Imaginations blossom at Kid City. Though it has a small bounce house, most of the 3,000-square-foot space is geared toward pretending. Kids push miniature carts through the supermarket, filling them with fruits and veggies before checking out at an actual cash register. They then head to the playhouse to stock the fridge and fire up the grill for a make-believe feast. Rideable plastic cars whisk children from the playhouse to the dress-up boutique, where they can see what it's like to wear a fireman's outfit over a princess gown. Meanwhile, toddlers play safely in a padded area with colorful toys.
As dedicated as Kid City is to sparking kids' creativity, its staff is equally concerned with accommodating parents. Afternoon or summer-morning drop-off camps, for example, help parents find time to run errands or invent a method for removing tomato-sauce stains from ceilings. During camps, kids do arts and crafts or enjoy visits from their favorite characters, such as cartoon princesses. Open-play hours offer complimentary coffee and tea to caretakers, and a refrigerator and microwave is at their disposal for snacks or lunches.
Fantasy Kingdom is a Childrens Birthday Party and parent-supervised indoor play facility for children ages 6 and under. There are no scheduled classes to sign up for. Just drop in anytime during our normal business hours and enjoy our amazing environment for children and adults alike!
The Lilliputian-sized buildings t
You can always count on being well-fed and entertained at Dave & Buster's. The sprawling entertainment complex features a full bar with specialty cocktails and a dining area that serves burgers, steaks, sandwiches, and other dishes. The franchise is known for its Million Dollar Midway, the uber game room that consists of rows and rows of blinking, ticket-spewing arcade games — more than 130 total with hundreds of prizes to redeem for.
Originally part of architect Daniel Burnham's ambitious "Plan of Chicago" drafted in 1909, Navy Pier was designed to handle both recreational and freight traffic for the burgeoning metropolis. Its role quickly changed when it began serving as a barracks and training facility during two World Wars—it earned its nickname because of the more than 200 planes that littered the lake bottom around the pier, lost during exercises and sunk to intimidate fish with military technology. In the decades that followed, the pier was home to a University of Illinois campus, a convention center, and a venue for citywide festivals before falling into disuse. This ended in 1989, when the state moved to transform the venerable pier into one of Chicago's foremost tourist attractions.
Reopened in 1995, the revamped Navy Pier boasts 50 acres of parks, restaurants, shops, and entertainment, scenically located along Lake Michigan and the mouth of the Chicago River. The pier's most striking denizen is its 150-foot tall ferris wheel, whose glittering lights slowly rotate above the water and frame a beautiful view of the city's skyscrapers for riders. Other attractions include a towering IMAX screen that shows educational films and Hollywood blockbusters, and the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which treats audiences to bold stagings of the Bard's greatest hits.
Sixteen craft beers on tap. 43 classic arcade games and 18 pinball games. The numbers are impressive, but the figures on high-score lists probably matter most at Headquarters Beercade. The bar sits immediately beside Chicago’s red-line tracks, at an intersection of disparate decades. The modern, well-curated collection of beverages there complements an equally well-managed array of vintage arcade games. Punctuated by the soft hush of pints filling with brews from Avery, Two Brothers, Mikkeller, and other craft breweries, digital chatter drifts from those Pac-Man, NFL Blitz, and Street Fighter II machines. Death’s Door gin, distilled in the Midwest, and a solid selection of bourbons ensure that spirits are not neglected on the drink menu.
Those full glasses shimmer with electronic light from the beeping, blinking machines and a handful of flat-screen TVs, which are equally likely to show current sports action or classic Wrestlemania matches. The room has only a few tabletops, some of which have games built in, and friends sit across from one another there, playing competitively or arguing over which Tetris blocks would be most fun to meet at a party.
Founded by Liberia-born business leader P. Saingbey K. Woodtor nearly a quarter-century ago, the African Festival of the Arts celebrates the arts and culture of African diaspora in Chicago. Past years have seen performances by such legendary acts as George Clinton, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, and James Brown, and every year features a world's worth of food. Nigerian egusi, Senegalese wolof rice, Caribbean jerk chicken, and even Cajun and soul food from the US all have their spots at the food pavilion.
But the real stars of the annual show are the fine arts and the artists who make them, be they painters, sculptors, jewelers, or wood carvers. In all these ways, the festival gives Chicagoans a glimpse of Africa without the need for plane tickets or risking the climb inside the time machine your cousin "invented."