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

1–10

1

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.

Read more
Lincoln Park
2

Family Day Tinker

Fix things and then take them apart at this family fun day at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Guest artist Dave Ford will be on hand to help families test out new ways of making things at this workshop.

Read more
Museum of Contemporary Art Saturday May 9 2015 Free
3

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.

Read more
Chicago Cultural Center Friday May 8 2015 - Friday September 18 2015 Free
4

Green Metropolis Fair

Celebrate Earth Month with this family festival. Activites include gardening, interacting with farm animals and composting. There will also be a food hall featuring local restaurants and chefs.

Read more
Irish American Heritage Center Sunday May 17 2015 Free
5

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.

Read more
Art Institute of Chicago Sunday June 7 2015 Free
6

Bike the Drive

Critics' pick

Have you ever dreamed of cruising down Lake Shore Drive on your bicycle? Bike the Drive makes that dream a reality for one day this year, closing down the popular lakefront thoroughfare to cars early on a Sunday morning. Participants can bike from Bryn Mawr Ave to the Museum of Science industry (and back) during the five hours of car-free riding.

Read more
Bike the Drive Route Sunday May 24 2015

11–20

11

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.

Read more
Wrigley Field Sunday May 17 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015
12

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.

Read more
Beat Kitchen Sunday May 10 2015 - Sunday June 21 2015
13

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.

Read more
Shedd Aquarium Friday May 8 2015 - Friday May 29 2015
15

Dozin' with the Dinos

Sue the T. rex hosts a sleepover! Families with kids ages 6–12 can bring their sleeping bags for a night at the museum. Kids can explore various exhibits after dark, play games and cozy up by the giant dinousaur for bedtime stories.

Read more
The Field Museum Friday May 8 2015
16

Animal Day for Families

Take a trip outside of the city to Angelic Organics in Caledonia, Illinois, for a special animal day. Kids can milk cows, feed animals, gather eggs and even make goat's milk ice cream.

Read more
Angelic Organics Learning Center Saturday May 9 2015
17

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.

Read more
Gurnee

21–30

21

"Worthy" at Adventure Stage

Adventure Stage Chicago presents the world premiere of local playwright and Knife & Fork founder Dani Bryant's youth-empowerment fairy tale Worthy, a story about four kids who embark on a fantasy-laden quest of self-actualization. On April 17, 18, and 24, the theater will offer $10 tickets.

Read more
Vittum Theater Friday May 8 2015 - Saturday May 16 2015
22

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.

Read more
Streeterville Free
23

Fancy Nancy, The Musical

Nancy's ready for her spotlight, but has to learn to share when she doesn't get the starring role in her dance recital. Emerald City Theatre stages this fancy musical based on the children's books by Jane O’Connor.

Read more
Apollo Theater Saturday May 9 2015 - Sunday May 24 2015
24

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!

Read more
Loop
25

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.

Read more
Streeterville
26

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.

Read more
Lincoln Park Zoo Wednesday May 6 2015 - Wednesday February 17 2016 Free

31–40

31

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.

Read more
Museum of Science and Industry Thursday May 21 2015 - Sunday January 3 2016
32

Kids Movie Night at Holstein Park

Head to the park for a fun movie night in the great outdoors! Tonight's film is Hop (2011), an animation/live-action comedy about the son of the Easter Bunny.

Read more
Holstein Park Friday May 22 2015
33

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.

Read more
Northwest Side
34

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.
 

Read more
Streeterville Free
35

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.

Read more
Southport Corridor
36

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.

Read more
37

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.

Read more

41–50

41

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.

Read more
Chicago Botanic Garden Saturday May 9 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015
42

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.

Read more
By: Samantha Lande
44

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.
 

Read more
Division St between Damen Ave and Leavitt St Friday May 29 2015 - Sunday May 31 2015
45

Lurie Move for Kids 5K

Get outside with the kids and move for a good cause. This annual 5K raises money for Lurie Children's Hospital.

Read more
Soldier Field Sunday May 17 2015
46

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.

Read more
Lisle Community Park Wednesday July 1 2015 - Sunday July 5 2015
47

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.

Read more
Streeterville Free

Comments

0 comments