Your Family-Friendly Adventure in the Chicago Southland
Grab the kids and head to the Chicago Southland for a getaway filled with family-friendly fun! There are so many things for families to see and do together, including sharing deep-dish pizza, rooting for the home team or getting up close and personal with wild animals. Make sure you and your family don’t miss out on any of the action here in the Chicago Southland!
Start your family-friendly adventure with an exciting visit to Gamma VR in Lansing. Experience the future of entertainment through the wonders of virtual reality! Players can transform into boxers, robots and more through Gamma VR’s augmented reality headsets. The entire family will love this unique experience at Gamma VR!
After experiencing the thrill of virtual reality, head over to Beggars Pizza in Lansing for a delicious lunch. No trip to the Chicago Southland is complete without pizza, and Beggars is famous for their deep-dish crust and thick toppings! Not craving pizza? Try another Chicagoland favorite, an Italian beef sandwich! Beggars has plenty of tasty items to choose from, ensuring that even the pickiest of eaters will find something to enjoy.
Be sure to save room for dessert! Don’t miss out on the variety of sweet treats available at Gayety’s Chocolates & Ice Cream Co. in Lansing. You’ll find everything from chocolate covered strawberries to ice cream sundaes and more.
Next, burn off some of those post-lunch calories with a visit to Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland. Sand Ridge features exhibits on the natural and cultural history of the Calumet region. Kids will love seeing the live animals that call Sand Ridge their home, plus hands-on activities and colorful gardens. Get ready for some exploring and take a walk around one of the four walking trails available at the center.
You’re sure to have worked up an appetite again after all of your exploring! Head to Hidden Manna Café in Matteson for dinner. Hidden Manna is a Southern-style café that serves fresh Cajun and creole food. Start off with some fried green tomatoes and try Hidden Manna’s signature jambalaya as your entrée. Kids will love the Cajun-inspired mac and cheese, plus the expansive dessert menu!
Begin Day 2 of your Chicago Southland adventure with a visit to In the Game, Hollywood Park in Crestwood. The whole family will get a kick out of In the Game’s attractions like go-karts, bumper cars, mini bowling, rides, axe throwing and the giant fun slide! Plus, play to your heart’s content in their arcade. If you’re hungry, grab some food off of the chef-crafted menu.
Afterwards, relax and cheer on the home team at a Windy City ThunderBolts game at Ozinga Field in Crestwood. The ThunderBolts are the Chicago Southland’s very own professional minor league baseball team. This season, there will be a special every gameday! Every Sunday is Family Day at Ozinga Field, meaning your family can take advantage of special ticket and food combos, post-game fun and family-friendly entertainment. Chow down on some Cracker Jack and hot dogs, and don’t forget to check out the gift shop to pick up some souvenirs!
Windy City ThunderBolts, Crestwood
After cheering on the pros, visit Homewood Bat Co. in Homewood. Homewood Bat manufactures and sells professional-grade wooden baseball bats. Order a customized bat for your kiddos or simply watch the artisans at work while they create new bats.
Train lovers won’t want to miss this next stop: head over to the Homewood Railroad Viewing Platform in Homewood. This platform allows visitors to view the mainline and commuter rails while listening to live switchyard audio. Grab a cup of joe from the Starbucks across the street, then kick back and relax while you watch the trains go by. Plus, be sure to walk through the underground walkway that depicts railway history.
It’s dinnertime! Make your way to the last stop of the day: Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery in Flossmoor. This unique restaurant is located in a historic train station and offers a wide range of American cuisine. Parents can enjoy a beer at the area’s oldest brewery, while kids can watch the Metra trains go by. Flossmoor Station is a must-see while in the Chicago Southland!
It’s Day 3! Start off with a visit to Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield. Brookfield Zoo opened in 1934 and has been welcoming generations of families from the Chicago Southland and beyond since! The 216-acre nature park is home to over 5,000 animals. Please note that tickets must be purchased ahead of time online. Allow at least four hours to fully enjoy the zoo!
Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield
Close out the day with dinner at Sheep’s Food District in Orland Park. Sheep’s is a unique dining experience, with three kitchens under one roof. The whole family will appreciate the wide variety of food options served by local establishments. Pizza, barbecue, tacos…Sheep’s has it all!
Map out your complete adventure! Click here to visit our free, interactive app, where you can see this road trip mapped out, plus create your own custom itineraries, check out upcoming events and read more about local attractions or amenities, and so much more! Don't forget to book your hotel! Click here to visit our Chicago Southland accommodations page.