Chicago Suburban Family

Things To Do

Best Family Day Trips Around Chicago!

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The weather is perfect…and weekend fun starts right here! There are so many awesome summer activities for the whole family to enjoy. Check out our listing of some of the top spots!


Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Take a step back in time! Climb aboard for a 55-minute round-trip train ride in historic railcars. Browse the museum filled with dozens of restored railcars and steam locomotives from the late 1800s and early 1900s and museum gift shop inside an 1894 depot. For more information, call 800-930-1385 or visit Mid-Continent Railway Museum, E8948 Museum Road, North Freedom, WI 53951.

Donley’s Wild West Town
Providing Family Fun since 1974! Wild West Town is the perfect destination for families with children ages 3-12.  Moms, Dads and Grandparents are sure to have fun too!  Experience a day of fun panning for gold, shooting slingshots, pony rides, the ultimate live action packed Wild West Stunt show and so much more! All rides and attractions are included with admission! We look forward to your visit and can’t wait to show you our town! Union, IL. Visit or call 815-923-9000 for more information.

TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show
The Summer JF&A Show is finally here!  From July 20-23, 2017, TransWorld’s Jewelry, Fashion & Accessories Show and SALE will present 250 exhibitors offering thousands of items, at wholesale prices, for you to buy and take home.  You can shop for sales in jewelry, fashion, accessories, gift, beauty, home décor, housewares, and more, from leading wholesalers, distributors, manufacturers and resellers from around the world.   It all adds up to a great time with FREE giveaways and gifts just for attending and buying.  This is your special invitation to visit the July Show at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL– visit our website at: to register and for complete details.

Veggie Fest Chicago
One of the largest vegetarian food & lifestyle festivals in North America.  Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd., Lisle, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, August 12 & 13, 2017.  Huge international food court; health professionals speaking on diet and healthy living; food demos by restaurant owners, chefs, and authors; incredible children’s tent with face painting, clowns, and crafts; live music – some of Chicago’s best bands; over 100 vendor booths; free admission and free parking.

Funtopia Adventure Park in Glenview is a place where kids and adults have a great time engaging in a variety of attractions such as indoor wall climbing, rope courses, caving systems, giant slide and many more, while challenging themselves physically and mentally in health-benefitting activities. We recommend booking in advance at  Have Fun, Be Active!

Jelly Belly Visitor Center, Sweet Tours at Jelly Belly Visitor Center
Just a 30-minute drive from North Chicago, the Jelly Belly Visitor Center in Pleasant Prairie is a hub of family fun. Climb aboard the Jelly Belly Express for a train tour of the Jelly Belly warehouse, and learn about the company’s world-famous candy making through new HD/4K videos. Store 9 a.m.-5 p.m., tours daily 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 10100 Jelly Belly Lane, Pleasant Prairie, WI. 866-868-7522,

Naper Nights at Naper Settlement
Naper Nights Community Concert Series will kick off this summer with an exciting line-up covering the best in rock n’ roll history. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy music under the stars on the beautiful grounds. Visitors will relax under the stars while enjoying cold drinks, delicious food and amazing music. Naper Nights will take place from 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights on July 21-22 and Aug. 18-19 at Naper Settlement located at 523 S. Webster St. in Naperville. No outside food or beverages are allowed. Tickets are on sale now. Visit

DeKalb County Barn Tour
The DeKalb County Barn Tour on Saturday, August 12 is your opportunity to tour TEN livestock, grain, produce, and organic barns in the Waterman-Shabbona area, including Waterman Winery. The self-driving tour includes a guided tour of each barn, along with demonstrations, displays, family activities, and more. Tickets are $25 per carload and include a souvenir Guide Book with map. Advance tickets at, or at the door. Details at or or 815-756-8737.

Entertainment Cruises
Bring the whole family on deck for a cruise aboard Spirit of Chicago! Enjoy delicious food, refreshing summer drinks, outdoor games and onboard entertainment, plus unbeatable skyline views you won’t find on land. Docked at Navy Pier, Spirit cruises daily with lunch, brunch and dinner options available. Now through August 31, take 20% off all Signature dining cruises aboard Spirit of Chicago. Use code SUBFAM20 when you book online or by phone. Some restrictions apply.

Kohl Children’s Museum
17 hands-on, interactive exhibits await, all designed to promote play through learning from ages birth though 8. This summer, take advantage of our 2-acre Habitat Park seasonal exhibit, with a 10-piece sculpture trail, climbing structures, grass maze, sensory garden, and more!  Also through August 27 visit Science + You, a child-sized laboratory ready to stimulate your scientific thinking.  Admission is $12 for adults & children, $11 for seniors, and infants under 12 months and members are free. Located at 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview. 847/832-6600.

