Navy Pier has year round entertainment for kids. In summer, head over to Navy Pier to watch fireworks every Wednesday and Saturday evening over Lake Michigan. There's also fireworks for the holidays in winter.
Pier Park amusement park - Soar 150 ft high on the fifteen story high ferris wheel (reminiscent of the great Ferris Wheel of 1893) , play mini golf or pilot remote control boats. For little ones, there's an old fashioned musical carousel and amusement rides.
Chicago Children's Museum - The museum plenty of activities for toddlers to ten year olds - excavate a dinosaur, invent your own machines, play on a sailing ship, plus hands-on art activities and a water play area in warm weather. Thurs. evenings are free.
Tip: If you're heading to O'Hare Airport, there's a super play area, created by the children's museum, with an airport theme,
Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze - Find your way through huge mirror maze, whizzy, dizzy, spinning light tunnel, Chicago's landmarks in a skyscraper maze, and more. Fun for everyone in the family.
Rent bikes - Rent bikes or surreys to go for a ride on the bike paths along Lake Michigan. Kids' bikes and helmets, child bike seats are available.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
- In the summer, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater puts on fun productions with kids in mind - “short Shakespeare” abridged versions of Shakespeare plays - and wild and wacky musicals. Click here
for the CST Family Series schedule.
IMAX Theatre - Catch a movie at the IMAX Theatre. Voyage into dramatic films or natural wonders of oceans, mountains, and animal life on the big movie screen.
Lake cruises - In nice weather, go for a cruise on Lake Michigan, sail north and south along the lake, with fabulous views of the Chicago skyline.
- 30 min. speedboat rides (you can get wet), April to October.
- 1 ½ hours on the lake on a sailing ship (hardy sailors can help with sails), May to October.
- 30 min. lake cruise, April to October.
Tip: If you're going to the Field Museum, take the Shoreline water taxi from Navy Pier to Museum Campus.
Gateway Park and Beaches - At the entrance to Navy Pier, Gateway Park has benches, grass for picnics, and fountains to play in on a hot day. Or walk directly north to Ohio Street Beach to play on a long curving sand beach, and listen to the waves of Lake Michigan lapping against the shore.
Tip: A free trolley (blue line) goes in a loop to and from Navy Pier, on Grand and Illinois Streets, crossing N. Michigan Ave. Daily, year round.