3 reasons to love Skokie’s Exploratorium

Fall is here (woo!). But, you know what that means: winter is coming.

If you go

If you go

Exploratorium – Skokie Park District

4701 Oakton St.

Skokie, IL 60076

(847) 674-1500


In preparation for the next brutal Chicago winter, I’ve been investigating indoor play areas near my house. I happened upon the Exploratorium in Skokie during my search and it immediately went to the top of my list of places to take my son when it’s too cold to be outdoors. This is what we discovered when we checked it out:

It’s inexpensive

$5 per visitor if you’re a non-Skokie resident and $3 if you are a resident. Awesome. For someone who has gotten used to paying more than twice as much for half the activities, this was the holy grail of cheap play places to turn my son loose for hours.

It’s charming

A place like this might closely resemble the 9th layer of hell to the childless, but to parents, it’s a godsend. The gigantic light-bright wall is engaging and endlessly entertaining for toddlers, and something about watching the glee spread across their little faces when the sticks light up is infectious. There’s also a foam block area, a large climbing section with tunnels and slides, a water table, a stage for dress-up and make believe, a magnet table, a reading corner and an area specifically for smaller toddlers with a small slide and jungle gym.

It’s surprisingly comfortable

Aside from the occasional unsteady whirling dervish crashing into yours, this space is very well-thought out and easy for everyone (parents included) to navigate. I was especially thankful for the endless bounty of comfy places to sit and watch from afar (I’ve officially become an adult because I’m excited about sitting down.).

Make sure to check their hours before heading over, they close to the public for pre-booked parties fairly often.

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