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Red Tricycle Chicago

Our Favorite Community Pools to Dive into Now

The cure for a hot summer day in Chicago? Cool, refreshing water—and lots of it. Chicago and the ‘burbs are splash fests waiting to happen, thanks to numerous swimming pools, each with something special to offer. From a zero-depth gem in Norwood Park to a tube slide paradise in Wheeling, these top community pools are worth swan-diving into now.
CHICAGO, IL
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The Hands-Down Best Bakeries in Chicago for Birthday Cakes

For a kid, there’s nothing more exciting than a birthday party. And having a great birthday cake—one that tastes good and looks cool—is an important part of their special day. No matter what your child’s superhero, video game or character obsession du jour may be, you will find a Chicago bakery to create a canvas for those candles. Here are our favorites. Make a wish!
CHICAGO, IL
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3 Must-Visit Midwest Theme Parks Close-Ish to Chicago

Rollercoasters, funnel cakes, waffle cones, hotdogs, oh my! Theme parks scream summer. If you’re looking for adventure on your next family vacation, theme parks offer rides and attractions but also old-timey activities, special events, character meet-and-greets and more. These mega Midwestern theme parks are packed with enough fun for at least a two-day stay and each is within driving distance from Chicago. One is located along a beach, another immersed in the Ozarks, and one is the summertime home of Santa Claus. Here are our picks for Midwestern theme parks worth the road trip from Chicago.
CHICAGO, IL

12 Crazy-Cool Reasons to Go to the Bristol Renaissance Faire

Grab a sword and shout, “huzzah!” because Bristol Renaissance Faire is back. The full-on homage to Elizabethan England—complete with costumed characters, period music, jousting tournaments, acrobatic and comedy acts, rides, games and food—is an outdoor village set back from the highway near the Illinois/Wisconsin border. It’s open every weekend beginning July 9 through September 5. To make the most of your visit, these are your must-dos.
MUSIC

Everything You Need to Know About “Day Out with Thomas”

Thomas the Tank can’t stay trapped on the Island of Sodor forever. He needs to get out and see the world. Luckily for us in Chicago, he’s chugging our way and bringing along his friend Percy. The smiley blue train rolls up to Illinois Railway Museum July 9, 10, 16 and 17, for Day Out With Thomas: Dream Big Tour. This event held in Union books fast, so add it to the top of your summer bucket list. Read on to get the details so you don’t miss the chance to ride on a larger-than-life Thomas locomotive.
CHICAGO, IL

Hidden Gem Museums That Are Worth the Trip

Now that you’ve been to the Museum of Science and Industry and The Field so many times you could lead a tour, it’s time to earn a little extra credit. When you’re craving something new and culture’s on the menu, check out a super-secret museum that’s just a mini road trip away. We dug up goodies that are within an hour’s drive of Chicago. Scroll through to see them all, from a secret nature center to an auto museum with superhero appeal.
CHICAGO, IL

The Ultimate Summer Bucket List for Chicago Parents

Smile. Play. Giggle a ton. Hit up a street fest. Repeat. Good — you’ve got the basics of a perfect summer in Chicago. Now add a few activity highlights to your warm-weather bucket list. It’s prime time to explore all Chicago and the surrounding area has to offer, from large-scale outdoor art exhibits to cheering on dragon boats. Here are our top to-dos this summer with kids.
CHICAGO, IL

Explore Chicago’s Waterways on a Family Boat Tour

Take a break from watering holes and splash pads and add adventure to your water play this summer with help from Chicago boat tour companies. You’ll learn a bit of city and architectural history and take in a whole lotta gorgeous views cruising Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. From finding the best seat for Navy Pier’s weekly fireworks to cruises that let you bring your pup, scroll through and start planning.
CHICAGO, IL

Super Fun Father’s Day Activities with Dad in Chicago

Dad, pop, daddy, poppa, dadda, father, old man—no matter what you call him when ya need him, he’s extra special and oh so important. From baseball games celebrating Chicago’s love of hot dogs to art-filled exhibits, these Father’s Day activities in Chicago will make him feel celebrated. Here’s our list of what’s tops for pops (or someone extra special who walks in those shoes) in Chicago this Father’s Day.
CHICAGO, IL

Little Luxuries: Spa Treatments for Kids in Chicago

No doubt about it, being a kid is heaps of work. After all the fort building, slime making and wall climbing, they’ll probably need to take a much-needed chill break. Good news: Chicago has several spas that not only welcome kids but have treatments designed just for them. Whether hosting a kid’s birthday party or introducing your little one to manicures, go ahead and get in on the action and make an appointment for yourself. You deserve it.
CHICAGO, IL

