Rainy Day Fun in Chicago

Chicago weather is unpredictable at best, downright bummer-inducing at worst. And there’s nothing quite so disappointing as waking up on a weekend or a precious holiday and seeing gray skies overhead. So we’ve got a few suggestions for what to do when the clouds move into Chicagoland.

12 best indoor play places in Chicago

Whether it’s hot and ridiculously humid or so cold it would put a polar vortex to shame, Chicago’s weather rarely cooperates with what your family has planned. Lucky for Chicago parents, this area is bursting with variety of indoor spots where kids can play and parents can retain their sanity and their clean homes. Here are a dozen of our favorites.

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You want a decent cup of coffee. Your kid wants to run around. Solution: These kid-friendly java joints.

Best kid-friendly coffeehouses in Chicago


5 places to blow off steam indoors


Trash to treasure

Art can be made from absolutely anything. Children intuitivelyknow this-think lipstick portraits on the living room wall. Adultsseem to forget that art can have humble beginnings.

Before you buy expensive art supplies, see what you can find athome. Your recycling bin is a fabulous (and cost effective)resource for craft materials. Plus, using recycled items is awonderful way to stretch your child’s imagination and creativity,while also teaching him to live a little “greener.” Next time youare about to toss something into the recycling bin, ask yourself,”Could we use this to make something fun or interesting?”


Nothing’s more fun than heading to one of the many children’smuseums in the Chicago area, where it’s all about hands-on learningand fun.

Best Kids Museums

The 7 best children’s museums in Chicago

Museums with kids? Sign us up. At least when it comes to these awesome children’s museums, which have fun attractions for every member of your family.

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Come on–get your hands dirty. These pottery shops all let kids(and parents!) work the clay, make a mess and actually createsomething wonderful to take home.

Best pottery places in the Chicago

The best pottery places for kids in and around Chicago

Clay-caked fingernails. Paint-splattered clothes. Beyond-messy tables and floors.

Who’s ready to make some pottery?

Sculpting, kneading and painting clay to form a masterpiece sounds like a dream come true to most kids (at least to my art-obsessed children). The mess that ensues, however, probably is not something most moms fantasize about. Most days our kitchen table resembles some type of craft show gone wrong. I love arts and crafts and so do my kids, but I’m not exactly crazy about pottery painting at home.

Luckily, there are a slew of paint-your-own pottery joints. My kids-Julie, 7, and Johnny, 3-and I got our hands dirty (literally) and scoped out the best spots to paint your own pottery.

– Kristy MacKaben


Malls have the best of both worlds–a chance to get someshopping done plus kids’ play areas to let kids run and shout.

Best indoor mall play spaces

Play until you drop at mall play spaces

Too much playtime makes mommies go crazy. But too many adultactivities like shopping make kids get cranky.

Thank goodness there’s a happy compromise to keep everyone sane:Mall play spaces. If the kids are good while you shop, they canplay when you’re done.

Bonus: They’re all free.

Thank goodness there’s a happy compromise to keep everyone sane:Mall play spaces. If the kids are good while you shop, they canplay when you’re done.

Bonus: They’re all free.


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