Best Day Trips From Chicago For Families (Weekend Trips From Chicago)

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There are so many things to do in Chicago, and there are several day trips from Chicago for families too. Read some of the best road trips from Chicago in one day, which are also favorable for families.

Visiting Chicago, then read thisBest Chicago Itinerary 4 days – Things To Do This Weekend

Day Trips From Chicago For Families - Weekend Trips From Chicago By Car

Day Trips From Chicago For Families (Weekend Trips From Chicago By Car)

List of day trips from Chicago for families with things to do and why they should be on your bucket list tours from Chicago.

Looking to book car rentals then click here to check some affordable Car rental Options. 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Distance – Located about 92 miles north of Chicago, the drive from Chicago takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Day Trips From Chicago For Families - Weekend Trips From Chicago By Car

 Milwaukee is a great day trip destination for those looking for a change of scenery. It has fantastic riverfront with chic restaurants and a wonderful weekend trip from Chicago for families.

Things to do in Milwaukee – Click to book the best tours in Milwaukee.

  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Milwaukee County Zoo
  • American Family Field
  • Historic Third Ward, 
  • Harley-Davidson Museum,  
  • Mitchell Park Domes
  • Milwaukee Riverwalk District
  • Taste and tour local beers at breweries such as Lakefront Brewery and Milwaukee Brewing Company. 

Starved Rock State Park, Illinois – 

Distance – Located about 95 miles southwest of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Day Trips From Chicago For Families - Weekend Trips From Chicago By Car

Starved Rock State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. The park features 13 hiking trails, stunning waterfalls, and canyons. 

Things To Do In Starved Rock State Park

  • LaSalle Canyon
  • French Canyon
  • Lover’s Leap Overlook
  • Saint Louis Canyon
  • Eagle Cliff Overlook

Galena, Illinois – 

Distance – Located about 160 miles west of Chicago, the drive from Chicago takes approximately 3 hours.

Galena is a charming historic town known for its 19th-century architecture and quaint shops. 

Day Trips From Chicago For Families - road Trips From Chicago for families By Car

Things To Do in Galena: 

  • Ulysses S. Grant Home State Historic Site, 
  • Take a Scenic drive along the Mississippi River. 
  • Grant Park
  • Dowling House
  • You can book Chestnut Mountain Resort in winter, a famous winter ski resort.
  • Great American Popcorn Company
  • Galena Trolley Tours

Saugatuck, Michigan 

Distance – Located about 137 miles northeast of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 2.5 hours.

day trips near chicago illinois

Saugatuck is a picturesque town known for its beautiful beaches, art galleries, and quaint downtown area. 

Things To Do in Saugatuck –

  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park, 
  • Take a boat tour of Lake Michigan. 
  • Oval Beach
  • Mount Baldhead Park
  • Coghlin Park

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 

Distance – Located about 80 miles northwest of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1.5 hours.

road trips near chicago for families by car

Lake Geneva is a famous resort town known for its beautiful lake and outdoor recreational activities. 

Things To Do In Lake Geneva – 

  • Geneva Lake Shore Path, 
  • Tristan Crist Magic Center, 
  • Geneva Lake Museum of History
  • Geneva Lake
  • Riveria Beach
  • Safari Lake Geneva

Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana 

Distance – Located about 47 miles southeast of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1 hour.

day trips near chicago illinois - day trips from chicago for families

The Indiana Dunes National Park is a scenic destination with 15 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, dunes, and wetlands. Visitors can go hiking, birdwatching, or relaxing on the beach. 

Things To Do At Indiana Dunes National Park

  • Indiana Dunes National Park Cowles Bog Trail
  • Indiana Dunes National Park Chellberg Farm
  • The 3 Dune Challenge

Michigan City, Indiana 

 Distance – Located about 56 miles southeast of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1 hour.

day trips near chicago illinois

 Michigan City is a small town known for its beach and outlet shopping. Visitors can spend the day at the beach, the Lighthouse Museum, or shop at the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets. 

Things To Do In Michigan City

  • Washington Park Zoo
  • Friendship Botanic Gardens
  • Barker Mansion
  • Old Lighthouse Museum

Springfield, Illinois – 

Distance: Located about 205 miles southwest of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 3.5 hours.

Interesting Things To Do In Springfield IL,  This Weekend

Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and is known for its historic sites related to Abraham Lincoln. 

Things To Do In Springfield: 

  • Lincoln Home National Historic Site, 
  • The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, 
  • The Old State Capitol. 

Amish Country, Illinois

Distance: Located about 100 miles southeast of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 2 hours.

illinois road trips

Amish Country is a unique destination where visitors can experience the traditional lifestyle of the Amish community. Visitors can tour the Amish countryside, shop for handmade goods and crafts, or enjoy a traditional Amish meal. 

New Buffalo, Michigan – 

Distance: Located about 70 miles east of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1.5 hours. 

chicago day trips for families

New Buffalo is a famous beach town with a charming downtown area. Visitors can spend the day at the beach, go shopping and dining in the downtown area, or visit nearby wineries and orchards.

Things To Do In New Buffalo

  • New Buffalo Public Beach
  • Oselka Marina
  • Galien River County Park
  • New Buffalo Railroad Museum

Rockford, Illinois 

Distance – Located about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 1.5 hours.

Chicago nearby family weekend getaways

Rockford is a city known for its cultural attractions and outdoor recreational activities.

Things To Do In Rockford – 

  • Discovery Center Museum
  • Rock Cut State Park 
  • Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden
  • Explore the Anderson Japanese Gardens 
  • Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Garden
  • Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens. 
  • Midway Village Museum
  • Skateland, Rockford, Il
  • West Rock Wake Park

Michigan Wine Country  

Distance: Located about 90 miles east of Chicago, Michigan, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 2 hours.

road trips near chicago for families

Wine Country is an excellent destination for wine enthusiasts. Visitors can go wine tasting at one of the many wineries, such as Round Barn Winery or Lemon Creek Winery, and enjoy scenic views of Lake Michigan. 

Lake Michigan Circle Tour: 

Distance: The entire tour takes approximately 9-10 hours of driving.

weekend getaways from chicago illinois - road trips from Chicago for families 

For those looking for a more extended day trip, the Lake Michigan Circle Tour is a scenic route that takes travelers around Lake Michigan. Visitors can explore small towns, national parks, and scenic overlooks. The tour begins and ends in Chicago and includes Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana stops. 

Door County, Wisconsin – 

Distance: Located about 180 miles north of Chicago, The drive from Chicago takes approximately 3.5 hours.

getaway from Chicago - road trips near Chicago

 

Door County is a popular vacation destination for its scenic beauty and outdoor recreational activities. 

Things To Do In Door County

  • Peninsula State Park
  • Cave Point County Park
  • The Farm
  • Cana Island Lighthouse
  • The Ridges Sanctuary
  • Edgewood Orchard Galleries

These are some of the best day trips from Chicago for families. I hope you plan some of these road trips from Chicago, as they are some of the best weekend trips from Chicago by car. 

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