It’s easy to feel like a kid again during the holiday season, and if you're like us, your childhood memories included trains—riding the CTA for the first time, building your own model train set, or taking the trolley downtown. Now add the glittery, magical goodness of the holiday season in Chicago to relive that experience with your favorite little ones. We’ve rounded up some of the best holiday train rides and train shows in the Chicago area, so bundle up, grab a hot chocolate, and hop aboard. Wearing themed pajamas (matching optional) is encouraged!
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Chicago families in need of childcare solutions during the teachers' strike, take heart: There are some great resources, camps, and activities available. We've rounded up some helpful information for Chicago families affected by the strike, as well as options for day-off camps and activities. We'll keep this list updated as the strike continues.
Halloween is your annual excuse to get the family dressed up, sugared up, and out for a spooky adventure. You’ve got the perfect Halloween costume and trick-or-treat bag (plus an extra bag for when that one gets full). Now, you just need to find that extra-special Chicago neighbor giving out the full-size candy bars.
Whether you’re looking for haunted mansions, festive parades, live entertainment, or over-the-top decor, we have the best neighborhoods in Chicago for trick-or-treating and Halloween fun for families. If you strategize, you can even hit up multiple events for maximum returns on that costume.
Summer days, driftin' away...If seeing school supply lists is sending you and your kids into a panic over the impending end of summer, stay calm, and summer on! We've done the research (not a bad gig, honestly), and rounded up the ultimate Chicago Summer Bucket List, complete with all the outdoor movies, festivals, and FREE summer activities for families in Chicago that you'll want to fit in before school starts up again on Tuesday, September 3.
Summer takes its sweet time coming to Chicago, but when it finally arrives, you can find Chicagoans swimming, floating, and soaking up the sun at one of Chicago’s fifty (!) free outdoor swimming pools. Many Chicago public pools have separate splash pads, water playgrounds, or kiddie pools with zero entry for the littlest swimmers, and a few even have water slides! Most public pools are also ADA accessible, and offer locker rooms and bathrooms. While most pools do not have concession stands, there is usually an entrepreneurial neighbor with a popsicle cart nearby.
Each pool has its own schedule with dedicated times for adults, families, classes, camps, all-female swim, all-male swim, and more. Be sure to check the schedule (and the pool rules!) before you go. Here are a few of our favorite FREE outdoor pools in Chicago for no-cost summer fun with kids.