50 Best Places for Indoor Play Around Chicago (2024)

Spending time outside in Chicago can be less than ideal for much of the year, so it’s important to know of places to help your kids exert some energy indoors.

Here are our recommendations for the best indoor playgrounds in the Chicago area. Whether you’re looking for an indoor play area to keep your kids entertained during inclement weather or you’re looking for birthday party ideas, this list has something for you! The play spaces are listed by location, but we also mention the recommended ages.

Looking for other great indoor activities? Check out my guide to the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, or the Best Kid-Friendly Restaurants.

Or if the weather is nice, here is a guide to the 50 Best Playgrounds in the Chicago Area.

City of Chicago

1. Chicago Children’s Museum

700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 | Website |Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost: $21/Adult, $21/Child. There are various membership options. Chicago Children’s Museum is NOT a CLIMB member. Discounted passes are available through Explore More Illinois, and they occasionally have free days. Be sure to check our Events Calendar for free days.

Marble Run Mouse Trap Toy at Chicago Chidlren's Museum
Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier

The Chicago Children’s Museum is a great place to check out if you have young children in the city of Chicago. The museum includes a top indoor playground called “Cloud Buster”, a mini cityscape, an art studio, a toddler area, a dinosaur excavation pit, a treehouse, and more! They even have a real skeleton of a dinosaur on display upon entry. It’s an added bonus that it’s located on Navy Pier, so other attractions and family-friendly restaurants are nearby.

2. The Idea Factory at the Museum of Science and Industry

5700 S Dusable Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-10

Cost: Included with MSI which is $25.95/Adult $14.95/Children 3-11. Children under 3 are free. There are multiple membership options available. Discounted passes are available through Explore More Illinois, and they occasionally have free days. Be sure to check our Events Calendar for free days.

The Idea Factory at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Idea Factory is a new interactive exhibit inside the Museum of Science and Industry, and it’s honestly one of the best kids exhibits we’ve visited recently. It’s included with museum entry, but you need a timed-entry ticket. When you arrive, go to the lower level and reserve a time on the tablets outside of the Idea Factory. It’s designed for kids 10 years of age and younger, and there’s different stations that teach about light, air pressure, magnetism, and more. My daughter could not get enough of the ball tube!

3. Houston Family Play Treehouse at the Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614 | Website | Recommended Ages: 2-8

Cost: FREE

indoor treehouse structure and playground
Houston Family Tree House at the Lincoln Park Zoo

The Houston Family Play Treehouse is a unique, tree-themed indoor playground in the Lincoln Park Zoo, specifically in the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo. It’s located right by the seals, and it’s FREE. It was recently updated to be more accessible. It can be a little tricky to find, but it’s on the Northwest side of the zoo.

4. ClimbZone

2500 W Bradley Pl Suite M, Chicago, IL 60618 | Website | Recommended Ages: 2-18

Cost: There are multiple packages available. Soft Play without any climbing walls is $13.99, and the lowest climbing wall package is $29.99/for 2 hours.

unique climbing walls at Climbzone
Climbzone in Chicago.

ClimbZone is a family entertainment center in the city specializing in rock climbing. They have a lot more than that, however! They have a soft play area for younger kids, laser tag, bumper cars, a zip line, a ropes course, arcade games, and laser tag.

5. Fit City Kids

2540 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 | Website | Recommended Ages: 1-12

Cost: $20 and $16 for siblings. You can buy 10-visit passes, and they also have memberships for $59/month.

Fit City Kids is an indoor playground and sports complex that brings family, fun, and physical fitness together! They offer summer camps, a variety of fitness classes, and they have open play every day of the week. Crawlers have a dedicated soft play area, while older siblings can take advantage of the huge slide area. They have monthly memberships or you can pay for a one-time visit!

6. Bubbles Academy

Locations in the Gold Coast, Bucktown, Highland Park | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: Open Play at Highland Park is $15, Pop-in art and play at 900 N. Michigan is $10. There are also many class options and pre-school available with a wide range of prices.

a bright side that says ignite wonder, play equipment, and more.
Bubbles Academy at the 900 N. Michigan Shops

Bubbles Academy has several locations in Chicago and one in Highland Park. They offer music classes, skill development classes, movement classes, and more. The Bucktown location has an outdoor playground that they call a “Nature Playground” that is free to use, and the Michigan Avenue location has drop-in art classes featuring a different theme every week! The Highland Park location has open play.

