With such an incredible culinary scene, Chicago isn’t short on amazing restaurants for families to enjoy. But what about when you want that extra-special spot for a memorable occasion? These 21 fun restaurants for kids go over the top to make kids jump up and down for joy. From themed destinations perfect for a birthday dinner to local spots for a special lunch, we’ve got a round-up of awesome dining destinations for you to bookmark.
Table of Contents
Train Restaurants in Chicagoland
So many local train restaurants have closed over the past few years, and we’ve been heartbroken to see them go! But these three spots are still chugging along, and we hope they continue for years to come.
2Toots Train Whistle Grill
450 N. Main St.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
203 S Main St
Bartlett, IL 60103
The Naperville location has closed, but 2Toots Train Whistle Grill still has locations in Bartlett and Glen Ellyn to delight train-loving kids. Every seat is along the train track at this grill that serves up grass-fed beef burgers and hot dogs. Sign up your kids up for the birthday club to get a postcard in the mail for a free meal and dessert.
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the Bartlett location had closed. It is still open; we regret the error.
The Junction Diner
7401 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Kids will enjoy having their meal delivered to them via model train chugging around the counter. After their meal, kids can also play at a large train table.
The Choo Choo Diner
600 Lee Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016
After being closed for kitchen updates, the Choo Choo diner is back open! Grass-fed beef burgers and hot dogs are delivered by train at this destination first opened in 1951.
Tyler’s Tender Railroad Restaurant
350 East U.S. 30
Schererville, IN 46375
This train restaurant adds to the experience with a big ride-on train that goes around its own track, an interactive O-scale model train, and an arcade room. Classic American favorites are delivered via model flatbed train car.
Locations in Oak Brook and Schaumburg, with one opening soon in Naperville
Okay, so this one isn’t a train restaurant, but the food is serve via a conveyor belt. Same concept, different twist!
What could be cooler than watching planes take off while you eat? For a plane-loving kid, not much!
130 South Clow International Parkway
Bolingbrook, IL 60490
Enjoy good food and a great view of planes coming and going!
905 Irving Park Road
Schaumburg, IL 60193
Watch the planes take off while dining at this aviation-themed eatery, located at the Schaumburg airport. Check their website for special events, too.
Special Restaurants by Chicagoland Family Attractions
6170 West Grand Ave,
Gurnee, IL 60031
This wildly themed restaurant goes big with jungle decor, animatronics, and a talking tree. The Schaumburg and Chicago locations have both closed in recent years, making this the only Rainforest Cafe restaurant left in Illinois. Take a special trip up to this location in the Gurnee Mills mall, or pair it with a Six Flags Great America excursion.
2001 N Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL 60195
The family can enjoy a four-course medieval style meal while watching knights on horseback joust and compete. A very entertaining dining experience!
2056 N Lincoln Park
Chicago, IL 60614
Right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, you’ll find the first-ever Lettuce Entertain You Restaurant and its famous salad bar. Kids are treated like royalty with a stroller valet, kids’ meals on colorful cafeteria trays with crayons and animal crackers, and fun milkshakes.
Locations in Bolingbrook and Schaumburg
After meandering through the Ikea store (and testing out the toys), the kids are sure to enjoy some Swedish meatballs in the restaurant. Grown-ups will enjoy the very affordable prices and free coffee with a free IKEA Family Card. There are activity stations in the cafeteria, plus a family restroom. The Bolingbrook location has also now created a little separate space for kids to eat and play within the cafeteria, too! It includes toy trains, a toy kitchen, and little tables for kids.
Suburban Restaurants with Games and Entertainment for Kids
5525 S. LaGrange Rd.
Countryside, IL 60525
Great casual pizza spot perfect for families with arcade games and a jukebox that the kids are sure to enjoy. Head to Andy’s right down the road for a tasty frozen custard afterwards!
6326 Cass Avenue
Westmont, IL 60559
This local family favorite offers a pizza buffet on weeknights. Monday through Wednesday, kids get free tokens to play games in the kids arcade.
7 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Italian-American dishes combine with bowling/bocce ball and a playful atmosphere at this fun restaurant. On Saturdays and Sundays, they also offer a brunch menu.
747 E. Butterfield Road
Lombard, IL 60148
Sit around a cooktop griddle and watch the chef cook your food in front of you with some tricks along the way.
2 Woodfield Mall Unit A
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Bowling, ping pong, and arcade games along with a restaurant at Woodfield Mall.
Local Family-Friendly Favorites
Wok N Fire
Burr Ridge, St. Charles, South Barrington, and Wheaton
Kids will enjoy the neat background of color changing lights while enjoying sushi, stir-fry, and noodles.
Mojo’s East Coast Eats
2758 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Kids’ meals are delivered on a take-home frisbee at this neat spot that specializes in cheesesteaks. (If you’re from the east coast, this will give you a dose of home!) Kids eat free on Tuesdays.
5520 Lincoln Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532
This restaurant has an retro diner feel with picnic tables outside for the summer months. They offer free suckers for kids and are known for their fries.
JoJo’s Shake Bar
5 W. Jackson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
JoJo’s Shake Bar opened in downtown Naperville in February 2022 with over-the-top milkshakes, a corner for arcade games, and 80s and 90s flair. The space has multiple floors and serves up classic diner food.
Everdine’s Grilled Cheese Co.
24 W Jefferson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540
An entire restaurant in downtown Naperville dedicated to grilled cheese sandwiches, from basic to gourmet! Head right up the street to Naper Nuts and Sweets to let kids pick a few treats from the candy bins afterwards, too.
Unique Chicago Restaurants for Kids
3155 N Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60657
Your food will really pop amidst the black and white walls, tables, and seating that looks like it came out of a comic book before it was colored in.
American Girl Place
835 N Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
AG doll-loving kiddos will love bringing their dolls along for a special meal or afternoon tea. They even have high chairs for their dolls.
Hard Rock Cafe
63 W Ontario Street
Chicago, IL 60654
For the rockin’ and rollin’ family, enjoy walls adorned with all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia for a fun meal out in the city!
189 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Nutella-loving families unite at the Nutella Cafe for all things Nutella in a casual, kid-friendly environment.
Please note that SafeHouse Chicago is now permanently closed.
Even more dining destinations can be found on our round-up of Kids Eat Free specials, as well as our complete list of train restaurants.
Bass Pro Shop Restaurant in Bolingbrook has a giant fish tank for enjoyment for the kids and good kids meals, if wait fun to hang in store to see another fish tank and Japanese gold fish pond with of course many fun things to explore as boats, atvs, etc.
Mojo’s east coast eats in Downers Grove is great. Kids love the food, hand cut fries, and kids meals come on frisbee’s to take home. They also have a special pint sized table for little ones. For treats they have fresh baked cookies, Tasty Cakes and Zarlengos Italian ice!
We just did a family dinner at Tiki Terrace in Desplaines. On Saturdays they do a Luau style dinner and show with Hawaiian and Polynesian dancers. The food was good, the show was nice and only about 45 minutes price was reasonable. They have plenty of tropical drinks and non-alcoholic versions as well. It was for my mom’s 80th birthday but my six year old loved it as did the teenagers. It is in a strip mall and looks like nothing on the outside but inside you would think you are on a Pacific Island.
Sounds amazing! We’ll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!
The Bartlett location of 2Toots is still open
Thank you so much for pointing this out! I’ve fixed the article and added a note about the error. Happy to hear the location is still open!