We loved Painted Penguin because you can take home your piece the very same day. At most places, the pieces needed to be fired and could be retrieved days later. At Painted Penguin, we painted our pieces, then they were taken to a magic igloo center and the paint was dried and set by a professional. Johnny, my preschooler, refused to take his eyes off his multi-colored shark while it dried. Another great bonus is its location-inside Westfield Hawthorn Mall at Vernon Hills. What better way to accomplish some shopping with the kids in tow, then bribe them with craft time if they behave?
(There also are locations in Aurora and Morton Grove.)