Looking for something fun to do with the kids and family indoors but not in your house? Then this is the list for you, and it includes activities for kids of all ages. Whether your kids want to play, jump, skate, climb or create, we have the list of places and spaces to take them. Keep this handy Mega List of Indoor Play Places handy for your winter bucket list, rainy day resources, or summer survival schedule. You’ll be glad to have it.
Please be sure to call ahead to confirm hours and any special requirements necessary to visit these play places.
Indoor Imaginative Play in Lake County
Children love to pretend, move and play with other children in a perfectly pint-sized environment. Bring a friend or two along, or make a new friend at one of these great indoor, imaginative play areas designed especially for kids.
Deerfield Park District Tree House
Jewett Park Community Center, 836 Jewett Park Dr., Deerfield | (847) 945-0650
If your kids are at least three years old and less than four feet tall, they will love the climbing, sliding, imaginative fun that’s found on the upper level of the Jewett Park Community Center. Check the website for extended hours during school breaks.
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview | (847) 832-6600
Kids love the permanent, hands-on exhibits here, which include interactive areas such as a pet vet, cafe, supermarket, musical instruments, a pretend car wash, live turtles and other nature-themed activities, book nooks and building activities. The museum also offers a calendar of programs and special traveling exhibits. Exhibits here are designed for children from birth to age eight.
Little Beans Cafe
430 Asbury Ave., Evanston | (847) 807-3731
While this place is a bit of a drive, it’s a great place to plan a special outing or to meet your friends from the North Shore. Little Lake County’s Mom-in-Chief Melissa thinks this place is great, and wrote all about her visit here. The play area is designed for kids age birth to six; the obstacle course here delights children age four through age 12. With play spaces, active activity areas, quiet spaces (including a library) and a cafe with healthy meal options, what’s not to like here? Your kids will love this place, and so will you.
Round Lake Children’s Museum
814 Hart Rd., Round Lake (inside the Robert W. Rolek Community Center) | (847) 546-8558
While this play area is technically called a “museum,” it’s truly a very large room with individual areas or “stores” for kids to play in. Since there is only one door, it’s a secure place for your child explore and play. Kids love exercising their imaginations on stage, and at the pretend grocery store, baby nursery, and fire station. The hours here are a little limited, and there is a capacity limit.
985 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich | (847) 438-8887
This indoor play place has climbing, sliding, swinging, and a basketball hoop. There is a soft, crawling area for the younger children, too. Throw in some healthy snacks (for an additional fee) and comfy seats, espresso and Wi-Fi for parents, and it’s a great place to spend a few hours. Don’t forget your socks! See Jessica’s review here.
1736 1st St., Highland Park | (847) 904-0028
Geared toward kids ages six and younger, babies, toddlers and kids will love playing here. This facility offers a soft play area for younger children, an indoor play structure with slides, nooks and climbing walls as well as a toddler area for structured and imaginative play. And the interactive floor here with a projection system offers games like Space Blox, Bubblies and Piano, delighting kids who love to dance and stomp and watch the floor change with the game. Whether you drop-in once in a while or make a longer term committment to play by purchasing a visit pass or membership, your kids will certainly thank you for a fun day of play here.
Yu Kids Island
122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills | (847) 969-9000
Located inside of the Hawthorn Mall, Yu Kids Island is a great place to meet for a playdate or drop your kids off for some fun while parents get some shopping in. There is one small bounce house which is perfect for toddlers, and plenty of other exciting things to play on. Since all the equipment is sized for children, parents only watch from the sidelines. Kids must be less than 48″ tall and wear socks here. See this article for more information.
Indoor Inflatable and Trampoline Parks in Lake County
Release the energy from your bundles of joy at one of the following indoor inflatable and trampoline parks. Many require socks, so be sure bring a pair with or be prepared to purchase them on site, and nearly all require signed waivers to participate.
1600 North Milwaukee Ave. (Route 83), Unit 402, Lake Villa | (847) 546-7000
Bella’s has all things bouncy. In addition to a variety of bounce houses, there is also a tube and climbing structure that runs the length of the space. Be sure to get a free balloon and bag of popcorn before you leave. Read about Melissa’s Birthday party experience.