7. Purple Monkey Playroom

2040 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: $20-you must register in advance. They also sell memberships and class packs.

Purple Monkey Playroom in Logan Square. Photo Credit: Haley Meadows Photography

Purple Monkey Playroom is the perfect place for parents and younger kids to have a play date. They have free coffee, tea, WiFi, and 1,500 square feet of playroom designed for kids under the age of 6. Babies have their own area, so it’s a safe place for them to crawl around, and the bigger-kid side of the divider has trains, a dollhouse, and a dress-up area. Pre-registration is required for playtime. They also specialize in birthday parties, so be sure to check out their packages. They also have a little book club which looks adorable!

8. Etheria Cafe

Storefront, 2800 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost: $5/per play pass. Adults are free.

inside view of climbing structure at etheria cafe
Etheria Cafe

Etheria Cafe is such a gem! It’s an adorable cafe with food and coffee beverages, and they have a great play structure for kids. It’s one of the most affordable play cafes I’ve found, and my kids had a blast playing with the giant blocks in addition to the play structure.

9. Altitude Trampoline Park

Locations in Skokie, Chicago, Lombard | Website | Recommended Ages: 2-18

Cost: Prices vary depending on time, age, and location. The Skokie locations is cheaper than the Chicago location. In Skokie, A 90-minute jump pass is $23.95, but toddler jump passes can be as low as $11.

Altitude Trampoline Park in Skokie

Altitude Trampoline Park is an indoor trampoline park with several different locations. They have foam pits, obstacle courses, basketball hoops, and lots of areas to jump! Each location has dedicated toddler hours reserved for kids under 6 and their parents. They often play Disney music, and adults have just as much fun as kids! They are one of the top spots for birthday parties, and they sometimes host special events.

10. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost: Prices depend on residency, age, student status, and day. For Illinois Residents, it’s $15/Adult, $10/Student, $8/Child Age 3-12. Memberships are available and it’s FREE for Illinois Residents every Thursday. Discounted passes are available through Explore More Illinois.

indoor play area at peggy notebaert nature museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is one of the best museums for younger children in Chicago. They have a great indoor play area, a water play area, a butterfly haven, a bird walk, and more. They host special family events, like Storybook Yoga and Winter Camp, so be sure to check out the Events Calendar for special events.

11. Itsy Bitsy Play Cafe

4210 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 | Website | Recommended Ages:

Cost: They sell a variety of memberships with differing hours per month. The cheapest option is $415 for 16 hours/month.

little boy playing in indoor play area
Itsy Bitsy Play Cafe

Itsy Bitsy Play Cafe is a unique play/coworking space and, unlike the other spaces on this list, parents don’t have to stay in the same room as the kids. It’s actually more of a play/childcare hybrid with a cafe that is always open to the public, a working space with desks/free wi-fi, and a play space with official “playmakers” to supervise and teach the children. It’s a great place for parents to get some work down while knowing their kids are in a safe space nearby. There are different subscription models based on your needs. On the weekends, they host birthday parties, special events and, occasionally, open play.

12. Luna y Cielo Play Cafe

3530 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: $16/Children 6 months and older. There are a variety of classes, sibling discounts, and memberships available as well.

Luna Y Cielo Play Cafe is a bilingual play cafe that offers Spanish immersion classes. They host special events, zumba classes, yoga classes, camps private parties, and, of course, open play. Their cafe features “dulces” and coffee drinks.

13. Bronzeville Children’s Museum

9301 S Stony Is Ave, Chicago, IL 60617 | Website | Recommended Ages: 4-9

Cost: $5/person. Memberships are available.

The Bronzeville Children’s Museum is the first and only African American Children’s Museums in the country. They have exhibits on healthy eating, African American inventors, Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math, and a tour of Bronzeville landmarks.

