A handy list of indoor winter playgrounds for kids in Chicago is a must-have for any parent in the Windy City during these winter months. Kids may be hardier to the cold and elements than their parents when it comes to playtime, but sometimes you just have to keep them inside. But too many days stuck in the house can lead to cabin fever and kids climbing up the walls. When it’s too cold and gray out to enjoy going outside with the kids, it’s good to have a few ideas in your arsenal to still be able to get them out and active, burn off some energy, and show them a good time.
Here’s a few possibilities:
The Exploritorium is a lot of fun for parents and kids. It has enough activities to keep the kids busy, but is small enough to be able to keep an eye on them. A large water play area has a waterfall along with rubber fish and fish nets to go fishing. The giant Lite Brite wall is a fun favorite, as well as the large tube and tunnel playground. There’s also a climbing wall, dress up/stage area, and a toddler zone for the little ones.
2. Check out the Little Beans Cafes
Bring your 0-6 year olds to roam around the cute little mini village, a town built for kids where they can walk or “drive” cars around town to the service station, grocery store, firehouse, school, playhouse, or town square. There are classes available as well, if you want to introduce your little one to yoga or dance, music, or even learn some baby sign language. Kids can also play with the legos and blocks, ride on cars, play with trains or do puzzles.
The Little Beans Cafe in Evanston features activities for 5-12 year olds as well, most notably their custom-built obstacle course, with towers, slides, and a foam pit. Also has a library, half court gym with various activities and sports programming available, ping pong, karaoke, and air hockey.
3. Watch them be little monkeys at Go Bananas
This carnival-like venue is fun for all the kids, with arcade games, skeeball, air hockey, prizes for game tickets, bumper cars, and various other fun rides. You can pay per ride or buy an unlimited pass. There’s a toddler zone as well.
4. Or let them go wild at Monkey Island
A 100,000-square-foot facility designed to get kids off the couch and away from the TV and up and about bouncing, running, jumping, and playing with other kids instead. There is a basketball court and soccer field for the athletes, a three-story climbing structure for the climber, arcade games for the gamers, bounce houses, slides, tunnels, and more.
5. Wear them out jumping around at Jump!Zone
With multiple locations to choose from, you shouldn’t have to roam too far in the cold to tire your busy kids out at this inflatable, bouncy paradise for kids. There are lots of big bounce houses and games to keep them entertained and bouncing around for hours – so hopefully they won’t be doing the same off the walls at home this winter!