Big Wave Bounce Park
28039 W. Northpointe Pkwy., Lake Barrington | (847) 387-3511
Big Wave Bounce Park offers inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and a climbing wall that will keep your child entertained for hours. Current information about this business is available on Facebook.
The Blast Zone
645 Lakeview Pkwy., Ste 100, Vernon Hills | (847) 996-0100
Although it’s not strictly an indoor bounce house, this place is a lot of fun! With a maze, giant climbing tower, carnival-type games, and a race course where you drive giant bathtubs, The Blast Zone offers new activities your family might not have seen before.
6170 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee (Space 201 in Gurnee Mills, use entrance “J”) | (847) 855-2550
Bounce the day away at Funflatables, which is open seven days a week during mall hours. This indoor amusement center is recommended for younger children, as it contains about four large inflatables and a climbing set with slides. Be sure to take everyone to the restroom before you enter to play, as there are no restrooms directly inside this play area. Kids will enjoy jumping, racing and climbing to their heart’s desire here. Read Cindy’s review of Funflatables so you know exactly how much fun you will have here!
888 E. Belvidere Rd. #202, Grayslake | (847) 223-1555
Open Gym is held from Labor Day through Memorial Day. There are separate sessions for children age six and younger, and for children age seven and older, as well as mixed age sessions. Please check the website for current schedule and rates.
915 Tower Rd., Mundelein | 847-949-SPOT
Tot open gym for children ages 12 months through kindergarten gym is held two times during the week, and open gym for children in first grade through high school is held on Saturdays. All current information about this gym is posted on Facebook. Please call ahead to confirm open gym hours for that day.
880 Lakeside Dr., Gurnee, IL | (224) 900-2996
Kids want a trampoline, and you don’t want to buy one. No fear, Jump America is a large family trampoline entertainment park. While most of their business hours are for older kids, they do offer a Tot Time jump session. Please note that all jumpers must wear grippy socks; socks are available for purchase at the facility.
1465 Busch Pkwy., Buffalo Grove | (847) 929-9396
31223 N. Rt.12, Volo | (847) 388-0369
With obstacles, tunnels, slides and bounce houses, kids of any age will be able to jump to their heart’s content. Jump! Zone is an indoor inflatable playground with popular themes that children love! Jump Zone also has many open play times available to accommodate individual fun with family and friends, whether you’re rewarding your child for a job well done in school or just promoting healthy and fun activity.
Libertyville Gymnastics Academy
2610 Commerce Drive, Libertyville | (847) 816-6618
Libertyville Gymnastics Academy opens up their doors to the gym to all. You can use all of their gymnastics equipment during open gym, including trampolines. For an additional fee, children can bounce in the inflatables too. You do not need to be a member to attend. Children age six and younger need to be accompanied by an adult.
Mega Trampoline Fun Zone
5593 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake | (815) 893-7930
Here you will find 35,000 square feet of pure trampoline fun as well as tactical laser tag (for ages seven through adult), an arcade and inflatables.
4237 Green Bay Rd,. Kenosha, WI | (262) 764-3866
This bounce space offers a Mini Monkeys zone for children age three and younger in addition to their regular bounce space. Parents are free to bounce with their kids ages four or younger, or parents may hang out in the comfortable lounge area. And Monkey Joe’s takes the extra step of handing out matching wrist bands to everyone, so you know your child won’t leave without you.
