Things to Do with Preschoolers: Local Activities for Kids 3–5 Years Old

Shout-out to all my fellow parents-of-preschoolers out there. From potty training to preschool, our little people have a lot going on! They’re growing, learning, and trying new things . . . and we’re just trying to keep up. Luckily for us and our preschool-age kids, the western suburbs are bursting with things to do with 3–5 year olds.

Things to Do with Preschoolers in the Western Suburbs

Indoor Activities for Three- to Five-Year-Olds

  • A $1 summer kids movie is a great, low-stakes way to introduce kids to the movie theater experience. It’s a more relaxed environment, and if they don’t last the whole time, it’s no big.
  • Head to a gymnastics open gym to tumble out those wiggles.
  • Indoor pools offering family swim times let your family stop in for a splash. The Oak Brook Park District Family Aquatic Center in particular has a fun splash playground for this age range.
  • Indoor water parks are tons of fun. Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort in Utica, IL and Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark in Lake Geneva both have great play areas for the preschool set.
  • Around the holidays, the Beatrix Potter Holiday Tea Party at the Chicago Children’s Theatre is an adorable first live performance experience (with cookies!) for kids and is recommended for ages 2 to 6.
  • Preschoolers are notorious for bouncing off the walls, so . . . let them bounce! Some locations, such as Sky Zone Elmhurst, have special “toddler times” for kids 6 and under. (If you’ve ever had a preteen perform an incredible back-flip right into your three-year-old, you know why that’s a good idea.)
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Local Preschools and Kids Day Out Programs

Of course, as parents of preschoolers, we’re also thinking about . . . preschool! Kidlist’s preschool and daycare guide is an amazing resource, and I’m not just saying that because it’s Kidlist — I used it just a couple months ago to help find a preschool for my oldest to start in the fall.

We also update our preschool open house guide every year to help simplify the search. Most open houses are held in November and January.

Not quite ready for preschool? Kids Day Out programs are a fantastic way to help kids test their independence, practice social skills, and get used to drop-off. KDO has been a life-saver for our family!

Classes for Preschoolers

We’ve got a whole guide to classes for little kids 5 and under! It’s full of great options for young kids, and each class option lists the starting age, too. Handy, right?

Your local park district is another great resource for classes. Often, park district classes give kids a taste of a new activity or sport for just the season — which is great for fickle preschoolers.

Events for Preschoolers

The Kidlist Events Calendar is updated all the time by our amazing event contributor, Andria, as well as local park districts and businesses that submit their goings-on. Bookmark it!

Need More Fun Ideas for Preschoolers?

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Let’s keep the ideas rolling in the comments! Let us know your favorite spot for the preschool-age crowd below.

Looking for ideas for another age group?

We have a main page that has all of our articles about Activities by Age so you can find local places to go for every age range.

About the Author

Rachel Matuch
Rachel is a mom to two boys (ages 2 and 4) who "certainly has her hands full," as strangers in grocery stores tell her. She's doing her best to keep up and get comfortable with the mud pies and tree-climbing her kids love. In addition to writing and editing, Rachel frequently pillages the Naperville library, plays nerdy board games with her husband, and collapses into a tired heap at 8:30 p.m.

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