Indoor Play

34 Rainy Day Destinations in Chicagoland

Now that it is officially fall, Midwesterners know that we have very unpredictable weather ahead of us.  Don’t let a rainy day keep you in. If you’re feeling it, go out and jump in muddy puddles.  If not, visit one of these rainproof destinations to burn some energy and turn up the fun for your littles (and hopefully guarantee a solid nap time).  Here, I give you 34 destinations spanning Chicago and suburbs to keep you and your little ones entertained this fall.

Chicago

  1. Shedd Aquarium
    • One of our very favorite places to visit. So fun for even the littlest fish enthusiast.
  2. Adler Planetarium
  3. Garfield Park Conservatory
    • Always a fun place to explore but make sure to check out their drop-in programs designed especially for children ages 3-5 (although all children are welcome!)
  4. The Field Museum
    • Extra fun this fall while Jurassic World is here!

  1. The Museum of Science and Industry
    • So much to see here: LEGOS, robots, trains, and all things science!
  2. The Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier
  3. Art Institute of Chicago
    • Free admission for kids under 14 and more family friendly activities that you would expect!
  4. 360 Chicago
    • John Hancock Building. Soak in our gorgeous city from 1000 feet above the Magnificent Mile….then have lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Yum!
  5. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
    • One of our favorite spots in the city! Hands-on learning experiences and a butterfly garden.
  6. Pump it Up
    • Locations all over Chicagoland.

Suburbs

  1. Kohl’s Children’s Museum, Glenview
    • One of our favorite rainy day spots! Play with water, explore music and develop pretend play skills here. Save with a membership! Here is our in depth review.
  2. Dupage County Children’s Museum
  3. Choo Choo Diner (Des Plaines) or 2 Toots (Various Locations)
    • Enjoy a burger while your littlest train lover stays on track with all of their train obsessions!

  1. Skokie Exploritorium, Skokie
    • Check out our full review here.
  2. Yu Kids Island, Woodfield Mall & Hawthorne Mall
    • Stimulating environments within the mall to burn some steam so you can shop!
  3. Visit a fun library!
    • Here is our favorite in Barrington.
  4. Little Beans Cafe, Chicago & Evanston
    • Delicious food and indoor playground
  5. LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Schaumburg
  6. Firezone, Schaumburg
    • Firefighter owned! This place is awesome, providing a hands-on, interactive environment focused on fire safety.
  7. The Ball Factory, Naperville
    • Separate toddler and big kid areas will burn out your most energetic child! The food is good, too!
  8. Jumps and Jiggles, Elk Grove Village
    • Indoor Playground and Carousel
  9. Wonder Works Children’s Museum, Oak Park
    • 5 different “experience zones” for ages birth-8
  10. The Treehouse, Lake Zurich
    • Enjoy a multi-level climbing structure with slides, bridges, etc. Winner of “Best Indoor Playspace 2008-2010
  11. KidsWork Children’s Museum, Frankfort
  12. SciTech Hands-On Museum, Aurora
    • Over 200 interactive STEAM exhibits promise to entertain and intrigue all of your littles.
  13. Visit a mall play place–Woodfield, Northbrook Court, Hawthorne, IKEA (drop-off for older kids!)
  14. Nature Center
  15. Hamill Family Play Zoo at Brookfield Zoo
    • Children can gain hands-on experiences at this indoor zoo.  We have met a wide variety of animals here and always have a ton of fun!
  16. Visit a bookstore for storytime
  17. Funtopia, Glenview
    • Unique and fun climbing environment begging for exploration!
  18. Adventure Playland, Mount Prospect
    • Burn some energy at this indoor play space fully equipped with enough slides, pits and snacks to ensure an afternoon of fun.
  19. Home Depot
    • Register online for their Saturday morning FREE workshops!
  20. ABT Electronics, Glenview
    • Check out the giant fish tanks, bubble machines and freshly baked cookies. Yum!
  21. Water Works, Schaumburg
    • Miss swimming? Swim year-round at The Water Works in Schaumburg.  With zero-depth entry and slides, even your littlest water babies will have a blast!

Where are your favorite places to visit on a rainy day?

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49 thoughts on “34 Rainy Day Destinations in Chicagoland

  1. This is a great list! I loved the Field Museum when we visited Chicago. Will keep this list in mind if we ever make another trip! That planetarium sounds cool!

  2. Wowza! I come from a rapidly growing smaller city but we don’t have half as many activities as chicago. ( to be expected, but still) I think my mind would blow with excitement. Maybe I’m the geeky type but I would have a total hay day doing EVERYTHING on this list. 😄 I literally just found out we have a history museum yesterday and could barely contain myself. Haha. Oh, man I need to get out more… thanks for the great article. Chicagos now added to my bucket list.

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