Indoor activities for kids
Hit up educational classes with decidedly arty twists at this mom-and-tot studio. The new space (scheduled to open in January) is a whimsical mélange of bright colors; sensory stimulants and activities—including baby sign language and toddler yoga—are aimed at everyone from expectant moms to preschoolers.
Your kids will find plenty of hands-on diversions with this eco-friendly spot’s roster of educational courses (offered in recurring weekly or single-day sessions). All classes are taught by educators, scientists, artists and engineers and are tailored to curious minds from tots to preteens. There are also locations in the South Loop, Northbrook and Naperville.
This always-hopping play space houses a mini fire station and grocery store, pint-size vehicles and tons more to occupy active little ones. What’s more, there’s Intelligentsia Coffee, plenty of tables and free Wi-Fi for parents. Come lunchtime, check out the on-site café’s kid- and adult-friendly sandwiches and snacks. A larger Evanston location (430 Asbury Ave; 847-807-3731) features themed rooms and separate spaces for older and younger kids.
At this tribute to Chicago’s natural history, it’s all about the domed Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, where more than 200 species from around the globe flutter freely. The museum also has play spaces and exhibits to explore, climb around and splash in. Daily kidcentric events include various animal feedings at 1pm and new butterfly releases at 2pm.
This sleek indoor fun zone has a decidedly green theme, from the environmentally friendly toys right down to the cushy cork floors. Other tasteful touches—such as a life-size Lite-Brite board composed of wine corks—make this arguably the coolest-looking play space in town.