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Best Parent-Child Activities Near Chicago

Although most kids may enjoy losing themselves in their video games and networking sites, parents are going to want them to unplug and enjoy some parent-child activities this fall. Fortunately, we live in a city where there are always things going on, and that absolutely includes family fun as well. So if you're looking for ways to connect with your kiddos, check out this list of some of the best parent-child activities near Chicago.

Navy Pier
(Photo Credit: Navy Pier's Facebook)

Chicago-Area Museums - Free Days 
Chicago, IL

No family has to spend a fortune in Chicago to learn, not when there are so many world-class museums right here in the Windy City offering an invitation for exploration. From the bottom of the Lake Michigan to up into the stars, and spanning the history of both Chicago and the rest of the world, there's a little bit of everything right here in this great city. Perfect for parent-child bonding, some of the Chicago-area museums offer free days. The Art Institute of Chicago has a free night every Thursday evening from 5-8 P.M. for Illinois residents, and the Museum of Science & Industry of Chicago has a year-round schedule of free days listed on the website. The Chicago Children's Museum offers free admission for visitors age 15 and under on the first Sunday of each month. The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is free to Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round, and the DuSable Museum of African American History is free to all every Sunday, year-round with children under 5 always getting in free every day. And a few other museums and attractions have a full schedule of free days listed on their websites, including the Chicago History Museum, the Shedd Aquarium and Brookfield Zoo. The Chicago Cultural Center and Lincoln Park Zoo are free every day.

Related:  Best Zoo Exhibits In Chicago

Navy Pier
600 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-7437

One of the absolute best days to plan for family fun only needs to take place at one stunning location: Navy Pier. With free admission onto the Pier's boardwalk, take in the stunning views of downtown Chicago and the majestic Lake Michigan. And then gear up for some parent-child fun starting with Navy Pier's Centennial Wheel ferris wheel. And at Navy Pier, you and your kids can experience additional rides and activities without having to stand in line for hours like at popular amusement parks. Check out the Wave Swinger, the carousel, climbing walls, the tower ride and remote control boats. Add in a stop at the Chicago Children's Museum, lunch at one of the Pier's restaurants and the free weekly fireworks on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, and your family will create memories to last a lifetime.

iFLY Chicago
5520 Park Place
Rosemont, IL 60018
(779) 368-4359

For an ultimate experience your little ones will not soon forget, take them flying. At iFLY Chicago in near-by Rosemont, the entire family can fly without an aircraft and without paying exorbitant prices for actual skydiving. Experience flying, plummeting, free falling, and get it all on a take-home video at the same time. You and your kids will gear up in a flight suit, helmet and goggles, and be guided by an experienced instructor who will teach you how to fly. Multiple packages are available, including the "Spread Your Wings for Two" option, which is perfect for a parent and child, as well as a family package for group fun.

Related: Ten Ideas For A Thrifty Family Fun Night

Soon after earning her BA in journalism, Melanie Falina began writing about one of the loves of her life - music. Since then, she's covered some of the biggest names in music, in addition to writing on an array of other topics as well. She has written for Black Belt magazine, KISS: The Official Authorized Quarterly Magazine, Examiner,, Yahoo Voices, and more, and was editor for Don Lemmon's KNOW HOW Book Three, Refuse To Fail. Melanie is also a poet with six published collections of poetry available via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and various establishments.

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