What To Do With Your Family In Chicago

What to do with family in Chicago

What’s really nice about your family coming to visit you in a different city is that you get to play tourist in your own town! My parents have been to visit Chicago pretty consistently every summer for the past few years, and at this point I think I’ve taken them to do just about everything here, including quite a few things that I wouldn’t normally take it upon myself to do otherwise. If you have family coming to Chicago, read on for my guide of what to do with them!

Things To Do With Your Family in Chicago

What to do with family in Chicago

The Field Museum
We went to the Field Museum on their last day here this year, which was fun because I haven’t been there since I was a little kid! It was cool to see the new dinosaur (did you know they replaced Sue?!) and all the other exhibits they have on display. Idan and I really loved the Nature Walk exhibit, which had literally thousands of taxidermied animals. P.S. You can get a discounted admission to The Field Museum through Groupon, and then save extra money by using eBates!

The Art Institute of Chicago
I’ve always been such a big fan of the Art Institute, and one of the more unique experiences I’ve had there was when I did a Museum Hack Tour. Our tour guide took us all around the museum and showed us pieces we wouldn’t normally notice, and told us stories we never would have heard. It was really interesting, and I highly recommend a Museum Hack tour if you are visiting the Art Institute of Chicago!

What to do with family in Chicago

The Escape Game
We took an hour out of our day exploring River North to play The Escape Game. I’ve been here about 3 times now and it is always SO fun and challenging. My family really loved the Gold Rush game and we finished in just under an hour. Use promo code LoveAlwaysAudrey to get 15% off any game until Sept. 30!

Games at the Chicago Athletic Association (and Cindy’s Rooftop!)
We did this on a rainy day. Right next to the lobby of the Chicago Athletic Association there is a game room, complete with bocce ball, pool, chess, foosball, and more. Grab a drink (or a cup of coffee) and enjoy some indoor fun with your fam. Oh, and while you’re there, check out Cindy’s Rooftop!

Cruise Along the Chicago River in an Electric Boat Rental
We had this planned this last trip, and it unfortunately got rained out (see: Athletic Association game room as a backup plan). I’ve rented a few times through the Chicago Electric Boat Company, and have loved my experience every time. I am usually the captain (if I can do it, so can you), and you can BYOB and cruise around the river.

My family loved exploring Eataly, and they especially loved grabbing a bit of gelato. My brother was a big fan of trying all the samples they had to offer!

What to do with family in Chicago

Shopping on Armitage Ave
This should come as no surprise, but I always take my parents shopping on Armitage Ave in Lincoln Park. There are so many cute stores and boutiques, and we always make a pit stop at Jeni’s Ice Creams (shocker). Check out the new Serena and Lily store, and definitely visit Art Effect, my favorite gift store on that block.

Tea at The Drake or The Langham
I haven’t done this yet. BUT, it’s on my list of “fun things to do with your family.” Next time, mom and dad!

Take the water taxi to Chinatown
I haven’t done this yet either! But it’s on my bucket list to take the water taxi over to Chinatown. I know what I’m doing the next time my parents are in town!

Royal Palms Shuffleboard
This place is SO fun! I never thought I’d love shuffleboard so much, but the Royal Palms has the greatest atmosphere, friendly staff, and great drinks. They also have a food truck station where different food trucks come every night to serve players. It’s $40 to rent a court for an hour (and there is an hour limit), and they have a ton of board games to play while you wait.

Parent-Friendly Places to Eat

My parents are notoriously picky eaters. They have to read and approve the menu before we go out anywhere, so for a foodie like myself it’s a bit hard to find somewhere we will all enjoy. Luckily, I’ve already done the hard work for you. If your family is full of picky eaters, are some parent-friendly places to eat in Chicago:

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba
My parents are absolutely obsessed with this place (and so am I!). We always order tons of tapas and eat every bite. It’s fun to share with everyone!

Brightwok Kitchen
Your parents can order whatever they want in this healthy build-your-own stir fry kitchen! Locations in both The Loop by the Art Institute or River North (State and Ontario).

True Food Kitchen
Another one that my parents are obsessed with. True Food is healthy and delicious, and great for any meal!

My family loves this place, and it was perfect for grabbing a quick lunch before continuing on to all of our activities.

Siena Tavern
There’s something for everyone on the menu at Siena Tavern! Located in the heart of River North.

Same thing–Beatrix is the perfect place to bring your family. Not too trendy, but there is something for everyone.


You might also like:

Where to Eat in Chicago
Weekend Guide to Chicago
The Best Ice Cream in Chicago
What to Buy for a Chicago Winter