Spring Break 2024: 39 Fun Things To Do in Chicago

Two girls at the art museum. Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
Two girls at the art museum. Photo courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago
3/17/24 - By Siobhan Adcock

Spring Break 2024 is almost here, there's a ton of fun to be had right in Chicago. 

If you're looking for things to do while the kids are out of school for Spring Break 2024, you've come to the right place. March 25-March 29th is Spring Break 2024 for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and many surrounding suburbs. There’s plenty to do around town for Chicago families, and many of these activities are free or low-cost!

Our list of the best things to do with kids over spring break includes special events and exhibitions, over a dozen ideas that'll get you and your crew into the (slowly warming) outdoors, and a whole bunch of our favorite indoor spots.



The Best Things to Do in Chicago With Kids for Spring Break 2024

check out the Houston Family Play Tree House for spring break 2024 in Chicago
Houston Family Play Tree House. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo

1.  Lincoln Park Zoo

Check out all the new and exciting things at the Lincoln Park Zoo, and don't forget to stop at the new Houston Family Play Tree House!

2. Navy Pier

Visit the Chicago Children's Museum, ride the Ferris wheel, and more. 

3. Garfield Park Conservatory

Take in the free spring flower show at this iconic indoor botanical garden. Book your reservation in advance to ensure entry. 

4. The Hyatt Lodge and Spa at Oak Brook Reserve

Snag a guest pass for the indoor pool and splash the day away.

5. Graceland Cemetery and Arboretum

Walk through the beautiful and historic cemetery where famous Chicagoans rest on a self-guided or scheduled group tour.

6. Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

The spring migration season is one of the very best times of year to visit the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. You'll have the chance to spot up to 300 different species of birds, and it's free! 

7. Old Plank in Logan Square

Enjoy an Easter bunny brunch and decorate eggs at the Old Plank in Logan Square on March 24th. Bring your camera when you meet the bunny!

RELATED: 100 Things to Do With Chicago Kids Before They Grow Up

8. Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

Another fun and free Chicago attraction, see what's blooming around the Lincoln Park Conservancy's serene hidden gem the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

9. Chicago GameSpace

Check out the Vector vs Raster exhibit at Chicago GameSpace open March-May 2024.

Boys at Julia De Burgos Park for spring break 2024 
Julia De Burgos Park is right off the 606 Trail. Photo by Ryan Dickey via Flickr 2.0

10. Julia De Burgos Park

Get out for a bike ride or a scooter run on the 606 and stop to play at the climbing structures at Julia De Burgos Park. 

11. Welles Park Nature Place

Play at the Welles Park Nature Place in Lincoln Square. This is one of Chicago's many destination playgrounds. 

12. Lakefront Trail

Walk or bike the Lakefront Trail, stop for a picnic in the grass, and enjoy lake views. 

13. Museum of Science and Industry

Enjoy hands-on learning and exploration at The Museum of Science and Industry, and check out the special extras like Tornado Alley at the Giant Dome Theater, 007 Science: Inventing the World of James Bond, and The Blue Paradox. 

14. Immersive Mozart

Be surrounded by the magic of Van Gogh and Mozart at the Immersive Mozart experience in Old Town.

 15. Chicago History Museum

Catch a fly ball or play in a life-size hot dog at the sensory exhibit, and let your littles become firefighters in one of the museum's most popular exhibits. 

16. Imagine U

Support Northwestern University's theater program and catch a show at the amazing children's theater Imagine U.

 visit the Art Institute of Chicago for spring break 2024
Kids at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photo by Maureen Wilkey for Mommy Poppins

18. Art Institute of Chicago

Explore fun for kids and more exhibits at this iconic art museum. The Ryan Learning Center is perfect for hands-on kids, and be sure to download the Journey Maker app to make the most out of your visit. 

19. Marriott Theater

Have a fun night out with the kids and see James and the Giant Peach at the Marriott Theater in Lincolnshire. 

20. Hollywood Boulevard

Movies are always fun, and a private movie showing for friends and family at Hollywood Boulevard is even better. 

A picture of Tapeko the Dolphin, who you can see at the Brookfield Zoo for spring break 2024 
Meet Tapeko the Dolphin at the CZS/Brookfield Zoo. Photo by Jim Schulz for CZS.

21. Brookfield Zoo

There are a ton of new attractions at the Brookfield Zoo! The dolphins are back, the anniversary Ferris Wheel opened on March 15, and the zoo just welcomed two adorable brown bear cubs.

22. Museum of Contemporary Art

Tuesdays are free days at the Museum of Contemporary Art, and here's when kids get in free to other Chicago museums, zoos, and cultural institutions.

23. Water Tower Place

See what's new at the LEGO store and American Girl

24. Harold Washington Library

Don't forget the library... The children's room at the Harold Washington Library downtown is always worth a visit on a rainy spring afternoon.

25. Children's Museum of Oak Lawn

Spend the day at the Children's Museum of Oak Lawn. Don't miss favorite play spots like Imagination Playground, Moo Cafe, and Dream-a-Dream Theater. 

26. Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

 The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is a slightly off-the-beaten-path museum full of unusual treasures in Elmhurst. Plus, it's free on Wednesdays!

27. North Park Nature Village

Take a hike through the North Park Nature Village, then spend time in the Discovery Room and check out the interactive displays. 

28. Kohl Children's Museum

Visit the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview. Kids will love the Hands On House, Water Works, Whole Foods Market, and Cooperation Station exhibits. 

29. Willis Tower Skydeck

Play tourist in your hometown with a visit to the Willis Tower Skydeck. Are you and your kids brave enough to get on The Ledge? 

30. Architecture River Cruise

Take the kids on an architecture river cruise on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.

31. Pinstripes

Try for a turkey at Pinstripes bowling locations in the city, Oak Brook, South Barrington, or Northbrook.

32. Art on The Mart

Stay out after dark to catch Art on the Mart, a free and dazzling display on the front of the Merchandise Mart building that plays for two hours after sundown Wednesday through Sunday.

33. Pilsen Murals

Free street art alert! Snap some Instagram-worthy shots in front of the Pilsen murals

picture of The Bean, a popular spring break 2024 tourist attraction 
Cloud Gate at Millennium Park in Chicago. Photo by Jim Bauer via Flickr 2.0

34. Downtown Public Art Walk

Within a few city blocks, you can see the iconic Cloud Gate at Millennium Park, the Daley Plaza Picasso and Miró's Chicago sculpture, Agora in Grant Park, the Sounding Sculpture at the Aon Center, the Flamingo at the Federal Center Plaza, and Chagall's Four Seasons mural at Chase Tower. 

35. Maggie Daley Park

Visit Maggie Daley Park for hours of free playtime. Popular attractions include mini golf, the play garden, and the climbing wall. 

36. DuPage Children’s Museum

Play, explore, craft, and more in the museum's many neighborhoods like the Construction House, Creative Connections Exhibit, and the Move and Groove Experience. 

37. Ravenswood Nail Party

Pamper yourself and the kids with a kid-friendly nail and spa day at Ravenswood Nail Party.

38. 360 Chicago

Head to the 360 Chicago observation deck in the John Hancock Center to see your hometown in a whole new light. 

39. Shedd Aquarium

Enjoy a shark feeding and pet starfish at the Polar Play Zone, and don't miss the hourly Animal Spotlight show.