Kids Activities in Illinois

Up to 60% Off Indoor-Play Sessions

Kidz Funland

Aurora

$20 $8

Kids shed their shoes to scramble to the tops of slides and climb into an upper-level ball pit or shoot through obstacle courses

Up to 57% Off at Magic Waters Waterpark 

Magic Waters Waterpark

Magic Waters

$68.98 $30

Thousands of feet of lazy river and water slides alongside a heated wave pool, interactive aquatic playgrounds, and a kids' area

51% Off at Pump It Up of Crystal Lake

Pump It Up of Crystal Lake

Pump it up of Crystal Lake

$55 $27

Monthly tween night for kids aged 8–15 is a drop-off event with a live DJ; kids of all ages jump, slide, and play during open-jump sessions

Chicago History Museum – Up to 50% Off

Chicago History Museum

Lincoln Park

$14 $7

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Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at railroad workers during WWI

Chicago History Museum – Up to 50% Off

Chicago History Museum

Lincoln Park

$14 $7

(162)

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at railroad workers during WWII

Paddleboarding and Picnic in the Park

Paddleboarding, Picnic, and Fireworks

Kayak Chicago

$60 $60

Savor summertime in Chicago by paddleboarding Lake Michigan, followed by a Montrose Beach picnic

Up to 48% Off Open Jump or Birthday Party at Pump It Up

Pump it Up

Goose Island

$60 $35

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Kids' imaginations run wild as they explore, bounce & burn energy at vibrantly colored bouncy houses, slides & inflatables.

41% Off Kids' Open Play and Stuffed Animal at Chicago Playpen

Chicago Playpen

Bronzeville

$32 $19

Kids play inside a facility that's full of educational installations, including a grocery store, then choose a stuffed animal and an outfit

Up to 52% Off Batting-Cage Sessions

BASH Sports Academy

Avondale

$150 $72

12,000 sq. ft., fully turfed indoor facility houses five cages for practicing swings year-round

Up to 50% Off Open Play at Bubbles Academy

Bubbles Academy

Goose Island

$12 $6

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Parents bring kids age 0–6 to climb and play in a room full of toy stations, slides, tunnels, and bubbles

Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze on Navy Pier – Up to 56% Off

Amazing Chicago's Funhouse Maze

Near North Side

$23.98 $12

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Narrow hallways inside a 4,000-square-foot, Chicago-history-themed maze on Navy Pier

52% Off Adult Sports-Acrobatics Classes

MSA & Circus Arts

Logan Square

$60 $29

Learn floor-tumbling moves, such as bounces, flips, and handstands, and jump on a regulation-sized trampoline equipped with safety lines

44% Off Circus-Arts Classes

Circus Kazoo Llc

Redeem from Home

$120 $67

Local businesses like this one promote thriving, distinctive communities by offering a rich array of goods and services to locals like you

Up to 69% Off Bowling at Fireside Bowl

Fireside Bowl

Logan Square

$48 $15

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Guests to this 1940s bowling alley vie for the highest score while surrounded by vintage decor and modern scoring systems

Up to 60% Off Children's Acting and Movie-Making Camps

Brain Surgeon Theater

Bucktown

$650 $259

Children as young as 6 delve into scripted roles, improvisation, and the basics of filmmaking in camps led by experienced artist-educators

55% Off Scavenger-Hunt Adventure Race

The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race

Lizzie McNeills Irish Pub

$55 $25

Teams race to solve clues and strategize to win cash prizes and awards during urban race; music and drink specials at post-race party

55% Off Scavenger-Hunt Adventure Race

The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Race

Lizzie McNeills Irish Pub

$55 $25

Teams race to solve clues and strategize to win cash prizes and awards during urban race; music and drink specials at post-race party

41% Off Outdoor Concert at Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park

$35 $21

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Watch Kristian Bush of Sugarland perform with Jana Kramer in historic Lincoln Park Zoo

71% Off Kids' Indoor Play Package

Kidville

Chicago

$143 $42

3 classes in topics like art & music plus 2 passes to a playspace with climbing wall and tumble trak; $50 birthday day party credit included

Select Local Merchants

Founder Amanda Scotese, an avid traveler and freelance writer for Rick Steves's renowned travel guides, delegates sure-footed guides to lead sightseers to iconic landmarks and down the back alleys and lesser-known nooks of the Windy City. Tours probe the ins and outs of the Chicago's neighborhoods, such as the Loop, where they fill eyes with the sights of world-renowned architecture and minds with the secrets of the Pedway, an underground walkway that connects buildings throughout the business district with the Ninja Turtles' lair. The Historic Chicago Bar Tour, born of Chicago Detours' desire to spread knowledge of the city's entertainment history, takes tour-goers to three historic bars in an exploration of how the city had fun. Private group Jazz, Blues & Beyond tours explore historic neighborhoods on the North and South sides, and include diversions such as harmonica lessons from a bona fide blues blower. Chicago Detours also offers private-group tours for birthdays, family reunions, and corporate team-building exercises. Private group tour options also include Meat History of Fulton Market and Chicago Neighborhoods and Cultural Diversity.

