You may not be ready to officially admit that lazy summer days are dwindling; it seems as though it has only just begun, but that time is creeping. This may seem like a moment for panic, but we’re going to help you rally to squeeze in every bit of sunshine and adventuring. Before you have to settle into school-year routines, make memory magic with the kids.
Take a Hike
The call of hanging in the urban jungle all summer long is strong. But, how about throwing in some fresh air, unforgettable scenery and wild animal spotting into the agenda? Lace up your boots, strap an infant to your back, maybe even bring along the fishing poles, and explore some lesser-known hiking spots found in our story: Discover the Not-So-Obvious Spots to Hike, Camp & Fish Near Chicago.
Visit the Zoos!
How lucky are we that we have not one, but two amazing zoos in Chicago? Pick your favorite—or visit both—and monkey around as a family for a day.
Thrill-Seek as a Family at The Forge: Lemont Quarries
The Forge: Lemont Quarries (aka The Forge) is an amazing 300-acre adventure park, 22 miles from downtown Chicago. Not only does the park feature the largest aerial adventure course in North America, but a day of adventuring also gives you access to four over-water ziplines, 5 miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, paddle sports, and a dedicated kids’ zone.
Meander Through the North Shore Sculpture Park
Walk. Bike. Run. Skip. Gallop. However you make your way down this two-mile trail, you’re sure to enjoy the sights at the North Shore Sculpture Park. The paved path is lined with sculptures from artists across the world.
Make a Splash at Raging Waves
Splish, Splash! Illinois’ largest waterpark dedicated to family fun for all ages, Raging Waves, is excited to you their newest addition: Aussie Mat Dash. Riders race side-by-side on mats down the six-lane slide.
Tour the Baha’i Temple Gardens
Take in the beauty of Baha’i Temple with a walk around their gardens.
Pay a Visit to Shedd Aquarium
Are they soft, fluffy or rough? You'll find out what a stingray feels like during a 15-minute touch session. Learn about sustainable seafood options that help protect these creatures in the wild. Along with learning about different species (including cownose and yellow stingrays) and their wild habits, you'll see just how docile and friendly these ocean swimmers can be.
Explore the Green Space at Chicago Botanic Gardens
Visit Chicago Botanic Garden and be treated to colorful views of the North Lake, vistas of the Malott Japanese Garden, and close-ups of blooms in Dixon Prairie and the McDonald Woods. Until Sep. 5, you will also see hundreds of winged beauties and pretty petals in the Butterflies & Blooms exhibit.