Embark on an exciting family adventure with our guide to the top spring break activities in Chicago, from the interactive exhibits at Navy Pier to the exhilarating views at 360 Chicago’s observation deck.
Probably the ultimate Spring Break destination, Navy Pier is offering free interactive events, demonstrations, performances, family-friendly activities, and artisan markets during spring break.
Located at Navy Pier, the Chicago Children’s Museum is geared towards youngsters from babies up to the teenage years. The interactive exhibits and programs are designed to inspire creativity, promote wellness and educate in disciplines from art to science in a fun environment.
With breathtaking views of Chicago and Lake Michigan, 360 Chicago at the former John Hancock Center has long been one of the Windy City’s most popular attractions. Visitors to 360 Chicago can test their nerves on Tilt, a thrill ride where the windows of the observation deck extend outward and downward to look straight down upon the city from 1,030 feet above the Magnificent Mile.
At River North’s Sloomoo Institute, there are thousands of gallons of slime in dozens of colors, textures and scents, and even a slime lake and “waterfall.” But it’s not just about the idea that getting messy is fun. The founders of Sloomoo Institute stress how playing with slime can be an effective tool for reducing anxiety in both children and adults.
Since 1908, the Garfield Park Conservatory on the West Side has been a beloved destination for nature lovers in Chicago. Its two acres of greenhouses consist of themed rooms dedicated to palm trees, ferns and desert plant life, with waterfalls and a koi pond with glass lilies made by Dale Chihuly. The conservatory is free but reservations are required.
At 1,353 feet above Chicago inside the iconic Willis Tower, Skydeck is the highest observation deck in the U.S. and offers spectacular views stretching up to 50 miles on clear days. Its signature feature is the Ledge, a glass box that sticks 4.3 feet over the street, making for the ideal photo opportunity.
Since opening on the Magnificent Mile in 2022, the Museum of Ice Cream has reminded people that, even in the middle of winter, it’s never too cold for ice cream. Guests can check out its whimsical exhibits, including a sprinkle pool and a dessert-themed putt-putt golf course, while enjoying unlimited samplings of its flavors, which include vegan and allergen-free options.
The Camp store in Old Town lets children explore their creative side through making their own slime, painting and other craft projects. Even more fun can be had behind a hidden door at Doodle World, a colorful immersive experience where kids create a cartoon character of themselves and take it on a journey that includes rainbow slides, a spaceship, a ball pit and so much more.
The worlds of art and science collide in innovative and fascinating ways at the WNDR Museum in the West Loop, where the belief is that everyone is an artist. With 22 installations that react to movement and touch–such as a light floor, mirrored mural and dance-activated visuals–visitors to WNDR aren’t simply looking at works of art, they’re helping to create them.
The Butterfly Haven is the most famous exhibit at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park, but there are many more wonders within. Inside, you can also find a hands-on exhibit about rivers, an indoor forest where stories are told around a campfire and a play space that’s both fun and educational.