Home of famous Lincoln Park Zoo, Millennium Park, Navy Pier and lots of things to do on Memorial day in Chicago. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Chicago on this Memorial Day holiday.
Free to the public, this is one of the nation’s oldest zoos. Kids love the old-school carousel, locomotive rides, and the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, a kid-friendly home for North American animals. Just next door is the Farm-in-the-Zoo, which gives kids the chance to pet goats, cows, and ponies, and experience a little country life in the city during Memorial Day.
In the Millennium Park during Memorial Day, kids splash around in Crown Fountain’s shallow pool and dash under water spouting from the lips of video-projected Chicago locals. Springtime is perfect for a self-guided scavenger hunt through Lurie Garden. In winter, skate with the city skyline as your backdrop at magical McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. And no matter the season, and make faces in the reflective surface of the stainless steel sculpture Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean.”
Iconic Navy Pier is the place for rides on a towering climate-controlled Ferris wheel, an old-fashioned Wave Swinger, and a whimsical 1920s-inspired musical carousel at Pier Park. And it’s the place to feel the excitement of summer fireworks, sightseeing cruises, Segway tours, an amazing maze, the Chicago Children’s Museum, fun stores, and movies at a mind-blowing IMAX theatre during Memorial Day weekend.
Right next door to Adler Planetarium and Field Museum on the Museum Campus, Shedd Aquarium gives new meaning to “wow.” Not only can you explore underwater worlds from across the globe, but the Shedd offers unique, up-close-and-personal experiences, like museum sleepovers, behind-the-scenes tours, and extraordinary animal encounters, like joining in a shark feeding tour, being a trainer for a day, and interacting with stingrays.
Don’t think the kids will enjoy an art museum on Memorial Day? Then you haven’t visited the Art Institute‘s Thorne Miniature Rooms. These meticulously reproduced miniature rooms bring the world of art and architecture to a kid’s level. There’s also free admission to the Ryan Education Center, which hosts special events, interactive workshops, and family programming for kids 14 and under.
On Memorial Day, kids can stretch out, crawl, and use all five senses throughout interactive exhibits such as WaterWays, Dinosaur Expedition, and Treehouse Trails. Best of all, the Chicago Children’s Museum is located at Navy Pier — a goldmine of family-friendly things to do on Chicago’s scenic lakefront.
The Chicago Sports Museum combines high-tech interactivity with unique sports memorabilia and an impressive collection of game-used treasures and other artifacts. Chicago on Memorial Day, kids can test their skills against some of the all-time greats, use CSI-type technology to unravel some of Chicago’s most infamous sports mysteries, step into a replica broadcast booth and call a game just like Harry Caray, and so much more.
For little kids with big imaginations, a visit to Chicago on Memorial Day would not be complete without a trip to American Girl Place, the first store of its kind in the United States. Consider making a reservation for the café at the downtown doll mecca, which serves brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner. American Girl is located in Water Tower Place on The Magnificent Mile.