8 places for kids to burn energy in Chicagoland

With the temperatures dropping, kids are trapped indoors with little to do. Where does all that warm weather energy go? Here are some great ways for kids to burn energy in Chicagoland. These locations are sure to tire out your kid and induce a long winter’s nap.



Throw a punch.


No, we aren’t talking about kids getting into a fight with their siblings! POW! Gym in the West Loop is owned by Katalin, a mom of three who has 32 years experience in martial arts. The staff at POW! teaches children the fundamentals of martial arts plus traditional boxing training. These skills help develop confidence, teamwork and strength (in addition to tuckering them out).


310 S. Racine Ave., Chicago


Swing from the ceiling.


If your kids are swinging from the rafters cooped up in the house, send them to Ultimate Ninjas with locations in Naperville, Chicago and Libertyville. Classes are created and taught by actual contestants on the show American Ninja Warrior, with a focus on different obstacles each week. There are Family Open Play sessions at each location so parents can step off the sidelines and onto the course.


Locations in Naperville, Chicago and Libertyville

Ultimate Ninjas


Climb a wall.


Are your kids quite literally climbing the walls at home? Let them mark up someone else’s paint job at First Ascent’s Youth Rock Climbing programs. Scaling walls builds courage, develops problem solving skills and builds trust. Rock climbing is full-body physical workout, keeping the kids on their toes while they are high in the air.


Locations in Chicago (Downtown, Avondale, Humboldt Park & Uptown), Arlington Heights and Peoria 


Move your mind + body.


The concept behind enerGEEwhizz is exercising your brain and body at the same time- modules are designed to stimulate both cognitive and physical development. The physical focus is on core strength, balance and good posture while the cognitive concentrates on hand-eye coordination, reaction time, focus and awareness. Many kids don’t even recognize that they are working out — to them, it is just a perfectly entertaining way to play!


1418 N. Kingsbury St., Chicago

First Ascent


Move beyond a disability.


If your child has a physical or developmental disability, KEEN pairs them with a trained volunteer who helps them discover how much they can do. These programs are free of charge and are tailored for each athlete’s needs regardless of the severity of the disability. Physical activities include sports, aquatics and trampolines.


Programs held in various Chicagoland locations


Get into a groove.


Combining cardio and culture, Bollywood Groove™ Kids is an education and a way for kids to burn energy all in one. Participants learn a 3-4 minute Indian dance sequence using popular Bollywood music. Cultural education is key — they are the only dance academy that integrates engaging global education.


Programs held in various Chicagoland locations

Bollywood Groove


Go pro.


The Chicago Bulls created a Youth Hoops program that hosts clinics in the same gym where the Bulls play! If your kid is a basketball fanatic, or even if they are just starting out, bouncing a basketball on the court where the Bulls play is a unique experience. Each clinic also includes tickets to a Chicago Bulls home game so participants can watch the pros put those skills into practice.


Clinics held in various Chicagoland locations


Embrace the snow.


When the snow hits and everything is covered in a blanket of soft, fluffy white powder, strap on some snow shoes! The Morton Arboretum has 1,700 acres of trails for outdoor exploration. Equipment rental is available at the visitor center, and they have both adult and children’s sizes of snow shoes. Four inches of snow must fall for rentals to be available and can be for just two hours (beginners/those prone to feeling the chill) or all day (experts/those who thrive in frosty temps).


4100 IL-53, Lisle


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