When you get tired of cleaning up the messes your children make in your home, there’s a simple solution: Take them to the nearest indoor play space and let them take out all the toys in someone else’s space. There are a bunch of spots that already exist in the Windy City, but we’re so lucky to live here because we just landed a few new ones.
Kid’s Island and Wellness Spa. If your child craves sandcastle fun during the winter months, you’re in luck. This play space has it year-round—indoors. He can dig, slide and get messy while you go to the adjoining Wellness Nail Spa. As long as your children are 9 months or older, you can leave them at Kid’s Island, where they’ll get to do an art project or listen to a story while you get your nails done. $12 for open play or $10 per child for the drop-off service. 1358 W. Webster Ave., Chicago; (773) 935-6060, chicago. kidsisland.com
Ball Factory Indoor Play& Café. This is one of the rare indoor spots that caters to older children (up to age 13) as well as tiny tots. They can do it all because they’ve got 10,000 square feet of space, consisting of four levels of play structures. It’s really got something for everyone, including a 1,000-square-foot space sectioned off for those 4 and younger, a gigantic obstacle-filled play structure, tunnels, climbing walls, truck area, café area with Wi-Fi, tons of slides—and balls. Lots and lots of balls, as would be expected by its name. Be warned, however. This place gets packed on the weekends, so your best bet is to check it out during the week. $9 toddlers, $11 kids 5 and up during the week; $12 toddlers, $14 kids 5 and up during weekends. 864 S. Route 59, Naperville; (630) 445-8365, ballfactoryfun.com
Duck Duck Goose. This adorable little play space has sweet extras. Every Tuesday and Thursday, craft stations are set up so you can get their space messy instead of yours (there’s no extra charge for this). They also offer Mommy& Me classes ($25 per class), birthday parties and camp. If you want to drop your child off, you can do this via their nanny service (call ahead for this) from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for $20. $10 per child for open play. The third sibling is free. 1727 N. Western Ave., Chicago; (773) 360-8240, duckduckgooseplayground.com