Best Things to Do in Chicago for Spring Break

Searching for what there is to do in Chicago on spring break? Below are the best things to do in Chicago for spring break from a local.

For out of town visitors, please note that the weather in Chicago in the spring is very very unpredictable and changes from day to day and even hour to hour. Temperatures have started warming up after the cold winter, the river and lake are no longer frozen, but you might still encounter cold temperatures (and even snow). Pack a travel umbrella, dress in layers and make sure to check weather forecasts right before your vacation to know what to expect.

I suggest bookmarking this blog post as I will be updating it regularly with new events and activities.

Things to Do in Chicago for Spring Break

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you make a booking using my links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Take an Architecture River Cruise

Taking an architecture river cruise is a must when visiting Chicago. Cruises start up again in March (after being on pause in the winter since the water freezes).

Disney100: The Exhibition

The Disney100: The Exhibition is in Chicago only for a limited time. This exhibition celebrates the magic of Disney with the Walt Disney Archives opening its vault of historical and special treasures, works of art, artifacts, costumes, and memorabilia. Wonder at more than 250 artifacts and props, see costumes from some of your favorite Disney classics, and explore enchanting galleries that bring the magic of Disney to life. Featuring the latest members of the Disney family (Pixar, Star Wars, and MARVEL) along with renowned classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) and recent releases such as Encanto.

Where: Exhibition Hub Art Center Chicago, 2367 W Logan Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647

Cost: Price varies. Click here for full prices and to purchase tickets in advance.

Have Fun at Navy Pier

rides at Navy Pier Chicago
Navy Pier is a must if you are visiting Chicago with toddlers or kids. Fun attractions include a large Ferris wheel (click here to purchase a fast pass ticket and skip the long line), rides and games, restaurants, shops and the Chicago Children’s Museum.

From March 25-30, Navy Pier is hosting Spring Break at the Pier with one week of free interactive events, demonstrations, performances, family-friendly activities and artisan markets.

Don’t miss the new Flyover Chicago ride, an immersive flyover experience which recently opened.

Attend a Candlelight Concert

Chicago’s Candlelight Concerts is a series of special classical music concerts that take place in beautiful venues bathed in candlelight. Some of the concerts taking place during spring break include:

Candlelight: A Tribute to Bad Bunny
Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele
Candlelight: The Best of Joe Hisaishi at Music Box Theatre
Candlelight: A Tribute to U2
Candlelight: Neo-Soul & Hip-Hop Favorites
Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer
Candlelight: The Best of Bollywood and Tollywood on Strings

You can find the full list of candlelight concerts in Chicago here.

Look for Street Art

Moose Bubblegum Bubble by Jacob Watts

Chicago is full of street art and there are always new murals popping up. One of the most famous Chicago murals is “Moose Bubblegum Bubble” (pictured above) by Jacob Watts located at 33 E. Ida B. Wells Drive. It is part of the Wabash Arts Corridor which is walking distance to Millennium Park, The Art Institute of Chicago and other tourist attractions.

Another famous mural is the Greetings From Chicago Mural at 2226 N Milwaukee Ave. You can see this mural and other street art on this street art tour.

Visit the Museum of Ice Cream

Museum of Ice Cream is one of Chicago’s newest attractions. Step into an ice cream wonderland that is bound to ignite your senses through a theatrical experience with unlimited ice cream treats as you journey through 14 installations. Ride on the pink Sprink-L line, put your golf skills to the test on the Putt-Putt course, or take a dip in a pool filled with millions of sprinkles.

Where: Tribune Tower, 435 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Cost: You can see full prices and purchase tickets in advance here.

Admire Famous Works at The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the best things to do in Chicago Illinois for spring break
Chicago has many great museums which are worth visiting but my top pick is the Art Institute of Chicago conveniently located next to Millennium Park. It is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States and is frequently found on lists of the top museums in the world. (Click here to buy a skip the line ticket if you want to avoid long lines).

Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Hours: Monday and Thursday–Sunday from 11 a.m.– 6 p.m. (10–11 a.m. for members). Closed on Tuesday–Wednesday. Must purchase tickets online in advance.

Cost: Prices vary, children under 14 are always free. (Free admission on April 6 and 7 for Bank of America credit or debit cardholders under the Bank of America Museums on Us program.)

