Chicago is a cool contrast between high-rise architecture and urban green space. This makes it a fabulous family getaway. Miles of beaches, parks, museums, and many amazing activities along the shores of Lake Michigan will please you and your children. Of course, you will find even more interesting places if you rent a car.
Pick up a van rental in Chicago to explore the best of the city at your own pace. You will be happy to admire the far-reaching views from the top of the skyscraper, while your children can visit one of the last free zoos in the United States. In short, Chicago has a lot of fun for everyone, and you can make sure of it right now…
This is the first planetarium to appear in the Western Hemisphere. A visit to this place will captivate you and your children for at least a few hours. Several rooms with a map of the starry sky, installations, and films will allow you to learn more about the universe. 3 cinema halls and special programs are also a great way to keep your kids busy.
Children learn something new after each exhibition. If you’re in the mood for the stars, try the Chicago’s Night Sky experience. As for films about the universe, check out Undiscovered Worlds, Holiday Sky Live, and Welcome to the Universe. Tickets are available at $12, but each movie show will cost an additional $10. Therefore, we recommend buying the Welcome to the Universe Pass, which costs $28 and includes 3 shows, and a ticket.
By the way, the Chicago Children’s Museum is a short drive from the planetarium. Having picked up a rental car, you can easily combine a visit to both places.
Museum of Science and Industry
This is another great place to go with your kids in a rental car. The museum contains an old German submarine, a Boeing aircraft, the Chicago railway model, as well as a whole room dedicated to natural phenomena and physics.
You will control a tornado, cause a real lightning bolt, see the appearance of an avalanche, and conduct countless different experiments. From time to time, the museum hosts thematic exhibitions, for example, the latter was dedicated to the Peanuts comic strip creator Charles Schultz.
The museum has sections on agriculture, oil production, manufacturing, space, aviation, railways, airplanes, as well as a large section on human anatomy and life. Long queues are very common for this museum, so we advise you to come on weekdays and right before the opening. It’s easy to do this with a rental car. An adult ticket costs $18, children under 11 have to pay $10 for a person.
Chicago Lincoln Park Zoo
The next wonder of Chicago is the free zoo placed almost downtown. It’s small but extremely cozy and has its own parking lot where you can leave your rental car. The zoo is over 130 years old, thus this makes it one of the oldest zoos in the city.
The Chicago Zoo has found a place surrounded by a pond and walking path, in Lincoln Park. The little hippopotamus, which sometimes has hilarious dances in the water, makes one of the most powerful impressions. Your kids will appreciate it.
Next to the big zoo, you will see the kids’ zoo. It looks like a small farm with cows, chickens, and sheep.
The faces of children entering there for the first time could be the best advertisement for this place – their eyes are full of adrenaline. Dozens of trampolines of different sizes are waiting for them. Once there, your children will experience a concentrated delight.
According to experts, there’s no more complete body gymnastics than trampolining. Therefore, it will be a great way to keep fit. You just need to do it without recklessness and think about the consequences. X-treme trampoline guarantees a feeling of happiness and pleasant fatigue. The first hour costs $12, all subsequent hours are $7.
Kohl Children’s Museum
This is one of the many children’s museums scattered throughout the USA. The main concept is to make the process of learning about the world interesting and exciting for children. The museum has 17 interactive exhibits where children can try themselves as veterinarians, supermarket sellers, chemists, seafarers, and just experience light, sound, and travel in space.
Rather, it’s worth going there on weekdays, as on weekends many parents come there to please their children. The ticket price for adults and children is $9.5.
The pier had various purposes, but the main one was always entertainment. 200 thousand square meters of parks, shops, and restaurants won’t keep you bored. There you will also find a children’s museum, Shakespeare Theater, and a Ferris wheel located almost in the middle of the lake.
If possible, visit the pier on weekdays to avoid noise and crowds. Also, be sure to come early, as Lake Michigan looks incredible in the morning.
Mary Bartelme Park
Enjoying outdoor activities is always a great way to spend a weekend. Thus, head to Mary Bartelme Park for new experiences. At first glance, it strikes the imagination with its beautiful nature and incredible expositions. It’s a true oasis of relaxation in the middle of the concrete and glass of the city center, where everyone can find something interesting to do.
The playground is full of amenities including slides, ladders, spinners, skewers, nets, and hide-and-seek areas. A huge green meadow is a dream for those who like reading books outdoors. Also, the garden has secluded spots and green hills for relaxation.
If you want a little coolness on a hot day, find a sculpture that sprays water in summer, thus creating a refreshing environment.