Winter Activities for Families in the Western Suburbs

Indoor ActivitiesOutdoor ActivitiesWinter

I’m the first to admit that when I think of family fun, I picture summertime adventures at our local splashpad, building sand castles at Centennial Beach, or riding the train around Blackberry Farm. But the fun doesn’t have to stop when the temperatures drop. Bundle up and start making memories with your little ones! We’ve rounded up ideas for winter activities to keep the fun going all season long. We have you covered with both indoor and outdoor ideas, special events, and much more.

Our Winter Fun Guide is sponsored by Wheaton Park District. Don’t miss their free Ice A Palooza on February 5!

Frozen Fun In Store This February at Ice A Palooza!

Ice A Palooza
Saturday, February 5, 2022 | 11:00am – 2:00pm
Central Athletic Complex Ice Rinks
500 S. Naperville Road, Wheaton

Lace up your skates or stay on the sidelines and enjoy this break from winter’s icy grip with a trip on or around the ice.

For ice skating fans, there will be open skating and ice hockey. You can bring your own skates or rent a pair from Play it Again Sports. Sizes are limited; skates will be available while supplies last.

For spectators, there will be performances by Center Ice of DuPage and a special Meet and Greet with popular legendary characters the Ice Queen and the Snow Princess.

Gather around the bonfire for s’mores and kids’ activities.

This FREE event is sponsored by Smile Doctors.

For more information please call 630-690-4880 or visit

Winter Activities in the Western Suburbs

Bundle Up for Outdoor Fun

Sledding! Grab Your Sled and Head for These Hills
Snow will be here before you know it, so start scoping out places now! Here is a comprehensive list of places to sled in the west suburbs. Don’t forget to check on your gear ahead of time. Sleds are hard to come by once the snow hits the ground, so make sure you’re ready for the first snowfall.

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.

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.

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.

Stay Warm at Indoor Winter Activities

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.

Roller Skating
Lace up those skates and enjoy some retro fun with the whole family.

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

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

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 an indoor pool.

Trampoline Parks and Inflatables and Rock Climbing Walls
Burn off all of the extra energy at these places to jump, bounce and climb.

Kid-Friendly Nail Salons
Treat yourselves to an afternoon of pampering at these local kid-friendly nail salons.

Escape Rooms
Our list of escape rooms includes details about difficulty and scariness to help you find one that’s right for you and your family.

Paint-Your-Own Pottery Studios
Create a masterpiece at one a local pottery studio. If you’re gifting your work of art, don’t forget that you’ll need extra time to fire it.

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. Annie shared details about a great combo trip to Rehm Park and Oak Park Conservatory.

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. Keep an eye out for details about our Kidlist Volunteering Event.

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.

Winter Break Camps and 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.  This guide also includes winter break camps with sports, games, crafts, gymnastics, field trips, art, science, math and more.

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.

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.

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.

Over the Top Milkshakes and Hot Chocolates
Visit one of these restaurants for a delicious, one-of-a-kind, extreme milkshake or hot chocolate.

Restaurants Where Kids Eat Free
Feeding a family can be expensive, especially when dining out. Enjoy a family-friendly meal with a family-friendly price tag at these local spots.

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.

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

Not Sure Where to Start?

Free Days at Museums and Zoos
Pay the best price (nothing!) while visiting your favorite museums and zoos. Find information about New Exhibits and other Immersive Experiences throughout the city and suburbs.

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.

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