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

With this list of places to go with a baby or toddler, the hardest part of your day will be getting out the door! Once you arrive at the destination of your choice, you and your baby will be seeing animals, climbing play structures, listening to story time or dancing to music. There are countless ways listed below to enjoy the day playing with your baby or toddler in the western suburbs.

This article is sponsored by Yorktown Center and the featured businesses.

Yorktown Center is excited to bring you Wendella Park inside Center Court! Drop your anchor and relax with giant games, comfy seating areas, kid-sized picnic tables, fun events and more. There’s something for everyone in the family inside Wendella Park at Yorktown Center!

Join us every other week for Music Mondays, where kids will learn about instruments, rhythms and beats during this interactive and educational parent-child class. Plus, read along with your little one’s favorite princess and pose for a photo during Story Time Tuesdays! Stretch it out on Wednesdays with free Gentle Yoga classes. End the week on a bright note with Film Fridays, where we show some of our most beloved children’s movies. Even better? The first 25 children to arrive receive a special treat!

For more information on all the fun, free events at Wendella Park inside Yorktown Center, please visit our website at www.yorktowncenter.com.

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

Indoor Play Spaces for Babies and Toddlers

Indoor play spaces are the perfect opportunity for letting kids explore safely. Check out our full list of indoor play places. The ones below are especially good for the younger crowd. Don’t forget to bring socks for you and your children!

Waterlemon
25 South La Grange Road, Unit A
La Grange, IL, 60525
(708) 286-6747

Waterlemon is Chicagoland’s coolest new indoor play space! Our clean, bright, modern and inspiring play area is designed to entertain children aged 5 and under and features a custom-built playhouse, two kitchens, two slides, a workbench, train table, wooden push cars, a reading nook and so much more. It also features a separate play space for crawlers to explore!

Adults will equally appreciate the stylish atmosphere while listening to good music, sipping a freshly brewed coffee, snacking on a delicious baked good or doing some shopping in our carefully curated retail area.

Stroller space is limited so we kindly ask that they be left in your car or home whenever possible. We look forward to seeing you soon!

KidStreet PlayCenter at Grounds for Hope
2701 Maple Avenue
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 857-3355

Large indoor playground and daily activities such as story time or STEM lessons. Purchase a one-time visit or a 6-month pass for unlimited visits.

Forest the Fox’s Playbox at Westchester Park District
10835 Wakefield Street
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 562-6410

Open play time is available to residents and non-residents. ($3/child)

Westmont Yard
233 63rd Street
Westmont, IL 60559
(630) 737-1000

Please note: Westmont Yard recently changed their hours for open play, to only Tuesdays and Thursday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, and no longer includes their Play Tower in open play time. ($6/child or $25 for a five-visit punch card.)

Naperville Yard
1607 Legacy Circle
Naperville, IL 60563
(630) 245-1100

The large soccer fields, inflatables, and play tower may be too big for very little ones, but there are also toddler/baby toys around the play tower. This may be a better place to go if you have older siblings to entertain as well. ($8/child for weekday open play)

Kids Town Play and Party
1217 E Butterfield Road, Wheaton: (630) 260-8545
212 Stratford Square Drive, Bloomingdale: (630) 980-3000

Kids Town is tons of fun for older toddlers, as they have separated themed areas, including inflatables and an indoor play structure.  (Prices vary depending on age of child and length of stay. Hourly or unlimited time can be purchased.)

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Pump It Up Lisle
4995 Varsity Drive
Lisle, IL 60532
(630) 310-5700

Pump It Up is a good place for kids two and older to bounce out all of their energy. There are inflatables of different sizes, and they host open gym during the week, as well as parent night out events for older children.

Sky Zone Aurora and Sky Zone Elmhurst
87 Executive Drive, Aurora: (331) 207-4759
325 W Lake Street, Suite A, Elmhurst: (630) 478-8339

While you may usually think of trampoline parks as being meant for older children, Sky Zone in Aurora has designated toddler time on Friday and Saturday mornings, while the Elmhurst location is open for toddler time on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday mornings. The price is slightly reduced from their usual rates, and their weekend times may even have a character visit.

