50 things to do in Chicago with kids this spring

Find the best family activities, fun outings and more things to do in Chicago with kids this spring

Animal Days at Angelic Organics is one of the best things to do in Chicago with kids this spring.

What is that strange yellow orb in the sky? And what is that odd tingling sensation on your skin? In other parts of the world, it's called the sun. In Chicago, it's called salvation. Spring is here, and with it, there's a ton of things to do with kids. So before you send your little one to summer camp, and before swimming pool season, check out these top 50 spring events and outings happening now through June.

RECOMMENDED: More things to do in spring in Chicago



Green City Market

The largest farmers market in Chicago, Green City Market is held Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7am–1pm during the outdoor season and 8am-1pm on Saturdays during the winter. Vendors include Ellis Farms, Nordic Creamery and Mint Creek Farm. Plus, there are chef demos, workshops and more. The market opens in Lincoln Park for the outdoor season on May 2, 2015.

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Lincoln Park

Juicebox Series at the Chicago Cultural Center

Critics' pick

The Chicago Cultural Center presents Juicebox, a free series of performances that will get your kid's creative juices flowing. Istvan and his Imaginary Band, traditional Mexican dancing and circus theatrics are some of what you'll find at this weekly event.

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Chicago Cultural Center Friday May 29 2015 - Friday September 18 2015 Free

Art Institute Family Festival

Spend an art-filled day at the Art Institute's Ryan Education Center with a live storytelling concert, gallery walk-through, interactive art installation and studio project. There will also be an opportunity to meet artist-in-residence Tom Burtonwood.

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Art Institute of Chicago Sunday June 7 2015 Free



Run the Bases at Wrigley Field

The first 1,000 ticketed kids under 15 will be able to run the bases at any Sunday home game at Wrigley Field.

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Wrigley Field Sunday May 31 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Beat Kitchen Kids Concert Series

Nothing like jamming out before nap time. Kindie rockers like The Boogers, Little Miss Ann and Mr. Singer and The Sharp Cookies rock out for the kids on Sundays, with a few extra shows sprinkled in on other days.

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Beat Kitchen Sunday May 31 2015 - Sunday June 21 2015

Penguin Encounter

Get hands on with a penguin, so close you'll be able to touch one! You'll also learn about the penguins at the Shedd and get a mini-training session.

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Shedd Aquarium Friday May 29 2015

Six Flags Great America

May 2 marks the return of theme park season at Six Flags Great America and a celebration of 40 years of thrills. To commemorate it's birthday, the park will feature the restoration of three original kiddie rides: Tots Livery Surrey Carriage, Red Baron Airplanes and Lady Bugs. The Carousel Plaza and Hometown Square also get upgrades to bring back a nostalgic feel to the park.

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Check out the new food court at Navy Pier

Navy Pier hasn't been known for its superior selection of food options, but that is slowly changing. Throughout 2015 expect a larger communal area with unobstructed water views along with outposts of favorite food spots across the city. Recent additions include Lettuce Entertain You's Big Bowl Express and Frankie's Pizza by the Slice.

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Streeterville Free

Puppets! at the Art Institute

This ongoing exhibit allows kids and adults to explore the magic of puppetry through various types of puppets. You'll even have an opportunity to create your own!

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The Tinkering Lab at Chicago Children's Museum

Critics' pick

What kid doesn't love creating and building? Now they get the chance to use real materials and real tools to do just that. The Chicago Children's museum has a new lab for DIY fun for both the littlest babies to bigger kids full of interactive exhibits, fun crafts and challenges.

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Storytime at Farm in the Zoo

Join Mr. Singer for a rockin' good time at the main barn in the Farm at the Zoo for a fun storytime and sing-along.

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Lincoln Park Zoo Until Wednesday February 17 2016 Free



Robot Revolution

In this traveling exhibit showcasing some of the best robots in the world, families can build their own robots, see how robots can enhance our lives and discover how we can work alongside them in the future. Don't miss the furry baby seal robot, used as a therapeutic tool for autistic children and the elderly.

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Museum of Science and Industry Until Sunday January 3 2016

Visit the North Park Village Nature Center

A 46-acre nature preserve and an education center, this Chicago Park District facility has plenty for kids and adults with hands-on discovery tables and interactive displays. It also offers workshops and camps throughout the year.

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Northwest Side

Fireworks at Navy Pier

It doesn't have to be 4th of July to enjoy a fireworks show at Navy Pier. Starting Memorial Day weekend, head to the pier on Wednesday and Saturday nights and watch the whole skyline light up with colorful fireworks.

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Streeterville Free

Yogurt and playtime at FroYo Chicago

A win-win for all: frozen yogurt for everyone and a playground for the kids. This shop also focuses on super healthy foods and offers steel cut oats and quinoa for breakfast. Parents can also get their coffee or tea fix, too.

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Southport Corridor

Grab a cone at a top ice cream shop

Whether it's ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt that strikes your fancy, Chicago has ice cream shops serving up a perfect version. We're crazy about the custard from Scooter's, the towering, colorful cone from Original Rainbow Cone and the inventive flavors served up at Jeni's. And that doesn't even count ice cream sandwiches, like the doughnut version at Black Dog Gelato.

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By: Amy Cavanaugh

Eat outside with your kids

Dining al fresco is the perfect way to dine with your kids—the birds can clean up their mess! Check out some of these kid-friendly restaurants.

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By: Samantha Lande



Model Railroad Garden

Train lovers will adore this garden-size train exhibit complete with small trains and miniature American landmarks all within the beautiful Chicago Botanic Gardens.

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Chicago Botanic Garden Until Sunday October 25 2015

Chicago's top playgrounds

There is no better way to spend an afternoon with your kids than goofing around in the park. Visit your local neighborhood haunt or venture out to newer parks like the state-of-the-art Maggie Daley park.

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By: Samantha Lande

Do Division Street Fest

Critics' pick

Do Division isn't just for adults, in fact inside Do Division has an area full of fun just for kids. Bouncy houses, arts and crafts, and train rides will keep your kids occupied all afternoon.

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Division St between Damen Ave and Leavitt St Friday May 29 2015 - Sunday May 31 2015

Eyes to the Skies Festival

Critics' pick

In Lisle, the Fourth of July features plenty of airborne eye candy, including fireworks and hot air balloons. On July 2-4, balloons launch daily at 5:30am and 6:30pm, filling the sky with colorful inflatables of all shapes and sizes. In the evening, the balloons come down and the fireworks begin. Attendees can also check out the festival's carnival, kids area, live music and craft fair.

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Lisle Community Park Wednesday July 1 2015 - Sunday July 5 2015

Rent bikes at Navy Pier

Cycle north or south—the views are gorgeous either way. You can rent bikes from Bike and Roll at Navy Pier starting on Memorial Day.

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Streeterville Free