Photo by Sarah Medina

There is no shortage of family-friendly activities in Chicago. The historical and cultural mecca offers many opportunities to eat, play, and explore with loved ones of all ages. From scavenger hunts to ice cream sprinkle pools, here is a list of things to do in Chicago with family that everyone will enjoy.

Walking distance from The St. Regis, the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier has interactive exhibits to entertain children of all ages. Infants and toddlers can relax, climb, and fish in the enchanted forest setting of Treehouse Trails. Do you have young school-aged children with energy to burn? Take them to explore the 37-foot-tall climbing sculpture, Cloud Buster. Kids nine and up will enjoy the Skyline exhibit, where they can design and build their own kid-sized skyscraper with wooden struts and tools.  

Looking for family-friendly activities in Chicago that will entertain pre-teens and teenagers? Take them on a scavenger hunt! Play a game from Urban Adventure Quest and experience the city in a whole new way. The game route begins on N. Dearborn St. and spans across two miles of historic buildings, public art, and the beautiful riverside. Nineteen challenges will teach Chicago newbies to natives about the rich history and culture of the city.  

Maggie Daley Park has a variety of spaces for families to play and explore throughout the year. Summer weather calls for a visit to the park’s three-acre Play Garden. Accessible year-round, the garden features imaginative spaces designed in the spirit of Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Older children can enjoy a game of mini golf with or go rock climbing at Chicago’s first and only Climbing Park. In the wintertime, the park’s iconic ice skating ribbon comes alive with skaters of all ages.  

Get the family’s creative juices flowing at the Art Institute of Chicago. An arm’s reach away from The St. Regis and Lakeshore East, the cultural and creative hub is located on Michigan Avenue. The museum’s free Art Exchange in the Ryan Learning Center offers a variety of activities for all ages: creating art projects, customizing a museum tour, exploring their Multisensory Gallery, and more. These indoor experiences can be enjoyed no matter the weather and take place Fridays through Sundays from 11AM to 3PM.  

Want to treat the family? Eat and learn about your favorite dessert at the Museum of Ice Cream! Fourteen multisensory installations, an indoor sprinkle pool, carnival games, and mini golf will keep the whole family entertained. Unlimited treats of five kinds are also included with admission, featuring Chicago-inspired flavors ranging from Dove Bars to hot-dog-flavored ice cream! You can also head to the Ice Cream Lab to create your own rolled ice cream and choose toppings. Plus, the museum’s pink walls and dessert decorations will make for the perfect family photo op.  

Connecting with the family and finding things to do in Chicago with family is easy in the nation’s third largest city. Children and adults alike can learn about cultural wonders and let loose to play in exciting spaces. At The St. Regis Chicago, all kinds of family adventures are in arm’s reach.