First, we owe a huge thank you to all our readers who voted to help create our newly updated list of best indoor playgrounds! There were so many great votes for local indoor play areas, children’s museums, play cafes, and more. So much has changed since we last polled the Kidlist community in 2020, and we can’t wait to share the results with you. We hope to see everyone out and about at these fantastic locations.
The 10 Best Indoor Playgrounds and Play Spaces of 2023
Attention, friends! The top-rated indoor play space in Chicago’s suburbs is . . .
1. Playroom Cafe Two
Playroom Cafe Two – Naperville
2075 Calamos Court
Naperville, IL 60563
This indoor playground is designed intentionally for kids from infancy to age 6. Any child beyond the age of 6, or above 48″ height, are not permitted on the playground. Littles will love the colorful arrangements of play equipment and pretend play opportunities. There’s also a separate space just for babies. Adults will appreciate the varied menu of food, smoothies, and snacks, as well as specialty coffee options and free wi-fi. This is a shoe-free facility, so don’t forget to pack clean socks for everyone, including adults. Check out Katie’s review from when Playroom Cafe Two first opened.
Monday through Thursday is $16/child (adults are free). Friday through Sunday is $16/child with two free accompanying adults; adults without a paying child are $16 per person. Infants 6 months and under are always free.
2. Waterlemon Kids Indoor Play Cafe
25 South La Grange Road – Unit A
La Grange, IL 60525
This chic, airy, and modern space also has an event/party space and a kids boutique onsite. The play space is designed for kiddos aged 5 and under. Don’t forget socks for everyone (but if you do, they’re also sold onsite). Outside food and drink is permitted, making it an awesome option for any families who prefer to bring snacks from home. If you prefer to reserve ahead of time, you can do so on their website, but it’s not necessary for entry.
Fall 2022/Winter 2023 Open Play pricing: $12 for first child, $10 for each additional child. Adults and children 3 months old and younger are free. Last hour of open play is half off.
3. Little Fox Clubhouse
Little Fox Clubhouse
2645 North Bridge Street
Yorkville, IL 60560
Here at Kidlist, we often hear about great spots a little bit outside our typical coverage area, and this is one of them. Head west to Yorkville with your kids up to age 6 for some climbing, sliding, pretend play fun. (Older sibling “helpers” can help their younger siblings play or, should they decide not to assist, are welcome to sit amongst the tables and chairs to observe.) Outside food is allowed, limited to snacks and water. Little Fox Clubhouse is also a nut-free environment. Make sure to pack clean socks for the entire family, or plan to purchase onsite.
$15 for first child, $10 for any siblings after that. Helpers are $7 each.
4. DuPage Children’s Museum
DuPage Children’s Museum
301 North Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540
A perennial favorite of the Kidlist community, this western suburban gem is no surprise on this list. There’s so much to do here for kids of any age, and even kids at heart: whether it’s engineering, water flow science, carpentry, or optics, every exhibit is full of hands-on experience and exploration. What kid wouldn’t want to stand inside an enormous bubble?
In late January 2023, the new second floor exhibit will be complete and ready for visitors. Math Connections aims to show kids all the ways, places, and events in their everyday lives where math concepts are alive and well. If you plan to make a day of it, the Bean Sprouts cafe onsite is back open again with healthy, kid-friendly food options.
$17/person (adult or child), $16 for seniors. Infants under 1 and museum members free of charge.
5. Ball Factory
864 South Rte. 59
Naperville, IL 60540
This high-energy space admits any kids up to age 12 by design and has the variety of activities to truly cater to multiple age ranges. Alongside a toddler-friendly space, you’ll find a giant slide, multi-story play structure, soft ball cannon room, ride-on toys and more. Walk-in visits are welcome, but advance reservations are recommended so that your space will be held for you in case things get busy. No outside food is allowed, but the onsite menu has lots of options. This is a socks-only facility.
Weekdays, kids up to 12 are $20/kid (price includes 2 adults) with $5 extra per person above age 12. Weekend pricing rises slightly to $25/kid (price includes 2 adults) and extra patrons are $10 each. Family punch cards/passes are available. Last hour of playtime is 50% off.
