10 Coolest Things to do in Chicago for First-Timers 

Welcome to the Windy City, a place bursting with excitement, culture, and breathtaking sights! Chicago is a vibrant metropolis that offers a plethora of fun activities for first-time visitors. Whether you’re a local resident or visiting from afar, this guide is specially designed for kids aged 12-13, showcasing the coolest things to do in Chicago.

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Get ready to explore iconic landmarks, indulge in delicious treats, and make unforgettable memories in this fantastic city!

Millennium Park Marvels:

According to the CTN News, Begin your Chicago adventure at Millennium Park, a famous destination that’s home to some of the city’s most iconic attractions. Marvel at “The Bean,” also known as Cloud Gate, a massive reflective sculpture that offers fun reflections and photo opportunities. Don’t miss the Crown Fountain, where you can splash around and see digital faces spouting water!

Navy Pier Adventures:

Head to Navy Pier, a lively and historic spot by the shore of Lake Michigan. Stroll along the pier, enjoy the scenic views of the city skyline, and have a blast on the many carnival rides at the amusement park. End your visit with a ride on the Ferris wheel for a breathtaking view of the lake and the city.

Shedd Aquarium Exploration:

Dive into an underwater wonderland at the Shedd Aquarium, where you can encounter incredible marine life from around the world. Meet playful dolphins, mesmerizing jellyfish, and majestic sharks as you explore the various exhibits and learn about the importance of ocean conservation.

Field Museum Adventures:

Travel back in time at the Field Museum, a place where history and science come alive. Get up close with colossal dinosaur skeletons, explore ancient cultures, and even come face-to-face with a fearsome T. rex. The Field Museum will ignite your imagination and curiosity about the world’s past.

Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum:

Embark on a cosmic journey at the Adler Planetarium, where you can explore the wonders of space and the universe. Learn about planets, stars, and galaxies, and attend fascinating shows at the planetarium’s domed theater. The Adler Planetarium is an out-of-this-world experience for young astronomers!

Lincoln Park Zoo Adventure:

Prepare for a wild time at the Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest zoos in the country and home to a diverse collection of animals. Meet lions, giraffes, penguins, and more as you explore the zoo’s exhibits and learn about wildlife conservation efforts.

The Art Institute of Chicago:

Unleash your creativity at The Art Institute of Chicago, a world-class museum featuring an extensive collection of art from various eras and cultures. Marvel at famous masterpieces, like Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” and get inspired by the diverse range of art forms on display.

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Magnificent Mile Magic:

Indulge in some shopping and sightseeing along the Magnificent Mile, a stretch of North Michigan Avenue known for its upscale stores and grand architecture. Look up to see towering skyscrapers, visit fun candy stores, and grab some Chicago-style popcorn for a tasty treat.

Willis Tower Skydeck:

Reach new heights at the Willis Tower Skydeck, where you can step onto “The Ledge”—glass boxes that extend out from the skyscraper’s 103rd floor. Feel the thrill as you stand high above the city, taking in jaw-dropping views of Chicago’s skyline and Lake Michigan.

Riverwalk Delights:

End your Chicago adventure with a relaxing stroll along the Chicago Riverwalk. Enjoy the serene atmosphere, watch tour boats pass by, and savor the delicious food from the various waterfront cafes and restaurants. The Riverwalk is the perfect place to unwind and reflect on your amazing journey through the city.

Chicago is a city full of incredible adventures for first-time visitors aged 12-13. From exploring iconic landmarks like Millennium Park and Navy Pier to diving into the fascinating worlds of the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the Windy City.

So, grab your family and friends, put on your explorer’s hat, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the magnificent city of Chicago!