Jumps ‘N Giggles Indoor Playplace and Pavilion Carousel in Elk Grove Village
Jack A. Claes Pavilion Center
1000 Wellington Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(847) 437-9494

Jumps ‘N Giggles has an big playground that older tots will love, and a smaller play structure and toys for younger toddlers. Unlimited rides on their beautiful carousel are also included in admission prices. ($4 for resident and $5 non-resident for kids one and older; free for kids under one. 10-visit passes can also be purchased for a discounted rate)

CubHouse Indoor Playground
Oak Park Park District’s Stevenson Center
49 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 725-2108

The “CubHouse” is designed for kids 8 months to 5 years old, which is perfect for toddlers and babies and there is a special infant area in addition to the main play space. They offer daily crafts and a story time. ($5/visit or $50 for a season pass.)

Ball Factory
864 S Route 59
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 640-2020

Ball Factory is a big place, but there is the separate area just for toddlers and babies. There is usually a staff member standing at the entrance to ensure bigger children stay out of this space. Older toddlers might also be interested in some of the bigger-kid areas. ($12.95/child Monday–Friday, $15.95/child Saturday and Sunday; discounted prices for 6-12 month olds, 6 months and under free, non-walkers free with sibling). First kid to arrive gets in free. They often run Groupons, too; if you buy through this link you’ll help support Kidlist and save money at the same time!

Peekaboo Playroom
7007 W. North Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 848-4815

The Peekaboo Playroom is an indoor playroom designed for ages 0 to 6. (Prices vary depending on length of stay, but start at $6 for a one-hour visit, with non-crawlers free; check out their full price list here).

Kiddy Club
4314 E New York Street
Aurora, IL 60504
‭(630) 229-6247‬

Kiddy Club has sand, ball pits, slides and on soft, climbable play structures with a separate area for infants and toddlers. ($12/child Tuesday–Thursday, $14/child Friday–Sunday; siblings get a $2 discount every day. See pricing page for passes and other discounts.) First child to arrive for the day gets in free if you mention the discount.

Restaurants
The Chick-fil-A and McDonald’s playgrounds are great for toddlers. Most of these playspaces would be better for an older toddler, just to ensure they can reach everything. There’s usually smaller slides or activities for toddlers around 2 years old. Stop in for an ice cream cone, cup of coffee, or a full meal. The best part is the price (Free!)

Mall Play Areas for Babies and Toddlers

PLAY at Yorktown Center
203 Yorktown Center
Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 629-7330

PLAY (located on the Lower Level in Center Court) is perfect for toddlers! There are tons of sensory play options low to the ground that fits the height of any toddler or crawler. Because this is an open space, there is no size/age restriction of other children, so keep an extra close eye on tiny hands and feet. With a children’s train, kiddie rides, and children’s dining area, you can make a whole day out of your visit to Yorktown Center Mall.

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Also, don’t miss Wendella Park inside Center Court and their weekly events for little ones! Read more about it below.

Yorktown Center is excited to bring you Wendella Park inside Center Court! Drop your anchor and relax with giant games, comfy seating areas, kid-sized picnic tables, fun events and more. There’s something for everyone in the family inside Wendella Park at Yorktown Center!

Join us every other week for Music Mondays, where kids will learn about instruments, rhythms and beats during this interactive and educational parent-child class. Plus, read along with your little one’s favorite princess and pose for a photo during Story Time Tuesdays! Stretch it out on Wednesdays with free Gentle Yoga classes. End the week on a bright note with Film Fridays, where we show some of our most beloved children’s movies. Even better? The first 25 children to arrive receive a special treat!

For more information on all the fun, free events at Wendella Park inside Yorktown Center, please visit our website at www.yorktowncenter.com.

