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Best Places To Go With Your Family Over The Weekend In Chicago

Chicago has something for everyone. No matter what your interests are, you can probably find something to fascinate you in the windy city. Check out five of our favorite family-friendly weekend activities in Chicago.

Navy Pier Children's Museum
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 527-1000

The Children's Museum on Navy Pier may be an obvious choice, but there's definitely a reason for that. There's something for children of all ages and even a free day on Tuesdays if you're a family on a budget. Be aware that the free days may be more crowded, so if your little one is adverse to crowds, it may be worth it to pay the extra money for a little more room. There are many different activities ranging from a Dinosaur Exhibition to a Kids Town (great for younger kids) to Treehouse Trails. Check out the Navy Pier website for more information on each exhibit. This is a great option for large families with kids of varying ages or for a multifamily gathering with different-aged children.

Entertainment Cruises
Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(866) 305-2469

Upon first glance, you may think that the Entertainment Cruises are more adult oriented, but check out the special cruises, including holiday cruises and an option to build your own. Holiday cruises are a given for kids (meet Santa if it's Christmas time, costumes for Halloween, etc.) but you can also organize a cruise to your liking with dances for the kids and food to your tastes. This is great for a family reunion with a lot of children or a multifamily trip. Adults can have options of their own for dancing and beverages and relax knowing the kids have their own options as well. Everyone will be able to enjoy the gorgeous skyline views. Even fireworks are possible depending on the time of day and time of year.

Related: Best Activities To Do With Dad In Chicago

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 755-5100

For a fun and educational time for children and adults, take a trip to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. There are interactive games and water play areas but the hands-down favorite for young and old is the butterfly enclosure. Bring your cameras and have them ready for when a butterfly decides to perch on a member of your family. There are free days available for Chicago residents and as a bonus, the museum is right across from the free Lincoln Park Zoo. Make a day of it and do both if you have the energy.

Lookingglass Theatre Company
821 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-0665

For the budding artists in your group, you can't go wrong with Lookingglass Theatre Company. The theatre's mission is to capture its audience's imagination both young and old. Right in the heart of downtown in the Water Tower building, it's near shopping galore. Make a downtown day of it and visit the Hershey Museum and some shops before winding down at the theatre. Adults can enjoy an adult beverage (yes you can bring them into the theatre with you) while the kids are mesmerized by what is taking place on the intimate stage space. It's just like a live action bedtime story.

Goebberts Farm
40 W. Higgins Road
South Barrington, IL 60010
(847) 428-6727

For a homey farm type of feel with a little of the unexpected (giraffes!), check out Goebberts Farm. It's, of course, best to go in the fall for seasonal fun like picking out your own pumpkins and having apple cider and apple cider donuts, but check the farm out during the Halloween season to go through the corn maze for even more fun. The pumpkin eating dinosaur is a funny addition for kids to watch and the petting zoo is filled with animals from cows and chickens to zebras and foxes. It's easy to spend over an hour wandering around on the grounds. Bring some cash for the food though, it's all wonderful stuff but on the middle-upper end of price.

Related: Family Guide To Chicago Brunches

Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at

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