Family Travel in Chicago, IL
No visit to Chicago would be complete without seeing Anish Kapoor's amazing Cloud Gate sculpture, affectionately known by locals as "the Bean." Children and adults alike will be mesmerized by the reflections of the skyline and themselves in the shiny sculpture. Make sure to brave the crowds and make your way under the sculpture to see yourself reflected in every direction. This is one place you won't want to visit without a camera. Visiting towards the end of the day is ideal so that kids can see the changing light effects as the sun sets on the sculpture. The Cloud Gate is a wonderful way to introduce children to the art of sculpture.
Adults and children alike all adore the Chicago Field Museum. And if your child is a dinosaur lover, then one visit to the Field Museum and they will be instantly hooked! The Field Museum is the home of Sue, the largest and best preserved T-Rex. She happens to be a bit of a Chicago celebrity as well and kids just can't get over the fact that Sue is 65 million years old. During the summer, kids even have the opportunity to spend the night at the museum, amidst the towering dinosaur skeletons, to finally see if they really do come to life at night.
On those really cold Chicago winter days, when just the thought of braving the wind makes you want to crawl back into bed, Legoland Discovery Center is the place to head with your family. The huge indoor amusement park will keep your kids creating and having fun for an entire afternoon. The whole family will enjoy learning how Legos are made during the factory tour, getting some great building tips at the frequent Lego building workshops, and making and racing cars on the tracks. And when everyone gets the urge to run around, they can burn some energy on the Dragon Quest ride or the Technycycle.
The Shedd Aquarium is a great family destination, during every season in Chicago: spring, summer, fall and winter. The aquarium has unique fish exhibits that will appeal to children of all ages, including beluga whales and a Caribbean diving tank. Older kids will enjoy the 4D movies and Fantasea, the mystical dolphin show with its acrobatics and unique music. Younger kids will love running around the Polar Play Zone. The Shedd Aquarium is a Chicago landmark that is not to be missed when in the Windy City. As a tip, if possible, visit the Shedd with a Chicago resident - they get discounted tickets!
There's so much to do at the Art Institute of Chicago. The incredibly helpful docents will provide you with games and family oriented guides to make your family visit a success. There are even audio tours designed for children, filled with interesting information. But as we all know, kids are happiest when they are doing, instead of watching quietly. That's why the museum frequently hosts hands-on activities to get our budding artists inspired and engaged. And if you head to a Chicago library before coming to the Art Institute, you can pick up a Kraft Great Kids Museum Passport and enjoy free admission for your entire family.