Pump It Up
Locations in Glenview, Schaumburg and Crystal Lake | (847) 904-7867
Pump It Up offers a tremendous variety of play equipment and lots of toddler toys for little ones who are not ready to jump. Being part of a chain has its perks, and this place is incredibly clean and they have birthday parties down to a science. Open Jump is typically one during the weekdays, so be sure and check their website for hours since they change based upon the day
Rockin’ Jump Buffalo Grove
950 Busch Pkwy., Buffalo Grove | (224) 676-0660
This indoor trampoline park hosts special Rockin’ Tots hours for parents with children ages six and younger, times decided for homeschooled children, and plenty of other fun activities for older children. All jumpers must wear grip socks purchased from Rockin’ Jump — and the socks are reusable for future visits if you remember to bring them with.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
701 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills
We can’t wait to see what Sky Zone is bringing to their Vernon Hills location. Sky Zone is know for wall-to-wall trampoline fun including dodge ball, Skyslam hoops, foam zone, Skyjoust, Skyladder, warped wall and warrior course attractions.
4 Oak Creek Plaza, Mundelein | (248) 633-3534
Another indoor trampoline amusement park is in the making. X-Factor is a trampoline and game park that also offers inflatables, augmented rock climbing (incorporating the use of touchscreen routes that can be saved and shared with other climbers) and an arcade. Activities are designed here for children who can walk unassisted through adults.
Roller Skating in Lake County
Whether you prefer inline or traditional skates, these places offer plenty of space and the coolest tunes for you skate to your heart’s desire. With dedicated space for beginners and skating trainers for beginners, even younger children or new skaters will feel at ease at their very first visit to the rink.
Skate on Grand Roller Rink
720 E. Grand Ave., Fox Lake | (847) 587-2350
If your kids are just learning to roller skate, this is a great place to go! They have a learner’s mini rink where skaters can practice their new skills before heading out to the bigger floor. Skaters can also use roller skating trainers (similar to a stabilizing walker that can be pushed) for an additional fee. Read all about Allie’s experience at Skate on Grand Roller Rink here. Skate on Grand also offers Bubble Soccer; read all about Little Lake County’s staff experience with this trending game.
Just for Fun 2 Roller Rink
139 N. Seymour Ave., Mundelein | (847) 949-7528
914 N. Front St., McHenry | (815) 363-4386
Just for Fun roller rinks offer the old-school, no-frills skating experience you might remember from your childhood. Try your hand (or foot, in this case) at regular or inline skating here, and roll to great music and enjoy fun competitions and games during your skating session here. Beginners use the inside area of the rink here, and there is a concession stand stocked with snacks and cold drinks.
While not a roller rink, there is one indoor skate park in Lake County that allows skates (regular and inline), BMX bikes and even scooters:
Asylum Skate Park
29850 N. Skokie Hwy., Unit B, Lake Bluff | (847) 578-5103
Asylum Skate park was built in 2010 and is currently the only indoor skate park in Lake County. It looks like something straight out of a Tony Hawk video game, and is a great place for your tween or teen to go on a rainy day to learn how to master that kick-flip.You can skateboard for FREE on your birthday (ID required) and girls skateboard for FREE on Wednesdays and at a discount on other days of the week.
Indoor Ice Skating Rinks in Lake County
If it’s below zero, and you still want to partake in winter skating, try one of these local rinks. Or escape the heat of summer and bundle up for some out-of-season, indoor fun! Little Lake County also offers a complete guide to ice skating.
Barrington Ice Arena
28205 West Commercial Ave., Lake Barrington | (847) 381-4777
Pull out your scarf and hat and enjoy skating freely on this National Hockey League-sized ice surface. Check the Facebook page for current information and public skate events.
Centennial Ice Arena
3100 Trail Way, Highland Park | (847) 432-4790
This ice arena is run by the Park District of Highland Park, and is also home to a gymnastics studio. Public skating fees are very reasonable here, and children ages four and younger are admitted for FREE with a paying adult.
Glacier Ice Arena
670 Lakeview Parkway, Vernon Hills | (847) 362-1222
Glacier Ice Arena features two, full-size National Hockey League rinks, a modern and well-lit lobby and a convenient snack stand.
122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills | (847) 918-1600
Skate Room is a 1,500 square foot rink at Hawthorn Mall (located upstairs near JC Penney) constructed from 56 fitted panels of a synthetic, self-lubricated material called XTRAICE. This is the first artificial ice rink in the suburbs, and accommodates up to 20 people at a time.
