The Ultimate Bucket List Before Your Kid Starts Preschool

They won't be little forever! We've got fun ideas perfect for families.

When raising kids, you know time goes by faster than you think. Parents of toddlers can already especially feel like that their kids are growing up quickly! Before you start tearing up with them starting preschool soon, now’s the time to enjoy these moments.

We rounded up some of our favorite things to do in Chicagoland with your littles. Consider this your ultimate bucket list before the kids start preschool. Now, get out and GO!

Looking for more fun things to do with kids? Take a look at our Weekend Picks filled with kid-friendly events and activities in Chicagoland.


Find a new park to make memories. Check out the iconic Maggie Daley Park or the super popular nature-inspired playground Bison’s Bluff in Schaumburg. Here are some playgrounds for your little climbers.


Spin round and round the carousel at Jumps n’ Jiggles in Elk Grove Village. Don’t miss the big-top-themed indoor playground and other indoor play places in Chicagoland.


Go bowling. Pinstripes offers Kids Club Bowling for $3 with bumpers and smaller balls. Parents are free. Yay!


Enjoy amusement park rides and animals at Santa’s Village AZoosment Park. The kiddie-sized rides are oh-so-fun, and seeing animals is the icing on the cake.


Try a new sweet treat. Consider trying more unique desserts in Chicago.


Arggh, matey. The kiddie rides at Pirates’ Cove will no doubt put a smile on your little buccaneer.


Let the kids be kids at children’s museums. Luckily for us, we are surrounded by fantastic children’s museums such as Chicago Children’s Museum, DuPage Children’s Museum, Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn, KidsWork Children’s Museum in Frankfort or Kohl’s Children’s Museum.


Attend storytime at the library. If the kids are ready, have them attend on their own. Afterward, find a few books to check out or hang out in the play area.


Plan a day out at one of the smaller zoos. Small zoos are much more manageable for kids these days. If you want to get one on one time, go to one like the Randall Oaks Zoo or Cosley Zoo where you’re able to feed or brush their animals.


Enjoy Instagram fun with street art. Selfies await at any of these awesome murals dotting the city and suburbs. For iconic Chicago, you can’t miss the “Greetings from Chicago” mural at 2226 N. Milwaukee Ave.


Get on the water. Let’s face it, boats are super fun, but can your little one really sit through a two-hour boat tour? For a short, but sweet, ride try a water taxi ride instead.


Splash away at a splash pad or sprayground. Why don’t you join in on the fun, too?


Be a beach bum. Make the ultimate sandcastle at any of the family-friendly beaches.


Have an ice cream date. Who doesn’t love ice cream, right? Share a sundae or each of you can get your own cone.


Catch a flick together. Here are new family movies to look forward to watch this year.


Batter up! Don’t worry if your little one can’t sit through watching the game. Try a themed Schaumburg Boomers or Kane County Cougars minor league baseball game with tons of activities like inflatables, slides and a chance to run the bases.


Choo choo! Hop on the CTA or Metra to experience the hassle-free fun of a train ride. Totally train obsessed? Watch trains chug away at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railway Garden. Want to go big? How about a visit to the largest train museum? The Illinois Railway Train Museum in Union is a total must. Here are some more train activities your kids will love.


Kids love cars? A trip to Volo Auto Museum is in order. You’ll find pop culture favorites from our time like the Knight Rider car and the Delorean from Back to the Future. Kids’ favs are there for viewing like Ghostbusters and the Batmobile, plus a Disney Gallery. Bring your quarters because the kids won’t leave without going on the kiddie rides.


Train food. Nothing like seeing the smile on your little one as a train delivers food right to you. The Choo Choo, The Junction Diner or 2Toots Train Whistle Grill are great options for local train-themed restaurants.


Watch butterflies flutter around at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Have your camera ready in case a butterfly lands on your little one. Enjoy more indoor fun at these nature centers.

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