Visit the Field Museum

The Field Museum is a natural history museum in Chicago, Illinois, and is one of the largest such museums in the world. Inside the museum you will see Maximo, the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur that ever lived. (Click here to purchase an Early Access VIP Tour if you want to avoid crowds).

Where: Chicago’s Museum Campus, 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Hours: Open daily 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm)

Cost: Prices vary.

Enjoy the Views from 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

360 CHICAGO, the observatory on the 94th floor of the former John Hancock Building, has the best views of the Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan. (Click here to buy a skip the line ticket).

Where: 875 North Michigan Avenue, 94th floor, Chicago, IL 60611

Enjoy the Views from Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago in Willis Tower offers spectacular views spanning up to four states. Make sure to visit The Ledge, a glass balcony extending four feet outside the 103rd floor of Willis Tower. The Skydeck has implemented timed ticketing and they recommend reserving your tickets in advance to guarantee access. (Click here to buy a skip the line ticket if you want to avoid long lines).

Where: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606

Hours: Open daily from 9AM–10PM

Visit the Color Factory

Color Factory is a new interactive art museum located on the lower level of Willis Tower. The Color Factory is a sensory celebration of color, with interactive installations, immersive rooms and carefully curated moments inspired by the city of Chicago including its signature ball pit and confetti room.

Hours: Hours vary, advance tickets are required.

Where: Willis Tower, 320 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60606

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

Visit the Shedd Aquarium for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons.

Where: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

When: Open 9 am – 5 pm. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required.

Visit Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics is the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere. Make sure to step outside for one of the best skyline views of Chicago.

Where: 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605

Hours: 9:00 am–4:00 pm daily. 4:00 pm–10:00 pm on Wednesdays.

Tip:  If you are visiting a few museums and indoor attractions, consider purchasing a Chicago CityPASS or Go Chicago Card to save money on entrance fees.

Watch a Baseball Game

what to see in Chicago

Depending on when your spring break is, you might be able to enjoy a baseball game. The Chicago White Sox home opener is March 28 and the Chicago Cubs home opener is April 1.

See Wildlife at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a 35-acre zoo in Lincoln Park. The zoo is the fourth oldest zoo in North America and one of a few free admission zoos in the United States.

When: Open daily from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where: 2400 N. Cannon Drive (detailed directions and parking information is available here)

Cost: Free

See the Spring Flower Show at the Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the US. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors even if it is cold or rainy outside.

During spring break, visitors can also see this year’s Spring Flower Show, What’s in a Name?, which explains the history and science of botanical nomenclature alongside a beautiful flower show full of blooms.

Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624

Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm; Thursday – Sunday 10am-5pm; Closed Monday and Tuesday. Advance reservations are required.

Cost: Admission is FREE but donations suggested

Enjoy Lincoln Park Conservatory’s Spring Flower Show

Although not as large as the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Conservatory is worth a visit and is more conveniently located for visitors. Free registration is required for entry. 

During spring break, visitors can see this year’s “Sweet Gnome Chicago” Spring Flower Show.

Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays from 10am-5pm.

Where: 2391 N Stockton Dr., Chicago, IL 60614

Cost: FREE

Hold and Feed a Bunny

Looking for a unique thing to do in Chicago? Visit the Cuddle Bunny in Chicago, where visitors can pet and feed bunnies.  Cuddle Bunny also hosts special events.

Where: Cuddle Bunny, 2901 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657

When: Open daily from 10:00 am – 08:00 pm. Reservations are strongly encouraged. Activities and bunny interaction after 6pm are by reservation ONLY.

Cost:  Price varies.

READ: Best Indoor Things to Do in Chicago on a Cold or Rainy Day for more indoor Chicago attractions.

Chicago Spring Break Events

In addition to the activities mentioned above, other events scheduled to take place in Chicago during spring break include: Chicago St. Patrick’s Day River Dyeing & Parade (March 15, 2025), Shamrock’n the Block (March 15, 2025), Northwest Side Irish Parade (March 16, 2025), Southside Irish Parade (March 16, 2025), Shamrock Shuffle (March 23, 2025), Chicago Artisan Market (April 6-7) and The International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art (Expo Chicago).

As you can see there are many things to do in Chicago during spring break.

Planning a trip to Chicago? Check out my Chicago guides and itineraries:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.