Once your kids hit middle school and high school, they're ready for more grown-up fun. Put these activities at the top of your to-do list when visiting Chicago, the Windy City, with teenagers.
Sightseeing is more fun for teens when they've got their own wheels. Absolutely Chicago Segway Tours will show you around the city from behind the handlebars of a Segway.
A Segway is 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 Museum Campus, Art and Architecture, and Lincoln Park.
Minimum age: 12
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 onto The Ledge, a transparent glass box that is four feet beyond the edge of the building for a selfie dream come true.
One of the premium experiences at the beautiful Shedd Aquarium is the behind the scenes in wild reef Shark Feeding Tour. The tour brings you up close to reef residents from corals and sea stars to sharks and rays. It then takes you behind the scenes to experience a feeding.
Minimum age: 10 and up.
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.
North Michigan Avenue—a.k.a. The Magnificent Mile—is a teen shopper's paradise with everything from the Apple Store, 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.
Are you visiting in the summer? After a day of sightseeing, don your swimsuit and catch some rays on Lake Michigan. North Avenue Beach boasts impressive 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.
Lake cruises are a dime a dozen, but Seadog Extreme cruise is a thrilling adventure. The fastest tour boat on Lake Michigan combines sightseeing and commentary with wind-in-your-hair, spray-in-your-face excitement.
Minimum height: 48 inches