435 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

At iCombat Aurora, groups heroically battle their way through a ravaged cityscape. The buildings aren't populated by enemy soldiers, however, but legions of test subjects plagued by the PHC virus, a biological weapon that induces amnesia and a hunger for human flesh. When traversing the 12,000-square foot space, teams work to eliminate the infected, who lurk in the shadowy corners and emerge only when they hear approaching footsteps or an ice cream truck. Sharpshooters also have the option of squaring off against each other, with one group acting as the military and the other acting as the militia group who spread the virus.

Regardless of the mission, everyone is equipped with replicas of actual weapons that sound, recoil, and flash just like the real thing. In many of the games, combatants wear high-tech targets that keep track of statistics, so teammates needn't worry about keeping score as they brave a post-apocalyptic scene right out of their favorite TV shows and video games.

42 W New York St.
Aurora,
IL
US

After undergoing a complete overhaul for the 2013 season, Eleventh Hour Haunted House swallows visitors in 30,000 square feet of strobe lights, fog, and theme park-quality sets—some of which loom over patrons at 20 feet high. Such epic scale has earned the indoor labyrinth a coffin full of accolades, including the title of "Best Overall Halloween Event" from ChicagoHalloweenGuide.com last year. But despite the ominous environments and bloodcurdling characters, Eleventh Hour actually eliminates the scariest part of the season: long waits. Instead of making guests stand in line or rake invisible leaves before heading inside, the haunted house invites them to kill time in a festival area with food and refreshments for sale.

434 E Devon Ave
Elk Grove Village,
IL
US

Through St. Charles Paddlewheel Riverboats, Rich Anderson shares the rich history of the Fox River with tour groups, a history that his 68-year-old business is very much apart of. Rich’s father, Chet, purchased the Honeymoon Queen for $200 in 1945, hoping to offer rides to picnickers in neighboring Pottawatomie Park. Though the boat required exhaustive repairs, it would soon become a regular sight as it ferried school groups, dinner parties, and lazy ducks along the waters. Both Chet and the Honeymoon Queen retired from the waters by the 1980’s, turning over the operations to Rich and the current fleet of paddleboats, which feature open upper decks and spacious enclosed lower decks. Today, as the St. Charles Belle II and Fox River Queen churn the serene waters, guests take in scenic views and learn about the Pottawatomie tribe that lived upon the river’s banks almost 200 years ago.

2 North Ave
Saint Charles,
IL
US

After braving glowing leopards and sunken ships, mini golfers face a pterodactyl at the 18th hole of a black-lit golf course. Kids toss downsized bowling balls down jungle-themed lanes without the need for rental or clown shoes, and three stock-car simulators pretend to propel faux drivers to speeds of up to 180 mph. Tropical murals brighten the 4,000-square-foot arcade, and two bounce houses host private birthday parties or off-duty astronauts during open-jump times.

To fuel family bonding, groups can gather at Shef Brothers Pizza, a space-themed restaurant aglow with planets inside Fore! Family Fun. The menu dishes up pizza, kid-friendly options, and beer and wine for adults or to pair with cheese that has been aged 21 years.

1505 Mitchell Dr
Oswego,
IL
US

Nobody lugs around heavy bags full of quarters at Galloping Ghost Arcade, because every game inside the suburban arcade is free. After paying the daily entry fee, guests are free to roam through rows of more than 370 games such as Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Burger Time, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Mario Brothers, Mortal Kombat, Galaga, Double Dragon, Street Fighter, and NBA Jam. As the arcade games burble and chirp cheerily, Twilight Zone pinball machines chatter near cocktail tables with built-in Ms. Pac-Man games. For special occasions, the arcade also offers private gaming rooms stocked with four 42-inch TVs, leather couches, and a choice of Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Sega Genesis, Atari, or Nintendo NES consoles.

9415 Ogden Ave
Brookfield,
IL
US

Illinois Scene