Emerald City Theatre Company: It’s all about kids at this neighborhood, nonprofit theater company, which seeks to show babies to teens just how exciting theater can be. Recent shows, which play at different theaters, include the likes of Mother Goose and Knuffle Bunny. Frequently at the Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave., tel. 773/529-2690, www.emeraldcitytheatre.com. Tickets $15 for adults, $12 for kids. El: Red or Brown Line to Fullerton.

Facets Multi-Media hosts the Children's International Film Festival every fall.

Downtown Playgrounds

As anyone who's traveled with little kids well knows, children can take only so much museum-going. Sometimes they have to let loose and run around -- luckily, there are playgrounds tucked away in unassuming spots, as long as you know where to look. The Seneca Playlot, 228 E. Chicago Ave., is directly east of the Chicago Water Works Visitor Center and across the street from Water Tower Place mall. The play structures are mostly low-to-the-ground, making it a good choice for toddlers. Walk a few blocks east and you'll come to Lake Shore Park, 808 N. Lake Shore Dr., which has a good assortment of slides and climbing equipment. As an added bonus, you'll enjoy views of the lake. An adjoining athletic field has a running track and plenty of space for impromptu soccer or football games. Occupying a large corner lot on the ritzy Gold Coast, Goudy Square Park, at the corner of Astor and Goethe streets, is a tranquil oasis surrounded by high-rises. There are three separate play areas, along with plenty of benches for parents to lounge.

Maggie Daley Park offers 20 acres of playgrounds, a climbing wall, a skate ribbon, and mini golf accessible via the bridge from Millennium Park. See also our highlights tour of Navy Pier for kids.


Check out individual listings for the Chicago Children's Museum, Chicago History Museum, the Peggy Notabaert Nature Museum, the Field Museum, the Museum of Science & Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Brookfield Zoo.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.