If children ran cities, fountains would be filled with Kool-Aid, public transportation would occur via slide, and politicians would run cutthroat campaigns to decide who gets to play the mommy. Pass the city key to little ones with today's Groupon: for $39, you get a one-month membership to Kid City, valid for unlimited open play (a $105 value). Open play is held Tuesday–Friday from 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. through Labor Day.
Kid City flourishes with candy-colored play stations, ranging from grocery stores to movie theaters, that mimic the grown-up world outside and beckon budding minds to dive into imaginative play. Drop by during open-play hours and encourage tykes to pretend-purchase vegetables from the produce section, gaze at the painted skyscrapers, or make awkward conversation in line at the virtual post office. Miniature cars and boats buzz through the wonderland of toys while quieter tykes curl up in the reading corner and adults relax with complimentary coffee in a comfy, couchy lounge.
Imaginations blossom at Kid City. The 3,000-square-foot space is geared toward pretending. Kids push miniature carts through the supermarket, filling them with fruits and veggies before checking out at an actual cash register. They then head to the playhouse to stock the fridge and fire up the grill for a make-believe feast. Rideable plastic cars whisk children from the playhouse to the dress-up boutique, where they can see what it's like to wear a fireman's outfit over a princess gown. Meanwhile, toddlers play safely in a padded area with colorful toys.
As dedicated as Kid City is to sparking kids' creativity, its staff is equally concerned with accommodating parents. Afternoon or summer-morning drop-off camps, for example, help parents find time to run errands or invent a method for removing tomato-sauce stains from ceilings. During camps, kids do arts and crafts or enjoy visits from their favorite characters, such as cartoon princesses. Open-play hours offer complimentary coffee and tea to caretakers, and a refrigerator and microwave is at their disposal for snacks or lunches.
1837 W Grand Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60622Get Directions