Last week, I headed to Illinois for the kickoff off the Chicago Auto Show. This is my second time at the show, and like last year, I had a fantastic time. This auto show is the nation’s largest, covering 1 million square feet; two days before the show opened to the public, it had already sold 250,000 tickets. The atmosphere is like none other and truly an event that is not to be missed – and because there is so much to do, it’s a good idea to make a plan for what you want to see and do before you get there. Here are 7 family-friendly activities that you can’t miss while you’re there:
See The Cars:
From vehicles you might want to buy to concept cars, there is a little bit of everything here. Where else could you find a 2.6 million dollar Bugatti and a SpongeBob minivan in the same building?
Pink cars, blue cars, old cars, new cars – no, it’s not a Dr. Seuss rhyme, it’s the Chicago Auto Show!
Check Out The Giveaways & Goodies:
I’m all about contests and swag, and the Chicago Auto Show has plenty of opportunity to find both. You can provide app feedback at the Edmunds.com booth and pick a prize, Instagram a photo to claim goodies from the Scion Swag Machine, pick up tote bags from different car manufacturers, spin the Nissan and Shell prize wheels, and much more.
If you’re into entering contests like I am, you’ll also have your pick of giveaways: From Ford’s raffle for giant stuffed penguins to car giveaways, there are plenty of opportunities to test your luck!
Play a Game:
From pinball to video games, there are a number of fun diversions for the young and young-at-heart!
Take a Ride:
There multiple exciting test drive and track opportunities available at the Chicago Auto Show, such as the exciting Camp Jeep course shown above, where a professional driver takes you through a course that has more in common with a roller coaster than your typical driving track! Several car manufacturers have test tracks at the show – there is even a special Ford Power Wheels F-150 course just for kids.
Create a Souvenir:
All through the auto show, you’ll see opportunities to take fun souvenir videos and photos. Want to create your own Kia hamster dance video, or take refuge from a dinosaur and bigfoot in a Subaru? You can do all of these things and more to commemorate your visit!
Catch an Appearance:
During First Look For Charity, the Chicago Auto Show’s opening night charity gala, we were treated to a performance from American Idol alum Haley Reinhart. During the show, there are several appearances and autograph sessions from athletes, actors and even cartoon characters – click here to view the event schedule for information on appearance times.
The Chicago Auto Show draws a huge crowd, which creates an exciting atmosphere – but it can get a little overwhelming, so make sure you plan breaks to sit down, rest your feet, and grab a bite to eat or something to drink. The Infiniti Lounge provides an oasis from the crowd with a nice place to sit down and take 5!
There really is so much to see at the Chicago Auto Show – I highly recommend checking out their list of interactive displays before you go, so that you can make a general plan of what you’d like to hit up while you’re there.
Children ages 7 through 12 & seniors ages 62+: $6
Children under 6: Free when accompanied by an adult family member.
For information about discounts, this year’s food drive, and special reduced price days, click here.
Tickets can be purchased at the show or ordered online here.
Hours & Dates:
Show runs from February 14th through February 22nd – open 9 AM to 10 PM except for Sunday the 22nd, when the show closes at 8 PM.
Event schedule available here.
2301 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60616