Must-see summer family attractions

School is out for the summer! If you’re anything like us, you might be planning ahead to ensure your summer is filled with museum visits, outdoor events, and lots of fun. Fortunately, many local institutions are giving us brand new attractions to discover this summer.

From the redesigned rides at Six Flags Great America to the city’s brand new art museum, the summer of 2022 will be one to remember. Looking for more fun things to do with the kids? Check out our family guide to summer!

DC Universe at Six Flags Great America


Guests can immerse themselves in a DC comic-inspired world with three reimagined attractions, including The Flash: Vertical Velocity, a high-speed launch roller coaster; Aquaman Splashdown, a twisty ride with a water splash; and DC Super-Villains Swing, a spinning attraction that spins guests in a 360-degree orbit.

Meet the Green Anaconda at the Shedd Aquarium


A green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the latest to arrive at Shedd’s Amazon on the rise exposure and is an impressive sight at 10 feet and 7 inches in length. Guests can come face to face with the green anaconda, which is considered one of the largest snakes in the world.

color factory at Willis Tower


This permanent art museum has found a new home in Chicago. Explore 25,000 square feet of colorful, artist-designed rooms with photo opportunities, treats, experiences and more. Kids will love the green ball pit at the end!


  • Address:3300 Golf Road, Brookfield
  • Cost: $4 for adults, $3 for children 3-11 years old

Brookfield Zoo Butterflies! reopens for the first time since 2019. Zoo visitors can once again explore the outdoor garden and surround themselves with a variety of butterfly species, including painted ladies, monarchs, zebra longwings and swallowtail swallowtails.

Indigenous Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories at the Field Museum


Connect with diverse Indigenous stories and the people who share them through words, music, dance and art. Dive deep into current issues, like threats to Indigenous lands and the rights of tribal nations to govern themselves. Celebrate the modern and thriving cultures of Indigenous communities today while understanding the historical significance of objects in the Field collection.

Now open Tuesday to Sunday until September 4

Stroll through an outdoor butterfly tent and observe the behavior of native Illinois butterflies. Displays of butterfly eggs, caterpillars and chrysalises are also available. The tent will close in the event of rain or a heat index above 90 degrees.

Alebrijes: creatures from a dream world at Cantigny park

Until October 30, 2022

This outdoor exhibition allows you to learn more about the alebrijes, these mythical animals inspired by Mexican folklore. Families can wander around to find nearly 50 alebrijes installations created by artists from Mexico City.

Ghost Army: WWII Combat Rogues at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

Until January 2, 2023

Ghost Army: WWII Combat Rogues tells the heroic story of the top secret special troops of the US Army’s 23rd Headquarters, known as the “Shadow Army”, and their covert operations across Europe that helped win the war. Artifacts on display include artwork, uniforms, tanks and inflatable planes that educate visitors about these unlikely heroes.

Opening June 27

The exhibit tells the story of some classic Chicago dishes. Discover the origins of deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef, and other iconic Chicagoland dishes with integrative components for kids!

new garden at the Garfield Park Conservatory

Opening July 6

This seasonal exhibition is a tribute to the Art Nouveau movement. Art Nouveau was influenced by the emerging science of botany and the form and movement of nature. The Jardin Nouveau will feature many flowers by Elisabeth Sonrel, an artist known for beautiful posters and watercolors, painted as lilies, roses, hydrangeas and oleanders.

Ice Museum

Opening July 16

July 16 is National Ice Cream Day, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with the opening of the Ice Cream Museum! Strike a pose – this museum is full of Instagrammable moments!

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