Yu Kids Island
5 Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 969-9000

A pillow pool, waterfall slide, and fenced in play-areas are perfect for your tiny visitor. Punchcards can be purchased, and discounted rates are offered on special days during the week. Check website for details.

Playgroups for Babies and Toddlers

Playgroups aren’t just for the kids. Check out these ideas for great ways that you can connect with other parents while your baby is learning to play.

  • Kohl’s Children’s Museum in Glenview has a free Baby & Me group on Monday mornings for parents of kids up to 12 months old.
  • Hospitals sometimes offer parents’ groups for babies delivered there. Cradle Talk, for new parents who delivered at Edward Hospital in Naperville, is a great way for families to connect during the early stages of parenthood. Check your hospital, or ask your OBGYN, for a similar recommendation.
  • Places of worship often have playgroups for young families that are either held there or organized through them. Our list of churches with childcare during weekend services is the perfect starting point, as these churches already have the space and facilities to host young families.
  • We have also gathered up a great list of playgroups, mom groups, MOPs programs, and newcomers groups in the western suburbs!

Children’s Museums for Babies and Toddlers

Children’s museums have countless opportunities for hands-on play with your baby or toddler. While toddlers will definitely keep busy, some of these places may be a bit too much for non-walkers, especially given the fact that many charge admission prices for parents and children 12 months and up. To get more for your money, check the Kidlist events calendar before you plan your visit. There are plenty of events like concerts, story times, and crafts (often at no additional cost) if you go at the right time.

If it works within your budget, consider a membership to your local children’s museum. The three children’s museums listed below, along with the Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn, Kidswork Children’s Museum in Frankfort, and Discovery Children’s Museum in Rockford have reciprocal admissions agreements for members as part of their CLIMB network. You’ll have access to six great spaces for the price of one membership, which often pays for itself after only a few visits.

DuPage Children’s Museum
301 N. Washington Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630)637-8000

This museum has dedicated areas for crawlers and younger toddlers, which are a lot of fun. Combine these with some of the other exhibits, like the water play area or bubbles, and you’ll have plenty to do during your visit. Check out our review of the new Daniel Tiger “Grr-ific Exhibit” that will be at the museum from January to May. 

Kohl’s Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Boulevard
Glenview, IL 60026
(847) 832-6600

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With a grocery store, water play room, nursery, veterinary clinic, and so much more, your day will be full of fun for toddlers. Their infant areas are sectioned off with foam padding on the floors and benches next to the main exhibits. The museum is free for kids 12 months and younger, but you’ll have to pay the $12 admission price for yourself. If you’re planning a visit here, check their Facebook page for their visitor traffic posts. They share when they’re expecting higher volume due to group visits, so you can hopefully avoid the chaos of larger crowds.

Wonder Works
6445 West North Park
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 383-4815

Wonder Works in Oak Park is a shoe-free museum, so you won’t have to worry about little hands on the ground. Please note, this is a peanut-free space. This hands-on space has six permanent exhibits that will give your child plenty to explore. As a bonus, the $8 admission for guests makes it one of the more budget-friendly play places. (free for kids up to 12 months).

The Art Institute
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 443-3600

It may not seem like it, but toddlers can also enjoy The Art Institute! You can read more about taking a toddler to the art museum here: True Toddler Life: I Took a Toddler to The Art institute in Chicago. It gives great tips for what toddlers can enjoy and how to plan for the best possible visit. Tie this with a stop at Millenium Park or Maggie Daley Park and you’ve got a jam-packed day.

Open Gyms for Babies and Toddlers

Open gyms allow kids to run free and test what their bodies can do in a safe, cushy space!

  • My Gym has locations in Wheaton, River Forest, and Aurora. You don’t need to have a walker to enjoy this time. There are classes for kids as young as six weeks. Practice & Play sessions are their open-play time. (Membership prices vary, but your first class is free!)
  • Flying High in Countryside has a Little Tykes Time open gym during the week specifically for children in kindergarten and younger—plus, the price is reduced from the normal $12 to just $5. Check out the scheduled times here.
  • Local park districts may have open gym times available for little ones. Help your child learn to climb, run, and jump in the comfort of a padded space.
  • During the school year, check out our great list of Gymnastics Open Gyms: Fall-Spring for age groups and times.

