12 Things to Do with Kids in Chicago’s South Side

Chicago wouldn’t be where it is today without the South Side. Though Downtown draws the tourists, the South Side is filled with treasures that contribute to our city’s rich culture and history. Look beyond Guaranteed Rate Field and the Museum of Science and Industry, and check out these South Side attractions great for families.  

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 concerns, some locations may be closed or only offer limited access with extra precautions. Please see each location’s website for more information and practice social distancing when visiting. 

Henry C. Palmisano Nature Park

Formerly a landfill for more than 30 years, Palmisano Park is now an urban nature oasis with amazing city skyline views. Explore the nature park to find wetland terraces, a fishing pond and a boardwalk made out of recycled materials.

2700 S. Halsted St., Chicago

Shawn Michelle’s Homemade Ice Cream

Nothing hits the spot like some good old-fashioned ice cream. Shawn Michelle’s serves one-of-a-kind ice cream flavors like Honey Cinnamon Graham Cracker, Banana Pudding and Supreme Cookies & Cream. Plus, they also have a vegan menu with plenty of flavor options.

46 E. 47th St., Chicago

DuSable Museum of African American History

The city’s museum has focused on presenting Black stories in history, arts and culture for nearly 60 years. While it’s temporarily closed, there are still plenty of ways to support the museum online.

740 E. 56th Place, Chicago

Hellobaby

The drop-in play space goes above and beyond to help underserved families. Even with its doors closed, it is hosting weekly Giveaway Days to help provide essentials for families suffering during COVID-19. This summer, you can also explore the Fairy Garden across the street.

600 E. 61st St., Chicago

Jackson Park

Behind the Museum of Science and Industry, you’ll find the park that once was the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Jackson Park includes sports fields, 63rd Street Beach and the Garden of the Phoenix, a Japanese garden on Wooded Island. For families with dogs, you can’t miss a trip to Jackson Bark.  

6401 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago

Mimi’s Tots Closet

For your fashionistas at home, treat them to these trendy looks at this South Side children’s boutique. Mimi’s also hosts birthday parties for kids with spa, paint and slime packages available.

8442 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago

The Original Rainbow Cone

The colorful ice cream treat is a Chicago favorite, but have you ever visited the original Beverly location? You’ll love to snap a photo with your ice cream in front of the bright pink storefront.

9233 S. Western Ave., Chicago

Bronzeville Children’s Museum

As the first and only African American children’s museum in the nation, Bronzeville Children’s Museum features exhibits like “You Are What You Eat” and “African American Inventors.” While the museum is temporarily closed, you can support it by becoming a member or sending a donation.  

9301 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago

Dat Donut

Holy moly, now that’s a big donut! The Chatham neighborhood spot is known for its signature Big Dat. But it also has plenty of other donuts, pastries and breakfast items on the menu.  

8251 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago

Pullman National Monument

The historic district of Pullman became a national monument in 2015 thanks to President Barack Obama. Once a company town built by George Pullman, you can explore the visitors center and some of the buildings to learn more. Note: Some locations may be closed due to COVID-19.

11141 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Chicago

Ping Tom Memorial Park

Spend some time at the old railroad yard transformed to a green space. By the river, you’ll notice the park is filled with beautiful Chinese landscaping elements. You’ll even spot some nice murals under the 18th Street Bridge nearby.

1700 S. Wentworth Ave., Chicago

Method Soap Factory

You probably recognized Method for its soap and cleaning products. The factory is located in Pullman and you can take a tour (must email in advance) to see how the soap is made. Note: Tours might not be available due to COVID-19.

720 E. 111th St., Chicago


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