How to spend your time at the Chicago Auto Show

As the largest automobile exhibition in the nation, the Chicago Auto Show has hundreds of cars to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ at. There’s big cars, small cars, tall cars, shiny cars, police cars, and so on. There’s even a giant tractor. The auto show isn’t solely about browsing and admiring cars, though. There’s plenty of other activities to keep you and the family entertained. For a closer look at what the Chicago Auto show has to offer, check out the video I produced this past weekend for a class at Loyola Chicago. The video highlights cars and activities and features a delightful young host by the name of Cate Locke, a 10-year-old from Western Springs, Illinois.

Take a test drive
Of the three indoor test tracks at this year’s Chicago Auto Show, Jeep offers the most thrilling experience. A professional driver takes you on a journey through an obstacle course filled with a rugged landscape, giant rocks and one incredibly steep hill. (Little ones can also take a cruise on the mini-Jeep course.) For more stable test rides, Chrysler and Toyota have got you covered.

Climb the rock wall
Boredom does not exist on the Jeep floor. Strap on a harness and climb up to reach the bell at the top of the wall. Just don’t look down.

Play hockey
Do your best Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews impression at the Blackhawks station, and take a few slap shots.

Race Hot Wheels
Chevrolet has a life-size Hot Wheels track to accompany the life-size Hot Wheels Camaro. Kids (and those who are kids at heart) can even race their Hot Wheels on the track.

Over at Kia, they have an Augmented Reality Wall where dancing with their trademark hamsters is encouraged. A flash mob broke out at Toyota over the weekend, so it might be a good idea to bring your dancing shoes.

Play video games
Alongside their stunning 2014 Corvette Stingray, Chevrolet offers a fancy arcade-style Gran Turismo video game where you can drive the Stingray up to 200 miles per hour. You can also stop by Honda to play Xbox, or at Kia to play Kinnect.

There’s Chicago-style pizza and hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, churros and ice cold adult beverages, among other options.

Catch the 2013 Chicago Auto Show from now until February 18th at McCormick Place (2301 S. Lake Shore Drive). $12.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)