Explore Chicago

July 5, 2011 9:50:10 AM PDT
With summer here, going on a family vacation is definitely on many people's agenda. Look no further. You can vacation right in your own city...Chicago!

Eva Silverman, Director of Arts & Community Engagement at Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is here with us to give us some hidden treasures to visit in the beautiful city of Chicago. Family Adventures are co-presented by the Chicago Park District and are part of Urban Excursions: Explore Chicago, the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture's 2011 Summer initiative showcasing hundreds of treks, tours, and other urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods.


Explore Chicago with the Whole Family This Summer
July 1 - August 27

Explore Chicago this summer with Family Adventures, fully-guided neighborhood excursions created just for families. From fishing to museum tours, these affordable one-day trips visit Chicago neighborhoods and parks and feature plenty of hands-on nature and art activities to keep the kids entertained. Three to five families and a tour leader travel via public transportation to explore one of eight Chicago neighborhoods-Bridgeport, Chinatown, Garfield Park, Hyde Park, Jackson Park, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, and Pilsen. Register by calling 312.742.8497 or visit www.ExploreChicago.org/summer.

"These action-packed day trips to neighborhoods all over the city are a great option for families planning their summer vacations," said Dorothy Coyle, Executive Director, Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. "Whether participating in a fun, hands-on activity at the National Museum of Mexican art in Pilsen, taking the CTA to see the sights in Garfield Park, or riding in a water taxi after spending time in Chinatown's Ping Tom Park, Family Adventures give the whole family the opportunity to explore the city together."

Family Adventures take place every Friday starting July 1 through August 26, and on Saturdays, July 9 and 23, August 6, 20, and 27. They are recommended for children ages 6 and up with an adult and are $12 per person. All ticket sales are final and exchanges will be offered subject to availability. Family Adventures depart from the Visitor Information Center at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. at 9:30 a.m. and return at 2:30 p.m. Lunch and transportation are included.

Family Adventures are co-presented by the Chicago Park District and are part of Urban Excursions: Explore Chicago, the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture's 2011 Summer initiative showcasing hundreds of treks, tours, and other urban adventures downtown and throughout the neighborhoods. For more information, visit www.ExploreChicago.org/summer . Following is a schedule of Family Adventures and highlights of activities in each neighborhood:

Bridgeport/IIT: Friday, July 1 and Friday, July 15
Tour U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, for a behind-the-scenes look. Stroll over to the campus of Illinois Institute of Technology for a picnic lunch and a fantastic new exhibition at the one-of-a-kind S.R. Crown Hall, "It All Comes Back," by Chicago Robotic Theater.

Lincoln Park: Friday, July 8 and Saturday, August 6
Enjoy a stop at one of Lincoln Park's hidden gems, the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, before a tour of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and a fun, hands-on activity. A picturesque lunch on the lakefront is followed by fishing in the Lincoln Park Lagoon.

Garfield Park: Saturday, July 9 and Friday, August 19
Take the Green Line to see the sights in Garfield Park, one of Chicago's greenest neighborhoods. Tour the Garfield Park Conservatory to learn about the thousands of different flowers and plants on display. Enjoy lunch on the terrace and fishing in the Garfield Park Lagoon.

Pilsen: Friday, July 22 and Friday, August 26
Visit Chicago's largest Mexican-American community in Pilsen. Tour the exhibits at the National Museum of Mexican Art, and then make your own masterpiece in a hands-on workshop. Grab a quick authentic Mexican lunch on bustling 18th Street before checking out the spectacular murals in the neighborhood.

Hyde Park: Saturday, July 23 and Friday, August 5
Discover the neighborhood made famous by the University of Chicago and President Barack Obama. Find your creative side in a tour and art-making activity at the Hyde Park Art Center (July 23) or visit Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House (August 5) and participate in an art glass workshop. Lunch in a nearby park and a jam session with Marsha's Music round out the day.

Jackson Park: Friday, July 29 and Saturday, August 27
Explore nature and the site of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition on this excursion to Jackson Park. Stroll through Wooded Island and the Osaka Garden on a guided tour and learn how to fish in the nearby lagoon.

Lincoln Square: Friday, August 12
Visit the North Side neighborhood named after President Abraham Lincoln, also the heart of the city's German culture, and host to an array of hip restaurants and boutiques. Begin with a fun performance and sing-a-long at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Then, enjoy lunch and an opportunity to put your culinary skills to the test with a hands-on activity at the Chopping Block.

Chinatown: Saturday, August 20
Take the Red Line to Chinatown, the fourth largest Chinatown in the United States. Try out some Chinese toys and games at the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago and enjoy a delicious lunch in Chinatown Square. Spend some time in Ping Tom Memorial Park before heading back downtown on the Chicago Water Taxi.

Chicago is a great family destination and an excellent value this summer. In addition to Family Adventures, check out the Family Fun Festival in Millennium Park. Running June 13-August 21, the Family Fun Festival makes the Park the place to be for kids of all ages. Every day between 10 am and 3 pm, family performances and hands-on activities will take place in the Family Fun Tent, located on the Park's Chase Promenade North.

Visitors and Chicagoans planning to entertain out-of-town guests can receive trip-planning assistance and information by visiting www.ExploreChicago.org. Brochures and information on Chicago's exciting events and activities are also available at the Visitor Information Centers. Friendly Visitor Representatives can answer questions and assist in planning an unforgettable itinerary. The visitor centers are located in two of the city's most popular areas: across from Millennium Park in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph Street; and at the historic Water Works pumping station, 163 E. Pearson Street at Michigan Avenue.

For daily alerts about fun and free things to do in Chicago, follow ExploreChicago on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ExploreChicago and "like" us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ExploreChicago, where you can also weigh in on your Chicago favorites. Receive answers to your Chicago questions on the go, and tips on the latest citywide events and activities and restaurant recommendations, via the FREE Twitter Concierge Service (@explorechicago) available daily.

The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is dedicated to promoting Chicago as a premier cultural destination to domestic and international leisure travelers, providing innovative visitor programs and services, and presenting free world-class public programs. For more information please visit www.ExploreChicago.org.

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, presents thousands of high-quality free festivals, exhibitions, performances and holiday celebrations in venues throughout the city each year. DCASE is dedicated to promoting an ongoing celebration of the arts in Chicago, supporting the people who create and sustain them, and marketing the city's abundant cultural resources to a worldwide audience.

Load Comments