As much as we love our local hangouts, sometimes you need to just hit the road for something new. Not too far, of course. You still need to make it to church, work, or that birthday party the next day. That’s why I’ve gathered some short but fun road trips from Chicago you don’t want to miss.
Running along the Illinois River and just a 92-mile road trip SW of Chicago, lives a paradise of recreational fun suited best for kids 8+. Biking, horseback riding, and archery are just some of the fantastic recreational opportunities they have available. Magnificent rock structures, waterfalls, and wooded trails for hiking make it perfect for exploring or having a picnic. You can even view their exhibits in the visitor center. You may want to check out their camping and lodging options for all they offer. Your road trip could be a mini vacation, and who doesn’t need one of those?
Don’t leave your furry friend behind! Your dog can come too, as long as they have a leash no longer than 6ft. Just a 45-minute road trip from Chicago is 15,000 acres consisting of dunes, wetlands, prairies, rivers, forests, and the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes National Park is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in North America and has more plant and animal species than the entire state of Hawaii! Imagine the wildlife, flora, and scenery you will witness on their trails for hiking or biking. If you’re looking for something with a little more splash, they have swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and rafting as well. This amazing location is only $25 per family.
Toddler friendly, educational and engaging makes this museum a must, and it is only 90 miles from Chicago! This hands-on place has over 300 exhibits, from dinosaurs, mazes, and careers to space and weather. In the summer, you can check out Rockford City Market and Friday Night Flix on Friday evenings. They have other family-friendly and seasonal events you won’t want to miss. Tickets are $10 per person; you can buy them in advance.
About an hour road trip away from Chicago is a scream-worthy adventure. With over 100 rides in total for all ages, you will find 12 kids rides, 23 family rides, and ones for just the older crew to enjoy. They also have multiple live shows to watch and a waterpark. If you time your trip around their many events, you can join in on things like concerts and marathons too. Their tickets start at $35 per person, and kids 2 and under are free! They also offer annual and summer passes to make this fun a regular treat.
Start planning your road trips from Chicago and take the day or a mini vacation from your everyday ordinary that you deserve. Then, head out and enjoy your adventure.
For more Chicago area content, check out these other blog links below! Then reach out today. I would love to chat about your dream Chicago family photos!