Get the Dirt on Veggie & Berry-Picking Season

Make summer a little sweeter by picking your way through Chicago’s best spots for homegrown berries and other fruits and veggies. The U-Pick berry season kicks off with strawberries in June and continues through early August, with veggies cropping up now through fall. Be sure to research your farm’s produce availability through their Facebook page and website before dusting off the wagons. Scroll down for u-picks you can’t miss!
CHICAGO, IL

Pick a Flick! Outdoor Movie Venues for Summer Nights

While an air-conditioned theater might be just what a sweltering summer ordered, the best way to watch a movie in Chicago is outdoors. There are parks, nature centers, drive-ins, hotels and historic attractions reeling family favs all season long. And their lawns or rooftops are yours for the taking (BYO chairs, blankets and maybe even your own popcorn). Watch a flick while fireflies dance with our guide to summer outdoor movies.
CHICAGO, IL

Pride Month Activities for Chicago Families

June is National Gay Pride Month and Chicago is quite possibly the most fun city to celebrate. The list of family-focused events added to the roster over the years has been nothing short of incredible. While some Pride events haven’t historically been kid-centric, there are plenty of festivals, parades, walking tours, pride-themed books and concerts that give kids the chance to celebrate or perhaps an environment to relate. Sprinkle on some glitter, proudly raise those rainbow flags and add these fun activities to your family calendar.
CHICAGO, IL

Chicago Kids Weekend Events: May 27-29

Forward, march! Make red, white and blue memories this Memorial Day weekend by watching fireworks reflected on Lake Michigan. See a drive-in movie. Visit the new Pixar Putt at Navy Pier. Have fun with Circus Vazquez under the Big Top. Read on for our Editor’s picks for the best ways to fill your three-day weekend.
CHICAGO, IL

Ready to Shred! Local Skate Parks for Chicago Kids

Skateboarding is undeniably cool. Kids know this. You know this. If your adventurer is chomping at the bit to grind on some rails, visit one of these kid-friendly skate parks—all with something a little different to offer. Some have an area set aside for beginners so your soon-to-be shredders can learn and roll at their own pace. (P.S. We’re also sharing the best spots to take lessons.) If boarding isn’t their thing, some also allow bikes and rollerblades. Grab your helmet and protective gear and set out for a day of fun.
CHICAGO, IL

Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago Family To-Dos

On Memorial Day weekend, you get a bonus day to remember those who served in the military—and also have a brilliant time with the family. Plan ahead with our list of must-dos. You can be patriotic at the downtown parade, attend a street fest, see butterflies flutter at Chicago Botanic Garden, catch fireworks at Navy Pier and more. Read on and march on for ideas on how to spend Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago.
CHICAGO, IL

Chicago Kids Weekend Events: May 20-22

We are bubbling over with excitement to share our weekend plan with you. Because we have the kickoff to summer fests happening in Lincoln Park with Mayfest and Long Grove’s Chocolate Festival. If fests aren’t your thing, no worries. We have loads of other options to keep your kids from climbing the walls. From parades celebrating Greek culture in Chicago to circus feats under a big top, read on and pick your favorites!
CHICAGO, IL

Chicago Kids Weekend Events: May 13-15

Prediction: You’re in for a weekend of non-stop fun. We’d put money on it. Spend your days atop a bike at The Forge, have springtime fun at Parkway Bank Park, see a stage show. Read on for our Editor’s picks for a perma-smile kinda weekend. Spring Fun...
CHICAGO, IL

Small Museums in Chicago You Might Not Know About

Now that you’ve been to the Museum of Science and Industry and The Field so many times you could lead a tour, it’s time to earn a little extra credit. When you’re craving something new and culture’s on the menu, check out a super-secret museum that’s just a mini road trip away. We dug up goodies that are within an hour’s drive of Chicago. Scroll through to see them all, from a secret nature center to an auto museum with superhero appeal.
CHICAGO, IL

Find Your Path to Family Fun on These Chicago Bike Trails

Okay, Chicago. We’re bidding farewell to another winter and celebrating the arrival of warmer temps. Let’s live every nice-weather day to the fullest, shall we? On the top of the list, dust off those bikes, grease the chains, strap on a brain bucket and get those legs pumping on a bike path. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the furthest reaches of the suburbs, here are our favorite spots to cycle as a family in Chicago.
CHICAGO, IL