Chicago Spring Break 2022 | Travel ideas and itineraries

In the spring, Chicago lives up to its official motto Urbs to Horto — “City in a garden.” Our countless parks, green spaces and sparkling waterfront (not to mention world-class museums, stunning architecture and exciting events) make Chicago a truly spectacular spring break destination.

Here’s our guide to planning an unforgettable spring break (or vacation!) in Chicago. And don’t forget to check out these hotel special offers all around town.

Chicago Family Spring Break

A getaway to Chicago promises fun, learning and fresh air for the whole family. There are an adventure for children of all ages in Chicago, whether you’re looking to roller skate in a lakeside park, be wowed by stunning LEGO artwork, or meet a beluga whale.

Maggie Daley Park
  • Come face to face with lions, leopards and more at Lincoln Zoological ParkThe brand new exhibition of big cats. Kids are invited to see resident species in action in this newly renovated space with all-glass walkways, a zipline for feeding, and more.
  • Dive into the water with friendly beluga whales, feed a thrill to sharks or waddle with the penguins with the Shedd Aquarium Close-Up Experiences.
  • After a record tour in New York, Disney’s Winnie the Pooh: The New Musical Stage Adaptationwill arrive in Chicago on March 15, 2022 for a wild musical adventure at the Mercury Theater Chicago.
  • the Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park reopens for in-line skating, roller-skating or scootering on April 30. Mini scooters are now available for hire, perfect for toddlers looking to rock and roll on the tape.
  • Doze with the Dinos at the Field Museum! Families with children aged 6-12 are invited to stay up late with museum scientists, explore the museum with a flashlight, and then sleep in the shadow of the world’s largest dinosaur (Maximo!).
  • Discover the largest LEGO art exhibition in the world! The Museum of Science and Industry The art of brickon display from February 10 to September 5, features incredible works of art made entirely from LEGO bricks.
  • 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck offers a birds-eye view of Chicago from 1,000 feet in the air. Daring kids will want to take on the TILT!a thrill ride that allows visitors to recline on the Magnificent Mile.

Chicago Spring Break for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Chicago in the spring is a paradise for nature lovers. The whole city flourishes, from the expansive lake shores to interior gardens to charming neighborhood parks. Here’s how to get outside in chicago during your spring getaway.

Garfield Park Conservatory Fern Hall
Garfield Park Conservatory
  • Chicago is a bike city with over 303 miles of bike paths. Rent a Divvy bike and ride it Lakeside Trailwith stunning views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan.
  • Taste each of Chicago’s four favorite food groups—pizza, hot dogs, brownies, and beer—on a Bikes, Bites & Brews tour. Bobby’s Bike Ride offers award-winning tours of Chicago on two wheels.
  • Stop and smell the flowers at Garfield Park Conservatory’s Annual Spring Flower Show. This year’s show will begin on February 26 and continue on May 8.
  • Take a walk on Chicago River Walkwhere you’ll encounter intimate coves, waterfront cafes, and stunning public art, with Chicago’s iconic architecture as an unforgettable backdrop.
  • Stop and smell the roses as you explore the sprawling Chicago Botanical Garden in nearby Glencoe, home to 27 unique gardens.
  • Don’t miss a spring hike along the winding paths of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, home to more than 222,000 plants from 40 countries.
  • Head to Hyde Park for a stroll through the Japanese Garden in Jackson Park. The garden is prized for its cherry blossoms – peak bloom is usually in the first two weeks of May.

Spring break for art and culture lovers

In Chicago, art is all around you. Public works of art line the streets of the city, fill our famous museums and even illuminate our buildings after dark. Plan a spring break of art and culture with these events and exhibits.

Immersive Frida Kahlo
Photo by Kyle Flubacker
  • Immersive Frida Kahlo is a visually spectacular digital art exhibition that invites the public to enter the iconic works of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo via an original score and captivating digital projections.
  • KING JAMESa fast-paced comedy centered around basketball, explores the connection between sport and friendship at the famed Steppenwolf Theater from March 15 to April 10.
  • Explore more than 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history at the Art Institute of Chicago’s new gallery, opening this spring. Life and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt. The transformed space will showcase the historic collection of over 100 ancient Nile Valley art objects.
  • Meet Tosca, the irresistible diva who puts Rome on its feet when the Opéra Lyrique presents Puccini’s large-scale opera, Toscafrom March 12 to April 10.
  • Admire the work of painters, sculptors, photographers, fashion designers, ceramists and many more during workshops open to Bridgeport Center for the Arts.
  • See the city’s legendary architecture from the best seat in the house—the Three Arms of the Chicago River—on Chicago River Architecture Cruiseswhich resume in March and April.
  • In the evening, head to the Riverwalk to discover Art in the market, which is relaunching in April. The sound and light show will be projected nightly on the waterfront of the landmark Merchandise Mart.

Stay in Chicago for locals

Just because you live here doesn’t mean you can’t plan a spring break. Explore a new neighborhood, visit a museum you’ve been meaning to visit, or try a new restaurant while Chicago Restaurant Week. And don’t forget to check hotel deals to make it a real spring break.

Friends drink margaritas at La Vaca in Pilsen
Vaca in Pilsen
  • the Adler Planetarium reopens March 4 with a brand new telescope installed at its lakeside Doane Observatory. The planetarium will be open every Wednesday evening, with free admission for Illinois residents.
  • Explore a new neighborhood with a free Chicago Greeter walking tour. Run by other locals, you can takeand your choice of Chicago Neighborhoods. A few favorites include the only one in town national monument of Pullman, Pilsencolorful street art, or the historic boathouse and peaceful lagoons of Humboldt Park.
  • Free Smart Art Museumlocated on the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Parkreopens on February 15 with a new exhibition: Bob Thompson: This house is mine, the first museum exhibition devoted to the visionary artist in over twenty years. Then, take a tour of the meticulously restored interior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie Housea UNESCO World Heritage Site, located just steps from campus.
  • Discover a new restaurant or revisit an old favorite during Chicago Restaurant Week 2022 with special prix fixe, multi-course menus from over 300 restaurants across the city from Friday March 25 to Sunday April 10.
  • Maxwell Street Market is back in April, featuring a colorful mix of street food, live music, and tons of crafts and second-hand items to browse every Sunday.
  • Learn a bit more about your own city at Chicago History Museum. Climb aboard the first-ever ‘L’ car, tour a replica of a historic jazz club, and more.

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