Best Indoor Playgrounds in Chicago for Kids

Climb and play all day no matter the weather, at Present Place. Photo courtesy of Present Place
Climb and play all day no matter the weather, at Present Place. Photo courtesy of Present Place
2/1/24 - By Siobhan Adcock

Looking for indoor playgrounds in Chicago? Here are our favorite indoor play spaces near Chicago.

When the weather's too cold, too hot, or too rainy to play outdoors, you can head to one of our favorite indoor play spaces for kids in Chicago. There’s a climate-controlled play zone for every age, every interest, and every kind of kid. Many indoor play spaces in Chicago even offer coffee and wi-fi for grateful parents, so you can catch up on email (and caffeine) while your little ones get their sillies out.

Here are our favorite places to play indoors in and around Chicago when the weather won't cooperate. Looking for something else fun to do indoors with kids in Chicago? Check out our list of the best FREE indoor play spaces in and around Chicago. For more fun when it's too hot or cold to play outside, check out our Winter Activities Guide for Chicago Kids.


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Picture of a little girl at Purple Monkey Playroom, an indoor play space near Chicago
Little girl enjoying Purple Monkey Playroom. Photo courtesy of Purple Monkey Playroom

Indoor Play Spaces on Chicago's North Side

1. Purple Monkey Playroom — Bucktown 

Two words: Free. Coffee. At this adorable space where families can take classes or play, Purple Monkey is a local favorite for good reason. Ride-on toys, climbing structures, and lots of opportunities for imaginative play keep kids up to age five happy and busy, while free wi-fi, comfy seating, and lots of light make it easy for parents to enjoy a break. Reserve a two-hour group playtime fin either the morning or afternoon.

2. Fit City Kids — Lincoln Square

Fit City Kids' Cityscape play zone features a 5,000-square-foot multi-level playground where kids can climb, slide, run, and dive through a maze of fun. The soft play structure keeps kids from getting hurt, and toddlers have their own designated zone to keep them away from the wily bigger kids. Come for the open play, stay for sports and fitness classes or parties!

3. Edgewater Playhouse — Edgewater 

Kids from crawling age through six years can burn off their energy at Edgewater Playhouse's Open Gym. There is no scheduled instruction during open play, so kids can run wild and use their imaginations. Local parents love the clean facility and reasonable pricing.

4. Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo — Lincoln Park Zoo

Hitting the Lincoln Park Zoo might not be your first thought during the colder months, but the Treetop Canopy Adventure climbing structure in the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo building is irresistible fun—plus, it’s free! Once your kids have had their fill of the ropes, tunnels, and walkways, visit the North American animals and learn about their habitats.

5. Mini City on 21  Edgebrook

Little kids who like to play pretend will enjoy this tiny city on the far Northwest side. With plenty of open play hours during the week and a mini lunch menu, parents with preschoolers can come to play all day. Check out the classes and birthday party options as well.

RELATED: 18 Chicago Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free

Hello Baby is an indoor play space near Chicago

Kids don't mind the traffic at Hello Baby. Photo courtesy of Hello Baby

Indoor Play Spaces on the South Side and Downtown Chicago

6. Hello Baby — Woodlawn

A free play space in Woodlawn just for babies up to age three (with their caregivers), Hello Baby is a bright, welcoming spot packed with books, educational toys, and space for physical play. Regular story times and sing-alongs make this a sweet neighborhood hub for little ones.

7. Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens — Near South Side

Chicago Women’s Park and Garden has a variety of outdoor amenities but also offers an indoor kids’ playground and café featuring a climbing wall and a kids’ science lab. Playhouses and a multi-level play structure help kids get in some physical activity during the cold winter months. The building also has plenty of soft spaces for new walkers to safely enjoy.

8. Garfield Park Conservatory — Garfield Park

Housed within the Garfield Park Conservatory, The Elizabeth Morse Genius Children’s Garden provides a little patch of green on gray winter days in Chicago. Kids can learn about plants and gardening through large sculptural displays that show plant birth, growth, and reproduction, or they can climb a giant vine with roots, seeds, leaves, and flowers. Kids might get hungry from smelling the French Fry Plant, learn about evolution by touching the sensitive plant (which retracts when touched), or enjoy the beauty of nature with the Bird of Paradise.

9. Little Hoppers Cafe — Beverly

Little Hoppers has a bright and clean playroom and coffee, tea, and snacks for grown-ups in the Beverly neighborhood. Visit for a discounted $10 price on Tuesdays and enjoy story times on select weekdays. Kids can also book a birthday party with pizza and cake.

Great Indoor Play Spaces near Chicago

10. Jumps 'n Jiggles — Elk Grove Village

The first room in this two-room play center features a giant two-story play structure and foam play pieces for little kids. The second room houses a 28-foot tall carousel with 18 hand-painted horse figurines. You can ride as many times as you want once you have paid the admission fee. Jumps 'n Jiggles frequently hosts events like outdoor movies or DIY Valentine's Day card-making sessions for preschoolers and early elementary school kids.

11. Waterlemon — LaGrange

That's not a typo—this punnily named playroom in west suburban LaGrange is bright and clean and features a balloon bar where kids can get lots of different specialty balloons to make their day special. Outside food and beverages are allowed, or you can buy a snack, drink, or coffee at the playroom.

12. Forest The Fox's Play Box—Westchester

This indoor climbing structure and playroom will remind parents of their own childhood (and so will the price). For just $2 per child, kids can play all day. There's even a preschooler-sized restroom for when kids have to go.

13. The Exploritorium — Skokie

Skokie Park District's Exploritorium offers a low entry fee ($5 for residents and $6 for non-residents) to enjoy the many amenities of its indoor play space. In addition to the tubes-and-tunnels indoor playground, kids can play with a giant "Lite Brite" wall, design something new at the engineering station, get wet in the water play area, climb the climbing wall, play dress up, or act out a play onstage. There's also a separate toddler zone for the littlest kids. 

14. Gizmo's Fun Factory — Orland Park

A win for families with kids in multiple age groups, Gizmo's Fun Factory features a soft play maze with a ball drop for little kids and an arcade, zip lines, bumper cars, and wall climbing for elementary and middle schoolers. Buy a package or pay as you go to enjoy a day full of games, rides, and more.

15. Marshmallow Play - Elmhurst

Marshmallow Play in Elmhurst is an adorable play space for young kids. There is a variety of play equipment including slides, climbing structures, and several pretend play areas. These features are designed to get kids moving while also encouraging socialization and imaginative play.


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