Well, I don’t know about you but I am SO over winter. With the new spring season, I’m glad to start getting out and exploring. And as you may know, I am a huge list-lover. (Hello, I put together this list of more than 100 things to do in the northwest suburbs of Chicago!) So I thought it was totally appropriate to put together another list but this time for spring. Don’t forget to bookmark this page as I’ll keep adding more things to do.
Here are spring activities to keep you busy – at home!
*updated for 2020
- Check out the new museum with dinosaurs! The former Lake County Discovery Museum has moved to Libertyville and is now The Bess Bower Dunn Museum.
- Learn about good food at the Good Food EXPO at the UIC Forum. kinds of activities to get kids involved with good food and healthy lifestyles. Activities will include seed planting, fruit & vegetable stamping, a book corner with Purple Asparagus’ Fruit & Vegetable Book Collection, Face Painting, Bookmark Making, and a Kids’ Scavenger Hunt. (March 23)
- Choo Choo! Head on over to Lamb’s Farm to celebrate Model Train Day. Afterward, go on the train and chug around the lake. (April 27, Libertyville)
- Go on a Brick Safari at Brookfield Zoo. You’ll see more than 40 life-size sculptures made of Lego bricks! (May 11- Sept. 29)
- Explore more Elmhurst museums on Elmhurst Museum Day. Take a trolley from stop to stop including Elmhurst History Museum, Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, and Elmhurst Art Museum. Admission is free, plus they have special activities. We went a few years back and had a blast! (May 19)
- Make art accessible. The latest exhibit at Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Chagall for Children, is one NOT to miss. The traveling exhibit from a children’s museum has interactive elements that kids love and learn about art at the same time. But hurry it ends April 7th! (Read the review here.)
- Fly a kite at the Chicago Kids and Kites Festival at Montrose Harbor. Free kites kits will be available for free until supplies last and admission is free. (May 2)
- Pop-up children’s museum. Kohl Children’s Museum will once again host a pop-up location offering plenty of fun in Round Lake Beach. Curious? Read more about their past pop-up locations. (April 2- May 25, Round Lake Beach)
- Grab some fresh fruits and veggies. Those farmer’s markets are starting to open. Our favorite farmer’s market, Woodstock Farmer’s Market, opens on May 1st! Read about our experience here.
- Get a head start and check off those parks on your list. Don’t miss Diecke Park’s Discovery Zone for non-muddy fun. Bison’s Bluff in Schaumburg is always tons of fun, too. We want to check out the Meinecke Challenge Park in Schaumburg. Need a few suggestions? Here are a few parks for you.
- Love trains? Chug on over to the Illinois Railway Museum for their free days (weekday April 6 – May 22 (unless trains are running).
- Explore the forests at Peggy Notebaert Museum. Climb inside an indoor treehouse and discover who’s living in trees with special viewfinders, tracking clues, natural artifacts and sound. (Now until June 2)
- Rainy day? No worries, buzz on over to the BumbleBee Play Cafe (Elgin) or WonderPlay (Algonquin) for indoor playground fun!
- Go troll hunting! Look for large trolls made of wood by Danish artist Thomas Dambo at the Morton Arboretum. We had a blast last summer looking for them. Here’s everything you need to know to go troll hunting. They’ve even added a gnome hun in their super fun Children’s Garden.
- Hike! After a winter mostly stuck indoors, it’s time to take it outside! Here are great tips from A Little Time and a Keyboard on why you should take an early spring hike.
- Nature centers. Many of our forest preserves have nature centers with animals and activities for kids to do.
- Relax in the comfort of your own car at a drive-in movie theater. We love Golden Age Cinemas in McHenry.
- Ever wanted to see a windmill? How about a Japanese Garden? We have Fabyan Windmill and Japanese Garden has been on our list for ages. Opens May 6. (Geneva)
- Release a butterfly. Take part in a Butterfly Release Party at Peck Farm Park in Geneva. You’ll get to release a butterfly, make a butterfly craft, eat a butterfly snack, and go on a butterfly hike. Sounds like a blast!
- Plant a flowers. We plan on making a butterfly garden.
- Plant a fairy garden. It can be as simple as a few rocks in a container with grass or something cool and elaborate like My Fairy Garden Nature Cottage.
- Paint rocks. Feel free to add it to your butterfly garden.
- Say hello to your favorite animals at Randall Oaks Zoo. They open April 4th.
- Celebrate trees on Arbor Day! This year it is on April 26th. There’s no better place to celebrate trees than at the Morton Arboretum with workshops, storytime, and more. Their award-winning Children’s Garden rocks!
- Spring has sprung and I can’t think of a better place to view pretty flowers than the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- Walk around downtown. I love walking around small town downtowns. There are cute boutiques, places to eat, some even have toy stores! Need an idea? How about walking around Woodstock Square in Woodstock?
- Scope out new libraries. You know we love our libraries. (Read this list of our favorites in the Northwest suburbs.) Plus, you’ll love the new changes at the Algonquin Area Library with a bigger and better play area.
- Batter up! Spring = baseball. Head to a major league or minor league game, and cheer for the home team. Check out this list of possibilities. We had a blast cheering the Chicago Dogs at Rosemont.
- Watch trains chug through at the DuPage County Historical Museum on the third and fifth Saturday of each month.
- Try to visit as many museums or attractions as we can with the KDRMA program, Passport to Adventure. Their passport comes out in May, and is a great way to find hidden gems around Kane County.
- Spring cleaning. That means decluttering and cleaning the house. Donate your items or make a few bucks by selling them at a consignment store. I totally love Too Cute Consignment in Crystal Lake. They moved down the street into a larger location and it’s oh-so-cute! Read about it here.
- Try to visit as many museums as we can with the Museum Adventure Pass.
- Try to visit as many museums as we can with our ASTC Membership (which we LOVE!) We get free reciprocal membership to science museums around the nation. It’s great for a road-tripping family like ours.
- Elgin’s iFest celebrates all things international. Try different food with the family!
- Get out of town! Spring is the perfect time to visit destinations around the area since it won’t be too crowded. We love Indy, Milwaukee, and Lake Geneva. In fact, we just came back from Lake Geneva. Read about it here.