For many Chicagoans, there is no school today, and that can lead to cabin fever! Not to worry, there are tons of indoor places to have some fun with the kids during this deep freeze. Here’s a list of some of our favorite indoor spots. Even if you do have school, keep this list handy for the upcoming few weeks. [As hours & closings can occur due to changing weather conditions, we always suggest calling ahead].
Chicago Children’s Museum: (Navy Pier): No reason for cabin fever at this fun spot. Let your littlest kids embrace winter fun without the cold. Kids can come inside at the Children’s Museum and have a snowball fight, build a fort and skate in their socks. There’s also the water table, tinkering lab, treehouse and so much more.
Dave & Busters: Gold Coast D&B’s is a family restaurant with a massive arcade. While kids of all ages typically love it, it’s particularly appealing to the tween/teen set who can sometimes be harder to amuse. The food is fairly standard bar food. You win tickets at each arcade game and can cash them in for prizes before you leave. Just set a dollar limit before you head in because the games can add up. 1030 North Clark Street
Explore & Much More. (Lakeview): This 2-story educational play space in Lakeview for kids 0-8 is filled with awesomeness! There’s a rock climbing wall, bouncy house, climbing structure, obstacle course, a train table, huge collection of trucks and cars and a crawler’s only area.
Flirty Cupcakes: Tomorrow through Friday (Jan 7th-9th) for $5 kids can stop in and decorate a cupcake with the help of their care taker. Pink, blue, & green frosting … Sprinkles galore. Flirty Cupcakes 4631 N Lincoln. 10:30-8. Best for ages 3-6.
Ignite Gaming Lounge: (**Opens at 2pm). Ignite is a cool industrial venue packed full of gaming awesomeness. Here’s how it works: you buy hours, and your kids can play any console (for us over the hill non gamers that means PS4, Xbox, Wii…) and any of the hundreds of games for as many hours as you wish. They can play solo, head to head, or as an interconnected gaming group. The hardware is all state of the art, The chairs, chips, lighting, and even the headset microphones are designed to give your child the best possible chance to survive whatever alien onslaught they choose. You’ll be the coolest parents on the block. 3341 N. Elston Ave, Chicago
Kid City: (West Loop): Kid City offers more than 3,000 square feet of awesomeness (aka play space). Kids will love the large wooden playhouse, which can easily accommodate 6-8 kids and has a play kitchen inside. A separate large market area has multiple shopping carts and tons of play food. There is also a dedicated dress up playroom. Toddlers will be safe to explore inside their dedicated toddler play area. You or your caregiver will appreciate the parent’s lounge just off the main play area (with great visibility), comfy couches and complimentary coffee. 1837 West Grand Avenue
Kid’s Island: (Lincoln Park): This indoor oasis packs a big punch with the little guys…and with moms too. While your little ones play, you can relax and check your email, read a magazine or even get a manicure or pedicure. The indoor playspace includes: a playroom with lots of games, toys & puzzles, a WiFi equipped coffee bar serving brew and confections from Julius Meinl, as well as the piece de resistance, an enormous indoor sandbox (filled with non-toxic fine sand that is washed regularly).1358 West Webster Avenue
Little Beans Cafe: This popular and centrally located indoor playspace and café is a great place to spend a few hours with your youngsters. Kids love playing in THE wooden playhouse, the market and, most of all, the pretend fire station. There are also many ride-in cars to take a spin on. 1809 West Webster Avenue
Lucky Strike: On a bitter cold day like today, don’t overlook the appeal of Lucky Strike. This entertainment restaurant features bowling lanes, billiard tables and pretty decent food. And, not to mention it’s housed within the AMC River East movie building. That’s a lot of entertainment all packed under one roof. And during the week, they offer great combo food and bowling deals, so you’re not breaking the bank. 322 East Illinois.
Pickle’s Playroom: (Lincoln Square): The large children’s playroom is bright and roomy and caters to multiple ages. The smallest tikes are very happy in the crawlers area. Bigger kids will love the Drop Zone featuring a six foot tube slide, small climbing wall and wobbly bridge. There is also a well-stocked kitchen and market area. When new surroundings are required, kids can enjoy The Control Tower, and pretend they’re pilots. They have a lovely cafe that serves pretty great food. If junior’s hair is in her/his eyes, you can wander into the attached children’s salon-with race car chairs- and get a haircut. 2315 West Lawrence Avenue
Museum of Science & Industry: There is an embarrassment of riches for all ages at this museum right now. Your kiddos will love the Numbers in Nature exhibit as well as Yesterday’s Main Street where you’re immediately transported back in time to Chicago at the beginning of the 20th Century. Follow the cobblestone streets and stop in at the silent movie theatre. There’s also a cool Science Storms exhibit and Toymaker 3000 is another interesting one. MSI is offering free admission today (Jan 7th).
Pump it Up: Lincoln Park (Lincoln Park) Pump it Up is a super popular play spot filled with inflatables for kids love to jump, slide and play on. Throughout the week, they will have open jump times where kids are invited to come on in and burn off energy in their three rooms of inflatables. One arena is dedicated to those under 42 inches. 821 West Eastman StreetSky High: Niles If the roads are clear, Sky High, the indoor trampoline arena in Niles is loads of fun for kids of all ages. This 50,000 square foot warehouse features four main trampoline areas. They have the main trampoline court, a great foam pit area, a dodgeball area with foam balls and a separate court for the smallest jumpers (6 and under). 6424 West Howard Street
Sod Room (South Loop):
Sod Room is a beautiful eco-friendly, indoor play space located in the South Loop. Kids can play on the climbing structure and enjoy the toy kitchen, train table and the slide. This is a beautifully maintained play space that even the adults will love.Drop in play: Monday – Friday 9:30am – 5:00pm 1454 S. Michigan Avenue, 2nd Floor
Water Tower Place: No matter the ages of your kiddos, you can spend a full day here! Check out the new American Girl Grace at The flagship American Girl store. Then head to the second floor and let your kids enjoy some playtime at The Lego Store. When stomachs begin to growl head to everyone’s favorite food court Food Life. You and the kiddos can explore different cuisines at each of the different booths. Before heading out, sports enthusiasts will love checking out the interactive Chicago Sports Museum on the 7th floor.
Wishcraft Workshop: Funordinary Creative Art Camp is being held on 4 individual days (January 7, January 19, January 30, February 16). Each camp offers a new theme & new skills. Each day includes multiple art+craft projects, mid-morning snack, and games. Grades K-5 suggested. Pre-registration suggested. 3907 N Damen.
Stay warm out there and have fun!!