Chicago Feature Motherhood

Exploring Chicago: with babies & kids

Last month, I had the honor of speaking on the Chicago Moms Panel alongside some pretty talented Mommas at the Best of Bump Club Chicago event.

If you weren't able to attend, not to worry... I've got you covered! Please read on to discover all the FUN baby/kid-friendly activities Chicago has to offer all-year-long!

FREE (or Super Cheap) Activities to Do with Babies & Kids in Chicago


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activities to do with kids

At Best of Bump Club we hosted one of our favorite mom panels about navigating the city of Chicago with little ones. We loved what was shared so much that we wanted to put some of our favorite tips on the blog. First up, Tanya Findlay, yoga teacher and mommy blogger over at Momma Prana, shares her list of fun and free activities across the city:

Indoor activities:

Chicago Public Libraries (75 branches) gives FREE use of computers & books and movies to check out

Harold Washington offers FREE programs for kids daily

While there, pick-up a FREE general admission museum pass for families (good for Adler Planetarium, Field Museum, Museum of Science & Industry, Shedd Aquarium, and the Art Institute)

Chicago Museums are required to offer 52 FREE days yearly – check out each website for more info

Art Institute offers FREE kids activities year-round

Bank of America & Merrill Lynch card holders receive FREE admission to many Museums (1st weekend of every month)!

Chicago Children’s Museum offers FREE admission (every Thursday from 5pm-8pm & every 1st Sunday of the month)

Museum of Contemporary Art offers FREE family days (2nd Saturday of every month)

Nature Museum offers donation-based admission (Thursdays) – for Illinois residents

Whole Foods FREE music concerts – the following locations offer FREE 30min concerts (all @ 10am)

West Loop = Tuesdays

Lincoln Park = Wednesdays

Lakeview = Thursdays

Chicago Architecture Foundation offers FREE Read & Build workshops for ages 3-6 (1st Wednesday & Sunday every month from 9-12pm)

Conservatories: Garfield Park, Lincoln Park, Oak Park – all offer kids events @ different times yearly

Lego Store (@ Water Tower) offers FREE monthly build workshops (on Tuesdays)

Home Depot offers FREE hands-on Kid’s workshops once or twice a month (9am-12pm for ages 5-12)

Pottery Barn Kids offers FREE Story Time on select days – check the website for more details

Chicago Fire Department offers walk-in tours FREE, no appointment needed


Take it outside 

Explore Chicago beaches – each has different activities and amenities like parks, concessions, etc.

Neighborhood Parks offer FREE events for kids/families, including Movies

Maggie Daley Park & Millennium Park (Crown Fountain, the Bean, Lurie Garden, Pritzker concerts)

If too crowded, check out the “hidden park” in nearby LakeShore East – has a small play area

Festivals have Kid tents/activities (& most Suburban fests have carnival rides too)

Lincoln Park Zoo offers FREE admission (daily, year-round)

Northerly Island – hike or bike around the trails, safer biking for small children than the lakefront

Water Taxis – not FREE, but very cheap!

Riverwalk – walk or bike along, sit and watch the boats go by or the bridges go up!

Metra rides – weekend pass $8/adult, kids ride FREE – unlimited rides (Saturday & Sunday in Summer)

Ravinia offers low cost kids performances in (June & August)

Arlington Park offers Family day on Sundays with kids activities – including a petting zoo

Botanic Garden offers Trolley from the Metra (Sundays, during Summer)

CPL Museum pass holders park FREE (usually $25/car)


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