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Trekaroo’s Hot List of Best Places to take Kids in Chicago

My first experience in Chicago involved a car rental, a blizzard, and the loss of my driver side windshield wiper. Since then, I’ve been to Chicago multiple times with the family and with each new experience, I always wish that I had more time to stay and play.

Chicago is filled with an endless number of fabulous attractions both in the heart of the city as well as into the rest of Chicagoland. Here’s Trekaroo’s hot list of places to take kids in Chicago.

Baby Beluga at the Shedd Aquarium. Photo Credit: Flickr/the-o

#1 Place to take Kids in Chicago – Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is not only the most popular places to take kids in Chicago, but also the top rated place to see animals. “They offer live shows with shark feeding, dolphin behavior and have the most beautiful beluga whales, the canaries of the sea!”

Best Museum for Kids under 3 – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This museum is made for kids to learn about nature. They can hold a butterfly in the Butterly Haven, learn about having a eco-friendly lifestyle in the Extreme Green House, make their own dams and waterways in the Riverworks waterplay area and more.

Sue the T-rex at the Field Museum. Credit: Flickr/cjmaru

Best Museum for Kids – The Field Museum

The Field Museum is home to Sue, the largest T-Rex fossil yet. If your kids don’t know Sue yet, be sure to read The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue by Jan Wahl for kids ages 4-8. “This museum is big, and some areas are great for kids, most like the dinosaurs, mummies, taxidermy animals, bugs, and miniature house and gems.” The rest of the museum is probably better for teenagers and adults.

Doll Heaven – American Girl Place

Literally. Where else can your little girl treat her favorite doll to clothes shopping, a hair treatment (wash and style), visit the Doll Doctor for any chronic issues and visit their homes (ie. Kirsten’s log cabin or Samantha Victorian’s parlor). If your daughter loves her American Girl, you can’t miss this spot.

Best View in Chicago – Willis Tower Skydeck (formerly the Sears Tower)



103 floors up, your kids can enjoy panoramic views of the Windy City from the Willis Tower. The Ledge is such a fun and unique experience for kids of all ages. Hear is first hand from some of the kids who were there this past summer.

Fountain fun at Millennium Park. Credit: Flickr/mpwillis

Best outdoor attraction in Chicago – Millennium Park

“Here’s a place downtown that doesn’t cost anything to get into, a place where the kidlets can run around in open spaces and the older folks can rest their weary feet, a place where contentment prevails. Younger children adore the two towering rectangular fountains in the southeast corner of Millennium Park. These fountains stand 50 feet tall, spaced far enough apart on a black granite slab to create a reflecting pool between them, and the water cascades down their sides with varying intensity.” The other favorite hotspot is the Bean. Don’t forget your camera.

Which Hotels came up at the top? Best Kid-friendly Hotels in Chicago

Other Resources for Chicago:

Esther Lee is a contributing author on Trekaroo – a reviews site dedicated to exploring and traveling with kids.
Travel with kids to: CA | FL | HI | MA | NY | PA | TX | VA
and now IL

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