Top Indoor Playgrounds in Chicago

BY: | 2.20.2017 |

Rain, rain, go away. All the kids want to do is play. Fortunately, the top indoor playgrounds for kids in Chicago offer plenty to keep them busy—even on the most miserable of days. So when the family tires of free museum days and the little ones really just want to run around like they would at any of the city's best playgrounds, let them go wild at one of these tops spots. Many of them just happen to be great for birthday party ideas, too.

Explore & Much More

Time Out Recommended | Wrigleyville

The fun spans two levels at this Southport play area, a favorite spot for Southport mom and nannies. Welcoming kids up to eight, Explore & Much More has a play kitchen, dress-up area, and toy-filled nooks that encourage creativity and discovery. It also offers art and music classes, plus Mommy & Me and storytime.

  • Venue name: Explore & Much More
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 3827 N Southport Ave Chicago
  • Cross street: at Grace St
  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
  • Transport: El: Brown to Southport. Bus: 152
  • Price: One child $12, each additional sibling $9

Kid's Island

Time Out Recommended | Lincoln Park

Too cold or rainy to hit the beach or playground sandbox? No problem. Take your kids ages 10 months and up to Kid's Island, which has the only indoor sandbox in the United States. In addition to its large playspace, Kid's Island will watch your kids while you get a spa service next door at Wellness Nail Spa. This spot also boasts a café serving lunch and snacks, and a Julius Meinl coffee shop.

  • Venue name: Kid's Island
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 1358 W Webster Ave Chicago
  • Cross street: at Southport Ave
  • Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9am to 6pm; Sat–Sun 9am-11am, if there are no parties
  • Transport: El: Brown, Red, Purple (rush hrs) to Fullerton. Bus: 9

Little Beans

Time Out Recommended | Bucktown

Located between Lincoln Park and Bucktown, this popular play space ($12/visit) and cafe has a fire station, grocery store, tons of costumes and so much more for the kiddos. Even better: There is wireless for parents who need to get some work done, plus tables and couches inside the play area. There's also an indoor café next to the windowed playroom that serves food and coffee.

  • Venue name: Little Beans
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 1809 W Webster Ave Chicago
  • Cross street: at Elston Ave
  • Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9am–6pm; Sat 9am–3pm; Sun 9am-3pm
  • Transport: Bus: 9
  • Price: One child $12 per child, additional siblings $10

Pickle’s Playroom

Time Out Recommended | Lincoln Square

Pickle's Playroom combines a large interactive playroom, an inviting cafe and a fun children's salon. Kids love the huge slide area and the air traffic control tower, and parents love the café that serves lunch and coffee. As an added bonus, you can get your kid's hair cut in the kids’ salon, which also sells hair products and accessories.

  • Venue name: Pickle's Playroom
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 2315 W Lawrence Ave Chicago
  • Cross street: at Claremont Ave
  • Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri 9am–5pm; Tue, Thu 9am–6pm; Sat 9am-3:30pm
  • Transport: El: Brown to Western. Bus: 49, 81

Sod Room

Near South Side

This South Loop kids' playspace focuses on everything eco-friendly. Inside the playspace is a boutique that follows suit with all local, organic and fair trade products. Various classes are offered throughout the week like music, infant massage and baby sign language. Kids can also drop in throughout the week for open play with occasional hours on the weekends between birthday parties.

  • Venue name: Sod Room
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 1454 S Michigan Ave 2nd floor Chicago
  • Cross street: between 14th and 16th Sts
  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:30am-5pm; weekend hours vary
  • Transport: El: Red, Orange, Green to Roosevelt. Bus: 1, 3, 4, 12
  • Price: Day pass $12

Purple Monkey Playroom

Logan Square

The 1,500-square-foot storefront playroom, aimed at newborns through preschoolers, boasts a crawl-through tunnel, toy trucks, costumes for dress-up, a train table, DUPLO table, dollhouse, books, ethnically diverse dolls, rocking-horse-type riding toys and more.

The youngest babies get their own area, separated by a low wall. On the bigger-kid side of the divider, some of the train toys don't meet the toilet-paper-tube threshold, so (duh) keep an eye on your orally fixated infant. A communal table offers a great spot to serve snacks from home, or you can buy individual prepackaged items such as organic milk, water, juice, applesauce, etc. The bathroom has a potty seat, a stool and a changing table. Free coffee and wi-fi for the parents.

  • Venue name: Purple Monkey Playroom
  • Contact:  VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address:2040 N Western Ave Chicago
  • Opening hours: Mon–Fri 9:30am–5:30pm; check website for weekend drop-in hours
  • Transport: El: Blue to Western. Bus: 49, 56, 73
  • Price: $12

Pump It Up

TimeOut Recommended | River North

Kids with boundless energy will enjoy bouncing from inflatable to inflatable, sliding down slides and using their imagination around every corner. The space often hosts theme jumps—superhero, glow jumps, family jumps—so check the calendar often!

  • Venue name: Pump It Up
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 821 W Eastman St Chicago
  • Cross street: off Halsted between North and Division.
  • Opening hours: Open jump times vary; call or check website for details
  • Transport: Red line North and Clybourn
  • Price: Kids $12, adults free

Bubbles Academy

River North

Equal stimulation is provided for all generations at this frisky mom-and-tot studio. The atmosphere is rainbow-colored and downright frolicsome. Your teeny yogini will love the modified poses, playful props and group singing. Classes range from prenatal to eight-year-olds, and the focus is on inclusiveness and bonding.

  • Venue name: Bubbles Academy
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 1504 N Fremont St Chicago
  • Cross street: between Blackhawk and Weed Sts
  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat 1pm-5pm; Sun 10am-5pm
  • Transport: El: Red to North/Clybourn. Bus: 8, 70, 72
  • Price: $12 and up

Little Beans Evanston

TimeOut Recommended | Evanston

The second location of this indoor playspace is much larger with plenty of things for both little and big kids to do. A gym, karaoke room, art room and library complement the little and big play areas. There is also a full cafe with drive-thru window, and kids can participate in classes, camps and birthday parties.

  • Venue name: Little Beans Cafe
  • Contact: VISIT WEBSITE
  • Address: 430 Asbury Ave Evanston
  • Cross street: between Oakton and Kirk Sts
  • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-7pm; Sat, Sun 8:30am-1pm; drive-thru: 6:30am-7pm
  • Transport: El: Purple to South
  • Price: $12, siblings $10, packages and VIP club available