Spring break staycation plans in Chicago

No tropical spring break plans this year? No sweat! Savor your time together in our wonderful Windy City. We’ve broken spring break down into exciting activities that will maximize family bonding and beat the boredom.

Get ready for one super staycation!

Root for a hero one day

Get thee to Schaumburg for a medieval feast fit for heroes big and small. Knock back a four-course meal with your fingers at Medieval Times while cheering your knight to victory in a jousting tournament you won’t soon forget.

The kids will get swept up in the pageantry of horses, falcons and the king’s court, all at the edge of your ringside seat. Just be warned, the kids will be begging for swords. And they might even give up silverware for good.

Spend one day playing tourist

Treat the kids to an adventure by exploring our city a different way (while saving yourself the headache of navigating city streets and parking). Take a trolley!

Chicago Trolley& Double Decker Co.’s Hop-on Hop-off Downtown Tours include stops at Skydeck Chicago, Museum Campus, Millennium Park, Water Tower Place, Navy Pier and more. Neighborhood Tours share the sights, sounds and history of places like the Lincoln Park Zoo, Wrigley Field and the former site of the O’Leary barn.

Unleash the giggles one day

You and the kids will giggle incessantly at Blue Man Group, that long-running, wacky, wild extravaganza of lights, music dancing and silliness.

With dance parties, bouncing balls, splashing paint and marshmallow tossing, kids will not want the show to end. Get seats in the front for an extra (well, messy) blast. Booster seats and noise-cancelling headphones are available for little ones.

Nosh and roll one day

NewCity, a shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Lincoln Park, opened in November. Kings Bowl is probably the coolest bowling alley you’ll ever visit. Not only can you throw strikes on the high-end, retro-inspired lanes, but you can also enjoy low-tech games, like shuffleboard, foosball and crazy-fun four-person air hockey. Kings serves delicious Max& Leo’s crispy, coal-fired pizza.

Catch a movie at ArcLight Cinemas after filling up at Yard House or Nando’s Peri-Peri. Everyone will find something they’re excited to eat on Yard House’s menu. The [Mac + Cheese]2 is sinfully good, and you won’t regret sinking your teeth into a Vampire Taco, a cheese-crusted tortilla packed with carnitas, bacon chorizo, cumin crema and guacamole. Nando’s Peri-Peri is new to Chicago. You’ll soon fall in love with their flame-grilled Portuguese chicken and flavorful sides.

‘Fly’ away one day

Who said you had to keep two feet on the ground all spring break? Experience the thrill of soaring high at iFLY in Rosemont. Kids as young as 3 can feel the exhilaration of skydiving. Then dance the afternoon away at Hofbrauhaus, which offers live music in a festive, German atmosphere (and up to two kids under 10 per family eat free on Tuesdays!).

Walk off the meal at nearby Fashion Outlets of Chicago (and score a great deal on a springy outfit) and treat the kids’ sweet tooth at one of the many candy stores. Lolli and Pops is my kids’ favorite, with its collections of truffles, gummies, treats from across the globe and everything in between.

Pretend you really are ‘away’ one day

Surprise the kids with a spring break trip after all, but without the hassle and expense of heading somewhere tropical. Book a one-night stay at Key Lime Cove in Gurnee and you still get to glory in 84 degree temps (it might even be better here than your kids’ friends’ Florida getaways with this year’s crazy weather) while splish-splashing in the water.

Cortney Fries
Cortney Fries
An award-winning travel journalist, Cortney Fries (pronounced "freeze") has been writing about family travel for over a decade. She knows that parents planning trips are looking for all members to have fun and make lasting memories. Cortney believes that you should definitely try anything that makes you slightly nervous.
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