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.
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!
360 Chicago Observation Deck
Address: 875 N Michigan Avenue, 94th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611
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.
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.
Garfield Park Conservatory
Address: 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624
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.
Address:1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
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.
The Field Museum of Natural History
Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60605.
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.
Chicago’s First Lady Cruises
Address: 112 E. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!