Winter Activities for Families in the Western Suburbs

This is the winter we’re all bundling up, heading outside, and searching high and low for fun wherever it may be found! We’ve been busy scoping out local activities for families and kids. This year, that means virtual options, at-home fun, safely distanced events, new drive-through experiences, and lots of layers to head outside and play!

photo courtesy of local mom and Kidlist reader, Priscilla M. in Oak Park, IL

Sledding! Grab Your Sled and Head for These Hills
Snow is on the way, and it’s time to go sledding! Here is a comprehensive list of places to sled in the west suburbs.

Where to Go Snow Tubing and Tobogganing
With higher peaks, bumps along the course, and some that even have a convenient belt to bring your tube back to the top, your family won’t want to leave these local and destination tubing and toboggan spots.

School Closings in Chicagoland and Ideas for a Snow Day
A comprehensive and up-to-date list of school closings, plus creative ways to enjoy a snow day.

Family-Friendly Events
Find out about upcoming events before they book up! Local organizations are working hard to create safe options for kids to enjoy.

Winter Hikes, Snowshoe Rentals, and Cross-Country Skiing
Explore your favorite summertime trails while they’re covered in a layer of fresh snow. We also have info on rentals and the best scenic spots.

Ice Skating! Outdoor, Indoor, and Refrigerated Options
Family-friendly indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks with skate rental information, admission fees, and how to find out if the outdoor rinks are ready.

Indoor Pools with Family Swim Times
If these long, cold and dreary days have you and your crew dreaming of summer sunshine, treat your kids to and indoor pool.

Arcades, Laser Tag, and Game Rooms
We’ve rounded up the best local arcades, laser tag and game rooms for kids (or kids at heart) in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Kid-Friendly Bowling Alleys
Get the list of local bowling alleys with helpful info about ramps and bumpers.

READ
Tips for Visiting Blackberry Farm in Aurora (and 2021 Free Days!)

Indoor Play Areas Offering Private Rentals
Our play area guide encompasses indoor play gyms, indoor inflatables, indoor playgrounds, and even restaurants with indoor play spaces.

Play Equipment to Rent and Bring Home
Find ways to mix up your at-home fun without the commitment of find a place to store it all.

Nature Centers
You can also check out the 10 best nature centers as voted by Kidlist readers.

Plant Conservatories
Get some fresh air and enjoy the greenery at these local spots to take a walk and admire the foliage.

Local Workout Classes and Ideas for Being Active with Kids
Read this one for ideas to inspire you and your family to get active with local classes and activities that get you moving.

Chicagoland Kids Theater Guide: Fall – Winter
All of the kid-friendly theater for families in the west and southwest suburbs of Chicago. Find performances in this comprehensive guide to theater for kids!

Local Opportunities for Volunteering with Kids
Bringing a little light into the world is a beautiful way to warm up your family’s winter. Many of these opportunities can be done at home or through a virtual connection.

Kidlist Volunteering Event
Join us for our annual volunteering event to decorate and donate duffle bags and birthday boxes to local kids in tough situations.

Locally Owned Bookstores and Toy Stores Offering Curbside Pickup and Delivery
Sometimes, a new storybook, craft activity, or toy can help perk up the days at home. These local spots offer curbside pickup and delivery so you don’t have to tote the little ones inside.

We also have articles about Escape Rooms, Rock Climbing, Roller Skating, Kid-Friendly Nail Salons, and Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studios, which will be updated soon!

Winter Holidays

Holiday Fun Guide: Christmas, Hanukkah and More
Kidlist is the headquarters for holiday fun! Find Christmas activities, where to celebrate New Year’s Eve with kids, the best Christmas lights, and more.

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Family-Friendly Weekend Events: March 5–7 and Beyond

Winter Break Camps for Kids
The west suburbs are full of winter break camps with sports, games, crafts, gymnastics, field trips, art, science, math and more. 

Winter Break Activities in Chicago’s Western Suburbs
Find fabulous ways to spend quality time at home with your family, as well as ways to mix it up with adventures on the go. 

How to Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Kids
Celebrate and honor the life of the incredible Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with these engaging events and resources.

Ways for Families to Celebrate the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, and it’s one of China’s biggest celebrations. Find local events and activities for a fun celebration!

Making Valentine’s Day Special for Kids: Local Events and Activity Ideas
Valentine’s day is all about spending time with the one’s you love. So soak up the love with these in-person, virtual, and at-home events and ideas!

Paczki Day
We have the best spots to find paczki in time for Fat Tuesday. Be sure to order in time to get your traditional treats!

Food and Where to Eat

Igloos and Dome Dining
Winter does not stop Chicagoans from dining outdoors anymore! We have all the info on where to find igloo dining, group sizes, and details.

Cookie Decorating Kits
Fun for the whole family or just to keep the littles entertained for a while, these kits are a wonderful and tasty way to get creative together.

Where to Find Hot Cocoa Bombs
Watching a hot cocoa bomb open is quite mesmerizing, and has definitely brought some warm memories for my family this winter!

Best Spots for Pizza in the West Suburbs
Check out this reader recommended list for the best pizza places.

READ
Tips for Visiting Blackberry Farm in Aurora (and 2021 Free Days!)

Best Donut Shops
Find out where to get the best donuts in the suburbs! This one has a map so you can mark off the places you’ve been and want to try.

Local Restaurants with Family-Style Meal Deals
Simplify dinner and support local businesses by ordering takeout for the whole family. These spots have special family-style offerings.

Fish Fry Events
If you observe the Catholic tradition of avoiding meat on Fridays or just love a good ol’ fashioned fish fry, check out this list of options in the west suburbs!

Day Trips and Travel

Locations, Details, Pricing for Skiing and Snowboarding Near Chicago
Where to go skiing with descriptions, lift ticket and equipment rental information to easily plan a fun adventure with your family.

Local Hotels with Pools and Kid-Friendly Chicago Hotel Deals
Take advantage of these awesome packages and beat the winter blues with a mini getaway.

Farm Stays and Other Unique Family-Friendly Airbnbs in Illinois
Need a change of scenery? These whole-house options let your family travel to find fresh air (without crossing state lines).

A Visit to the Ice Castles in Lake Geneva and Tips for Your Day Trip
Get inside information about the ice castles at Lake Geneva so you can get tips to plan your trip.

Amazing Kid-Friendly Airbnbs Across the Country
Booking a vacation or just making a list of dream destinations gives us a little lift as we look forward to the future. These kid-friendly Airbnbs around the country get me so excited for days when we’ll be out on the road again.

Escape to These Indoor Water Parks Near Chicagoland
We’ve researched all the best options for indoor water parks in and around Chicago for you!

Winter Gear

Dress Your Kids for Outdoor Winter Play
We talked with a nature-based preschool to get helpful tips to help all of us get bundled up to stay warm while enjoying the outdoors.

About the Author

Annie Tandy
Annie loves making great memories with her kids and started Kidlist in 2011 so she can help others do the same! Besides finding fun and exciting things to do, Annie and her kids enjoy caring for their chickens and hanging out with them in the backyard. Click here to read about Annie's chickens and see pictures! She also finds joy in gardening, home improvement projects, knitting, soap making, and painting along with being active in her community, church, and as a board member of the Western Springs Business Association. Click here to follow Annie on Instagram.

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