From competition-level ballet to bitty baby movement classes, we’ve rounded up the best dance classes for kids in Chicago. The children's dance classes below range from baby and toddler classes all the way to pre-professional level dance courses. Dance is a great physical and creative activity for toddlers and kids. From ballet to break dancing, there’s no shortage of ways for your child to express themselves through movement.
Lauren LaRoche has been a working writer and journalist for more than 12 years. When she’s not writing, she and her husband are chasing after their dog and three children in Chicago. Her career includes work in marketing, in graphic design, and as a lifestyle and events editor for CBS Chicago. To check out more of her writing, visit her website at ldesignchicago.com.
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There’s a lot more to Madison than just being the capital of Wisconsin. Situated on two beautiful lakes sits the home of the University of Wisconsin, an epicenter of culture, great food, and (most importantly) so much family fun. From the children’s museum to the zoo and all the fun and festivities the university has to offer, you’ll find something for everyone in Madison. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway from Chicago or visiting the city as part of a Midwest tour that includes stops in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, here are our favorite things to do, places to eat, and outdoor activities in Madison.
Add a little extra sunshine to summer by picking flowers or strolling through a maze of sunflowers at one of our favorite local sunflower fields near Chicago. For a day on the sunflower farm, make sure to pack bug spray, sunscreen, some kid-friendly scissors, pruners, and vases to get those gorgeous bouquets home. Bring your phone fully charged as well: These farms have amazing photo opportunities (we're talking holiday card potential)!
Sometimes you just need to get your kids moving. Push-ups are a great way to get the blood flowing, work on endurance, and help to build muscle strength. Of course with kids it's best to turn any kind of exercise into a game! From 'Pat-a-Cake' to the singing the ABCs, we've rounded up 10 push-up challenges and games that are anything but boring. Remember, the first one to fall or break from the push-up position is out.
For more active games to do with kids check out our monster exercise list.
While there are thousands of tourist attractions and cultural experiences in Chicago (and about 100 of them that you should do with kids before they grow up!) not all of them are great for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. So, after creating a list of things you should do with Chicagoland babies before they turn one, we set about making the ultimate list of 25 things to do in Chicago before your little one turns five. From zoos to gardens to museums, much of this list is especially great for preschoolers and kids about to enter kindergarten.
A few of our selections are well-known favorites with specific attractions for preschoolers, while other ideas are more off the beaten path, but all are things we've enjoyed doing with tots before they turn 5!
Whether you need a beachside vacation or a cultural getaway in a (different) city, you don’t have to travel too far from Chicago to find it! All of the weekend getaways below are places you can drive to from Chicago— yet they feel like a world away. The trips include a hike under a waterfall, a boat ride through a city, an aquarium in a train station, and the water park capital of the world. From zoos to children’s museums to great nature escapes, we’ve highlighted several must-see attractions that make each getaway fun for the whole family.
Nothing says summer like a camping trip. If your family is ready for a weekend sleeping under the stars, we've got you covered with a selection of nature escapes all within a couple of hours of Chicago. From beautiful forests to the shores of Lake Michigan, these serene retreats are the perfect places for roasting marshmallows and making family memories.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or this is your first time pitching a tent, we’ve rounded up some of the best campsites near Chicago for families. For more outdoor adventures, check out our picks for the best places to hike with kids and our Midwest Vacation Guide.
The DuPage Children's Museum is once again open to the public and accepting reservations! Since the weather in Chicago can be hit or miss all year round, indoor play options can be lifesavers. The DuPage Children’s Museum is one of my very favorite spots to bring my kids. It's a fun, safe, indoor play space that has some major educational bonus points. With hands-on experiences for kids of all ages, this museum was made for tinkering, exploring, and letting creativity flow. Read on for tips and ideas for how to get the most out of a visit to the DuPage Children’s Museum.