What are some cheap and fun things to do during family vacations to Chicago? Anyone who has been to Chicago during the winter months knows that taking a Chicago vacation requires bundling up with warm winter clothes to offset the cold, blustery, freezing temperatures and winds from the Windy City. There are a lot of fun and cheap things to do in and outside of Chicago, indoors and outdoors, including things to do in the suburbs for families, kids and adults of all ages.
Looking for fun things to do in Chicago during the summer or winter? Chicago has a lot to offer tourists and vacationers throughout the year with favorite places including museums, parks, indoor and outdoor swimming, golf courses and mini-golf courses, family entertainment centers, live theater, ice skating, comedy clubs, festivals, art galleries, restaurants, working farms and orchards, amongst thousands of other Chicago attractions.
Whether you take a vacation to Chicago in the spring, summer, fall or winter months, make sure you plan your itinerary to include the popular places in downtown Chicago and in the suburbs north, west, east and south of the city. Coupons, discount tickets and pass cards like the Go Card help a lot to reduce the overall costs of a vacation trip and tours around Chicago, or anywhere else you want to go.
The Go Chicago Card provides unlimited, FREE admission to 30 top tourist attractions, activities, tours and museums with the card, with a savings of up to 55% compared to the cost of purchasing individual tickets. See as many of the best attractions as you want for the number of days chosen for a very low price. Go Cards are available in single and multi-day increments and come with a full-color, pocket-size guidebook included. Vacations to Chicago don’t have to break the bank!
Things to Do in Chicago and Surrounding Chicago Suburbs
There are thousands upon thousands of children and family activities to do in downtown Chicago, in the suburbs and outskirts of the city, but a list of some ideas of the most popular destinations will help complete your vacation itinerary.
Haunted Trails in Joliet
1423 North Broadway (Rt. 53) in Joliet, IL – (815) 722-7800
This open year-round family entertainment center features go-karts, laser tag, rides, games, miniature golf, batting cages, restaurant and a picnic grove. Birthday parties and group package options for up to 2,000 guests are available.
Haunted Trails Family Entertainment Centers
7759 South Harlem Avenue in Burbank, IL 60459 – (708) 598-8580
This open year-round family entertainment center features 100s of games, rides, award-winning miniature golf, Go Karts & Batting Cages, Restaurant/Party room featuring karaoke. October Haunted House information can be found at (www.frightmarehauntedhouse.com). Birthday party and group packages are also available.
Hollywood Park, Crestwood Family Entertainment Centers
5051 Cal Sag Road in Crestwood, IL 60445 (708) 389-7275
Award-winner! Features miniature golf, Hollywood Speedway go-kart track, arcade games, indoor bumper cars, indoor children’s playland, rock wall & Hollywood Memorabilia on display, CafÃ©-Pizzeria.
Kidswork Children’s Museum
11 South White Street in Frankfort, IL 60423 (815) 469-1199
KidsWork is a fun, interactive educational experience for kids ages 0-8, with two floors of exhibits including theater, art room, tot spot, pet vet and more.
Odyssey Fun World
Located at 19111 South Oak Park Avenue in Tinley Park, IL 60477 (708) 429-3800
Games, Laser Tag, Batting Cages, Soft Playland, Miniature Golf, Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, Inflatable Park and much more.
Chicago Indoor Racing – Addison
Located at 2381 W. Army Trail Road, Addison, IL 60101 (847) 941-9400
Chicagoland’s most exciting indoor European Kart Racing and entertainment facility with 105,000 s/f of space, featuring CyberSport, Clark’s CafÃ©, meeting & event space for groups of up to 800 guests, and a multitude of alternative entertainment options.
CyberSport at Chicago Indoor Racing
Address is 2381 W. Army Trail Road, Addison, IL 60101 (847) 941-9400
Located inside Chicago Indoor Racing, CyberSport is a multiplayer game that blends bumper cars, lacrosse and basketball into an alternative to racing for groups of 10 to 400.
Enchanted Castle Restaurant & Entertainment Complex
1103 S. Main Street, Lombard, IL 60148 (630) 953-7860
Premier entertainment complex with 60,000 square feet of fun! Indoor go karts, laser tag, bumper cars, games, mini golf, Kid’s Quest Softplay, future Sir Bounce-A-Lot Jumpland, special events, and 625-seat restaurant with karaoke.
701 W. North Avenue in Villa Park, IL 60181 (630) 530-4649
Family entertainment center featuring Illinois’ largest indoor roller coaster, Kiddie go-karts, bumper cars, Tilt-A-Whirl, Monkey Jump, Merry-Go-Round, and hundreds of video & redemption games. Activity-based fees apply.
1510 Wagner Road in Glenview, IL (847) 657-1506
Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview is am 18.6 acres farm and a popular destination for locals and tourists. Families, adults and children alike learn about a real working farm. The farm is open to the public, offering educational programs for all ages, and special events throughout the year.Â Public hours are Monday – Saturday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.Â Admission is free on those days (unless there is a special event) and a farm story time is featured at 4:00 pm each Thursday.
The Mitchell Museum
3001 Central Street in Evanston IL (847) 475-1030
The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian portrays the Native American cultures of the Woodlands, Plains, Southwest, Northwest Coast and Arctic. Closed on Monday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Thursday 10:00 am – 8pm. Sunday 12pm to 4pm.
The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center
The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center has 3.5 miles of trails for walking and education. The schoolhouse contains interpretive exhibits and hosts events. It is located at 9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs IL (708) 839-6897.
Mayan Adventure Indoor Water park at the Holiday Inn in Elmhurst has 24,000 square feet of water activities for all ages. It’s located at 624 N. York Road, Elmhurst IL (630) 279-1100 or (877) 426-4386 The Mayan Adventure Indoor Water park is Chicagoland’s first indoor water park with 24,000 square feet of wet and wild fun for all ages. Kids, adults and families will have lots of fun slipping down the body and tube slides and landing in the plunge pool. Toddlers will delight in the interactive water station. Game room, poolside cafÃ©, bar and more!
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
2001 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg IL (847)843-3900 or (888) 935-6878
Journey through time to the age of chivalry and knighthood. Feast upon a scrumptious banquet and cheer your own knight to victory in the tournament of games.
Want some fun activities outside of the Chicago area? Chicagoland tourists should also keep in mind the many exciting attractions, water parks, theme parks, venues and hotspots just across the Wisconsin and Indiana state lines. The Wisconsin Dells in WI, Horseshoe Casino in Hammond Indiana and the Fair Oaks Farms in Fair Oaks Indiana are three more children and family activities to be enjoyed while vacationing in and around Chicago. The Horseshoe Casino is located at 777 Casino Center Drive in Hammond IN – (866) 711-SHOE. The address and phone number for the Fair Oaks Farms is 856 North 600 East in Fair Oak IN – (877) 536-1194.