6 Things to Do with Kids in Chicago(land) When It’s Too Cold Outside

Chicago Winter

The temps are below freezing, your kids are climbing the walls, and you need to do something about it – fast. If you’re looking for things to do with kids in Chicago (and the suburbs), then we’ve got just what you’re looking for right here. Check out these six family-friendly activities right outside your doorstep or just a quick drive down the expressway (with enough time for the littles to take a snooze, by the way).

Family Fun at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Throughout the winter season, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park offers fun programs for families. With a focus on nature, these programs can include arts and crafts, science activities, animal encounters, and holiday events. You can also visit the museum via regular admission (free on Thursdays) seven days a week. It’s proof that – even when it’s beyond cold – there’s plenty of things to do with kids in Chicago, including learning about the outdoors.

Cooking Together at The Kids’ Table

Put your oven mitts together for Family Dinners at The Kids’ Table in Wicker Park and Lakeview. Set in colorful and welcoming environments, these super fun and creative cooking classes are the perfect way to introduce your kids to the kitchen or continue inspiring them to learn how to cook. Many of the classes are open to children as young as 2 years old, so it’s easy to include more of the family.

Creative Play at DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville

Whether you reside in the suburbs or the city, the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville is worth the drive. Located just north of Naperville’s downtown, the museum is clad in bright pink, blue and yellow – you can’t miss it, and you won’t want to either. There are two expansive floors of fascinating activities for kids, including a giant bubble machine, tons of building stations, creative play areas, dedicated playrooms for babies, and special learning exhibits that change throughout the year.

Bouncing Around at Ball Factory in Naperville

Remember how much fun it was to jump into hundreds of plastic balls? Ball Factory takes that to new levels at its fun indoor play area in Naperville. And that’s not all they have – there’s also slides, foam building blocks, separate areas for kids’ ride-on cars and trucks, and toddler zones. Bonus: They serve all kinds of coffee and espresso drinks, snacks, lunch and gelato at their café.

Indoor Play Spaces in Chicago and Suburbs

It’s true that finding things to do with kids in Chicago during the winter can be challenging. That’s why indoor play spaces are so popular (and why there are so many of them). There’s no way we can pick just one, so instead we’re turning to this awesome list of play places from MommyNearest. No matter what your kids’ ages or what they like to play, you’re sure to find a new spot to explore or a destination that will become a family favorite.  

Get Sporty at Windy City Fieldhouse

For 20 years, Windy City Fieldhouse (WCF) has been the destination for indoor sports, including a fantastic youth sports program. Offering camps, classes and lessons for kids ages 2-13, WCF keeps your kids active and healthy over the winter. Choose from individual sports like basketball, soccer, hockey, and volleyball, or enroll in a multi-sports program for a different experience each week. Kids’ programs are also available over school breaks.

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