Top Kid Friendly Outdoor Activities in Chicago

#1 – Lincoln Park Zoo

This zoo is such a great destination because it is open every day, it is free, and it is a very manageable size for an afternoon visit. Make sure to check out the zoo’s daily activities on their web site to see what kid-friendly events they have planned. Don’t forget to check out the petting zoo and take a spin on the Carousel before you leave.

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Hours: Mon-Fri: 10am-5pm (gates open until 6pm)
    Sat & Sun: 10am-6:30pm (gates open until 7pm)
  • Web Site:

#2 – Navy Pier

Home to the famous 150 foot-high Ferris Wheel, the Shakespeare Theater, Children’s Museum, IMAX theater, and much more, Navy Pier is a great place to bring your kids or to rediscover the kid in you. Although the rides are outside, all other attractions here are inside, so it is a great bad-weather destination. Check out the amazing free firework display every Wednesday at 9:30 pm and Saturday at 10:15 pm through Labor Day weekend.

  • Neighborhood: Streeterville
  • Hours: Sun – Thu: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Fri & Sat: 10:00 am – 12:00 midnight
  • Web Site:

#3 – Millennium Park

Completed in 2004, this park, located in the corner of Grant Park, is far from ordinary. Some attractions to check out with your kids include: Cloud Gate – the giant reflective bean, a great place to take cool unique pictures, Crown Fountain – where kids can run, splash and play in fountain- remember to bring dry clothes, Family Fun Tent (located on the Park’s Chase Promenade North)- Open everyday from July 2 – September 2 between 10am and 3pm. Check out their family performances and hands-on activities.

  • Neighborhood: Millennium Park
  • Hours: Open Daily – 6am to 11pm
  • Web Site:

#4 – Diversey Mini Golf

An 18-hole miniature golf course located in the heart of Lincoln Park, this mini-golf course appeals to golfers of all skill levels and is guaranteed fun for kids and adults alike.

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Hours: Call Ahead to Confirm Hours
  • Web Site:

#5 – Wilson Skate Park

A great place for your child to show off their skateboarding and rollerblading skills, this outdoor lighted skate park is modern and fun for the whole family.

  • Neighborhood: Uptown
  • Hours: Dawn to dusk
  • Web Site:

#6 – Daley Bicentennial Park

Nestled in the heart of Grant Park, the Daley Bicentennial Park has a lot to offer. The plaza has a new playground, a fitness center, locker rooms, tennis courts, and during the winter there is also ice skating.

  • Neighborhood: Grant Park
  • Hours: 6am – 11pm
  • Web Site:

#7 – North Avenue Beach

Running from North Avenue to Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park, the North Avenue Beach is considered by most local Chicagoans to be best beach in Chicago. The trademark beach house resembles an ocean liner, and offers bike and sport equipment rentals, a restaurant, beachside concession stand and restrooms. From segway tours, to sand castle building, the Lake Michigan shore is a must-see when in Chicago.

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Hours: 11am-7pm
  • Web Site:

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