14. Mini City on 21

5900 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60646 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-7

Cost: $15/Children ages 1-7, $5/Children ages 0-11 months

Mini City on 21 is an indoor play center that focuses on pretend play. There are lots of toys to inspire the imaginations of little ones, and they also host birthday parties!

North/Northwest Suburbs

15. Northbrook Court Play Area

1515 Lake Cook Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062 | Website | Recommended Ages: : 1-6

Cost: FREE

Northbrook Court Play Area on the 1st Floor

Northbrook Court is a worthwhile destination for those with young kids because there are TWO free play areas. This treehouse structure is on the first floor, right next to some fast service restaurants like Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Red Mango.

16. Northbrook Court Play Area 2

1515 Lake Cook Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: FREE

Northbrook Court 2nd Floor Play Area

The 2nd Floor Play Area of Northbrook Court is even more impressive than the first floor. It’s fully enclosed with an attached bathroom, a small slide, a “fort” climbing structure, a play stage, and plenty of comfortable seating for parents. My kids spent hours here and it was completely free.

17. Giggles

328 Green Bay Rd, Highwood, IL 60040 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-5

Cost: $18/Child, $12/Sibling. They also have discount passes, memberships, and 10-visit packs.

Montessori themed indoor play area
Giggles in Highwood

Giggles is a Reggio Emilia inspired play space that is perfect for the kind of kid who loves imaginative play. The owner, Jess, has created such a welcoming place that feels so comfortable and safe. They host special events, classes, and parties as well.

18. Woodfield Mall Play Area

5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL 60173 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-5

Cost: FREE

overhead view of a play area at Woodfield Mall
Free Play area at Woodfield Mall

I love going to Woodfield Mall with my kids. There’s so much to do, and the free play space right by Macys’ is always a big hit. This mall is always bustling with great stores and plenty of restaurants. There are more details on these places elsewhere in this post, but my kids love Peppa Pig World of Play, Yu Kid’s Island, and the Radio Flyer store. They also have an escape room and an arcade. Seriously, Woodfield Mall is a great spot for children of all ages.

19. Funtopia

2050 Tower Dr, Glenview, IL 60026 | Website | Recommended Ages: 1-16

Cost: $20/Child for the “Fun Zone” which includes the rock climbing walls. $14/Toddler area only. Reservations are strongly recommended.

colorful climbing walls at a kids indoor playground
Funtopia in Glenview

Funtopia is a great place for kids to be both physically and mentally active. They have a ropes course, caving system, jungle gym, and lots of challenges for kids. They have a separate area for toddlers and plenty of ways for kids of all ages to exert some energy!

20. Yu Kids Island

5 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL 60173 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: $20/Child Monday-Thursday, $22/Child Friday-Sunday. They have lots of discounts/specials throughout the week, so check website for details. They also offer 6-visit play passes for $85.

Yu Kids Island in Woodfield Mall. Photo Credit: Yu Kids Island

Yu Kids Island is a brightly colored Japanese playground in Woodfield Mall. Yu Kids Island believes in building a strong foundation for learning through play. There are slides, obstacle course equipment, and plenty of ways for kids to let off some steam in the mall. They love to host birthday parties as well, so check out their packages!

21. Treehouse Play Cafe

985 S Rand Rd, Lake Zurich, IL 60047 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-10

Cost: $16/Child 12 months and older and a monthly membership is $39/month

Treehouse Play Cafe in Lake Zurich Photo Credit: From Treehouse Play Cafe Facebook page

Treehouse Play Cafe is a large interactive playroom and indoor café that is so much fun for kids and parents! They have a soft play area for kids under the age of 3, and a large indoor play structure with slides and a treehouse for older children. They have three separate party rooms for birthday parties, too!

22. Kohl Children’s Museum

2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview, IL 60026 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost: $19/person, children 12 months and younger are free. CLIMB Member.

Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview

Kohl Children’s Museum is a top indoor play space in Glenview, just north of Chicago. It’s the perfect place to take kids on a rainy, cold, or sweltering day, and a membership pays for itself after a few visits if you think you’ll go often.

Parking is easy, and there are a bunch of different areas for imaginative play, including a mini grocery store, sandwich shop, doll nursery, music area, and more.

