Teenagers are an age group I don’t even pretend to understand. Even though I was one within the last 10 years, trends change so quickly and the Tik-Tok dances don’t stop coming. One thing that remains true no matter how much time passes is that Chicago is never short of things to do with your teens to get them off their phones and put some attention back onto you. Whether it’s a good meal, something active, getting that perfect photo, or learning something new, there’s so many places in Chicago to take your teenagers this fall.
353 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 6065
The Hampton Social is a city staple. From the delicious food to nautical vibes, The Hampton Social is a great place to take your teen. Everybody knows that one of the funnest things to do on the weekend is a good brunch, and this place has definitely got you covered on that. Ditch the typical weekday cereal and let your teen indulge in some sticky and sweet monkey bread, fresh salads, or some perfectly messy shrimp tacos. For the perfect Instagrammable moment, order a mocktail and pose by the famous Rose All Day sign – your kids will be thanking you when they’re racking up the likes.
1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605
Kids think they’re too cool for a day out with their parents? Take them to the Shedd Aquarium and watch that all change. With over 32,000 animals to explore, you can plan an entire day around being entranced by the different colors, shapes, and sizes of aquatic animals. Along with the year-round exhibits and animals, you’ll always find new and exciting experiences to add to your day. The best part about a visit to the Shedd? You and your kids will get a biology lesson without realizing you’ve been learning the entire time.
337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
As we soak up the last of the summer sun, it’s important to get outdoors, do something active, and take deep breaths of some fresh air. By spending the day in Maggie Daly Park, not only will your family take in the best views the city has to offer, there’s tons of activities to keep you busy. For the adrenaline seekers, the park offers a rock-climbing wall, and for those who like to stay Earth-bound (myself included) bring out your rollerblades and take a few laps around the ribbon. In the winter, dust off your old skates and show your kids a thing or two about becoming an angel on the ice. Looking for a more relaxing day off? Stop at your favorite take-out restaurant and spend the day catching some rays or sprawled out on a picnic blanket. This park always has something going on, and your teens will definitely stay entertained.
1913 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Does Paradise Park have an incredible cocktail menu? Yes, but their food and non-alcoholic drinks are also out of this world. If you live even relatively close to Chicago, you’ve seen Paradise Park on your Instagram feed. The neon lights and stunning patio are only the beginning of what a mini-influencer (your kid) is looking for when heading out for a meal with their parents. Take a bite into the mouthwatering pizza, as the menu contains options like the classic pepperoni, Knife & Forkner, or Carnit-Za. Your teenager will definitely be thanking you for a fun trip and for giving them their first, age-appropriate trip to one of the trendier restaurants in the city.
1130 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60607
It seems like teenagers are glued to their phones these days, so take your kid to see a museum that’s not only incredibly popular but is sure to pique their interest! The WNDR Museum in the West Loop is relatively new, with a fresh concept based on giving each patron the ultimate sensory experience. Take your kids to strut across the light floor, play mind games with a room of optical illusions, and imagine endless possibilities in the infinity room. The museum encourages each visitor to think of themselves as a part of the art, and not just a viewer. We can guarantee your teen won’t stop talking about the stimulating experience, and you will have to plan another trip here for sure.
600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
Anyone who lives around the city knows about Navy Pier. This bright and buzzing stop is an excellent place for a day spent with your teens. With so much going on, you’ll definitely have to plan your day from start to finish to ensure that you don’t miss any of the action. Whether its an action-packed ride on the Seadog or a few rounds on the Centennial Wheel, one day at Navy Pier will have you and your kids taking in all the best sights and sounds of the city. When it comes time for a meal or (another) snack break, Navy Pier is laden with restaurants like the world-famous Billy Goat Tavern, Giordano’s, or my personal favorite, the Dippin’ Dots stand. Each season becomes a spectacle at the Pier, with tons of themed events, shows, and parties. Planning to make a weekend trip out of your Chicago visit? The newly opened Sable Hotel is the place for you!
Featured Image: WNDR Museum