Kindergarten feels like the age when parents can breathe a collective sigh of relief. You’re no longer carrying a diaper bag around or worried that your toddler is going to run from you at the park. Celebrate this new independence by trying out places that may have felt intimidating before. These top activities are perfect for elementary-aged children as they transition into big-kid fun!
Things to Do with Elementary Kids Ages 6-8 in the West Suburbs
Classic Fun for Kids and Parents
You probably enjoyed these activities as a kid! These are great family activities that offer a chance for everyone to bond:
- Is your child showing more of a competitive side? Challenge them to a round of miniature golf. For first timers, we went to Miner Mike’s Adventure Golf in Downers Grove, which is a great value and right next to McCollum Park for even more fun.
- Bowling is a game loved by all. These kid-friendly bowling alleys have the ramps and bumpers to help even the youngest of bowlers.
- Who doesn’t love ice cream? Enjoy a sweet afternoon out at one of the many local ice cream shops. We’ve even included a map. You’ll surely impress them at one of these over-the-top milkshake stops.
- Lace up your skates for an afternoon of roller skating at these local rinks.
- Put your skills to the test against each other at these local arcades, laser tags and go-karting.
More Indoor Activities for Elementary Schoolers
- Get all that energy out at places to bounce or indoor rock climbing facilities. Don’t forget to add yourself as a participant. Nothing excites my kids more than to see me out there having fun, too.
- Relax and enjoy an afternoon at kid-friendly nail salons.
- Select escape rooms are offering kid-friendly themes that will get all of your brains moving. Work together to solve the puzzles.
- No matter the age, parents and kids love quality one-on-one time together. Check out this list for kid-parent date ideas to enjoy a night out for just you two!
Learning Fun for Ages 6–8
As your child moves into elementary school, their passions really start to come alive. As a toddler, my daughter wanted to do everything. She’s starting to realize there are things she enjoys more than others, and wants to embrace her interests:
- Paint and pottery classes are perfect for introducing your child to the arts. Kaitlyn recently updated our list, and it’s an amazing resource!
- Your Guide to Kids Classes and Teams in the Western Suburbs is a one-stop shop for all the classes and activities your elementary-aged child may be interested in learning.
- As kids begin to read and engage with longer stories, history can really come alive. Our round-up of kid-friendly history museums is a great resource for finding a spot that will resonate with your kids. Even if you’d prefer to stay outside, you’ll still find lots of chances to learn about history, from the tanks at Cantigny Park to the local history found at Naper Settlement.
Playgrounds for Elementary-Aged Children
After spending so much time in the classroom, these kids are ready to get outside!
- Our list of the best playgrounds for elementary school-aged kids is a great resource; it features bigger parks like Harvester Park in Burr Ridge and Berens Park in Elmhurst that have plenty to do for school-age kids.
- Our lists of best playgrounds and new and improved playgrounds will be great to check as well.
- Give skateboarding a try at these skate parks throughout the western suburbs. Don’t forget your helmet!
- We’ve rounded up a list of all the ninja parks in the Chicago area. Put your child’s strength to the test and burn off all that big-kid energy.
More Outdoor Activities for Elementary Schoolers
Looking for more outdoor fun? School-age kids need time to run around more than ever!
- Stretch those legs and get out for a walk at a park with a walking path, or a tree-lined trail. Lyman Woods and Waterfall Glen are both great options.
- Make a weekend enjoying the great outdoors. Since our winters can be rough, the summer and fall are the time to be outside, so go bike riding, camping and fishing. This age is perfect, as they can help carry gear and have a longer attention span to enjoy the wilderness. Check out Mallard Lake in Hanover Park.
- Kayaks, paddleboats, boats, and canoes are a lot more fun with this age, since they can start to help with everything involved! Herrick Lake and Blackwell are both popular spots.
- The Forge: Lemont Quarries is a full outdoor adventure park, including ropes courses, biking, water fun, and more. Check out Annie’s insider tips before going to maximize your fun.
- Go on a treasure hunt! Explore your neighborhood or another one across town by hunting for geocaches.
Looking for ideas for another age group?
Head to the main Activities by Age page so you can find local places to go for every age range.