Well, I don’t know about you but I am SO over winter. With the new spring season, I’m glad to start getting out and exploring. And as you may know, I am a huge list-lover. (Hello, I put together this list of more than 100 things to do in the northwest suburbs of Chicago!) So I thought it was totally appropriate to put together another list but this time for spring. Don’t forget to bookmark this page as I’ll keep adding more things to do.

Happy Spring!

Spring Bucket List - More than 30 things to do with kids in Chicago - O the Places We Go


  1. Check out the new museum that has dinosaurs! The former Lake County Discovery Museum has moved to Libertyville and is now The Bess Bower Dunn Museum. Grand Opening March 24th.
  2. There’s a new dog haus in town. Head to Lincoln Park’s Dog Haus on 3/24 for a free gourmet hot dog from Dog Haus.
  3. For Snoopy fun, visit the Elmhurst History Museum. Their Snoopy exhibit, “Snoopy and the Red Baron” tells the story of the beloved Peanuts character.  Don’t miss Snoopypalooza at the end of the March with fun activities and programs.
  4. Explore more Elmhurst museums on Elmhurst Museum Day. Take a trolley from stop to stop including Elmhurst History Museum, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, and Elmhurst Art Museum. Admission is free, plus they have special activities. We went a few years back and had a blast!
  5. Gail Borden Public Library is one of our favorite libraries in the area with museum-like exhibits. Their latest one, Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss, explores deep-sea exploration.
  6. Share the love. XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness, the latest exhibit at Arlington Heights Memorial Library is one NOT to miss. The traveling exhibit from a children’s museum has interactive elements that kids love. But hurry it ends March 31st! (Read review here.)
  7. Psst. The Kohl Children’s Museum will have a new exhibit, Animal Secrets, where families will explore the hidden habitats and secret lives of forest animals.
  8. Grab some fresh fruits and veggies. Those farmer’s markets are starting to open.
  9. Batter up! Spring = baseball. Head to a major league or minor league game, and cheer for the home team. Check out this list of possibilities.
  10. Get a head start and check off those parks on your list. Don’t miss Diecke Park’s Discovery Zone for non-muddy fun. Bison’s Bluff in Schaumburg is always tons of fun, too. We want to check out the Meinecke Challenge Park in Schaumburg. Need a few suggestions? Here are few parks for you.
  11. Love trains? Chug on over to the Illinois Railway Museum for their free days – yes FREE.
  12. Rainy day? No worries, buzz on over to the new BumbleBee Play Cafe (Elgin) or Tyke Play (Carpentersville) for indoor playground fun!
  13. Go troll hunting! Starting May 1st, large trolls will be carved from wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo at the Morton Arboretum.
  14. Hike! After a winter mostly stuck indoors, it’s time to take it outside! Here are great tips from A Little Time and a Keyboard on why you should take an early spring hike.
  15. Nature centers. Many of our forest preserves have nature centers with animals and activities for kids to do.
  16. Relax in the comfort of our own car at a drive-in movie theater. We love Golden Age Cinemas in McHenry.
  17. Ever wanted to see a windmill? How about a Japanese Garden? We have Fabyan Windmill and Japanese Garden has been on our list for ages. Opens May 6. (Geneva)
  18. Ready to garden? Visit a nursery and garden to look at all the pretty plants and flowers. Tom’s Market, Goebbert’s Farm in Barrington and Hampshire has some classes to get you ready.
  19. Rent baby chicks? Check out this unique experience from Enjoy Pioneer Farm. They supply two chicks, feed, and bedding. What a cool experience!
  20. Apple orchard preview! Goebbert’s Farm in Hampshire will be offering a sneak peek of their apple orchard! We’re so there!
  21. Visit wolves at Big Run Wolf Ranch’s open house on April 21st.
  22. Celebrate trees on Arbor Day! This year it is on April 28th. There’s no better place to celebrate trees than at the Morton Arboretum with workshops, storytime, and more. Their award-winning Children’s Garden rocks!
  23. Love Hello Kitty? The Hello Kitty Cafe will be making an appearance at Oakbrook Center on May 5th. So cute!
  24. Calling all fairies! Head down to Joliet for a fun fairy fest.
  25. Spring has sprung and I can’t think of a better place to view pretty flowers than the Chicago Botanic Garden.
  26. Walk around downtown. I love walking around small-town downtowns. There are cute boutiques, places to eat, some even have toy stores! Need an idea? How about walking around Woodstock Square in Woodstock?
  27. Scope out new libraries. You know we love our libraries. (Read this list of our favorites in the Northwest suburbs.) Plus, we are SO excited to see the new changes at the Algonquin Area Library with a bigger and better play area.
  28. Watch trains chug through at the DuPage County Historical Museum on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.
  29. Try to visit as many museums or attractions as we can with the KDRMA program, Passport to Adventure. Their passport comes out in May. Our goal is to visit as many places in their booklet. It’s a great way to find hidden gems around Kane County.
  30. Spring cleaning. That means decluttering and cleaning the house. Donate your items or make a few bucks by selling them at a consignment store. I totally love Too Cute Consignment in Crystal Lake. They moved to the store and it’s oh-so-cute! Read about it here.
  31. Try to visit as many museums as we can with the Museum Adventure Pass.
  32. Try to visit as many museums as we can with our ASTC Membership (which we LOVE!) We get free reciprocal membership to science museums around the nation. It’s great for a road-tripping family like ours.
  33. Get out of town! Spring is the perfect time to visit destinations around the area since it won’t be too crowded. We love Indy, Milwaukee, and Lake Geneva. In fact we just came back from Lake Geneva. Read about it here.
  34. Love Curious George? Check out Rockford’s Discovery Center for their latest exhibit, “Curious George: Let’s Get Curious!” Read about it here on Chicago Parent.
  35. Let’s have a playdate. The fabulous people at Chicago Parent Magazine want to have a spring playdate with you. Their next one is on April 29.
  36. Elgin’s iFest celebrates all things international. Try different food with the family!
What’s on your Spring Bucket List? What would you add?