Arcades in Lake County
Go old school with Pac-Man or experience cutting edge, virtual reality and current gaming consoles at one of these arcades or video game lounges.
Aloha Falls Miniature Golf & Games
1800 Rt. 45, Libertyville | (847) 549-3630
Aloha Falls offers arcade games from the 1980’s and 1990’s, flat screen tvs with video console games, ping-pong and air hockey. There is also a with a bar and cafe that serves ice cream and root beer floats, as well as craft beer and wine for adults.
Chuck E. Cheese’s
1512 Nations Dr., Gurnee | (847) 249-1120
700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Vernon Hills | (847) 327-9122
This is the holy grail of toddler, preschool and early elementary age children’s entertainment. With climbing features, arcade games, and a restaurant (most serve beer and wine for the adults, too), the sounds and smells of this place are indelibly etched into many parents’ brains.
Dave & Buster’s
424 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills | (847) 549-2118
If you are looking for casual, full-service restaurant and an entertainment center with hundreds of video and arcade games, this is the place to go. Gamers, young and older alike, will enjoy playing Pac-Man, Skee-Ball, Candy Crush, just to name a few, for hours of fun.
34165 US-45, Third Lake | (847) 986-6406
Gamers HQ combines the concept of a retro arcade with current gaming consoles and computers. Expect to find Nintendo Wii U, Xbox One, and Playstation 4 games here in addition to opportunities to play Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360.
Nova VR Lounge
1826 E. Belvidere Rd., Grayslake | (224) 541-4898
Escape to virtual reality at Northwest Illinois’ first virtual reality lounge. Enjoy the latest trends in VR gaming and experiences in a clean, fun environment. Experience underwater life with the Blu, play a fun session of Fruit Ninja, try a single or play multiplayer games here. Plan your visit in advance as this gaming center requires an online reservation, which is easily completed on the Nova VR Lounge website. And FYI, if you are going with a group of adults, this is a BYOB establishment.
The People’s Choice Family Fun Center
2411 Grand Ave., Waukegan | (847) 360-8000
This indoor play place is 43,000 square feet of fun! With 150 arcade games, kids’ rides, video games, and glow in the dark mini golf there is something for everyone here — even the adults!
Tilt Studio at Rink Side Sports
6152 W. Grand Ave., Gurnee (inside Gurnee Mills) | (847) 856-1064, ext. 502
Rink Side offers Laser Tag, 100 arcade games, glow golf and a coffee shop. Parents can enjoy a latte and relax, or join in the fun!
Worth the trip…
121 W. Main St., West Dundee | (331) 642-8274
With more than 175 old-school arcade games, fifteen pinball machines in excellent working condition, and consoles, this place is a gamer’s paradise. This place is clean, laid-out well and so much fun, with two floors full of classic games to enjoy. Be aware that children must be supervised here; and there are child to adult ratios in place. Children ages eight and younger must have one-on-one adult supervision; all children ages 14 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult; and children age 14 and younger may play pinball only accompanied by an adult. Food and beverages are not allowed in the gaming area, but there are a few tables and chairs near the entrance where refreshments are welcome. Non-alcoholic beverages are sold on site.
Creative Play in Lake County
Leave the mess far from home and take your budding artists to explore creative fun out on the town. Call ahead to confirm drop-in times and in most cases, return home with a mini-masterpiece to cherish for years to come.
Artist @ Heart
253 Peterson Rd., Libertyville | (847) 816-4865
Note the new location of this beloved art studio! If you’re in a creative mood, stop in to Artist @ Heart and let your imagination soar. Pick a project and take as long as your need to perfect your creation (there is no studio fee here). Choose from canvas painting, ceramics, mosaics and mixed media projects.
Ceramics for You
1498 N. Main Street, Antioch | (847) 888-1665
6695 Grand Ave., Unit D, Gurnee | (847) 855-2022
If you’re looking for a more laid back activity to do with your kids that will last longer than a few hours, then make some art (along with memories) at Ceramics for You. With two locations there are plenty of ceramics, canvas painting and glass fusing projects to suit everyone’s taste and talents.
