3 Days | 45 Miles | in From Local Experts
Beaches, bowling, biking and being together are ingredients for a perfect family getaway in Chicago's North Shore. Sunny beaches complete with lifeguards, sand and boats. Walk or take a tram ride and enjoy the Chicago Botanic Garden. Tweens and teens love Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center with over 100 stores, two movie theaters and over a dozen places to eat. Younger kids love Wagner Farm and the Kohl Children’s Museum.
Make sure to check with attractions ahead of time for up-to-date operating hours, travel policies and health and safety information.
For kids and adults of all ages, Funtopia Recreation Center is the place to be. Enter the Fun Zone, which includes more than 40 Fun Walls, the Rope Course and Caving System. Younger kids with you? Nearby, interactive exhibits for birth-8 years old, Kohl Children’s Museum is for you. Lunch at D’Agostino’s Pizzeria in The Glen Town Center, or enjoy one of the many other dining options. After lunch, walk off that meal at Gallery Park and visit the Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie, a 32-acre remnant of a tall-grass prairie that once stretched for millions of acres across North America. Next stop, The Grove, a National Historic Landmark, has nature paths and docents to lead the way. Across the street, Abt Electronics is the place to go where all of the latest Apple products, TVs, and digital toys make their debut. Dinner at North Branch Pizza and Burgers or Johnny’s Kitchen and Tap soothe even the biggest appetites!
Spend a day with the family at one of the best gardens in the United States, Chicago Botanic Garden. Climb a waterfall garden, discover hidden rooms inside an English Walled Garden, cross bridges spanning sparkling lakes, visit a Japanese Garden and discover a garden with trains chugging across bridges and trestles – the Model Railroad Garden. Butterflies and Blooms lets you enter a butterfly sanctuary and see them up close and personal. Enjoy seasonal festivals, tours by train or on foot, art exhibitions, and lots of ways for families to learn about the wonders of nature. A long-time North Shore favorite, Hackney’s on Lake serves great burgers with their famed onion loaf and traditional irish pub fare. For unforgettable evening entertainment, grab the family and choose a show at Ravinia Festival, which offers music under the stars – from Chicago Symphony Orchestra to top pop acts all summer long.
The sun rises over Lake Michigan and there is no better spot to see that than the Grosse Point Lighthouse on Lake Michigan in Evanston. Built on the shores of Lake Michigan by the United States government in 1873 after several shipwrecks demonstrated its need, this was the lead lighthouse marking the approach to Chicago. Venture over to Dempster Street Beach where you can rent boats or soak up the sun and swim in the clean waters of Lake Michigan – open all summer. Keep up the fun and enjoy a garage door art gallery plastered with murals in Evanston by local artist Teresa Parod. Afterwards, head on over to Westfield Old Orchard Shopping Center. They have plenty of activities for all age groups, a CMX movie theater, and great family dining options that make it a perfect way to end your day.