Chicago Spring Break Ideas

Chicago absolutely explodes when the weather turns nice and the sun shines out. After months of frigid temps, gallons of hot tea, piles of blankets and weeks worth of Netflix binges, the snow finally melts and Chicagoans burst into the limelight for some outdoor fun. We’ve compiled a guide to make the most of your Spring Break and tour our magnificent city.

Here are 5 ideas to have a slammin’ Spring Break – Chicago style.


#5) Be a Beach Bum

photo credit:

If the weather turns warm then grab some friends, get a big towel, flip fops and some sun tan lotion or sun screen depending on what shade you are going for and hit any number of incredible beaches Chicago has to offer. The beaches along the lakefront are all connected through the lakefront trail and the best way to beach hop is to rent a bike and ride from one to the next. North Ave Beach can get very crowded, especially during spring break when the sun is out. Volleyball games can be easily found. If you want to set up your own game you just need a net and a ball.  If you want to escape the crowds, try quieter smaller beaches like Oak Street Beach, Ohio Street Beach, or Foster Beach.


#4) Watch a Game at the United Center

Whether it’s the Bulls or Hawks, catching a game at the United Center is a lot more fun when you can sleep in the next day. If you are free for Spring Break try to catch a game on a weekday, the tickets are also a lot cheaper weekdays so you’ll have some extra money for drinks and nachos. Take some cool photos with Michael Jordan’s statue “The Spirit” located in front of Gate 4. The Blue Line is the closet CTA station to the United Center. Get off at the Illinois Medical District stop and you’re a ten-minute walk away.


#3) Explore the Zoo

photo provided from Lincoln Park Zoo

The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of only a few free public zoos in America as well as one of the oldest. Founded in 1868 and located right off of Lake Michigan, this zoo features exhibits like a Penguin Cove, Reptile House, Farm in the City, Ape Center, Lion House, Swan Pond and many more. We recommend taking public transportation to get there, but if you’re driving there is metered street parking on Clark St. just a few minutes’ walk away. The zoo also offers a Spring Break Camp for Pre K to 4th grade.  For more info check out (


#2) Go to a Museum

Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago has some of the best museums in the world.  A great way to start off your Spring Break is to explore some of these amazing facilities. The Art Institute of Chicago features over 300,000 artworks and artifacts from icons like Pablo Picasso, Georges Seurat, Georgia O’Keefe and so many more famous artists. You can also see some gorgeous views of Millennium Park from the second floor. The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the country, great for families or anyone looking to learn and see some cool exhibits. Make sure to take a photo of Sue when you’re there, it’s the most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus-Rex fossil yet discovered. Sue is 40 feet long and stands 12 feet high at the hips and is 67 million years old. Museum of Science and Industry in Hyde Park initially opened to the public during the 1893 Columbian Exposition (World’s Fair) that shaped so much of what Chicago is today. With over 400,000 sq ft, Chicago’s only 5 storied domed Omnimax Theater and a restored German U- Sub from World War II there is a lot to explore.


#1) Take a Bike Ride or Tour Chicago by Bike

Bobby’s Bike Hike tour group along the Lakefront Bike Trail. All photos from Bobby’s Bike Hike, Inc.

Get out and explore Chicago the way this beautifully flat city was engineered to be seen, via bicycle.  With miles of parks, beaches, and adjacent beautiful neighborhoods, rent a bike and explore the world-renowned 20-mile Lakefront Bike Trail running along Lake Michigan.  Bobby’s Bike Hike – Chicago Tours & Rentals, located downtown at 540 N. Lake Shore Drive, has the perfect location to conveniently grab a bike and helmet and go for a ride.  And the prices are nice as well.  Or, if you want to learn a little something about Chicago from the folks who have been doing it the best since 2002, try one of their amazing bike tours.  During the spring break season, they will be offering their Lakefront Neighborhoods Bicycle Tour, exploring the Gold Coast Mansions and Old Town Historic district along the near north side.  Adult riders should check out their Bikes, Bites & Brews tour to explore Chicago’s signature dishes such as Chicago-style pizza, cupcakes, hot dogs, and locally crafted beer.   Or families should check out Bobby’s Tike Hike: Kid-friendly bike tour which is perfect for kids 9 and under.  You really can’t go wrong with this Chicago based company who has been ranked the #1 overall tour company in Chicago on TripAdvisor since 2008.  Check them out at  312.245.9300


And if you still need further ideas, you can check out this great blog on things to do in Chicago.  Just note, Lollapalooza is not until late summer.