more science activities for kids listed on its website.

Virtual Classes

Chicagoland businesses are coming to the rescue with some virtual and on-demand classes this week! Some great options include Skip & Scoot, Bubbles Academy, Buddha Belly Kids Yoga, Culture Groove Kids and The Kids’ Table.

Child Care

Day Off Camps

For parents looking for child care, some Chicagoland businesses are stepping up to provide day off camps for students. You can find options with Stages Chicago, Wishcraft Workshop, YMCA of Metro Chicago (locations vary), Fit City Kids and The Kids’ Table.

Safe Haven Sites

If CPS schools are closed, Safe Haven sites are located across the city for a safe space for CPS students. Sites are open during the day, and registration is available on-site. Please check ahead on this link to find the most-updated site locations and hours.

At-Home Activities

Monster Coloring Book for Kids

Have you seen the monster illustrations in our print magazine? Now you can print out this free coloring book for kids and the adorable monsters illustrated by Brent Mosser will keep them entertained for hours.

Indoor Obstacle Course Ideas

Kids of all ages can enjoy an indoor obstacle course. We broke down this guide to build an indoor obstacle course with preschoolers, elementary-aged kids, and even tweens and teens.

Outdoor Winter Activities

Yes, it’s cold out, but if you’re tired being in the house, go outside to enjoy one of these outdoor winter activities. Painting snow sounds like a great activity to try this week!

Watch This, Do That

If you’re just planning a day to watch movies, try watching one featured in our Watch This, Do That series. Each post includes lessons to talk about with kids and then a few screen-free activities inspired by the movie.  

Around Town

Chicagoland Museums for Families

Turn a day off from school into a field trip by visiting a local museum. You might be lucky enough to visit on an Illinois resident free day. Even if you’ve been to the Art Institute and Field Museum many times, there are plenty of other Chicagoland museums worth the visit.  

Outdoor Skating Rinks

If you don’t mind the cold, bundle up and hit one of these skating rinks. Some of our favorite rinks are the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park, Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont and The Rink at Gallagher Way. Note: Check weekday hours before heading out!

Indoor Nature Centers

Another field trip idea is to visit an indoor nature center. Your family can walk around the greenhouses to discover new plants and flowers. If you’re planning to visit Peggy Notebaert, make sure to stop by the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven.

Neighborhood Guides

What about taking a tour of a neighborhood or suburb? Our family neighborhood guides feature the best things to do with kids, including shops, restaurants and places to explore. The most recent guides we’ve covered is Pullman, Naperville, Lockport and Pilsen.


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Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Chicago Parent Editorial Team
Since 1984, the Chicago Parent editorial team is trained to be the go-to source for Chicagoland families, offering a rich blend of expert advice, compelling stories, and the top local activities for kids. Renowned for their award-winning content, the team of editors and writers are dedicated to enriching family life by connecting parents with the finest resources and experiences our community has to offer.

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