Best of Chicago with Teens and 'Tweens

Big-kid fun in the Windy City

Once your kids hit middle and high school, they're ready for more grown-up fun. Put these activities at the top of your to-do-list.

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  • 01 of 07
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    ••• Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours

    Sightseeing is more fun for teens when they've got their own wheels. Abolutely Chicago Segway Tours show you around the city from behind the handlebars of a Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered electric vehicle that's a blast to ride. There are a dozen tour options, including the lakefront and Museuum Campus, Art and Architecture, and Lincoln Park,  Minimum age: 12.

  • 02 of 07
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    ••• Skydeck Chicago

    Rising 100 stories up the Willis Tower, The Skydeck Chicago offers jaw-dropping, spectacular views that stretch to four states on a clear day. A highlight is the chance to step into The Ledge, a transparent glass box that juts four feet beyond the edge of the building for a selfie dream come true.

  • 03 of 07
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    ••• Shedd Aquarium

    One of the premium experiences at the wonderful Shedd Aquarium, the Behind the Scenes in Wild Reef shark-feeding tour brings you up close to reef residents from corals and sea stars to sharks and rays then takes you behind the scenes to experience a feed.. Minimum age: 10 and up.

  • 04 of 07
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    ••• League of Chicago Theaters

    Chicago has a vibrant theater scene with over 200 venues ranging from storefront, low-budget theaters to major cultural centers with multi-million dollar shows. Best of all, you can often catch a play or a musical for a pittance thanks to Hot Tix, which sells half-price tickets online and at three city locations.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
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    ••• The Magnificent Mile

    North Michigan Avenue—a.k.a. the Magnificent Mile—is a teen shopper's paradise with everything from the Apple Store to Forever 21 to Nordstrom. Be sure to take a pit stop at Garrett Popcorn Shop (625 North Michigan Ave.) for a bag of caramel, butter, cheesy popcorn mix.

  • 06 of 07

    Hit the Beach

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    ••• North Avenue Beach

    Visiting in the summer? After a day of sightseeing, don your swimsuit and catch some rays on Lake Michigan. North Avenue Beach boasts amazing skyline views and a nice expanse of sand for sunning. Castaways, a boat-shaped beach house, is your go-to place for ice-cream and snacks.

  • 07 of 07
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    ••• Seadog Cruises

    Lake cruises are a dime a dozen, but Seadog Extreme cruise is a thrilling adventure . The fastest tour boat on Lake Michigan combines sightseeing commentary with wind-in-your-hair, spray-in-your-face excitement. Minimum height: 48 inches.