532 W. Route 22, #130, Lake Zurich | (847) 540-7772
Drop-in anytime to paint pre-fired bisque pottery, or try your hand at clay sculpting as a walk-in (cost is per pound of clay and includes the use of tools, clay, glaze, and firings). Walk-in sculpting does not include instruction — previous clay experience is required and projects must be left to dry for seven to ten days before they can be fired.
Color Me Mine
700 N. Milwaukee Ave. Suite 127, Vernon Hills | (847) 816-0997
When your kids want to express their creativity, and you would like an art project that you can use over and over, then head to Color Me mine for some quality crafty time. You and your kids can pick out a ceramic piece, paint it in any design you’d like, and they will fire it for you. Then come back and pick it up and you will have a piece of art to take home and use.
405 Lake Cook Rd., Suite 205, Deerfield | (847) 272-CRE8
Cre8Workshop is like heaven for creatives (or a haven for a mom who likes to keep her house clean). You can drop in and use their enormous array of supplies (paper punches, jewelry making tools, cricuts, a drill press, laminators, binders and more) to work on your own projects, or you can purchase one of their projects to create. The crafty staff there can even help your kids with their school projects! Drop in for some creative time or sign up for a workshop.
122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills | (847) 764-0891
Yes, it’s back — Painted Penguin at Hawthorn Mall has reopened, but now it’s located on the lower level of the mall. Painted Penguin offers plaster and bisque painting projects that can be taken home the same day. In addition, you will find canvas painting, beading projects and “archaeological digs” here! Register online for the kids’ club and receive special offers.
Active Indoor Play in Lake County
There’s no lack of heart-pounding, physically (and mentally) challenging activities to choose from in and around Lake County. From obstacle courses to WhirlyBall to laser tag, these places offer unique and fun activities for the whole family.
America’s Action Territory
12345 75th St., Kenosha, WI | (262) 857-7000
America’s Action Territory offers indoor activities (as well as seasonal, outdoor activities during the warmer months) such as bumper cars, an arcade, Ballocity (an two-story, interactive foam ball city) laser tag, and a laser beam maze called The Vault. There is also a concession stand with food and beverages as well as limited alcoholic beverage service. Activities here are “pay as you play” and there is no general admission fee. Check the website for advertised specials.
Battle House Laser Combat
28039 W. Northpointe Pkwy., Unit 4, Lake Barrington | (815) 900-9003
This center is for children age eight and older, and adults. Play tactical laser tag here in teams, and then gather for a refreshing debriefing in the Hornets Nest Lounge; the lounge serves beverages only, but you can order-in from a list of area restaurants.
2050 Tower Dr., Glenview | (224) 432-5435
Funtopia is a sports entertainment center that combines indoor climbing, sports and obstacle courses — and with 50 different climbing elements, there is no lack of fun things to do. Book your session ahead of time; this facility lets you pick and choose extras to enhance your family’s experience. Melissa and her family spent an afternoon at Funtopia; learn more about their visit here.
5520 Park Pl., Rosemont | (779) 368-4359
800 W. Scott St., Chicago | (779) 368-4359
Indoor skydiving is all the rage! And within a relatively short drive from Lake County, in Rosemont, or as a destination trip in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Little Lake County previewed iFLY in Lincoln Park; learn all about what is offered here.
301 Hastings Dr., Buffalo Grove | (847) 941-9400
K-1 Speed is an indoor go-kart racing center with high-performance, electric go karts as well as a bar and grill. Junior racers must be at least 48 inches in height, and adult kart drivers must be at least 58 inches tall. All racers should be under 7 feet tall and 300 pounds, and must wear closed-toe shoes. Head socks and helmets are provided, as well as basic track instruction. Please note that on Fridays and Saturdays, no junior karts are available after 8:00 p.m.
Kristof’s Entertainment Center
421 W. Rollins Rd., Round Lake Beach | (847) 546-2512
This is a play place for the sports enthusiast. During the indoor season, experience bowling, billiards and the arcade. During the outdoor season, explore go karts, mini golf and batting cages. There is also a bar on site with great menu options.
