Places to Go with a Baby or Toddler: Activities for Kids 0–2

The first few years of parenting can be the most overwhelming, and sometimes the best thing for both you and your baby is a change of scenery. Climbing, dancing, playing and visiting animals are great ways to get out of the house and have fun with your little ones! Here’s our roundup of best places to go with a baby in the western suburbs.

As always, make sure to check the websites or call ahead to confirm your plans. While we do our best to have the most up-to-date information, business hours, pricing and availability are constantly changing in this uncertain time.

Places to Go with a Baby or Toddler in Chicago’s West Suburbs

Parks Good for Babies and Toddlers

If you’re anything like our family, we’ve spent A LOT of time outdoors recently.

For crawlers, nothing is worse than leaving the park covered in mud, sand, and woodchips. Use our list of Mud-Free Playgrounds to let your toddler or crawler roam around without the worry of what will end up in their mouth. At these parks, you’ll find a rubbery surface that’s perfect for delicate hands and knees.

Worried about your runner? Fenced-In Parks keep your toddler contained so you can both enjoy an afternoon at the park!

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Additionally, our list of Parks with Paved Paths is great for finding new destinations for a stroll. It’s nice to get out in the fresh air, even if your little one is too small for the park!

Classes for Babies and Toddlers

We recently updated our class guides with new socially distanced, outdoor, and virtual options! Head over to our guide to Classes for Little Kids 0-5 Years Old for all of our ideas

Going to the Zoo with Babies and Toddlers

If your children are anything like mine, they were saying animals noises as soon as they were saying “Dada!”. Stop by these zoos to have their favorite nursery-rhyme animals come to life!

Cosley Zoo
1356 N Gary Avenue
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 665-5534

Cosley Zoo is much smaller than Brookfield or Lincoln Park and you can get close to the animals. There’s a pond filled with ducks, a stable with farm animals like goats, pigs, and horses, and larger exhibits with bobcats, deer, and more.

Check out our review of their reopening ahead of time for tips. Pre-purchased, timed-entry tickets are required for all guests.

Phillips Park Zoo
1000 Ray Moses Drive
Aurora, IL 60505
(630) 256-3860

As of August 16, 2020, Phillips Park Zoo is closed until further notice. However, the staff of this small zoo has made it easier to see some of the animals and signs from the path outside. The zoo shares its grounds with some amazing other playgrounds, so it’s still a good destination for the younger crowd.

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Brookfield Zoo
8400 31st Street (1st Avenue and 31st Street)
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 688-8000

Brookfield is the biggest zoo in the area! Read Annie’s recent tips about making the most out of your visit, including information about required pre-reserved tickets.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000

Lincoln Park Zoo has all the variety of Brookfield Zoo, but has a smaller layout and the best price (free!), which makes for the perfect day trip into the city.

To visit the Lincoln Park Zoo during this time, you’ll need to make a free reservation in advance.

Train Restaurants for Babies and Toddlers

A train restaurant is a perfect destination for train lovers, big and small! If you are comfortable with indoor dining, they’re open during this time and have taken extra safety precautions. I recently visited with my family and wrote about our experience with Front Row Seats and Quality Food at 2Toots Train Whistle Grill.


Looking for ideas for older kids too?

Check out our Activities by Age page so you can find local places to go for preschoolers through kindergarteners, elementary school-aged kids, and tweens/teens!

Comment below if you have a favorite place for you and your baby or toddler. Also share if your babies are grown, but you remember a favorite destination!

About the Author

Katie Mayle
Katie is a mother of three children, ages 7, 5, and 2. A Joliet native, she and her husband moved back to his hometown of Naperville after the birth of their second daughter. Her three kids keep her family very active, and she is grateful for the countless indoor and outdoor opportunities available to families in the western suburbs. She looks forward to sharing family-friendly fun with the parents of young children.

1 Comment on "Places to Go with a Baby or Toddler: Activities for Kids 0–2"

  1. Kidsworks in Frankfort has a dedicated section for toddlers, my grandchildren love the place, plenty of options for fantasy play

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