Heading into town with your favorite teen or tween? Here are seven must-dos for your Windy City bucket list:
1. Step onto the Ledge at the Willis Tower Skydeck. Over 100 stories up the Willis Tower lies Skydeck Chicago – an absolute don’t miss Chicago experience. Open daily, it offers spectacular views – you can see up to four states on a clear day – interactive exhibits and…drumroll, please….The Ledge, a glass box that let’s you step four feet outside the walls of the building.
2. Dance with a Belgua. The Shedd Aquarium offers an amazing array of unforgettable, premium marine animal encounters. Perhaps the most up-close-and-personal is the Beluga Encounter: Guided by a Shedd trainer, your tween or teen will learn all about beluga whales as they wade into the waters of the Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat.
3. Witness the magic. Death and Harry Houdini – now playing at the House Theater, takes you back in time and into the life of the death-defying magician Harry Houdini. Your kid will be on the edge of his seat as Harry, played by real-life magician Dennis Watkins, performs such live feats as walking on glass and escaping a water torture cell. You can also catch Dennis Watkin’s Magic Parlour show year round at the historic Palmer House Hilton Hotel on State Street.
4. Spend a day at the beach. Grab a towel and your swimsuit and catch some rays on Lake Michigan. North Avenue Beach boasts amazing skyline views and a nice expanse of sand for sunning. Castaways, the beach house shaped like a boat, is your go-to place for ice-cream and snacks.
5. Set your teen loose on North Michigan Avenue for shopping galore. Chicago’s Magnificent Mile – North Michigan Avenue – is a teen shopper’s paradise: they’ll find everything from the Apple Store to Forever 21. Make a pit stop at Garrett Popcorn Shop (625 North Michigan Avenue) for a bag of caramel, butter, cheesy popcorn mix.
6. Set sail on a Lake Michigan adventure with the Seadog Speedboat Cruise. The Seadog is the fastest tour boat on Lake Michigan. 2,000 HP of ferocious Seadog energy will both thrill and educate as you learn a thing or two (or three) about Chicago architecture.
7. Cap off your trip with a Segway Fireworks Tour. Every Wednesday and Saturday at 8:30pm, Bike and Roll Chicago will not only teach you how to navigate the city by Segway but also lead the way to a top-secret spot for viewing Navy Pier’s fireworks.