3 Family-Friendly Adventure Activities in ChicagoBy Amber Gibson
K1 Speed Indoor Race Track (Photo: Ten Photos)
There’s more to Chicago than what you can find within 20 blocks of your hotel. From go-kart racing to flying, these bold and fun destinations are just 30 minutes beyond the city limits.
Soar Like Superman
iFLY (Photo: Ten Photos)
At iFLY in Rosemont and Naperville, you can experience the exhilaration of free falling without the risk. This indoor vertical wind tunnel borrows technology from the military and is a safe skydiving alternative for all ages — no skill or experience necessary. After a brief training session, you’ll be outfitted with a suit, helmet and goggles. There are plenty of childrens’ sizes available. To start “flying,” all you have to do is lean forward onto a cushion of air that propels you upward. Wind speeds range from 80 to 175 miles per hour! Friendly certified instructors assure that kids as young as three can safely leap into free fall. With help from the flying instructor, you might even be able to perform aerial gymnastics.
Dine in an Old Train Station
Flossmoor Station Brewing Company (Photo: Ten Photos)
History buffs will enjoy dining in a railroad relic at Flossmoor Station Brewing Company. The dilapidated and obsolete Illinois Central Flossmoor Station was originally built in 1906. In the mid-1990s, it was meticulously refurbished by locals Dean and Carolyn Armstrong, who transformed it into an award-winning brewpub. Beer-battered seafood, robust salads and cheddar bacon soup pair well with award-winning craft beers. Just save room for Chef Eduardo’s homemade pie or a brownie skillet for dessert.
At the bar, the past meets the present. Enjoy a great view of the modern Metra Electric line as it stops at the new Flossmoor Station. The brewery is family friendly, too — there’s a kids menu with favorites like mac & cheese, mini-burgers, individual pizzas and hot dogs. In the warmer months, visit the fully restored old caboose on the patio for gelato and frozen yogurt.
Race Down the Speedway
K1 Speed (Photo: Ten Photos)
Rain, snow or shine, the indoor tracks at both of K1 Speed’s Chicagoland locations are open. Forget the clunky, gas-powered karts that spew exhaust everywhere. Visit Buffalo Grove or Addison to get behind the wheel of all-electric, high-performance karts. Designed in Europe, the karts can reach speeds of 45mph in a matter of seconds. Novices and veterans alike will enjoy racing against friends and the clock — detailed reports show your lap times, position and ranking information after the race. There’s even a Junior Karting program for kids interested in motorsport to learn about braking, throttle input, drafting overtaking and track etiquette.