Chicago Auto Show offers activities for families, plus fun cars for parents

Whether your kids are still into playing with Matchbox cars or already dreaming of getting their learner’s permit, the Chicago Auto Show is a great day out for the whole family. The country’s largest auto show pulls into McCormick Place on Feb. 8, and offers a special Family Day on Feb. 17 that includes music, prizes and educational activities.

If you go

2014 Chicago Auto Show

  • McCormick Place, 2301 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago
  • Feb. 8-17; check website for schedule
  • , seniors and kids 7-12, free kids 6 and under


But don’t think that the car show is just for gearheads planning their next hot ride. Kids will love the chance to test-drive miniature Jeeps, try out driving simulators from Mazda, play the “Toyota Live” game show or Xbox games with Honda, and even bust a move with those dancing Kia hamsters. The Chevy “Family Fun Zone” includes a photo kiosk and a Hot Wheels jump.

And for moms and dads a little sick of the minivan, there are lots of chances to ogle high-end cars-or pick out your next practical (sigh) family vehicle.

Athletes from local teams will stop by throughout the show to sign autographs for lucky fans.

McCormick Place is massive, so you may want to rent a locker or check your coats before exploring the show. Strollers are encouraged for little ones whose legs might get tired, and diaper-changing stations are available at most restrooms. And if you’re in the mood for some multi-tasking, don’t forget the DMV office on the premises, ideal for replacing or renewing your license. After all, you may want to stop at the dealership on your way back home.

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