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)!
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:
- The Bristol Renaissance Faire, a vibrant Renaissance-themed festival near Kenosha.
- The Osthoff Resort, with recreational rentals for water fun and an on-site cooking school in Elkhart Lake.
- Blue Harbor Resort, which boasts its own Breaker Bay Waterpark in Sheboygan.
- Shady Rest Lodge, a family-friendly resort on Manson Lake in the northwoods of Rhinelander.
- Lake Geneva, a favorite vacation destination for its vibrant downtown and waterfront fun. (Our readers particularly recommend staying at The Abbey Resort, The Cove Of Lake Geneva, and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark.
- Wisconsin Dells, another vacation destination that caters to families with a huge variety of water parks, theme parks, and kid-friendly activities. A reader recommended Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, which has a huge waterpark, in particular.
- Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa in the historic town of Galena, which has a bustling downtown and tons of outdoor activities, including 10 golf courses within 20 miles.
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.