Downtown Naperville
Visit Downtown Naperville This Summer! – Come “be in the mix” in Downtown Naperville. With our 100 shops – from national favorites to one of a kind boutiques plus over 40 restaurants, pubs, wine bars and more, and spas and fitness boutiques, there’s something for everyone! We have movies in the park, summer concerts – and don’t miss the Summer Painted Book Benches on display around Downtown Naperville. For a list of events and details, visit for or up to the minute updates, sign up to receive our weekly e-newsletter on the website or follow Downtown Naperville on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. (Coming Soon to Snapchat).

Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Together we can end Alzheimer’s
Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  Walks are held in September and October throughout Chicagoland. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease!  Start a team or join a team…go to or call 800.272.3900 today!

Glen Ellyn Park District, Holes & Knolls
“Swing” into Holes & Knolls Mini Golf for a whole lot of fun this summer! The course includes 36 holes of beautifully landscaped grounds everyone from tots to grandparents will enjoy. Plan to stay for the day as Holes & Knolls is surrounded by endless opportunities for family fun including a splash park and adventure playground. There are also snacks and ice cream in the Maryknoll Café. Address: 845 Pershing Avenue, Glen Ellyn.

Wauconda Rodeo
Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce IPRA Rodeo on Sat. July 15th & Sun. July 16th @ the Golden Oaks Rodeo Grounds on Rt.12 & Case Rd in Wauconda. The largest professional rodeo in the state features dazzling routines by the Midwest Renegade Equestrian Drill Team, flashy trick riders & fun antics from rodeo clowns. PLUS championship Saddle Bronc, Bareback Bronc & Bull Riding, Steer & Tie-Down Roping and Cowgirl Barrel Racing.   Enjoy food, a beer garden & live music or try your skill on our mechanical bull. Sunday is family day w/a free petting zoo, $3 pony rides & $2 moonwalk. Gates open @ 5pm on Sat. & 1pm on Sun.  (847)526-5580

Downers Grove Park District Summer Concert Series
FREE live concerts will bring music to Fishel Park in Downers Grove all summer long. Hosted by the Downers Grove Park District through August 29, Tuesday evenings will be rockin’ with a full lineup featuring jazz, rock and roll, pop, country music and so much more! Concerts begin at 7 pm. Food trucks and beverages are available for purchase. Downtown Downers Grove. For the full lineup and more information, visit

Grayslake Antique & Vintage Flea Market!
A fantastic variety of antiques, vintage, estate jewelry, vintage clothing, collectibles, comics, tv/movie memorabilia, furniture, vintage jewelry, decor, lighting, home, vintage experts, decorative arts, design, shabby chic, old toys, advertising, coins, and more! July 8 & 9 + August 12 & 13! Show Sat. 9am to 4pm and Sun. 9am to 3pm / $7 (TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE GATE).  Free parking. *Children 12 and under free with adult. Lake County Fairgrounds,1060 E Peterson Rd.Grayslake, IL. Zurko Promotions: 715-526-9769.

Summer in the Park Town of Cicero
Come out to Cicero and enjoy ‘summer in the park’ on Mondays 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Cicero Municipal Center, 50th & Cermak. Sundays and Wednesdays from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in June, July and August at the Cicero Community Center, 34th & Laramie . You’ll find a variety of family friendly things to enjoy, such as: extreme machines, circus, rodeo, wresting, Bmx Stunt, western, sports and much more. For more info call Special Events at 708-656-3600×288.

Summer Fun at Cantigny Park
Affordable family fun awaits your visit to Cantigny Park in Wheaton! Awesome Family Nights are set for July 21 (Touch-a-Truck) and August 18 (T-Rex). Concerts are every Sunday and some are especially for young families. Movies in the Park every Friday night, too! These and other events are free with paid parking ($5 weekdays; $10 weekends). Parking is free the first Wednesday of every month. Visit to see the full Summer Events Guide.