Classes for Babies and Toddlers

Mattix Music Studio
Located at the Christian Reformed Church of Western Springs
5140 Wolf Road, Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 638-3027
Website | Facebook

Sing, dance, play and grow in Music Together® classes at Mattix Music Studio!

Join classes of children ages 0-5 for musical fun and learning that will engage your child and benefit every area of early childhood development. Registration for Music Together® classes stays open all year and visitors are welcome anytime. Contact us or fill out our visitor registration form online to arrange your free class visit. Bring your friends for extra fun.

Click here for class times and registration. Not familiar with Music Together? Click here to read more.

Double J Riding Club’s Parents & Tots
10545 74th Street
Countryside, IL 60525
(708) 528-4674

WHAT’S MORE TOT-THRILLING THAN FARM ANIMALS?

Little ones ages 18 months-3 years old can learn about real live farm animals in the Parents & Tots classes at Double J’s Farm!

During each class a parent/toddler duo might explore the farm grounds, participate in story-time, create a craft, feed animals, try Farm Yoga or play various games!

Classes are offered Monday and Wednesdays from 10-11 AM

This uniquely structured program offers a place for not just moms, but dads, grandparents, nannies and all caretakers to play and learn with their toddler(s).

Follow the link to check out the weekly themes and reserve your spot!

https://www.doublejridingclub.com/earlychildhoodenrichmentprograms

Head over to our guide to Classes for Little Kids 0-5 Years Old for more ideas!

Libraries to Visit with Babies and Toddlers

The libraries in the western suburbs are incredible for small children, and not just for the abundance of books. Puzzles, toys, puppet shows, and story time can fill your morning with literacy fun. We asked our readers and rounded up the Best Libraries in the Western Suburbs. The best part is that you don’t need to be a resident to visit any of these libraries. Don’t forget your library card, as you may even be able to check out books from a neighboring library. Our favorites are the Downers Grove and Naper Boulevard Naperville branch.

Parks Good for Babies and Toddlers

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 child contained so you can both enjoy an afternoon at the park!

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 dozens of ducks, a stable with farm animals like goats, pigs, and horses, and larger exhibits with bobcats, deer, and more. A remodeled train car filled with hands-on activities is a great place to play. Check our review ahead of time for tips.  (Kids and Wheaton residents free; non-resident adults $7).

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

Phillips Park Zoo is another great spot to go with toddlers, especially since it’s free! There are a lot of animals to see in a smaller, more manageable layout. If the weather is warmer, plan to stay for a visit at the huge playground area. Check out our review for insight into maximizing your visit.

Brookfield Zoo
8400 31st Street (1st Avenue and 31st Street)
Brookfield, IL 60513

Brookfield is the biggest zoo in the area.  Be prepared for a full-day visit, especially if you’re including special exhibits or a stop at the Hamill Family Play Zoo. ($15.95 for kids 3–11; $21.95 for adults, but you can save $1 per ticket if you buy them online ahead of time).

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

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.

Train Restaurants for Babies and Toddlers

I thought the excitement of a train restaurant would have worn off for my 5 year-old, but she still loves watching her food come out of the kitchen on a train. A train restaurant is a perfect destination for train lovers, big and small! Check out our full list of train restaurants in the Western Suburbs. You cal also read more about 2Toots and their three locations at this link: 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

Rachel Matuch
Rachel is a writer and mom of two boys who lives in Woodridge. She recently moved from Downers Grove and grew up in Naperville, but she and her husband have been discovering new things to do now that they’ve got a toddler and baby in tow. Rachel loves cooking, playing board games, and regularly raiding the Woodridge library. She also volunteers with teens at Four Corners Community Church, which makes her feel like an old geezer.

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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