Family-Friendly Activities to Take Advantage of This Summer

By Kelly Pawlak

We know your family is eager to get out and explore Chicago during summer vacation. Chicago has a wide variety of family-friendly activities to take advantage of. Get out of the house and make memories with your family this summer!

Maggie Daley Park Roller Rink and Mini Golf

If you’re looking for fun and games with your kids, head to Maggie Daley Park’s roller rink or mini-golf course. If you don’t have your own scooter or skates, rental is now available! City Mini Golfing is a fun, Chicago-themed golf course that both adults and kids will love! If your kids get hungry, stop by the Rink Cafe for a classic Chicago Style hot dog.

Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise or Walking Tour

For a fun, educational experience for your family, look into the Chicago Architecture Center’s river cruises aboard Chicago’s First Lady. If you prefer to stay on land, the CAC offers several different walking architecture tours. Both options are great outdoor activities to learn about Chicago’s architecture and history. Schedule your tour today!


If your family has a need for speed, the Seadog should be next on your summer bucket list! The extreme thrill ride reaches speeds over 45mph and makes sharp turns guaranteed to splash you (or soak you)! Perfect for families with older kids, the Seadog won’t disappoint.

Lincoln Park Zoo

We know your family misses the zoo, and the Lincoln Park Zoo misses you! Lincoln Park Zoo has reopened, and while admission is still free, you must make reservations ahead of time. 

Take a walk on the Lakefront Trail

Walk along the lake and take in Chicago’s breathtaking views on the Lakefront Trail. The lakefront breeze will cool your family off on Chicago’s hottest summer days and makes for great exercise for all ages. The 18-mile long trail will take you past some of Chicago’s most popular sights and parks.


Soar high above Chicago’s streets at the Skydeck! It is ready to welcome you back and allow guests to enjoy its unbelievable views once again. See Chicago from 1,353 feet above and look out to see four different states from the Skydeck’s windows. For the more daring members of your family, step out onto The Ledge— a glass box that allows you to see the city’s streets directly below your feet.


Skydiving may not come to mind when thinking of family activities, but thanks to iFly, your family can experience indoor skydiving— a safer and more family friendly alternative. iFly accommodates indoor skydivers as young as 3-years-old. Located in Lincoln Park, Rosemont, and Naperville, iFly is an experience unlike any other that makes for a perfect activity on a rainy day or when you need a break from the hot summer sun. 

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium is finally open again! Chicago’s sea creatures missed you, so make sure you give them a visit this summer! The aquarium is operating at a lower capacity than usual, so be sure to reserve your tickets well in advance. 

Kayak Chicago

If you’re looking for something to do with older kids, check out Kayak Chicago. Paddle down the Chicago River or paddle board in Lake Michigan for an exciting day out on the water!

Chicago Botanic Garden

Located in the north suburbs of Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden has miles of beauty. Its 27 gardens and four natural areas will keep your family busy for the day. Keep in mind you do need to register for a time slot ahead of time. 

Navy Pier

A Chicago favorite, Navy Pier is an ideal summer family destination. Whether you are stopping for a snack or a nice sit-down dinner, Navy Pier has plenty of options. Walk down the pier or choose from one of the many boat tours that depart from Navy Pier for memorable family fun.

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is now open daily from 8 am to 9 pm. Bring your family to view the bean and the other artwork and gardens at Millennium Park.