6. Flying High
Flying High Sports & Rec Center
5400 East Avenue
Countryside, IL 60525
If you’ve got climbers, tumblers, rollers, or bouncers, this the indoor play time you’ve been looking for. Flying High separates their open gym time into two categories: Little Tykes Time, which is limited to kids aged kindergarten or younger, and Open Gym, which welcomes all ages. Register in advance to take advantage of lower fees. Flying High also offers Special Needs Open Gym Time, held monthly and open to all ages (siblings are welcome).
Open Gym: $15/walk-in, $12 if pre-registered, all ages welcome. Little Tykes: $10/walk-in, $8 if pre-registered. Special Needs Gym Time: $12/child, siblings welcome, walk-ins welcome. Punch cards available.
7. Hamill Family Play Zoo
Hamill Family Play Zoo
Inside Brookfield Zoo (nearest to South Gate)
8400 West 31st Street
Brookfield, IL 60513
The Hamill Family Play Zoo is an interactive zoo-within-a-zoo that provides hands-on learning to kids of all ages. Exhibits inside and outdoors that encourage kids to think more about the everyday lives of the animals in the zoo. Pretend play stations invite kids to dress like a lemur or a zookeeper, a garden full of plants to water, and mini habitats to explore. There’s even a kid-sized veterinarian “clinic” where littles can learn about the care and keeping of their favorite zoo friends.
If you’re lucky, you’ll show up when an intrepid zoo employee is leading an informal Q&A about whatever they’ve got perched on their arm. (Last time my family went, it was an enormous arthropod of some sort; I had to watch from a distance, but my kids were in heaven.) In warmer weather, the outside section of the Hamill complex includes wallabies, an interactive aviary (this is a loud space, FYI for those with kids who are sensitive to noise), and goats that the kids can hand feed, brush and observe.
As of January 2023, the Hamill Family Play Zoo is free with zoo admission; this may change seasonally.
8. Naperville Yard Playroom
Naperville Yard Playroom
1607 Legacy Circle
Naperville, IL 60563
Naperville Yard’s play space can genuinely entertain and engage a range of ages, and there is a ton of room for kids to move. Included in the play space are a giant play tower with slides, large inflatables to jump on, and indoor fields where kids can play and run. Don’t worry if you still have littles at home, too; there are preschool and toddler-friendly toys and ride-on vehicles to keep younger siblings entertained.
$10/child (up to age 18 – check website for details on permissions and waivers). Infants 1 and younger are free. Punch cards available.
9. Funflatables at Yorktown Mall
Funflatables at Yorktown Mall
170 Yorktown Shopping Center
Lower Level next to JC Penney, use Mall Entrance Number 1
Lombard, IL 60148
Inflatables (and more) are indeed fun in this colorful space, designed for kids up to about age 12. Tables for adults are centrally located so you can keep an eye on everyone as they bounce around. The toddler space is enclosed and designed appropriately with climbing toys, interactive wall displays, and more. Be sure to bring your own socks. No outside food is allowed (exceptions made for adults bringing coffee, tea, etc. and also sippy cups/bottles for the littles).
Quick heads up for parents of kids who may need help in the restroom: the bathrooms at this location are tucked away down a hallway and allow no visibility to the main space. If you have bring than one kid, you may want to visit the restroom before playing.
$12/child (under 18 years old), no charge for adults, free same-day re-entry. Passes available.
2639 Aurora Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
Calling all climbers and ninja kids! Funtopia will keep your kids safely harnessed while they climb and play on a variety of climbing apparatuses. There are larger structures with beams, walls, rings, and other ninja-inspired surfaces, as well as a high ropes course and a giant slide. This is another location on our list that is better suited to kids beyond preschool; in fact, there’s a minimum height of 48″ for everything outside the toddler area. Check the website for details on what each entry pass includes. You’re encouraged to book your reservation online ahead of time, as the facility often reaches capacity and cannot accommodate walk-ins during those times.
$10/child for the toddler area, $25 for all-day pass. (Participating parent is $15; non-participating parents are free.)
$30/person for the Ultimate Move & Chill Pass, which includes food. (Participating parents are $20/person.)
Special rate for Friday nights, 6:00-9:00pm: $20/person
These 10 may be the best of the best, according to our voters, but there are so many other awesome options in our area! For more indoor play ideas, be sure to check out our guides for Indoor Play Areas in the Suburbs, which includes all of the locations, contact information, pricing, and more.
A big congratulations to all of these top-voted play spaces! If you find and explore a great new space, let us know what you thought in the comments.