Parents appreciate the fact that most of Chicago's world-renowned museums offer family-specific tours, activities and interactive events that engage young minds yet are just as enjoyable for adults.
While the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier and the Kohl Children's Museum might be best for tots, the older ones should appreciate the museums on The Museum Campus, a 57-acre museum park near Lake Michigan, just south of the Loop, and home to the Adler Planetarium, Field Museum of Natural History and John G. Shedd Aquarium.
The world-famous Art Institute of Chicago is in the heart of downtown and a few miles west you'll find the engaging, colorful and free National Museum of Mexican Art, a popular choice in autumn for its expansive Day of the Dead celebrations. Even a museum-phobic kid will go for the brand new U.S. Pizza Museum (as long as you promise some after the visit). You can pair a morning at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with an afternoon at Lincoln Park Zoo.
A great way to keep costs down and save time on ticket lines is to buy the Chicago CityPass which offers discount admission up to five popular attractions: the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium or the Art Institute of Chicago. Or, check each museum’s website for free days of the week. Several offer free admission for children ages 12 and younger.