Make a wish. Toss pennies in the Gurgoyle Fountain in Wicker Park and hope that dreams really do come true.
Take in a Cubs game. They are history-makers, after all.
Grab a Chicago dog at the famous Lincoln Park hot dog spot, Wiener’s Circle, 2622 N. Clark St. Bring cash.
Make like Ariel, grab a mermaid tail and hit North Avenue Beach for a swim on a hot day.
Enjoy a simply perfect Chicago day at Lincoln Park Zoo.
Indulge in a slice or (five) of Chicago deep dish pizza. Better yet, sign up for one of the pizza tours through sliceofchicagopizzatours.com.
Bike the entire lakefront. Or, check out The 606 Trail through Wicker Park, Bucktown, Humboldt Park and Logan Square. Bonus: Four entry points are parks.
Get wet at Margaret Donahue Park, a half-acre park perfect for kids of all ages with play structures that resemble Chicago landmarks like Willis Tower. Find it on School Street in the Lakeview neighborhood.
Walk on air. Visit the Chicago Skydeck’s Ledge and watch the city go by from 1,353 feet in the air.
Check off three items in one day! Become a tourist for the day, splashing at Crown Fountain in Millennium Park and taking the ultimate selfie at The Bean. Plus, it’s so worth the few blocks’ walk to Maggie Daley Park, the amazing 20-acre lakefront park with a play garden and lots of climbing.
Go on an adventure. Grab a Metra map, pick a different line, randomly pick a stop and see what amazing things you can discover. Up to three kids under 12 travel free this summer, so it’s a win for mom and dad, too.
Crunch into a little bit of heaven at Honey Butter Fried Chicken, 3361 N. Elston Ave. It’s even got a cool outside patio with a magnet wall to keep hands busy while waiting for the goodness.
Fall for the Bard. Fall in love with Shakespeare in the Parks‘ free, 75-minute abridged production of Romeo and Juliet.
Reach for the sky—or at least a member of the Chicago Sky. The women’s professional basketball team plays at Allstate Arena, and kids can take part in a high-five tunnel.
Hear a story. The Storybook Mom, Nili Yelin, enthralls kids of all ages with her stories all over the city. Track her down at thestorybookmom.com.
Feel like an astronaut. There’s no better place than Adler Planetarium to unleash the imagination and leave Chicago for a trip through space. We’re especially partial to the Destination Solar System show.
Visit Chinatown. There’s more than bubble tea and yummy food to experience. Kids will like peering into shop windows and finding their Chinese zodiac sign in Chinatown Square.
Feed a need for speed. The Seadog Extreme Thrill Ride leaves Navy Pier for a 45-mph jaunt across Lake Michigan.
Touch a stingray. The stingrays are back at Shedd Aquarium this summer. Find out if they really feel like wet tires.
Dance the night away. Head down to the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park for the free Summer Dance Chicago. With 44 live bands planned this summer, kids will find something to their liking.
Get a different look at our beautiful lakefront. Jump on a Chicago Water Taxi to get from place to place without the traffic hassle but with a breeze.
Spend an entire day on Navy Pier doing everything! From the Chicago Children’s Museum (visit the new Zoom Room) to the Centennial Wheel and food and people watching, there’s always a party on the pier.
Get hit with flying food. Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theater, 3133 N. Halsted, is happy to oblige those who get the front rows.
Shop on the Mag Mile. American Girl Place and the Lego Store. Just saying.
Groove to indie rockers. Hit one of the best family fests of the summer, Square Roots Festival in Lincoln Square. It features more than 60 acts, plus a drum circle for kids and even a family hoedown.
Fly. Now that iFly is in Chicago, kids won’t have to go far to feel the wind beneath their wings, err, arms. Find iFly Chicago at 800 W. Scott St. (with other locations in Rosemont and Naperville).
Join the circus. Not really, but learn how to soar on the flying trapeze just like they do at the circus at TSNY Chicago, 3158 Lakefront Trail. Trapeze too much? Learn the tight wire and silks instead.