Best Free Winter Fun in Chicago with Kids

12/15/2016 by

Whether you are a parent living in Chicago or traveling to Chicago with kids you will love this great guide with family friendly FREE winter events and activities in Chicago and the suburbs.

All are kid-friendly and are sure to beat cabin fever and cure the winter blues.  Check back, as we will update this list throughout the winter.


All of the events and activities are FREE.  

Did we mention they are all FREE?

In no particular order:

Sledding Hills in Chicago and the suburbs - as soon as there is a bit of snow falling to the ground make sure you take a look at this handy list of great sledding hills.

Garfield Park Conservatory - Long time kidwinks favorite and a true gem of the city of Chicago - A great place to spend the day when the weather outside is not cooperating.  Check out the list of weekly child friendly activities.  They always have a plant search for the kids which will help them take their time and really look at all of the plants.  There is a room just for kids with a slide and other interactive play.

WinterFest at Volo Bog State Natural Area - January 11, 2015 -  snow sculpting, storytelling, live music, crafts and more.


Shedd Aquarium FREE Admission - January 9-10, 16-17, 23-24, 27-31, 2017
February 6-7, 10-14, 21, 27-28, 2017.  Illinois residents only.

Museum of Science & Industry FREE Admission - Illinois residents - January: 10-12, 16-19, 24-26, 31  2017.  February: 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, 21-23, 28, 2017. 

Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island - January 21, 2017 & February 25, 2017 - Try snowshoeing, watch the huskies pull a sled, learn about owls and other birds of prey, listen to live music and much more at this annual event hosted by the Chicago Park District.

Lincoln Park Zoo - FREE admission every day - For those of you who live in Chicago this is just a little reminder of how lucky we are to have such an incredible FREE zoo.  To those visiting from out of town - check out the lions, tigers & bears (and much more) at our FREE zoo.  Many of the animals are most active when it is a bit chilly outside except for the human variety so you will encounter far fewer crowds.

River Trail Nature Center - stop in for What's on the Menu? program to see feeding time for the resident animals but stick around because the nature center is a great place for the kids to burn off some energy because they have the "nature discovery area", where kids can climb in an eagle nest, crawl in a fox den, create their own puppet shows, and more.

Free Ice Skating at Millennium Park until March 5, 2017

Free Ice Skating at MB Financial Park in Rosemont until February 28, 2017

Free Ice Skating at Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon until first week of March 2017