Camp Local with the Forest, Preserve District of Kane County
Come can get away from it all — without spending it all. Big Rock Campground in Big Rock and Paul Wolff Campground in Elgin offer camp sites with electric and water hook-ups for RVs or tents. Both campgrounds are within beautiful forest preserves where you’ll enjoy hiking trails, fishing and more. Sites range from $10 to $25 per day.  Come ‘Camp Local’ with us!  Call 630-444-1200 or see

Des Plaines Park District, Lake Park Marina
In beautiful Lake Park, the marina offers paddle boat, kayak, and fishing boat rentals April through October. Lake Opeka is well stocked with a wide variety of fish. Boating can be added to birthday parties and outings, and sailing lessons are available. Enjoy lunch and snacks in the clubhouse overlooking the lake and golf course. 1015 Howard Avenue, Des Plaines 847-391-5730

Des Plaines Park District, Mountain View Adventure Center
This challenging 18-hole mini golf course features a gold-rush mining town theme, with waterfalls, obstacles, and some rather interesting signposts. Step up to the plate in one of six Batting Cages, with a full range of softball and baseball pitches. Free Skate and BMX parks. Concessions and picnic shelter. A great place for parties and outings. 510 E. Algonquin Rd., Des Plaines, IL 847-391-5733


Reed’s Canoe 
Reed’s Canoe Trips  are an ideal recreational activity for groups of any size, from a family adventure to large church, school, or park district outing with an adventure close to home. The three trips we offer range in length from approximately 2 hours to a full 6 hours on the water, and are suitable for either new or experienced canoeists. Since the Kankakee River is located only an hour south of Chicagoland, even our longest trip will fit into a one-day outing! 907 N. Indiana Ave, Rt. 50, Kankakee, IL  Call for information or reservations: (815)WE CANOE or visit:

Crystal Lake Park District, Blast on the Beach
An end of summer tradition since 2012, the Crystal Lake Park District Blast on the Beach continues to be FREE due the generosity of Crystal Lake Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram. Saturday, August 5 (rain date August 6), 3-9 pm. Main Beach (300 Lakeshore Drive, Crystal Lake) Craft Fair: 3-7 pm; Fun Fair: 3-6 pm; Black Diamond Treasure Hunt 4 pm (sharp); Music by Dick Diamond and the Dusters 6 pm. Beer, wine, food vendors.

Putter’s Peak Miniature Golf
Enjoy mini golfing in a tropical setting around tiki statues, through a cave, atop the volcano, around turquoise waterfalls, streams and ponds. This 18-hole course is perfect for all ages. Enjoy lunch in our Hawaiian-themed Clubhouse where we serve a variety of beverages, food and snacks to satisfy your hunger. The Links & Tees Clubhouse is also available for birthday parties or as a meeting venue. For more information, please call (630) ADD-PARK, option 4.

Maxson’s Restaurant & Riverboat
Maxson’s Restaurant has been in business in Oregon, Illinois since 1952. It offer’s glass enclosed dining with stunning views of the Rock River. The Pride of Oregon Paddleboat takes guests on a scenic 15 mile round trip lunch and dinner cruises. Maxson’s can host events up to 260 people in the restaurant, 200 on the sprawling deck, and 149 on the Riverboat. Located at 1469 IL Rt. 2, Oregon, Illinois 61061. Perfect setting for a day trip or your next special event. For more information call 1-815-732-6761 or visit

Go Ape
Stay cool under the canopy with Go Ape! Catch a breeze on a zip line, navigate challenging suspended obstacles high up in the forest canopy. Go Ape at Bemis Woods features both a Treetop Adventure and Treetop Junior course, so there is an adventure waiting for all ages and the perfect family outdoor experience. 1100 OGDEN AVENUE, WESTERN SPRINGS, IL 60154.

Native American Cultural Center
The center is open year round in the historic 1863 Train Station in downtown Lockport and is located on the I & M Canal State Trail. A Native American non-profit organization who assists with repatriation, protection of sacred sites and educates the public about Native American culture. Save the date for the 23rd Annual Native American POW WOW. Join us on September 23 & 24 for Midwest Soarring’s Harvest POW WOW. at Naper Settlement, 523 S. Wester Street in Naperville. Enjoy dancing, drumming, cultural demonstrations, vendors, children’s activities, food and much more! For more information and a full schedule visit our website or call 708-257-4300.

Naperville Bites and Sites
Eat, drink and discover historic downtown Naperville as you see the city’s sights from a local’s view. Share and cherish time together with your family and friends! We have a passion for telling stories and creating unique experiences that allow people to connect through food. Join us for a one-of-a-kind authentic Naperville experience today! For tickets go to or call EZTIX at 630-626-5030.

Chicago Trolley & Double Decker Co.
Celebrate summer with a family-friendly Downtown Tour of Chicago. The tour highlights top Chicago landmarks including Skydeck at the Willis Tower, Art Institute, Adler Planetarium, Navy Pier, the Hancock Tower featuring 360 Chicago and more. Hop on hop off tours of Chicago, as well as private trolley rentals available for your event. Book yours today! 773-648-5000. or

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