Kid-Friendly Restaurants with Exciting Themes in Chicagoland

Break up the routine with something fun at these cool restaurants!

When taking kids out to eat, you can almost guarantee that boredom will strike. That’s why themed restaurants are perfect for families looking for a side of entertainment with their meal.

Do you know what I love about these themed restaurants? They’re timeless. I fondly remember visiting some of these themed restaurants in Chicago. Whether it was taking my Samantha doll to tea at the American Girl Place cafe or going on a field trip in elementary school at Medieval Times, I still remember how much fun these places were. 

Imagine the delight on your children’s faces as they bite into a perfectly gooey grilled cheese or hot dog at a whimsical restaurant in Chicago. Break up your routine and check out one of Chicagoland’s fun-themed eateries for your next dinner out.  

Read more: Add These Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Chicagoland to Your Foodie Bucket List

This article was recently updated on April 19, 2024 by Chicago Parent’s Audience Development Manager, Katina Beniaris. The update included researching the latest information for kid-friendly themed restaurants, and adding photos and reviews. Questions? Please reach out to katina@chicagoparent.com.

Sugar Factory

Sugar Factory
Photo Credit: Sugar Factory

You may be a bit hesitant to bring your kids to a restaurant where the theme is, well, sugar, but rest assured, there’s more to this spot than just candy (like an elaborate drink menu for adults, for instance).

Kids will flip for the restaurant’s Rainbow Sliders (mini cheeseburgers with colorful buns that come with a rubber ducky you can take home) and over-the-top milkshake concoctions (Nutella Banana or Chocolate Rocky Road, anyone?). While Sugar Factory probably isn’t practical for a weeknight meal, the place just screams “birthday party” or special event.

Pilot Pete’s

Get an up-close view of airplanes taking flight at Pilot Pete’s, located at the Schaumburg Regional Airport. The place is full of aviation-themed touches, including airplane seats in the waiting area and and model planes hanging from the ceiling.

“The staff were friendly and it’s a nice place to take the kids,” says Alaa on Google Reviews. “It’s not much of an interaction type place but there’s planes everywhere and the kids can enjoy looking at them. The food wasn’t bad either!”

Kids can enjoy crowd-pleasing items like quesadillas, buttered noodles or homemade mac and cheese while watching the runway action outside.

JoJo’s Shake Bar

Jojo's ShakeBAR
Photo credit: JoJo’s ShakeBAR

As the name implies, JoJo’s is all about taking milk and turning it into decadent dairy creations; from drool-worthy hot chocolate to elaborate milkshakes and even flavor-infused milks (served with a tray of fresh baked cookies, naturally). The restaurant has plenty of tasty comfort food options, too, like Loaded Grilled Cheese, Pop’s Chicken Pot Pie and of course, JoJo’s Cheese Fries. Parents will enjoy the selection of dessert shots while kids get their fill of sugary Milk Bar goodies.

Lucky Strike Social

Lucky Strike Social
Photo Credit: Lucky Strike Social

Want to burn some of your children’s energy while waiting for your meal to arrive? Lucky Strike has so much entertainment that both kids and parents will have a blast. This Wrigleyville location has epic views of the field, along with over 100 electronic gaming systems, bowling, air hockey, ping pong and more. For food, there’s everything from gouda mac and cheese bites to boneless wings to keep your whole family fueled up for play.

The Village

Themed Restaurants for Kids
Photo credit: The Village/Jack X Li

Chicago’s oldest Italian restaurant gives you the closest experience you can get to dining in Tuscany without leaving the Windy City. Grab a booth inside a recreated villa and enjoy the twinkle of “stars” and murals of the Italian countryside while you eat. Classic Northern Italian cuisine is served up here, including pizza, pasta and seafood as well as an impressive kids menu.

2 Toots Train Whistle Grill

Calling all train lovers! 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill is the place to watch trains chug around and bring you your food. Kids will love being seated right by the train tracks, while adults will rejoice — they actually have delicious all grass-fed beef burgers here and their chili is pretty fantastic. Don’t leave without trying their rich milkshakes.

“2 Toots is an AWESOME experience. This isn’t gourmet. This isn’t fancy. This is exactly what you want it to be… fun for your kids and a decent chargrilled cheeseburger while you’re at it,” Chris Cote on Google Reviews. “The servers are very friendly, and attentive and cater to the kids. The menu is small and easy. The place is fun, and clean, and maybe a little loud, but who cares. Set your expectations appropriately and you’ll have a great time! Kid-friendliness: Aces. This is why it’s here.”

Medieval Times

Medieval Times
Photo Credit: Medieval Times

Take it back … way back to the 11th century! You and your family will be transported to the royal court full of excitement. Indulge in a feast using only your hands while cheering on for your knight as they battle through the tournament.

Rainforest Cafe

Rainforest Cafe
Photo credit: Rainforest Cafe

Welcome to the jungle! While eating the kids will be entertained with the trumpeting elephants or the wild gorillas. Word of caution: every so often there’s a storm that may be a little frightful for littles. Don’t forget to get the chocolate lava volcano!

“This place was so kool and unique. Loved all the decor in there. Great for kids and adults. Love that if you get a drink you get a souvenir cup. I had the shrimp tacos and they were bomb!” says Chey Wright on Google Reviews. “Only problem was on the kids menu the pics are not what you get (big disappointment for kids). The staff was nice and friendly. Easy to find in the mall and plenty of space inside.”

American Girl Place Cafe

American  Girl
Photo credit: American Girl

Your kids and their favorite dolls will be spoiled beyond belief when they dine at the American Girl Cafe. Pull up a chair for you and the doll. Dolls even have their own place settings! It’s sure to be an experience to remember for the entire family.


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Katina Beniaris
Katina Beniaris
As audience development manager, Katina Beniaris digs into data to help the Chicago Parent team learn about our audiences and tailor better content for them. She has more than five years of experience in content creation.
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