Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue August 30 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | August 30, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Best Kid-Friendly Chicago Spots

    Best Kid-Friendly Chicago Spots

    PHOTO: Maggie Daley Park. (photo courtesy of the Chicago Park District)

    Chi-town may be the City of Big Shoulders and cloud-topping skyscrapers, but despite all of the large imagery, this is a fun place for pint-sized interests.  There are lots of family-friendly events and festivals all year round but here are the attractions that top the list of every Chicago visitor interested in keeping kids entertained:

    Navy Pier

    The state of the art Centennial Wheel (196 ft. tall, with climate controlled gondolas and a multimedia entertainment system) is the landmark that draws a lot of visitors — but Navy Pier offers so much more than a Ferris wheel ride. This iconic destination, which opened in 1916 and remains the state’s most popular attraction, offers a boardwalk, parks, a museum, a theater and scads of old school fun all year round.

    The Chicago Children’s Museum is a must, with hands-on activities like digging for dinosaur bones, fishing in a river and painting in an art studio. Visit Amazing Chicago’s 4,000 square foot funhouse maze and then catch the famous Navy Pier fireworks that dazzle from May through September. Kids can also ice skate all summer long at the Chicago Blackhawks Skate By The Lake ice rink, which is open through Oct. 31.

    READ MORE: An Insider’s Guide to Chicago’s Hyde Park Neighborhood

    Lincoln Park Zoo

    One of Chicago’s most notable attractions, Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868 and has remained a free attraction, making it one of the few free zoos left in the country.  The 35-acre zoo is open year-round and features everything from baby snow monkeys to lions and camels. Several exhibits explain habitats and feeding habits and there’s a Lionel Train ride and Endangered Species Carousel for little ones who prefer pretend animals.

    Maggie Daley Park

    A 27-acre lakefront recreation dreamland, Maggie Daley Park supplies non-stop thrills for little and big kids alike. Sculptural rocks and boulders make up a 40-foot climbing wall that’s divided into sections for advanced and beginners. A skating ribbon winds through the park and transforms into a hiking trail during the summer. A play garden supplies spaces for age appropriate play, while tennis courts, mini golf and snack kiosks round out the park playland.

    Field Museum of Natural History

    There’s no way a kid can visit Chicago and not see Sue, the largest, best-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found. Sue lives in the Field Museum of Natural History, where her 42-foot long skeleton with its dagger-like teeth, adorns the museum’s main hall. After examining Sue close up, fans can take in the 3D film, “Waking the T. Rex 3D: The Story of Sue.” If prehistoric journeys aren’t enough, there’s also the Crown Family Playlab for little scientists and the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit, which is filled with mummies and recreated tombs.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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