Five Kids Activities in the Loop for Spring Break

Spring Break is finally upon us! It’s an exciting time to be a kid this week. However, Chicago’s public school parents might be stressed about figuring out what to do with all this free time. So we came up with a list of the four great kids activities in the Loop.

Maggie_Daley_Park_Play_Zone_KidsActivitiesInTheLoop-min
The Play Zone at Maggie Daley Park is among the most popular kids activities in the Loop.

#1: Playing at Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park, which opened back in 2014, has quickly become one of the premier kids activities in downtown Chicago. The highlight for any kids will be the Play Zone, which covers a whopping three acres. The Play Zone is broken into six different areas. Each area caters to a different age group and they encourage diverse types of play. I walked through Maggie Daley Park last summer and couldn’t help but note that the Play Zone looks awesome. It’s been quite a long time since I ran around on a playground, but seeing those jungle gyms made me a wee bit jealous.

There are plenty of other kids activities in Maggie Daley Park as well. A rock-climbing wall, tennis courts, picnic lawns, and a winding walking path offer plenty of diversions. Our Architecture Walking Tour for Design Lovers concludes in Maggie Daley Park as well. Maggie Daley Park also connects to the next entry on our list.

Crown Fountain Millennium Park Kids Activities in the Loop
Crown Fountain in Millennium Park is a delight for kids of all ages.

#2: Visiting Millennium Park

Millennium Park has been drawing crowds of kids and adults for over a decade now. I often send guests right over after concluding the Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour. Its highlight is Cloud Gate, the sculpture more popularly known as “The Bean.” (Hey, that’s my name too!) One of the great kids activities in the Loop is wandering around The Bean watching your reflection change and warp. Just a few yards away, Crown Fountain is another perpetual delight. The “spitting” faces and shallow pool make for a piece of public art for all ages. Depending on how warm it is this week, your kids may get in their first splash of the season.

Willis Tower Skydeck The Ledge Kids Activities in the Loop
Stepping onto The Ledge is a rite of passage for kids in Chicago.

#3: Stepping onto The Ledge at Willis Tower’s Skydeck

Here’s a spot for all the daredevil kids. Back in 2009, the Willis Tower’s Skydeck added a series of reinforced glass boxes. Called The Ledge, they each jut 4.3 feet out from the tower’s 103rd floor. It’s a knee-buckling experience, even as an adult. My wife still makes fun of me for being so nervous when I visited The Ledge a few years back. Make sure to swallow your pride if you’re afraid of heights. There are discounts of tickets for children up to 11 years old. The “For Kids” section of the Skydeck’s website helps nail this down as one of the essential kids activities in the Loop.

Naxy Pier Kids Activities in the Loop
Navy Pier offers a full day of kids activities.

#4: Exploring Navy Pier

This is another mainstay for kids activities in the Loop. Navy Pier is chockfull of kid-friendly attractions and distractions. Its signature ferris wheel is currently being replaced by a newer and bigger model. We’ll have more details about this new attraction and its history in Chicago in a few weeks. Despite that, there’s still plenty to do and see out on the Pier. The Chicago Children’s Museum is full of educational play experiences. If you want to some eye-popping family fun activities in Chicago, then the IMAX theater is worth the higher ticket price. Of course, you can always just march your kids out to the end of the pier. The view is magnificent and the walk might wear them out.

#5: Going on the Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour

Not to toot our own horn, but Chicago Detour’s Loop Interior Architecture Walking Tour makes for a great kids activity in the Loop. We only walk a half-mile, so the little ones won’t get worn down. During that walk, we weave through the inside of famous and obscure buildings as well as the Pedway system of underground tunnels. We’ll introduce your kids to some of the core concepts of Chicago history. They’ll also get to experience some marvelous architecture and take in historic photos and videos on an iPad. I can tell you from experience that the kids who’ve come along have had a great time.