Rainbow Play Systems Showroom
300 Corporate Woods Pkwy., Vernon Hills | (847) 955-9300
Try out a state-of-the-art, new-to-your kids play system for two hours during the day here Monday through Friday until March. You must supervise your own children; please check the website for current rates and any exclusions.
732 E. Park Ave., Libertyville | (847) 787-1130
Ultimate Ninjas offers open play for kids age six to 15 on weekends; participants must wear closed-toe shoes. Choose from a one or two-hour session on the amazing obstacle and agility courses. Ultimate Ninjas students can also book a weekend open play session to practice and perfect the skills they are learning in class. Reservations are recommended (use the website), as once capacity is reached, no additional children will be admitted. Read all about Mom-in-Chief Melissa’s visit here.
WhirlyBall (and Laser Tag)
285 Center Dr., Vernon Hills | (847) 918-0800
Imagine if you combined lacrosse, basketball, and hockey with bumper cars… you’d get WhirlyBall! Geared more towards older kids (must be 54 inches tall) and adults, it’s a hilariously good time. Laser Tag (a separate activity) is also offered here. Reservations are recommended to guarantee your activity time, and can be completed on the website. Little Lake County staff tried WhirlyBall as a team building exercise, see how much fun they had here.
Worth the Trip…
First Ascent Climbing & Fitness
Avondale – 3516 N. Spaulding Ave., Chicago | (773) 564-9815
Humboldt Park — 2950 W Grand Ave, Chicago | (773) 697-9743
Uptown – 4718 N. Broadway, Chicago | (773) 275-1212
This locally-owned climbing gym features bouldering for the whole family. Specialized gear is also available to rent. Little Lake County writer Loralie visited the Avondale location with her family.
Bowling in Lake County
Even the youngest of bowlers can learn to bowl using ramps and bumpers. When’s the last time you’ve gone bowling as a family? It’s so much fun and there are many great places to bowl in Lake County.
2616 Washington St., Waukegan | (847) 244-1300
Try this independently owned bowling alley for a nostalgic experience with the kids. The lanes are fast, the pizza is great, and the price is affordable. Bertrand Lanes also offers billiards.
350 McHenry Rd., Buffalo Grove | (847) 821-9000
The fun doesn’t end here with bowling, laser tag, an arcade, billiards and a restaurant all under one roof.
Brunwick Zone Hawthorn Lanes
316 Center Dr., Vernon Hills | (847) 367-1600
This bowling alley and arcade offers fun for the whole family. Order a meal from the laneside menu, or opt for “early bird” bowling on Sunday mornings and take advantage of $1.99 games until 12:00 p.m.
Fair Haven Lanes
711 E. Hawley St., Mundelein | (847) 566-4110
Enjoy pure bowling joy here but don’t overlook the weekly specials offered on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Visit the website for complete details.
601 Railroad Ave., Round Lake | (847) 546-2800
Bowl, play pool, Baggo and a enjoy food hot off the grill here in an atmosphere that is exactly what you’re looking for in a small town bowling alley. This family-owned establishment has been open since 1968. Visit the website for open bowling times and list of special offers.
900 S. Lake St., Mundelein | (847) 949-5700
Home of bowling, laser tag, an arcade and the Dockside Diner, Lakeside Lanes is a great place to take the family. Visit the website and join the email club for specials delivered directly to your inbox.
100 W. Higgins Rd., South Barrington | (847) 844-9300
1150 Willow Road, Northbrook | (847) 480-2323
Bowling, bocce, delicious food and coffee drinks sounds like a perfect place for a playdate! Choose your sport, order some appetizers, and have a fun afternoon! Check out Loralie’s review of Pinstripes.
Didn’t find what you were looking for? Try our list of indoor pools in Lake County to plan a splashing good time for your family. Or spend an afternoon learning about nature at these indoor locations. And don’t forget — tot open gyms are a great way to burn off energy, too!
Let us know if we missed any of your favorite places! Have fun out there, Lake County!