Couples + Family

6 Indoor Family Activities to Cure the Bad Weather Blues

Skokie Exploratorium (Courtesy: Skokie Park District)

It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with Chicago weather. That’s why terms like polar vortex and Windy City (sure, we say it has nothing to do with the elements) haunt our city. Luckily, there are plenty of great indoor family activities if a beautiful day on the lakefront isn’t in the cards.

  1. Garfield Park Conservatory. Mosey through these always warm, lush greenhouses, and you won’t even care what’s happening outdoors. Admission is free and special family activities occur on a regular basis.
  2. Whirlyball. Here, your kids will enjoy 50,000 square feet of indoor activities like laser tag and bowling. For kids ages 12 and up, there’s Whirlyball — a combination of lacrosse, hockey and basketball …with bumper cars. Oh, and a giant selection of craft beer for mom and dad.
  3. Legoland. There’s something about Legos that mesmerize kids for hours, and a trek out to suburban Schaumburg will immerse them into a world of these colorful plastic blocks. Replicas of Chicago landmarks made of Legos, a build-your-own area and plenty of rides will guarantee a nap on your drive back to the city.
  4. Pump It Up. The 90’s classic “Jump Around” should be the theme song at this house of inflatables. Kids can jump, slide, shoot hoops and bounce for hours on end. Open play hours are plenty, but call to avoid birthday parties.
  5. Skokie Exploratorium. A short jaunt outside the city takes you to this play space meets hands-on museum. A giant light bright wall, fishable river, dress up stage and train table are just a few of the activities the little ones will love.
  6. Museum of Science and Industry. Get lost in the exhibits that cover everything from space to storms, and coal mines to castles. Omnimax movies and hands-on features will keep your whole family occupied while the day drifts away.