Must-Do Family Activities for a Memorable Chicago Spring Break

Get ready to explore Chicago and enjoy some much-needed time off with family! With its abundance of kid-friendly and family-focused activities, this beautiful city offers an unforgettable spring break experience like never before.

Unleash your sense of wonder and prepare for an unforgettable Chicago Spring Break with our curated list of 16 family-friendly activities. We've divided these activities into categories that will help you create an itinerary based on your interests. Whether you're looking for some some outdoor fun, an educational experience, or a unique exploration, there's something for everyone!

Family-Friendly Things To Do In Chicago for Spring Break

Outdoor Activities
Indoor Activities
Art and Exploration
Animal Lover Activities

Outdoor Activities

Play at Navy Pier

Kick off your Chicago Spring Break at Navy Pier, a destination that caters to every family member's interests. The pier typically hosts a week-long Spring Break itinerary in March with interactive events, performances, and artisan markets. Keep an eye on the Navy Pier events calendar for details. Combine these seasonal activities with the thrill of a Ferris Wheel ride or a leisurely meal at one of the many family-friendly eateries. 

Views of Navy Pier at dusk

Smell the Flowers at the Garfield Park Spring Flower Show

Immerse your family in a world of color! Enjoy the first glimpses of spring flowers in bloom and check out the 2024 event called "What's In A Name?" which explains the history and science of the botanical naming of flowers and plants. It's a vibrant and educational show during spring break in Chicago, IL. Be sure to charge your phone or bring a camera to capture your family amidst the stunning floral displays.

Explore The Chicago Neighborhoods

Venture into the diverse neighborhoods of Chicago for a truly local experience. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm, from the vibrant murals in Pilsen to the lively music scene in Wicker Park. Families can enjoy a variety of cuisines, local shops, and community events that reflect the city's rich cultural tapestry. Exploring these neighborhoods offers a different perspective of the city, making it a valuable addition to your spring break in Chicago.

Stroll Through the Lincoln Park Conservatory

Looking to relax and unwind as a family in Chicago this spring break? Experience serenity at the Lincoln Park Conservatory's North Pond Nature Sanctuary. It's great for a relaxing family stroll, featuring the sights and smells of native plants and an idyllic pond. Kids will love spotting the birds, tadpoles, and turtles that inhabit the pond. Additionally, visit the beautiful Conservatory and Gardens full of blooming plants. Entry to this tranquil oasis is free, but it's recommended to make a reservation, especially during this busy time of year.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Indoor Activities

Sip, TILT and View at 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Elevate your Chicago spring break experience at the 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck. This destination delivers panoramic city views that the whole family will love. Those seeking a thrill should try TILT, one of the world's highest thrill rides that provides an awesome perspective of the city from above. Check out the Sip, TILT, and View ticket to save and enjoy a beverage while you enjoy the view. Once you arrive, stay on the Observation Deck as long as you want! Your trip to 360 CHICAGO will surely be a high point of your spring break adventure.

360 Chicago for Families

Stay At Great Wolf Lodge and Get A Deal

Spend your spring break at Great Wolf Lodge, the popular family-focused resort that offers a myriad of fun, with an expansive indoor water park, adventurous MagiQuest game, and multiple dining options. Best of all, the resort is offering Spring Break deals at 30-35% OFF 2 and 3-night stays in Chicago. A stay at Great Wolf Lodge is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and a great home base to explore the Chicago sights. 

Great Wolf Lodge

Discover The World of Dolls at American Girl Place

Dive into a world of imagination with your kids at American Girl Place. This delightful shop and attraction, in one, offers immersive experiences for doll enthusiasts. Your little ones can pamper their dolls with a visit to the Doll Hair Salon, enjoy a special meal with their doll, or book tea time. With various themed events and interactive displays, this store can take playtime to a new level during your Chicago spring break.

