Chicago Attractions for Teens

Chicago Attractions for Teens

Teens visiting Chicago will find no shortage of activities to keep them busy so there is no excuse for them to be bored. From iconic landmarks to world-renowned museums, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City.

Chicago Map

Here are just a few of the many attractions that teens will enjoy during their visit to Chicago. 

Chicago Teen Museum

Chicago features the only museum in the world devoted to teen art and culture. The museum has no permanent home, but its exhibits are displayed in conjunction with various community and arts groups within the city. 

According to its mission statement, the Chicago Teen Museum is “dedicated entirely to the preservation of teen cultures by connecting youth expression to the museum profession.” It collects and preserves teen culture through exhibits, programming and demonstrations, while encouraging teens to grow artistically and develop professionally.

Chicago Botanic Garden

For teens interested in green living and the natural world, the Chicago Botanic Garden offers programs and exhibits to develop skills and consider career options. The 385-acre garden features world-class plant collections, along with 24 gardens for display and several natural areas. 

Among the activities are regular campouts for youth groups of up to 40 participants, held in its outdoor classroom with access to electricity and lavatories. Their Leaders in Training Program for teens aged 13 to 15 in two-week summer sessions allows teenagers to help younger campers and learn life and job skills.

 Chicago Gardens

Museum of Science and Industry

Today’s tech-savvy teens may want to visit the museum documenting technology’s roots and exploring its future. Open every day except Christmas, the Museum of Science and Industry offers interactive exhibits, demonstrations and tours. Events change during the year, but live science experiments, including treats activated with liquid nitrogen, are shown daily. For an additional fee, catch the show at the Omnimax theater, featuring science-related IMAX films. 

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is a popular tourist destination that offers a wide range of activities for teens. Visitors can ride the Ferris wheel, play in the arcade, or take a cruise on Lake Michigan. Navy Pier is also home to several restaurants and cafes, so teens can grab a bite to eat while enjoying the views. 

Chicago Pier


It has many concert halls and theatres if you enjoy music and the performing arts. If you enjoy sports, Chicago is home to the Cubs, White Sox, Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks. Chicago also hosts the annual Chicago Marathon and Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, a sailboat race.  

Chicago Air and Water Show

The annual Chicago Air & Water Show on Lake Michigan, is Chicago’s second most popular festival. The large jets can be heard flying throughout the downtown area and fly extremely low over the beach, crowds and lake. You will be thrilled having large jets fly low and fast right over your head! Chicago also has numerous parks for jogging, biking, rollerblading and ice-skating.

The Field Museum

The Field Museum is one of the largest natural history museums in the world, and it’s a great place for teens to learn about our planet’s rich history. The museum houses millions of specimens, including Sue the T. Rex, and offers interactive exhibits that will keep teens engaged. There’s also a special teen program called “Field teens” that offers exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences.

 Chicago Museum

Sears Tower

If your teen is interested in architecture and photography, you should visit the Sears Tower. The Sears Tower, originally built in 1973, was renamed The Willis Tower in 2009. It is 108 storeys high. It is the seventh tallest building in the world. The tower was originally built by Sears, Roebuck & Co. to house its thousands of employees in one building. An observation deck called the Skydeck opened in 1974. To view the city from the Skydeck, you will travel to the 103rd floor. 

You can feel the building swaying on windy days. From the Skydeck, you will be able to view the Chicago skyline as well as the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin on a clear day. You can take unique, amazing photos from the Skydeck. In 2009, balconies with glass floors were added to the tower. If you are a thrill seeker and not afraid of heights, you will love walking onto these glass balconies and looking directly below you through the glass to the street 1,353 feet below.

ChicagoThe Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most renowned art museums in the world, and it’s a must-see for any teen visiting Chicago. The museum houses an impressive collection of art from around the globe, spanning centuries and cultures. There are also often special exhibitions on display that will appeal to teens, such as the recent “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” exhibit. 

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate, also known as “The Bean,” is a sculpture by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor. The sculpture is made up of 168 stainless steel plates that have been welded together. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago, and it’s a great place to take photos. Teens will also enjoy walking around and exploring Millennium Park, where Cloud Gate is located.

 Cloudgate Chicago

Lincoln Park Zoo

Last but not least, one of our favorite places: Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to visit if your teen loves animals. The zoo is home to lions, tigers, gorillas, and many other creatures. There are also often special events and exhibits taking place that will be of interest to teens. Admission to the zoo is free, making it a great budget-friendly activity.


There are countless attractions in Chicago that will appeal to teens. From world-renowned museums to iconic landmarks, there’s something for everyone in the Windy City. With so many options available, teens are sure to have a great time exploring all that Chicago has to offer.

Chicago has a wide variety of attractions for your individual interests. You should visit Chicago soon!

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