An Educational Afternoon in the Windy City

Chicago is a bustling city filled with rich history, culture, and attractions, making it a hot spot for school field trips. Whether you’re planning a trip for elementary students to visit the area’s many parks or for high school students to visit the array of museums, there is an endless list of attractions suitable for students of all ages.

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School Trips in Chicago

No matter the size of your class or school organization, Total Charters is here to provide safe and easily organized travel accommodations for your trip to Chicago. The fleet of buses we charter include full-sized buses and minibuses with premium amenities, suitable to meet the needs of any school group. Charter rentals are also suitable for various types of groups, including older students looking to tour the city.

Tourist spots in Chicago can get busy and crowded throughout the day and major traveling seasons, so it's important to plan accordingly. If you’re an older student looking to experience some independent travel in a big city, we’ve created a separate beginner’s travel itinerary of Chicago you can utilize to plan your trip. If you’re a teacher looking to plan a school field trip in the city, we've arranged a few short sample itineraries below to serve as a guide for preparing an entertaining day in the city for your students. These attractions are kid-friendly and highly-recommended among tourists and locals alike!

For the Adventurers:

Morning

360 Chicago Observation Deck

Address: 875 N Michigan Avenue, 94th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: 888-875-8439 

Group Sales Line: 312-751-3681

The 360 Observation Deck sits on the 94th floor of the 100-story historic John Hancock Center. As the fourth-tallest building in the city, this observation deck provides unparalleled views of the city’s skyline. To make it even cooler, the observatory offers a unique experience called TILT!, a downward facing glass lookout that provides a whole new perspective of the city.

 

Afternoon

Navy Pier

Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611-3419

Phone: 1-800 595-PIER (7437)

Group Sales Line: 312-595-5331

As a classic Chi-town spot for fun and entertainment, Navy Pier provides theme park rides, food, music, and games for all ages. Students can hop on the Centennial Ferris Wheel or grab pizza and hot dogs on the pier.

 

For Nature Lovers:

Morning

Garfield Park Conservatory

Address: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

Phone: 773-638-1766

With both outdoor and indoor gardens, the Garfield Park Conservatory is home to diverse fauna that is sure to encapture the attention of young visitors. The conservatory is free and provides resources for self-guided tours throughout the gardens. Keep in mind, the conservatory only allows school trips Tuesday through Friday mornings.

 

Afternoon

Shedd Aquarium 

Address:1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Phone: 312-939-2438

The Shedd Aquarium offers hours of entertainment and education with 10 acres filled with over 32,000 aquatic animals. It is continuously ranked among the best aquariums in the United States and is a must-visit spot for kids, teens, and adults. Due to its popularity and expansive exhibits, arriving to the aquarium early as early as possible is usually recommended. The aquarium also has various group ticketing options for school trips or other large groups.

For the Inquisitive Bunch:

Morning

The Field Museum of Natural History

Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605. 

Phone: 312-922-9410 

The Field Museum offers an array of exhibits ranging from massive dinosaur fossils to ancient mummies. Field offers educational and interactive experiences for all to enjoy. Local school groups planning to visit Field can take advantage of free admission and group tours.

 

Afternoon

Chicago’s First Lady Cruises

Address: 112 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312-322-1130

Coasting along the Chicago Riverwalk, First Lady Cruises is the premiere choice for boat tours in the city. Collaborating with the Chicago Architecture Foundation, First Lady Cruises can offer a history lesson and a fun ride for students.

 

Where to Eat:

Students can always organize to bring their own lunches on a field trip. Lunch rental spaces are available in attractions like the Garfield Park Conservatory and Field Museum. If your group would prefer a lunch outing, we recommend the following restaurants: 

Giordiano’s Pizza

Address: 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (Navy Pier location)

Phone: (312) 288-8783

Pizza is always an easy option to feed a large group! The famous Chicago-style pizzeria has been open since the ‘40s and has multiple locations scattered throughout the city.

 

Portillo’s Hot Dogs

Address: 100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654

Phone: (312) 587-8910

Another restaurant known for authentic Chicago-style food, specifically focusing on hot dogs and sandwiches. People of all ages will love the retro atmosphere and delicious food.

 

RJ Grunts

Address: 2056 N Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL 60614

Phone: (773) 929-5363

R.J. Grunts is known for accommodating large groups and also small children, making it a good option for younger students. They serve standard kid-friendly comfort food that can please even the pickiest eater. 

 

Book your charter rental today

Here at Total Charters, we pride ourselves on making the transportation process as smooth as possible for you and your students. Chicago locals can rest assured that their group will be comfortable and arrive safely to each location. If your group is traveling into Chicago from neighboring major cities like Bloomington, Indianapolis, or Detroit, we’ll be happy to provide long-distance travel options. 

Our rental representatives are available 24/7 to assist in finding your group the right charter bus for your needs. Give us a call at 312-766-2242 to chat with a representative about transportation for your trip!