Inside: Fun Things To Do in Chicago with Teens.

There is one thing I know for sure about Chicago. You will NEVER be bored while visiting and that’s a fact. Chicago is packed full of fun adventures, wild entertainment, great sites to see, and tons of shopping.

Taking a trip to the windy city with your teens can be even more fun with a list of exciting ideas.

Whether they’re thrill-seekers, explorers, artists, shopaholics, or knowledge hounds, these Chicago must-dos will have them Instagramming all about their great family vacation.

Check out our favorite things to do in Chicago with teens!

Fun Things To Do in Chicago With Teens

Fun Things To Do in Chicago with Teens

Maggie Daley Park

Climb, skate, and play on the lakefront at Maggie Daley Park. Scale the outdoor rock climbing walls, reaching a max height of 40 feet, divided into beginner and advanced sections. Next, strap on your rollerblades or grab a scooter (both available for rent). Then head to the Skating Ribbon, a meandering track through the whimsical park landscape. (FYI: During the winter, the ribbon becomes one of the city’s most unique ice-skating spots). Looking for something a little less heart-pumping? Try a round of mini golf, featuring replicas of iconic Chicago structures, including the Willis Tower, Wells Street bridge, and the Picasso sculpture.

Escape Rooms

Save the White House, escape a zombie, or take a mission to Mars at a Chicago escape room. Whether you’re finding your way out of a goldmine, breaking out of prison, or thwarting an art heist, nothing gets your adrenaline pumping quite as much as that ticking clock! Check out The Escape Game Chicago, Escape Artistry, and Fox in a Box – Chicago.

Activities for Teenagers in Chicago

Blue Man Group

The hyperactive theatrical experience that is the Blue Man Group at Briar Street Theater (3133 N. Halsted St.) appeals to audiences of all ages. It’s live music, comedy, performance arts, and lots of blue paint all wrapped into one. And if you sit up front, expect to get wet (don’t worry, you’ll get a poncho). Before you head to the theatre, do a little shop-hopping among the vintage shops and alternative boutiques along Belmont Avenue and Halsted Street.

What To Do in Chicago with Teens

Trendy Shops

Browse super cool Chicago boutiques. For hip, artsy teens, Threadless is a must-know. The trendy t-shirt features designs created by independent artists from both Chicago and beyond. The company runs a pop-up shop our of their West Loop headquarters, where you can often happen upon some exclusive deals. Or check out Frankie’s on the Park, a cool boutique in Lincoln Park with trendy options for pre-teen and teenage girls. Check out our full guide to neighborhood boutiques in Chicago for more.

What To Do in Chicago with Teens

Chicago Riverwalk

The award-winning Chicago Riverwalk is more than just a place to walk. It’s also a buzzing waterfront park, with tons of options for urban outdoor recreation. Rent a Divvy bike (Chicago’s bike-share program) to leisurely cycle along the little-over-a-mile, pedestrian-only path, taking along the sites, sounds, and public art along the way. Or check out the area from the water, with tour and rentals from Urban Kayaks. If you have time, stop in at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum for a new perspective and a quick history lesson.

Family Fun in Chicago

Visit the Navy Pier

Let’s start at the top — literally. Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel is an iconic part of the Chicago skyline. Soaring to heights of nearly 200 feet, the wheel’s enclosed gondolas mean you can take a ride rain or shine. Plan your visit around Navy Pier’s Aon Summer Fireworks shows that light up the sky Wednesdays and Saturdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The seasonal Pier Park also includes the Pepsi Wave Swinger, carousel, climbing walls, and Light Tower Ride.

Once you’ve come down to earth, head to the waters of Lake Michigan for the most adrenaline-pumping ride yet. With exhilarating high speeds and full 360-degree spins, the jet-propelled Extreme Thrill Ride by Seadog “blasts off to start and splashes down to stop.” This is your chance to experience high speeds over the open water of Lake Michigan. For less heart-pounding attractions, Navy Pier also features an IMAX Theatre. Also, the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and much more.

Family Vacation Ideas

Things To Do in Chicago with Teens During the Summer

Summer Festivals

Chicago is big on festivals. There isn’t a month that goes by without a crowd-drawing event. Mark your calendars for these teen-friendly events:

  • The outdoor Summer Film Series at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park runs from June through September. Take a seat at the pavilion or lounge on the Great Lawn with a blanket. While you view cult favs and the latest blockbusters on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen.
  • Taste of Chicago, the nation’s largest outdoor food fest, gets underway at Grant Park every July. The fest features tastes from 70+ restaurants. From food trucks to fine dining, showcasing the diversity of the city’s vibrant dining scene. Plus, enjoy live music by big-name and local acts.
  • Chicago SummerDance brings people of all ages and skill levels together in Grant Park’s Spirit of Music Garden each summer for free dance lessons on an open-air dance floor. You and your teens can learn to samba, tango, waltz, salsa, and more. SummerDance takes place Friday to Sunday evenings from June through August in Grant Park. As well as on select dates in neighborhood parks citywide for SummerDance In The Parks.

Summer Travel for Teenagers

More Fun Travel Spots for Teenagers

If you like these fun things to do in Chicago with teens and you’re wanting to plan more awesome trips, then check out a few more of our favorite vacation spots.

  • Fun Things To Do in Los Angeles – Sticking with our traveling in California with teens theme, check out our favorite things to do in Los Angeles. From fun roller coasters, cool downtown areas, and exciting rides, there is no your teens will be bored of this trip.
  • Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas – There are a ton of cool things to do in Las Vegas with teens. Exciting tour options include everything a teenager wants to see and conquer including zip lines, roller coasters, navigating an ATV or dune buggy, and there are even options to take them to a shooting range.
  • Fun Things To Do in San Diego for TeensThere are tons of great activities for families visiting San Diego, CA with teenagers to enjoy. From fun outdoor adventures, educational (but still fun) museums, and so much more, your teens will have no problem unplugging for a bit to enjoy all the activities you have planned. So check out what we learned and how we kept our picky teens happy all vacation long!

Things To Do in Chicago with Teens