-Alex Bean, Office Manager and Tour Guide

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Ellen

Private Tour Coordinator and Tour Guide

There is no shortage of things to discover in Chicago—I love being an urban explorer and uncovering its hidden places. I have an MA in Public History from Loyola University Chicago, and I have worked as a museum educator and kindergarten teacher. My desire to learn new things fuels my passion for educating others, which I get to experience every day as a Chicago tour guide. I live in the northern neighborhood of Rogers Park.

“Our guide Ellen was exceptional and gifted with a great personal touch.”
Robert
GetYourGuide

Jen

Tour Guide

Whether you are a first-time visitor or a lifelong resident, the vibrant history and modern majesty of Chicago never ceases to amaze. I’m a graduate of Columbia College with an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Art. I’ve worked for many years as an educator at City Colleges of Chicago. As tour guide at Chicago Detours, I integrate my enthusiasm for culture and architecture with my passion as an educator. West Town/Noble Square area is home for me.

“Jen was a perfect storyteller and kept us spellbound for hours.”
Heather
TripAdvisor

Elyse

Tour Guide

With our Chicago neighborhoods, vibrant cultural institutions and nearly two centuries of larger-than-life stories, there’s never a dull moment here! I’m a fifth generation Chicagoan and a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to guiding tours, I’m a creative writer and amateur genealogist. I also enjoy the city’s dynamic theater scene. You can also read overlooked stories from 19th-century newspapers on my “Second Glance History” blog. I live in River North.

Anthony

Tour Guide

Chicago is unique as it always evolves into the future while holding on to the past. I’m fascinated by how people latch on to old architecture but happily pave over others. My background is in theater and performance and I’ve been a tour guide here for more than 10 years. Currently I’m finishing my Master’s in Public History at Loyola University because I love to teach the history of this scrappy city. I’m in the Edgewater neighborhood.

Marie

Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

Chicago’s history is so fascinating, you could spend a lifetime uncovering its secrets…I’m willing to give it a try! I have an M.A. in US History from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and then pursued doctoral studies in Urban History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to learn new aspects of Chicago’s rich history and then share my knowledge as a tour guide with Chicago Detours. I live in Ravenswood.

“Marie was a bubbling fountain of information and contagious enthusiasm.”
Lorit
TripAdvisor

Sonny

Operations Coordinator and Tour Guide

As a fourth generation Chicagoan, I have been living and loving Chicago by bike, on foot, public transit or automobile. I am a graduate of UIC where through the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, began my eagerness to understand the nature, history and impacts of urban planning and development. It is incredibly rewarding to give back to this wonderful city by helping out in the office of Chicago Detours. I live in the incredibly diverse neighborhood of Albany Park.
“Sonny was extremely knowledgeable about all things Chi-town.”
Wade K
TripAdvisor

Alex

Content Manager and Tour Guide

Chicago has so many neighborhoods, buildings, and by-ways that it’s hard to go long without seeing something new, or something familiar from a new angle. I studied Cinema History for my M.A. from the University of Chicago. I’ve worked as a culture writer for various publications and as an educator of the humanities at the City Colleges of Chicago. I’m thrilled to share my love of this city’s busy past and unique architectural spaces with Chicago Detours. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

“Alex was fascinating to listen to. He clearly knows his history and it shows.”
Katie K
Yelp

Amanda Scotese

Executive Director and Tour Guide

I’m an interpreter of personal stories from the past and the city’s landscape. I love to imagine what originally happened inside old unmarked buildings, and what forces have shaped their design. I studied Chicago history, architectural history, and anything Chicago-related through my M.A. in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. My love for stories was enriched by my B.A. in Literature from the University of Michigan. I’ve written travel articles for publications like Rick Steves’ Italy best-selling travel guides, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and The Chicago Food Encyclopedia. I live in the Chicago neighborhood of West Avondale.
“You can TELL Amanda is hyper-passionate about doing the research and getting the story that nobody’s heard before.”
Shelby F
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