There’s nothing like spring and summer in Chicago. The sun is out, everything is in bloom, and the city comes alive with activity.

The sheer number of activities that you can do outside in Chicago makes the wait for warmer weather worth it. It’s an especially good time to meet up with your grandkids and get outside!

Check out our list of favorite things to do in Chicago outside with the grandkids.

  1. Go to a zoo: The Chicagoland area has two amazing zoos to check out with your grandchildren. The world-renowned 216-acre Brookfield Zoo,  located just outside of Chicago, has plenty of animal houses and shows to attend. If you’re looking for a zoo experience in the city, the Lincoln Park Zoo is nestled right in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and has a brand-new big cat house. Best of all, Lincoln Park Zoo is free!
  2. Millennium Park/Maggie Daley Park/Grant Park: Three of Chicago’s most popular lakefront parks are all located right next to each other! Start your day off at Millenium Park by taking a picture with the Cloud Gate sculpture, better known as “The Bean.” Head one block east over to Maggie Daley Park, which is home to trails, gardens, and an outdoor rock wall. Then, head south through Grant Park and visit the historic Buckingham Fountain.
  3. Navy Pier: Navy Pier has plenty to offer for both you and the grandkids to enjoy! You’ll find numerous shops, restaurants, and other attractions along the famous pier. Of course, don’t forget to take a ride on the Centennial Ferris wheel!
  4. Chicago Botanic Garden: Located in Glencoe, this sprawling botanic garden has a variety of scheduled nature walks, as well as gardening classes that people of all ages can learn from. Plan multiple trips to see all 27 gardens.
  5. Garfield Park Conservatory: This oasis in the Garfield Park neighborhood is one of the largest greenhouse conservatories in the United States. You can find plant species from all over the world inside its walls. 
  6. Walk/bike ride on a trail: If you’re looking for outdoor things to do in Chicago, look no further than one of the several walking and biking trails throughout the city. The Lakefront Trail runs the entire length of Lake Michigan, while the North Shore Channel Trail runs along the north channel of the Chicago River. If you’re looking to check out some shops or restaurants, a walk along The 606 trail, built on an old CTA train line, takes you through the Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods. 
  7. Architecture tour on the river: There’s no better way to see the city and learn about its architecture than an architecture tour on the Chicago River. You’ll be surrounded by stunning views and learn all about the unique styles of buildings that make up downtown Chicago. 
  8. Chicago Riverwalk: If boats aren’t your thing, take a stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk. You can grab a snack with your grandchildren and take in sites of the city.
  9. Go to a beach: One of the most popular things to do in Chicago is to spend time along the city’s 26 miles of public beaches. Plan a beach picnic out on the popular North Avenue Beach, play some volleyball at Oak Street Beach, or take a unique northern angle of the skyline from Margaret T. Burroughs Beach, located on 31st Street. If you or your grandkids have a dog, check out Montrose Beach, which has a special dog-friendly area!
  10. The Forge: The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park has lots of unique outdoor activities for people of all ages and abilities. It offers everything from paddleboats to biking to ziplining, so you can decide to join in an activity with your grandchildren, or watch them take on a bigger adventure! 
  11. Six Flags Great America: Six Flags Great America, located in the northern suburb of Gurnee, is chock-full of rides, games, and themed areas for everyone to enjoy. It’s a great place to walk around on a warm summer day, and maybe ride a few rides with your grandchildren. 

At Peace Village, we love when grandkids come to visit! Our family-friendly campus has plenty of walking trails, fishing spots, and plenty of outdoor areas to enjoy a meal with your entire family to make memories with grandma and grandpa. Contact us today to learn more about our senior living community.