Indoor Play Places?

Updated on October 22, 2006
C. asks from Park Ridge, IL
7 answers

now that the weather's getting chilly, I'd like to generate a list of great indoor play places for my kids to burn off some energy - malls with indoor spaces (i.e. golf mill, yorktown), places like the Exploritorium in Skokie, etc.

Any ideas? TIA!!!

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answers from Washington DC on

The Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills has an indoor play area, as well as the Northbrook Court. There's Pretend Playground in Mundelein, where they have crafts set up for your kids to do, costumes for dress up, along with a bunch of other toys.


answers from Chicago on

The Elk Grove Park District Pavilion has Jumps 'n Giggles. They have slides and blocks a ball pit for younger guests and they also have a Merry Go Round. I take my daughter here all the time and she loves it. It only costs $3 a child and you can also get a pool pass to go with for only a few dollars more.
Stratford Mall in Bloomingdale also has an indoor playplace similar to Golf Mill Mall.
I also take my daughter to the Kohl's Museum in Glencoe. We bought a year pass for around $100.00 this includes all kids and up to 3 adults. If you are a member you can go 30 minutes prior to the museum opening to the public which is very nice on rainy and cold days when more people go!

Hope this helps!



answers from Chicago on

Odyssey Funworld in Naperville is a great place. There is a giant play room - that you pay for once- and the kids can literally be in there for hours. They have a separate room just off the playarea for the parents- with couches, etc... AND the best part- your children can't leave that area without you!



answers from Chicago on

Charlestowne Mall in St Charles has a very nice play area, with a carousel by the food court. Also,Creative Learning Art Studio for Kids in Roselle-
has tables and smocks ready for painting, clay, sand, tie dye, etc. I enroll my kids in many classes through the park district, and that works out great during the winter. The Childrens Museum in Naperville is very fun. What about The Painted Penguin stores in the mall? They might enjoy that.
Have Fun!!



answers from Chicago on

There's always Gymboree Play and Music or My Gym, Kohl Children's Museum, Fantasy Castle in Chicago, Lamb's Farm (outdoor though, fun if you bundle them up) and Lincoln Park Zoo where they have an indoor children's petting zoo.

The Palatine YMCA has a indoor play maze, but u need to be a member to use it.

Lake Zurich (gymnastics center with open gym times):

Barrington (gymnastics center with open gym times):

Lake Zurich (Ela area Library has a play area and some good programs, sometimes drop-in):

Arlington heights:


Elk Grove Village:

Your local Library may also have free storytimes, which end with a little open playtime.

You should also pick up an Oaklee's Guide from your local library, or online at:

Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

The childrens museum in Naperville is hands down the best children's museum I've ever been to--it's worth the drive if you are in the city. We discovered it last winter. We also love the Shedd Aquarium in the winter as well. The Nottebart (sp??) Nature Museum is great too. The butterfly exhibit is wonderful on a cold day...makes us think of spring!!

Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Children's museum @Navy Pier
Children's Museum @Glenview
Rockford Children''s museum
Spring Hill Mall has a great toddler play area in front of JC Penney's
Burger king or McDonald's Playland
I also bought 24" X 24" foam tiles 6 for $9 or so at Costco and tiled half of my unfinished basement for about $80 and put a number of the outdoor toys there for the winter.
Good luck, and would you be willing to put up a list of people's suggestions so the rest of us can use these ideas too?

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