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Best Places In Chicago To Take Family Photos

When it comes to taking family photos, it's not always the most desirable setting when going to an actual photo studio. While you do have the professional photographer and the lighting features, the background choices are limited and there is often a hefty price tag involved. Instead of opting for the same old bland family photo this year, check out all the different scenic backdrop options that Chicago has to offer. Whether you're looking for an aquatic feature, the Chicago skyline or just a beautiful park; there is something for everyone in Chicago.

Tethered Balloon Ride Offers Views Of Chicago Skyline
(Photo Credit: Getty)

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

Navy Pier seems to always have something new and entertaining for families; whether it's the shows, the fireworks or the shopping. Set against a beautiful backdrop and the infamous Ferris wheel, this can be a great spot to capture a family photo. If you want a little bit more of a scenic background, opt for one of the many cruises offered at Navy Pier. Hop on a dining cruise on The Odyssey and make a fun family day of it while snapping pictures with the city skyline as your backdrop.

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-5440

The Chicago Botanic Garden is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features free admission. The garden areas feature a wide array of different scenic places perfect for family photos, whether it's the Bonsai Collection area or the Aquatic Garden. For those looking to hire an outside professional photographer, the Chicago Botanic Garden does ask that they obtain a permit to use the garden's setting as a background for posed photography. The permit fee for a professional photography usage is $125. However, for those looking to just use their own camera, there is no permit necessary.

(Photo Credit: McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum's facebook)

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
376 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 977-0227

Located in the southwest bridge tower of the Michigan Avenue Bridge is an historic landmark bridgehouse. The restoration of the area has brought back the beauty of this area with stunning 360-degree views of the Chicago skyline and the Chicago River. If you're looking for more than just a plain field backdrop for your family photo, this is a great place to look into. If you're looking for a photo actually on the water, check out the Architectural Boat Tours led by the Chicago Architecture Foundation and get a family photo in just the right spot on the river.

Related: Best Outdoor Volunteer Opportunities For Families In Chicago

Montrose Beach
4400 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60613
(312) 742-5121

Montrose Beach is just one of the many beaches offered by the Chicago lakefront. However, this area gives you some diversity in photo backgrounds for your family outing. If you're looking for a waterfront background in the sand, the actual Montrose Beach area provides ample space. For those looking for a little diversity, you can check out Montrose Harbor. Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is not too far away for those looking for a nature-filled background.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-7736

The actual conservatory portion provides a great walk-through with exotic plants and tropical palms. However, Lincoln Park is Chicago's largest park and offers vast areas that can be great photo backdrops. The Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool area has rustic structures set on the water and even the Victorian Era greenhouse can make for a great backdrop to a family photo. Check out all there is to offer when visiting the area and you will see that there are photo opportunities to suit whatever background you might want for your photo.

Related: Best Places To See Fireworks In Chicago

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a Bachelor's in Communication and is currently working on her Master's. Her work can be found on

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