American Girl Place

Visit Chicago's Newest Attraction

Step into the vibrant world of the Sloomoo Institute Chicago, where fun and creativity collide! It's a slime wonderland filled with various hand-crafted slimes in multiple colors, scents, and textures that delight all the senses. It's not just about the slime, though. The Institute offers a sensory journey like no other, known as the Sloomooverse! Sloomoo Institute is no ordinary attraction; it’s a tactile exploration of a fun, immersive universe that kids (and adults!) will adore. Add a visit to this place to your family's spring break itinerary. 

Sloomoo Institute

Art and Exploration

Learn Something Exciting at The Chicago Children's Museum

The Chicago Children's Museum, located within Navy Pier, is a hotspot for youthful exploration and learning. Each exhibit is ingeniously engineered to inspire young minds, creating specific sections to suit children of different ages, such as the new Circusville: Play Under the Big Top and popular favorites like Water City and the Tinkering Lab. Make sure the Children's Museum is on your itinerary!  

Chicago Children's Museum

Get Creative at Legoland Discovery Center

Unleash your inner builder at Legoland Discovery Center with hands-on exhibits like the Lego Build and Inspire area, a meet-and-greet LEGO characters exhibit, and more. The center ensures endless fun for all ages of Lego enthusiasts (parents love spending time here too)! We recommend you book tickets in advance as this is a popular spring break Chicago activity.

Legoland Discovery Center

Discover Chicago Through the Five Senses

Ignite your children's curiosity at the Sensing Chicago exhibit in the Chicago History Museum. This unique display encourages kids to use their senses to explore the city's history, fostering an immersive (and fun) learning experience. The exhibit features activities like a giant Chicago-style hot dog that kids can dive into! The interactive approach of this museum makes history come alive for young learners, making it an excellent addition to your family's Chicago agenda.

Chicago History Museum

See James Bond's Intriguing Gadgets

It's a multi-sensory exploration! The award-winning exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry will surely excite every family member with endless experiences, films featured on a giant screen, and events. Starting this March, explore the first-ever exhibit called 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond. This exhibit showcases the science and technology behind the film series's iconic gadgets, cars, and stunts. All the exhibits at the MSI will captivate your family, sparking curiosity and fostering a love for learning. Explore the wonders of the world during your valuable time off.

Museum of Science and Industry - James Bond Exhibit

Animal Lover Activities

Journey Through The Lincoln Park Zoo

Your spring break staycation or visit to Chicago is only complete with a visit to Lincoln Park Zoo. This place isn't just about seeing animals; it includes activities to understand the animals and their challenges, like a ride on the Endangered Species Carousel, experiencing Gorilla Trek: The virtual reality ride, or visiting the zoo when the animal caretakers are attending to and feeding the animals. There is something to discover all over the zoo!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Get Up Close with Animals at Brookfield Zoo

Unleash your family's wild side at the Brookfield Zoo. Home to a diverse array of animals, the zoo's interactive exhibits, like Hamill Family Wild Encounters and the captivating Dolphin Show, will engage and delight the whole family. Check the event schedule while planning your visit, as regular seasonal activities are planned that can easily complement your family's spring break itinerary. 

Brookfield Zoo

Be Amazed at Life Under the Water at Shedd Aquarium

Delve into an underwater adventure at Shedd Aquarium. Housing over 32,000 aquatic species it's a visual spectacle for the entire family. Along with the many engaging exhibits, the aquarium offers a tour specifically for families—The Best of the Shedd—a 75-minute guided tour. Go behind the scenes at Shedd with a guide, sit in the best seats in the house for an Animal Spotlight, chat with an animal care manager, and touch a slimy, soft sea jelly! Experience the magic of aquatic life during your Chicago spring break!

Enjoy Fluttering Butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Experience the wonder of nature at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Top highlights like the Butterfly Haven, a 2700-square-foot greenhouse where over 1,000 colorful butterflies flutter freely, will captivate your family! 

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Butterfly Exhibit

There is so much to do for your Chicago spring break! For more information or things to do in Chicago any time of the year, visit our website to plan your itinerary in the exciting Windy City.

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