Exploring Chicago Museum Campus: Kid Friendly Itinerary
Day 3: Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum & The Bloomingdale Trail
Day three in Chicago with kids promised to be a fun and educational day as we visited some of the city’s most iconic attractions. Our itinerary includes a visit to the world-famous Shedd Aquarium, exploring the vast collection of the Field Museum, and ending the day with a stroll along the Bloomingdale Trail. Join us on this exciting adventure as we discover the wonders of nature and history in the Windy City.
For more ideas, you can see our day one and day two itineraries for Chicago
During our family trip to Chicago, we were able to visit numerous attractions thanks to various discount programs. As an active military family, we took advantage of the Blue Star Museums program which offered free admission to military families at certain museums including The Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. We also used the ASTC Travel Passport program to get free admission to several science museums. Additionally, we were gifted the Chicago City Pass which provided discounted entry to popular attractions including Skydeck Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, and The Field Museum. These programs made it possible for us to explore the city and its many offerings without breaking the bank.
We started our morning at the Museum Campus in Chicago with a picnic of Stan’s Donuts. Stan’s Donuts is a popular doughnut shop in Chicago that offers a wide variety of unique and delicious flavors. Their signature brioche doughnuts are a must-try for any doughnut lover. We lounged on the grass and enjoyed the picturesque views of Lake Michigan. It was the perfect way to fuel up for our day ahead exploring the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is a must-visit for families with kids. This massive indoor aquarium is home to over 32,000 animals from around the world, including dolphins, whales, sea turtles, penguins, and sharks.
One of the most popular exhibits is the Abbott Oceanarium, where visitors can watch dolphins and beluga whales swim and play in a large tank. Check out the timing so that you can catch one of the dolphin training shows. Be sure to also check out the Wild Reef exhibit, where you can walk through a coral reef tunnel and see sharks and other marine life up close. Kids will love the hands-on Stingray Touch exhibit, where they can touch and feed these gentle creatures.
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is home to many fascinating sea creatures, including a beloved octopus who likes to hang out by the window. Visitors can watch as the octopus uses its tentacles to interact with its surroundings and explore its habitat. Our Littles were captivated by this mesmerizing creature and its playful antics.
Having a picnic in the park while reading books and enjoying the serene view of Lake Michigan is one of the best ways to spend a lazy afternoon in Chicago with kids. The Museum Campus by the lakefront is a perfect spot to find a bench and bask in the sunshine while taking in the beauty of the city. Jeff was able to deliver lunch to us for a peaceful outdoor picnic.
The walk from the Shedd Aquarium to the Field Museum takes only a few minutes but is a beautiful one, with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. Along the way, visitors can also catch a glimpse of the iconic Soldier Field stadium.
As one of the largest natural history museums in the world, the Field Museum in Chicago houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that will educate and fascinate visitors of all ages.
Don’t miss the chance to see the famous T. Rex skeleton, Sue, and explore the “Inside Ancient Egypt” exhibit, which showcases mummies, artifacts, and a replica of a pharaoh’s tomb. Kids will also love the interactive “Evolving Planet” exhibit, which takes them on a journey through the history of life on Earth.
After a brief rest at the hotel, we headed outside of the downtown area. Taking the elevated train, or “L” train as it’s commonly known in Chicago, is a unique way to experience the city’s public transportation. The kids always love a good train ride and the “L” did not disappoint. We hopped on the blue line to Walsh (John) Park, where we met up with friends. Walsh Park in Chicago is a great spot for a family outing with its playgrounds and green spaces.
From John Walk Park we went on a stroll on the Bloomingdale Trail. The elevated path is a repurposed railroad line that’s now a pedestrian and bike trail that winds through some of Chicago’s trendiest neighborhoods. It was a great way to see a different side of the city, and the views of the skyline from the trail were breathtaking.
Our friends picked out the Cuban restaurant, 90 Miles From Home, which is both kid and dog-friendly, and we sat on the back patio for dinner. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was lively with live music and a warm Cuban ambiance. We recommend the empanadas, the classic Cuban sandwich, and the flan for dessert. It was the perfect end to a busy day in Chicago with friends and family.
Day Three in Chicago with kids was packed with adventures as we explored the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, and the Bloomingdale Trail. We also enjoyed a relaxing picnic on the Museum Campus and had a delicious dinner at the Cuban Cafe 90 Miles from Home. With so many fun-filled activities and beautiful scenery, Chicago truly is a remarkable city for families.
Don’t forget to check out what we did on day one and day two in Chicago.
As a disclosure, I want to mention that CityPASS provided our family with free passes for our trip to Chicago. However, all opinions and experiences shared in our blog posts about the trip are completely our own and have not been influenced by CityPASS or any other third party. We are grateful for the opportunity to use the passes and explore Chicago, and we hope that our readers find our posts helpful in planning their own trips.