Things to do with kids in and around ChicagoMary Houlihan – For the Sun-Timeson October 14, 2021 at 2:26 am

The centerpiece of “The Dr. Seuss Experience” is an interconnected maze composed of hundreds of balloons (inspired by “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”). | Kilburn Live

Looking for something to do with your family? Check out our highlights of current events and activities for kids.

Welcome to our highlights of events and entertainment in Chicago for kids and families to enjoy. Bookmark this page and check back for updates on the latest activities.

Gold Over America Tour

Tony Gutierrez/AP
Simone Biles

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 17

Where: Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim

What: The event billed as “gymnastics with big pop concert energy” features some of top gymnasts from past women’s Olympic teams: Simone Biles, Mykayla Skinner, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum, Laurie Hernandez, and Katelyn Ohashi, Morgan Hurd and Chellsie Memmel. Tickets: $30+.

More information: For tickets and updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

‘The Office Experience’

Courtesy “The Office Experience”
You can visit (and take plenty of selfies) in the Dunder Mifflin office at “The Office Experience” pop-up.

When: Oct. 15-Jan. 17

Where: The Shops at North Bridge, 540 N. Michigan

What: This interactive two-story experience features 17 rooms filled with original props and costumes, set re-creations and more from Scranton Business Park and other sites associated with the series. There are also plenty of photo ops throughout the restaged Dunder Mifflin office and other key locations made popular in the show. Timed entry tickets: $37.50+.

More information: For tickets and updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

‘Raven’s Curse: A Haunted Ravenswood Experience’

When: To Oct. 31

Where: 4702 N. Ravenswood

What: This haunted site takes you on a trip back in time 200 years as a town is invaded by a flock or bloodthirsty ravens hellbent on changing the townspeople into their own. There also are additional spooky experiences which employ virtual reality: “OsoreVR Haunted House” and “VR Zombie Shooting.” Tickets: $10-$50.

More information: For tickets and updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Open House Chicago

Eric Allix Rogers
Boxville in Bronzeville, part of Open House Chicago.

When: Throughout October

Where: Throughout Chicago and suburbs

What: The Chicago Architecture Center’s annual celebration of the city’s architecture is one of the largest events of its kind. It features self-guided outdoor tours throughout October and indoor tours (Oct. 16-17), with more than 200 buildings in city neighborhoods and the suburbs open to the public. Open House is always free and there’s a new mobile app with 30 self-guided neighborhood trail tours where you can discover historical landmarks and architectural gems.

More information: For more details on Open House and updated information regarding COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

‘The Dr. Seuss Experience’

When: To Jan. 2

Where: Water Tower Place (in the former Macy’s), 835 N. Michigan

What: Children and adults alike will enjoy this fun dive into the work of the popular author. The 25,000-square-foot immersive experience is a multi-sensory trip through nine Seuss books including “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Lorax” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Plus, there’s an interconnected maze filled with hundreds of balloons. Tickets: $23+.

More information: For tickets and updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

At the zoo …

Brookfield Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo! features a creepy carousel, a corn maze, giant inflatables (a spider, Frankenstein, a pumpkin wizard, scarecrow and more), the Tombstone Graveyard featuring headstones with spirited puns and more. Fall events take place weekends Oct. 9-24 at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W. 31st, Brookfield. Admission: $17.95-19.95. For a list of events and information regarding the zoo’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Lincoln Park Zoo’s Fall Fest begins Oct. 8 and continues through the month. There’s a pumpkin patch, pumpkin carvers, animal chats, music, photo-ops, face painting, carousel rides and much more. Admission is free; some events are ticketed. For a list of events and information regarding the zoo’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Statesville Haunted Prison

Statesville Haunted Prison

When: To Oct. 31

Where: 17250 S. Weber, Lockport

What: Halloween chills and thrills await in the final year of this spooky site. Rated one of the top 10 haunted attractions in the nation by The Scare Factor and featuring 30 rooms of horrifying creatures and convicts, it’s not for the weak of heart. Hours: 7-10 p.m. Thursday and Sunday; 7-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets: $30, $45.

More information: For updated information regarding the event’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Forge Fear Month

When: Oct. 2-30

Where: 1001 Main Street, Lemont

What: The adventure park The Forge: Lemont Quarries presents fall-themed events including the Forge Fall Fest (Oct. 2), Zombie Apocalypse Laser Tag (Fridays-Sundays Oct. 2-31), a screening of “The Nightmare Before Christmas (Oct. 23), “The Tale of Talcott’s Stone — A Guided Adventure Game” (Oct. 29-30) and Fireside Ghost Stories with Orion Couling (Oct. 29-30). The park is open from 3:30-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Admission to the park is free; prices for activities vary.

