The Best Chicago Restaurants Where Kids Can Play

Little boy trying for a strike! Photo courtesy of Pinstripes
Little boy trying for a strike! Photo courtesy of Pinstripes
5/19/24 - By Bonnie Broeren

Good restaurants are one thing, but for parents, kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago are something else altogether. A place where someone else cooks and cleans up while the little ones are entertained for long enough that a conversation between partners (and enjoying your dinner) is possible? Yes, these places exist! 

We found the best restaurants in Chicago and the nearby suburbs where kids can play or have something extra special to keep them busy while you dine. From playgrounds to bowling and even planes landing and taking off, whether you have a tot, a tween, or a teen, there’s something for everyone.


American Girl has one of the kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago 
Brunch with their favorite companions. Photo courtesy of American Girl

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Chicago

American Girl Cafe - Mag Mile

Kids can enjoy lunch or brunch with their favorite doll and their favorite grown-up at the American Girl Cafe. Check out the calendar for special events and holiday-themed teas and brunches. 

Sugar Factory - Mag Mile and Rosemont 

While there isn't a designated place for youngsters at this celeb-fave spot, kids can browse every candy known to man, enjoy an over-the-top sugary beverage like the Cookie Monster Insane Milkshake or the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Mania, and take advantage of all the Insta-worthy backdrops. This is the perfect place to take older tweens and teens. 

Pinstripes - Streeterville, Northbrook, Oak Brook

Pinstripes has a kids’ club for bowlers ages 12 and under every weekday from 11 am-1 pm, including shoe rentals, hourly bowling, and a kids’ menu filled with favorites like mac and cheese, wood-fired pizza, buttered noodles, and chicken tenders.

Parents or caregivers bowl for FREE and can enjoy items from the regular menu, which boasts shareables like calamari and tenderloin sliders, and Italian-American entrees such as Italian jambalaya, chicken and goat cheese fusilli, and a prime rib dip sandwich. There are also gluten-free and vegan menu options and an impressive selection of adult beverages.  

Kings Bowl and PIzza is one of the kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago 
Time for Pizza and bowling! Photo courtesy of Kings Dining and Entertainment

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago Neighborhoods

Kings Dining and Entertainment - Lincoln Park

Kings has bowling, billiards, Foosball, air hockey, and shuffleboard to meet all your family's fun needs, as well as an expansive menu with small plates like Buffalo chicken wontons, fried cheddar bites, and Caribbean jerk chicken wings, as well as kid-friendly fare like grilled cheese and tons of pizza offerings. Adults can take advantage of the full bar. Pro tip: come during the day or early in the evening, because it turns into an adults-only place at night. 

Castaways - Lincoln Park

It's all about location, location, location when it comes to Castaways. It's located on North Beach, so if you're looking to eat out without packing up all your beach gear, Castaways is the spot. You can sit down, have a quick bite, and the kids can return to playing on the beach.

Debuting Memorial Day 2024 as Castaways Beach Club, look for a remodeled space and re-vamped menu. Along with the changes, the North End Club will be 21+ and up, but the restaurant portion will still be a family-friendly destination. 

Etheria Cafe - Humboldt Park

Etheria Cafe is a cafe and play space combination. With 450 square feet of indoor play space, your kids can have fun, climb, slide, and more, while you all enjoy a fun meal or cup of coffee. You can purchase a play pass online before arriving at the cafe to avoid lines. The passes are good for two hours. Be sure to check the website—Etheria closes at certain hours of the day for private parties. 

Antique Taco - Bridgeport

 Antique Taco’s Bridgeport location has a large patio with games and sidewalk chalk to occupy restless little diners, while parents can enjoy delicious tacos and margaritas. This location also hosts food truck nights and other themed evenings during the summer. 

Punch Bowl Social - West Loop

While more of an adults-only place in the late evening, Punch Bowl Social has everything to keep you and your kids entertained during the day, including shuffleboard, ping-pong, bacci, bowling, and more. There is also a kids’ menu and an extensive regular menu boasting charcuterie boards, falafel sliders, tacos, burgers, seasoned popcorn, and much more. There's also a full bar for those who are of age. 

Kaiser Tiger West Loop

Kaiser Tiger is one of the best kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago to bring kids before or after a United Center event. There is a large indoor and outdoor space for kids to play yard games inside and out at this beer garden that boasts 20+ beers rotating on tap.

From bocce ball to curling, there is plenty to keep the kids busy and having fun while you dine on items like pesto chicken sandwiches, smashburgers, bacon-wrapped dates, and jumbo pretzels. 

Lucky Strike Social - Lakeview 

Kids get a special deal on bowling, billiards, ping-pong, games, and the dedicated kids’ menu. Grown-ups can play along, or watch from the sidelines while munching on pizza or burgers and sipping on a handcrafted cocktail. 

Puttshack is one of the kid-friendly restaurants in Chicago 
Cool indoor mini golf course. Photo courtesy of Puttshack

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chicago Suburbs

Elmhurst Brewing Company - Elmhurst

Elmhurst Brewing Company has an awesome beer garden open from late spring through the fall. They have plenty of outdoor space for kids, board games for the table, and yard games are available in the summer. There's also live music every Sunday at 5pm if you plan on heading here for dinner.

Besides their impressive award-winning beer menu, you can enjoy tasty pub fare like loaded tots, beer cheese and pretzels, wraps, fish and chips, and grilled cheese with avocado. 

Puttshack - Oak Brook

Puttshack in Oak Brook is great for kids and adults who love golf. This upscale mini-golf restaurant is all indoors which is great for a rainy or cold day in Chicago. Since kids ages 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent on the course, you and your partner can draw straws to see who takes the first round and who gets to enjoy the impressive menu which includes chorizo and cheese empanadas, Persian chicken skewers, Maryland crab dip, and much more. 

LazyDog - Oak Brook

LazyDog in Oak Brook was designed with families in mind. From human kids to your furry, four-legged children, all are welcome in this laid-back atmosphere. There are even dog bowls located under the tables for your pups. Kids will enjoy the varied menu designed just for them: teriyaki chicken and rice, PB & J, mini corndogs, and noodles made in three ways (butter, red sauce, and plain). They even offer family-style meals!

Pilot Pete’s - Schaumburg 

Located above the Schaumburg airport, Pilot Pete’s is the perfect place for aviation enthusiasts young and old. Kids can check out airplane memorabilia while they wait for their food, including old airline seats and model planes, as well as a view of planes taking off from the regional airport. 

Enterrium - Schaumburg

Enterrium offers gaming, arcades, bowling, and more. You can play, eat, and enjoy family game nights all from the same venue. ​In the summer, take advantage of the kids' pizza and play deal: a pizza, soft drink, and either one hour of play with a pre-loaded game card or one hour of bowling for just $18 per kid. 

2Toots Train Whistle Grill - Naperville 

Parents rave about the milkshakes and malts at 2Toots, while kids love the miniature train tracks that run throughout the restaurant delivering food. There isn't a bad seat in the house at 2Toots, where the train tracks run past each table. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so plan accordingly!


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