4 tips for a smooth ride with kids at the Chicago Auto Show 2016

You might be in the market for a new set of wheels. You might be the kind of person who names their vehicle with more care than naming a child. Maybe you just reeeally like that new car smell.

Chicago Auto Show

When: Feb. 13-21

Tickets: adult, senior and child, free for kids 6 and under

Where: McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

For more info: chicagoautoshow.com

Whatever kind of adult you are, the auto show has enough shiny new cars, trucks and SUVs to keep you busy for hours. But your tiny human? They couldn’t care less about heated steering wheels and posh leather interior. It’s OK, they’ll learn someday.

But in the meantime, we did a few laps around this year’s show to find the best ways to keep the kiddos occupied so that you have the green light to cruise.

Warning: family fun may be closer than it appears.

Park it at Camp Jeep

Jeep knows how to auto show. Their display undoubtedly wins the prize for “Most Awesome” and is definitely the most worthy of waiting in a line. Ride along their back-roading track in any of their latest models, and you’ll get to have a simulated experience of all the crazy terrains Jeep vehicles can handle. Kids will most likely want to go around a few times to ride in all the different cars. Make sure to check that your child meets the age, weight and height restrictions before getting in line.

Idle at the family fun zones

Between the Chevy Dealers Family Fun Zone and the Chrysler Pacific Playzone, there are quite a few virtual experiences and tabletop games to keep kids busy. And if they’re bouncing off the walls — too much Mackinac Island fudge at the cafe, perhaps — take them to play Just Dance at the Chevy zone to really wear them out.

Get into gear with Hank

Hank is a robot, and kids love — I mean LOVE — Hank. Ford’s robot moves and talks and educates, and he’ll make your kids car enthusiasts faster than an F-150 ever could. The Ford display also has a few pinball machines that can easily swallow up way too much of your time.

Put the pedal to the metal at simulation stations

There are so many simulated driving games and experiences at this year’s auto show, it could be an arcade. Although the crowd favorite seems to be the Dodge Viper Challenge, Ford, Toyota, State Farm, Mazda and others have also stepped it up with incredibly fun “test drive” experiences.

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