34 Fantastic Spring Break Activities For Kids in Chicago

March 12, 2024

There’s SO much going on in the city right now, so if you’re planning a Spring Break staycation and feel overwhelmed, here’s The Chicago Good Life approved guide! Our great city has it all – gardens, zoos, professional children’s theatre, world-class museums, and tons of kid-centric play spaces! Let me know if this was helpful and if you’ve found anything else worth checking out! 

Gardens and Outdoors

  • Orchid Show of Wonders at Chicago Botanic Gardens (Feb 10-Mar 24) – Step into The Orchid Show of Wonders, a whimsical world with carnival and circus attractions brought to life through 10,000 vibrant blooms, featuring Ferris wheel seats and gravity-defying surprises.
  • Sweet Gnome Chicago at Lincoln Park Conservatory (Feb 14-May 12) – Get ready to be gnome-struck at the “Sweet Gnome Chicago” Spring Flower Show! Picture 300 cute gnomes chilling in display homes, rocking out with vibrant Foxy Foxtrot Tulips and Garden Party Lilies. It’s a whimsical wonderland for all you flower fanatics out there!
  • Scales & Tales Animal Meet and Greet at Peggy Notebaert (Mar 26) – Interact with diverse animals like birds, reptiles, and mammals at a family event by Scales & Tales. Touch animals such as a hedgehog, snake, and sloth, suitable for ages 3 and up.
  • Hands-on Habitat: Animals of Illinois at Peggy Notebaert (Mar 30) – Explore animal encounters, hands-on discovery, and local habitats with turtles, snakes, and frogs at the museum. Activities include dissecting owl pellets, and exploring mammal pelts, skulls, and tracks. 
  • Spring Egg-Stravaganza at Lincoln Park Zoo (Mar 30) – New egg hunt zones this year offer different difficulty levels, terrain, and animal sightings for families to enjoy an ongoing hunt at their own pace.

Music and Performances

  • Skunk & Badger at Lifeline Theatre (Mar 2–Apr 7)- I haven’t seen this one yet, but Lifeline always has quality kids shows!

  • Peter Pan at James M. Nederlander (Mar 26-Apr 7) – the classic Broadway show!

Museums and Exhibits

  • PlayLab PlayDate: Women’s History Month Storytime at the Field Museum (Mar 27) – Families with young children can enjoy a free storytime session with Jingmai O’Connor, a punk-rock paleontologist at the Field Museum, during this week’s PlayLab PlayDate. The interactive read-aloud session celebrates Women’s History Month.
  • Field Family Night: Clues from the Collection at the Field Museum (Mar 29) – Explore the Field Museum after hours at a mystery-solving event for all ages. Guests dress up, search for clues in exhibits, and learn about specimens. The event includes a Collections Tour, PlayLab activities for children, and escape room challenges.
  • An Evening of Mariachi at the National Museum of Mexican Art (Mar 30) – The Sor Juana Festival coincides with NMMA’s exhibit “Mariachi Potosino – The Sound of Home” to celebrate women in Mariachi music and its influence in the US. The event features Chicago’s first all women’s mariachi group, Mariachi Sirenas, promoting the cultural heritage of Chicago and the art of mariachi music.
  • 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond at the Museum of Science and Industry (open through October 27, 2024) – This new exhibition delves into the science and technology behind the iconic James Bond film series. It showcases gadgets and props from the movies, including real-life inventions they inspired. Visitors can explore Bond’s gadgets, a lab inspired by “Q,” and test spy vehicle designs and stunts.
  • Unseen Oceans at the Field Museum (opens Mar 15) – The latest exhibit, “Unseen Oceans,” showcases undersea life with life-sized projections of sunfish and other creatures. The website says we’ll see a floor-to-ceiling swirl of model biofluorescent fish and otherworldly plankton, pilot a submersible in an adventurous game, 180° screens to watch life-sized ocean creatures swim by, and tanks with live seahorses, jellies, and more. 
  • Niyah and the Multiverse at the Adler Planetarium – Follow Niyah, a Chicago pre-teen, on an Afrofuturist journey through the multiverse. She explores space, time, and the multiverse with the help of a special mask and encounters her future self as an astrophysicist.
  • Circusville at Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier – Step right up and join Circusville for a fun and imaginative experience under the big top. Children can play various roles like acrobat or ticket taker, encouraging self-expression, imagination, skill exploration, and embracing challenges.

Play spaces and Experiences

  • Flyover Chicago at Navy Pier — I am OBSESSED with this Flyover experience! It’s so fun! Plus it’s only $5 for CPS students!
  • Wonderverse at Oak Brook Center – play games based on iconic movies!
  • Sky Zone in Evanston – this recently opened ninja course + jump place is an indoor playground near the movie theatre downtown. You could make a day of it – play, eat, and catch a flick!
  • Altitude – you can’t go wrong with getting a long jump session in to tire out your kiddos. 
  • Whirlyball – I love Whirlyball because they also have bowling and dining!

Your Spring Break in the Windy City is bound to be packed with great experiences and fond memories! Please keep us in the loop and share your favorite discoveries with us! I hope you find this guide helpful and have a fantastic spring break! If you’re also looking for some spring date ideas, I’ve got a roundup over here!


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