Chicago staycation with a 1.5 year old: What to do outdoors?
July 14, 2020 10:16 AM   Subscribe

We have a week off in early August and are in Chicago. What are some good, toddler-friendly, social distancing-friendly things to do?

My wife and I have a week off from work in early August. We decided to stay where we live in Chicago due to the whole COVID situation, but we still need to get out of the house. Beyond the obvious choices (Indiana Dunes, Lincoln Park Zoo, etc.) what are some good choices for day trips that are toddler-friendly and let us keep our distance from people not wearing masks?
posted by huskerdont to Travel & Transportation around Chicago, IL (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My husband and I were just at the Chicago Botanical Gardens earlier today and there were lots of little ones toddling around and having a nice time. They currently have timed ticketed entries that you have to purchase in advance--it's $20 for Cook county residents. The gardens are absolutely lovely, huge, and not overcrowded on a weekday morning. Some of the exhibits and gardens are closed to maintain social distancing, but most are still open.
posted by merriment at 11:43 AM on July 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Seconding what merriment wrote. I used to live a mile from the Chicago Botanical Gardens when my children were 1,2,and 3. We spent a lot of time there. Kids and adults loved it.
posted by AugustWest at 2:12 PM on July 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you want to drive a little farther, the Troll Hunt is still on at the Morton Arboretum. Unfortunately the Morton's excellent Children's Garden remains closed.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:44 PM on July 14, 2020

Do you have a car? Maybe drive an hour or two outside the city and go camping?
posted by COD at 3:42 PM on July 14, 2020

When my kids were little we liked North Park Village Nature Center. there's some very family friendly short nature trails.

The other favorite is the Garfield Park Conservatory
The outdoor gardens are open, not sure the timing of the indoor which is magnificent. Perfect in cold weather.
posted by readery at 5:09 PM on July 14, 2020

If your off after August 10th, Wagner Farm, in Glenview is pretty fun for small kids. Cows, draft horses, chickens. Inside has some fun little things for kids to do. The inside portion won't be open until after August 10th.

The other thing my kids loved was the Skokie Exploritorium. Closed for now but is super engaging for kids. Let us hope that we'll get to a time and place that it'll re-open.

Good luck!
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:48 PM on July 15, 2020

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