They have an outdoor area for when the weather is nice, and they host special events, fun activities, and various classes. Kohl Children’s Museum is a CLIMB member, so if you have a membership to a different CLIMB museum, you can attend for free!

23. Peppa Pig’s World of Play

5 Woodfield Mall, Chicago, IL 60173 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost: Prices vary depending on day and package, but an adult/child combo ticket is $27.99. They have memberships, passes, and combination passes with LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

Peppa Pig’s World of Play in Woodfield Mall

Peppa Pig’s World of Play is an absolute must if your kid is a Peppa Pig enthusiast. It’s located in Woodfield Mall. There are Peppa Pig-themed climbing structures for physical play, but also stations for pretend play, like Miss Rabbit’s market and Madame Gazelle’s school bus. It’s a great place to keep little ones entertained for a few hours, and they also do birthday parties!

24. Exploritorium

4701 Oakton St, Skokie, IL 60076 | Website | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost: $7/person, children 12 months and under are free.

Exploritorium in Skokie

The Exploritorium is not only super awesome, but it’s one of the most affordable kids playgrounds in the area. It only costs Non-Residents (of Skokie) $6 for open play, and you can save 10% if you buy a 10-visit pass. They have a playground structure with slides and a little air traffic control tower, a giant water table, a dress-up area, a rock climbing wall, a lite brite wall, and more.

25. LEGOLand Discovery Center

601 N Martingale Rd, Schaumburg, IL 60173 } Website | Recommended Ages: 3-10

Cost: Prices vary, but generally $21.99/per person. They sell annual passes and combination passes with Peppa Pig’s World of Play.

side view of climbing structure at legoland
LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLand Discovery Center is a must-see for lego enthusiasts. Located in the western suburbs of Chicago, it has a virtual reality experience, a Lego replica of Chicago, the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, Pirate Adventure Land, and more. They sell standard tickets, annual passes, and combination tickets with Peppa Pig’s World of Play.

26. Jumps and Jiggles

1000 Wellington Ave, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 | Website | Recommended Ages: 1-6

Cost: $6/child, children under 2 and adults/FREE

indoor carousel
Jumps and Jiggles in Elk Grove Village

Jumps and Jiggles is a great spot for younger kids, and it’s super affordable. It’s part of the Elk Grove Village Park District, and it includes in indoor carousel, play structure, and it’s right next to Pirate’s Cove, an awesome little amusement park.

27. Ball Factory

Locations in Mount Prospect and Naperville | Recommended Ages: 0-12

Cost: $20-25/child, 2 adults free per child. Children under 12 months are free.

girl on large set of slides
Ball Factory in Mount Prospect

Ball Factory is an indoor playground with giant slides, climbing structures, ride-on trucks, and more. They have a separate gated area for babies and toddlers with soft climbing equipment and a mini ball pit. They have snacks, free WiFi, and several separate party rooms.

28. Next Level Play Center

4167 N. Harlem Ave, Chicago IL 60706 | Website | Recommended Ages: 2-12

Cost: $15/child for an all day pass

a colorful net like climbing structure
Next Level Play Center

Next Level Play Center is a visually appealing play center with a net climbing area, slides, and more. The net structure is a truly unique form of physical activity, and it’s one of the best places for birthday parties!

29. Bumblebee Play Cafe

Website | Recommended Ages:

Cost:

30. Nelly’s Playground

Website | Recommended Ages:

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31. Jump Zone

Website | Recommended Ages:

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West Suburbs

32. Playroom Cafe

Locations in Mount Prospect and Naperville | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

playroom cafe in naperville
Playroom Cafe Too in Naperville. Photo Courtesy of Playroom Cafe.

With locations in Mount Prospect and Naperville, Playroom Cafe is a charming cafe with a large windowed playroom, complete with slides, tricycles, pretend play areas, and a soft play structure for babies. They have a variety of coffee, teas, smoothies, salads, paninis, waffles, kids’ meals, and free WiFi, so it’s the perfect place to “sit, sip, and watch them play”! They sometimes host special events, and they’re a great place for birthday parties. Reservations are not required for open play hours.

