Now that the excitement of holidays has come and gone, there’s no need to put the kibosh on having fun this winter! Chicago is one of the best places to show your kids art, culture, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will leave lasting impressions on the youngest members of your family. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, we have you covered. Keep reading for the 16 most memorable things to do with your kids in Chicago this winter!
Witches and wizards of all ages will be excited to discover Harry’s world at Harry Potter™: Magic at Play, which made its worldwide debut in Chicago! The epic experience will have you start your adventure just as Harry Potter did at the Dursley residence at 4 Privet Drive. Created by Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Original X Productions (formerly Superfly X), your kids will marvel at this one-of-a-kind experience that’s only in Chicago for a limited time, taking over three floors and 30,000 square feet at the Water Tower Place on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Guests of all ages can interact, explore, play, and climb through the most iconic moments at Hogwarts™. But like most things, this magical journey is only in town for a while! It leaves Chicago on May 14th, so be sure to snag your tickets now before they disappear.Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime adventure for wizards, witches, and even muggles (gasp!)—Accio tickets!
Expose the kids to some incredible sounds under the dim glow of candlelight at one of these fantastic Candlelight Concerts. From tribute concerts of world-class singers like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift to talented musicians performing popular classical ballads like Vivaldi’s Four Seasons & More, there’s never been a better time to introduce your youngsters to the gift of music.
Here are some of the best Candlelight concerts taking place in January and February:
Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyoncé at Stan Mansion on January 21
Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer at Music Box Theatre on January 25
Candlelight: A Tribute to Queen and More at Oak Park Arts Center on January 28
Candlelight: A Tribute to ABBA at Stan Mansion on February 8
Candlelight: A Tribute to Taylor Swift at the Stan Mansion on February 21
For the fifth year, you can infuse a bit of wonder into your kid’s world with a day trip to a real-life ice castle. Located just outside Chicago, in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, you’ll find a magical oasis with colorful fountains, ice slides, hidden caverns, and more that will bring their Disney dreams to life!Read more here!
Take the day off and venture to a museum dedicated to the sweet treat of ice cream! The 13,000 square foot ice cream emporium in The Shops of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue, dubbed “Willy Wonka’s factory come to life,” has epic installations like the iconic sprinkle pool, plenty of sweet treats (of course!), a cafe, and a bar that you must take time to enjoy!
Take a trip down to Navy Pier to Verse: The Art of the Future – Holographic Art Gallery for an out-of-this-world experience. Using AR headsets, smartphones, or tablets, this unique exhibit is here to showcase the latest digital artwork by the world’s top-selling artists, so why not bring the kids for an all-new artistic experience? You and the rest of the family will take in art like they’re in it! Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to interact with awe-inspiring artwork by the world’s best digital artists.Snag tickets before it leaves for good!
Make a memorable day out of going to the movies with an epic blockbuster adventure to enjoy with the kiddos, or plan on a special one-on-one date with one of your kids. There are several titles that little ones will enjoy, including Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, Avatar: The Way of the Water, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever at AMC Theatres® in the Chicagoland area.Grab discounted tickets to a movie showing here.
Calling all adventure seekers to Lincoln Park Indoor Skydiving! The state-of-the-art iFLY Chicago is home to an epic indoor skydiving destination right here in the Windy City! If you’re looking for a thrilling afternoon and the opportunity to take part in a unique experience with your son or daughter, consider spending the afternoon learning a fun new skill here. You’ll even go home with a personalized flight certificate too!Get your tickets here
The Doughnut Vault has the ultimate experience, perfect for all sweet tooth fanatics. Celebrate the mini donut lover in your life during this unique foodie tour and try out a curated selection of delicious treats like Do-Rite Donuts, Firecakes, Stans, and Doughnut Vault. It’s special knowing that there isn’t a tour quite like this out there, since it’s the first donut tour in the city, which makes it a unique way to indulge in your favorite treat.Snag your tickets for a unique outing!
Chicago is home to a slew of museums where you and your kids can explore and learn about fascinating things. Spend the day at The Field Museum, discovering the iconic dinosaur exhibitions and permanent collections, and don’t miss the largest T. Rex in history! For the best modern art collections, plan to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art for a day introducing the kids to the most iconic artists in history. The exhibitions rotate, but this museum has showcased the legendary work of artists such as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Alexander Calder. Lastly, don’t miss one of Chicago’s most famous museums guarded by the prominent green lions … The Art Institute of Chicago for a memorable day viewing contemporary and modern art. If you’re an Illinois resident, check out the free days for 2023.See upcoming not-to-miss exhibitions!
The Lincoln Park Zoo is a destination noted for being one of the only free and privately managed zoos in the country. So why not plan for an unforgettable day with your child by taking part in a scavenger hunt? Visit the best landmarks and hidden gems, answer trivia questions and solve extraordinary challenges at Chicago Scavenger Hunt: A Day At The Zoo this winter!Secure your tickets here!
Venture to this dynamic new adventure playground in Glenview, IL, for an exciting day out with your family. This fun-tastic Funtopia play center is perfect for children of all ages. Kids can enjoy areas separated by Fun Zones so they can play with children in their own age group! There’s a climbing wall for older children, an obstacle course suitable for kids ages six to 13, and a playpen area for toddlers to enjoy.Read more here!
The Museum of Illusions (25 East Washington Street) offers a mind-blowing day out with an interactive, immersive, and educational experience for its guests by featuring 80 different mystifying exhibits.Snag tickets here!