Family-Friendly Weekend Getaways from the Chicago Suburbs

There are so many weekend getaways within driving distance from the Chicago suburbs that it can be hard to narrow down your options! We asked our readers for their recommendations of favorite spots for a short, but sweet vacation. Check out our list, then let us know if we missed your favorite spot in the comments (or on our Facebook page)!

Baby sits on the beach as a wave rolls in

Family-Friendly Weekend Getaways from the Chicago Suburbs

Michigan Weekend Getaways

Michigan offers tons of small-town charm right on the lake. Our readers recommend visiting:

  • St. Joseph, home to a picturesque downtown and sandy Silver Beach, where you’ll also find $1 rides on a giant carousel and a splash pad.
  • Saugatuck, with its riverfront downtown, paddle board rentals, and boat rides.
  • Holland, home of the small Nelis’ Dutch Village amusement park and Holland State Park’s sandy beach.
  • Grand Haven, which has a huge boardwalk and hosts a nightly musical fountain show with lights.
  • New Buffalo, where you’ll find tons of water activities, as well as wineries and a beach with dunes.
  • South Haven, a beachfront town with a bustling downtown and nearby wineries.
  • Double JJ Resort and Gold Rush Indoor Waterpark, a Wild West-themed resort in Rothbury, MI.
  • White Birch Lodge, an all-inclusive waterfront resort in Elk Rapids, MI.

Wisconsin Weekend Getaways

Wisconsin offers a big variety of family fun, from tried-and-true tourist favorites to off-the-beaten-path cabins in the woods. Our readers recommended:

Other Weekend Getaways

While Wisconsin and Michigan are definitely favorite vacation destinations for Chicagoland families, they aren’t the only good spots for family fun!

  • Just because you can visit Chicago for an afternoon doesn’t mean it’s not a great weekend destination, too. Stay in a colorful neighborhood like Lakeview, explore the Loop, or criss-cross the whole city via CTA.
  • Springfield, IL, our state capital, brims with hometown pride for Abraham Lincoln. There are tons of historical sites, museums, and more—as well as dining and entertainment options in the city.
  • Michigan City, IN is a lakefront town with a gorgeous beach, historic lighthouse, and outlet mall.

Looking for more vacation ideas? Check out our list of indoor water parks near Chicagoland.

About the Author

Rachel Matuch
Rachel is a mom to two boys (ages 2 and 4) who "certainly has her hands full," as strangers in grocery stores tell her. She's doing her best to keep up and get comfortable with the mud pies and tree-climbing her kids love. In addition to writing and editing, Rachel frequently pillages the Naperville library, plays nerdy board games with her husband, and collapses into a tired heap at 8:30 p.m.

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