More information: For updated information regarding the park’s COVID-19 vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

WPB Art Quest

Photo by Garrett Karp
“Butterfly Effect,” a mural by Ali Six

When: Ongoing

Where: Wicker Park, Bucktown

What: The WPB Art Quest offers free self-guided tours of Wicker Park and Bucktown, including sculptures, galleries and murals. Among the murals is a new creation by street artist Ali Six titled “Butterfly Effect,” which is a tribute to Olga Maria Calderon, who was killed a year ago in a stabbing at a nearby Walgreens. From Sept. 15-Oct. 15, registration is optional; anyone who purchases a $45 ticket will receive a limited-edition t-shirt featuring Ali Six’s new mural. A portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

More information: A map of murals and public art is available at

Haunted houses

13th Floor
The spirits of the underworld emerge in “Spirit of Halloween.”

When: Sept. 10-Nov. 13

Where: 5050 River Rd, Schiller Park

What: The haunted house season kicks off with two all-new shows from 13th Floor Chicago. “Bad Blood” revolves around an ancient feud between vampires and werewolves, and in “Spirit of Halloween,” a witch casts a spell to summon the spirits of the underworld. Tickets: $19.99+.

More information: For vaccination and/or mask policies, visit

Chicago Fireboat Tours

Courtesy Chicago Fireboat Tours
Chicago Fireboat Tours offer great views of Chicago’s waterways.

When: Ongoing

Where: DuSable Harbors, 111 N. Lake Shore Dr.

What: Built in 1936, the Fred A. Busse was the largest, diesel-powered fireboat in the world at the time and served the Chicago Fire Department from 1937-1981. The current owners renovated the retired fireboat, which is now in its second season cruising Chicago waterways. Tickets: $35-$40, $19.50 ages 4-12.

More information:

‘Par Excellence Redux’

When: To Jan. 2

Where: Tee off at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill, Elmhurst

What: A fun exhibit features a fully playable 18-hole mini-golf course created by more than 20 artists, designers and architects from Chicago and beyond. The family-friendly course pays homage to the School of the Art Institute’s wildly popular 1988 exhibition “Par Excellence.” Course themes range from social justice to the occult and include a fortune-telling hole that has the power to dramatically change scores as well as a hole that challenges players with an optical illusion. Admission is $5-$10 (online timed reservations); children 4 and under free.

More information:

Chicago Children’s Museum

Where: Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand

When: Ongoing

What: Fun and learning are on the agenda at the popular family gathering spot, offering a wide variety of exhibits aimed at improving children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect. Babies and toddlers can enjoy “Treehouse Trails” and “Kids Town” while “Tinker Lab” and “Dinosaur Expedition” will enthrall older children. Admission: $19.

More information:

‘Hello Helios: The warming suns of Chicago’s Greektown’

Courtesy Greektown Chicago
Detail view of James Mesple’s Sun and Moon Image featured in the “Hello Helios” exhibit in Greektown

When: Through spring 2022

Where: Halsted from Monroe to Van Buren

What: Welcome summer with a new outdoor exhibit celebrating the start of summer with 24 artworks inspired by the sun and related mythologies from Greek, Aztec, Yoruba, Japanese and Native American cultures.

More information:

Kayak for Conservation

Shedd Aquarium
The Shedd Aquarium’s popular “Kayak for Conservation” program.

When: Ongoing

Where: Kayak Chicago: 1220 W LeMoyne,

What: Get close to nature via the Shedd Aquarium’s popular Kayak for Conservation program, which features a variety of socially distant kayaking experiences on the Chicago River. Participants learn about the river’s environmental history and discover wildlife living in its ecosystem. Sessions are open to all levels of kayakers (including newbies) and are led by Shedd’s wildlife conservation experts. The cost is pay-what-you-can ranging from $20-$100 per participant, with a recommended $40, the base cost of the program.

More information:

‘Take Flight’

Museum of Science and Industry
The Boeing 747 at “Take Flight.”

When: Permanent

Where: Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.

What: The MSI’s Boeing 747 reopens with a reimagined exhibit that explores modern aviation and the science of flight. The plane’s interior has been restored and new interactive elements have been added. Tickets: $12.95, $21.95.

More information:

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