33. Waterlemon

25 South La Grange Road Unit A, La Grange, IL 60525 | Recommended Ages: 0-5

Cost:

Waterlemon. Photo Credit: Waterlemon

Waterlemon is a bright, airy indoor play place for kids who are 5 years old and younger. It’s also a gift shop, coffee shop, and party venue, making it a super fun place for local parents to meet up while their little kids play. Reservations are not required for drop-in play. It’s a beautiful place for birthday parties and baby showers as well!

34. Wonder Works Children’s Museum

6445 W North Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost:

tree climbing structure in indoor children's museum
Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Wonder Works Children’s Museum is a popular play space and museum in Oak Park. They have eight permanent exhibits, plus they host special events, educational activities, and they have a dedicated “Toddler Time” at 11:00am. They are closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Wonder Works is a CLIMB Museum, so members of other CLIMB museums receive 6 FREE tickets.

35. DuPage Children’s Museum

301 N Washington St, Naperville, IL 60540 | Recommended Ages: 0-8

Cost:

DuPage Children’s Museum

DuPage Children’s Museum is a hands-on children’s museum known for its STEM focus, and it’s a good reason to make your way out to Naperville. There are lots of cute restaurants, shops, and family-friendly activities in the area, so you can make a whole day of your trip to the museum. They are currently building a math exhibit on the second floor, so stay tuned! the DuPage Children’s Museum is a CLIMB Museum, so members of other CLIMB museums can receive free admission.

36. Kiddy Club

Website | Recommended Ages:

Cost:

37. TreeTop Escape

201 W National St, West Chicago, IL 60185 | Recommended Ages: 1-12

Cost:

TreeTop Escape is part of the West Chicago Park District, and it’s a jungle-themed playground, with slides, climbing structures, and optical illusions. It’s a more budget-friendly option than many other playgrounds listed, and the attention to detail is impressive!

38. Jump Town

520 W Lake St, Addison, IL 60101 | Recommended Ages: 1-12

Cost:

Jump Town Play Center is a kid-friendly indoor environment with slides, bounce houses, giant blocks, and more! They sell visits in packs of 10, or you can pay each time you go.

39. Safari Land

701 W North Ave, Villa Park, IL 60181 | Recommended Ages: 0-18

Cost:

Safari Land is a family-owned entertainment center that’s been in business for 19 years. They have something for everyone, including a soft play area and Merry Go Round for the little ones, and bowling, bumper cars, arcade and video games, and the Tiger Terror Roller coaster for the older kids. They have private rooms for parties and events, too!

40. Enchanted Castle

1103 S Main St, Lombard, IL 60148 | Recommended Ages: 2-18

Cost:

Enchanted Castle is an entertainment complex with mini golf, bowling, an escape room, an arcade, an adventure playground, and more! Everyone in the family can find something fun to do here.

41. Bee Happy Club

Website | Recommended Ages:

Cost:

42. Rainbow Play Systems

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

43. Urban Air

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

44. Activate Games

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

South Suburbs

45. Odyssey Fun World

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

46. My Kidzplay

4845 W 111th St, Alsip, IL 60803 | Recommended Ages: 0-12

Cost:

My Kidzplay is an indoor play area with a children’s ninja course, 3-story climbing structure, and a pretend city. They also have a cafe with pizza and snacks!

47. Kids Empire

Locations in Chicago, Evanston, Villa Park, West Chicago | Recommended Ages: 0-12

Cost:

climbing structure at Kids Empire in Deerfield
Kids Empire in Deerfield

Kids Empire is an active play center with a ton of fun activities for kids. Kids can climb, spin, dance, build, slide, and ride. They have tiny tots area for the little ones, too!

48. Gizmo’s Fun Factory

66 Orland Square Dr, Orland Park, IL 60462 | Recommended Ages: 0-18

Cost:

Gizmo’s Fun Factory is a blast for the whole family. They have a ropes course and zip line, bumper cars, go-karts, laser tag, an arcade, climbing walls, and “Tinker Toy Toyland” for the little ones. They have different height and weight requirements for different attractions, but everyone can find something to do here!

49. Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

50. KidsWork Children’s Museum

Website | Recommended Ages: 0-6

Cost:

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