Old-fashioned summer fun for kids


Remember those lazy, relaxed summer days of your youth? Recreate for your kids with some good old-fashioned fun; no electronics, fidget spinners or dabbing required.


Rolling hills


Remember how fun and wild rolling down hills seemed? Head to the new Regenstein Learning Campus and Children’s Nature Play at the Chicago Botanic Garden. They have created a rolling hillscape with the most perfect grass for rolling or running down, or just laying back and staring at the clouds. You might even join the kids when you see how much fun they are having!


Wet and wild


Of course, the easiest way to do this is to set one up in the front yard, grab your coffee and watch the kids go wild. But if you want to make it an adventure, head to Bowen Park in Waukegan. The playground itself will wow your littles beyond belief and there is a free splash pad there, too.


Rink fun


Nothing said fun in the ‘80s like a night at the roller rink. Not much has changed and roller rinks are still a great time for everyone! Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand offers open skate on Wednesday mornings for only $5 (plus rental) and they offer skate mates to help new skaters learn how to roll (Think walkers made out of PVC pipes for toddlers.).


Boredom strikeout


Old-fashioned fun doesn’t have to be dowdy. Pinstripes (South Barrington, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Chicago) offers classic bowling fun with the modern conveniences of electronic scoring, automatic bumpers and comfy seating. This is not the smoke-filled, grimy bowling alleys of your youth. The Pinstripes Kids Club offers bowling daily from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. for only $3 per hour and $3 shoe rental. Parents bowl free.


Penny play


Okay, more like dollars these days, but head to the arcade anyway and let the kids see what video games used to look like: big, bulky and not in your pocket. Kristof’s Entertainment Center in Round Lake Beach has retro classics and newer games as well as pinball, skeeball (best game ever!) and racing. Tokens start at $1 for 4. See website for deals.


Speed races


Go-kart racing can give older kids the thrill of driving without worrying about tickets or insurance. K1 in Buffalo Grove offers indoor Go-karting so neither heat, rain or eventually winter, can ruin your fun. Prices start at $19.99.


Down on the farm


Lambs Farm not only offers old fashioned fun, but it does so while helping people thrive. Lamb Farms provides work and residence to adults with developmental disabilities to help them lead full and productive lives. Farm activities include seeing and interacting with farm animals, a train ride and a carousel.


Beach bums


Grab your Sun-In or lemon water and spend the day lounging on the beach. Diamond Lake Beach in Mundelein offers a sandy beach, a pristine lake and plenty of fun to be had. From making sand castles and splashing in the waves, to playing on the playground, you will have plenty to do. Admission is $4 per person on weekdays and $5 per person on weekends.


Go on, grab your Ray Bans and show the kids how awesome summer used to be. It will be totally rad!

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