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  • Writer's pictureTim Carstensen

50 Fun Things to do for Kids and Families in the Chicago Suburbs in the Summer!

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


Child happily playing in the foam at a foam party

Are you sick and tired of sitting at home with your kids in the summer? Are you looking for new fun places to experience around the Chicago suburbs with your kids? Looking for an innovative way to beat the heat? We did some research and have found 50 fun things for kids and families in the Chicago suburbs in the summer.


ANIMALS


Big Run Wolf Ranch Lockport, Illinois

Looking for a valuable volunteer experience? Searching for a unique birthday party venue or camping site? Big Run Wolf Ranch is a non-profit educational facility dedicated to education and conservation of North American Wildlife. It’s the perfect place for your family or group to have an incredible hands-on learning experience with a variety of amazing animals including Zeus the wolf, Kuma the black bear, Penelope the porcupine and many more!


Cosley Zoo Wheaton, Illinois

Cosley Zoo gives visitors up-close interactions with nature right in the heart of the suburbs. Nestled on five acres, Cosley Zoo is home to farm animals and native wildlife. You will discover exhibits that will immerse you in natural habitats for white-tailed deer, red fox, Blanding’s turtles, a coyote, and more. Cosley Zoo is also a center for animal education and conservation, offering programs that teach young and old how to care for the world around them and give back to the communities in which they live, work, and play.


Phillips Park Zoo Aurora, Illinois

Do you and your kids enjoy animals and scavenger hunts? Have fun with both at Phillips Park Zoo! It is the mission of Phillips Park Zoo to provide a safe environment where students and visitors can gain a better understanding of the animal world and its environment through recreation and education, as well as providing professional care for the animals housed at the zoo, while promoting a positive image of the zoo and surrounding park, enhancing the quality of life.


Primrose Farm St. Charles, Illinois

Open from dawn to dusk, Primrose Farm animal friends are always ready for a visit! Stop by to say hello to Jersey Cows, Belgian Draft Horses, Dwarf Goats and more. Visit the farm buildings and learn about their history, take a walk, and bike ride on our multi use trails. A covered pavilion, firepit and wagon rides are also available!


ART


All Things Art Studio St. Charles, Illinois

All Things Art Studio is a teaching art studio near downtown St. Charles offering art classes and private lessons, birthday parties, wine and canvas events, corporate team building events, and more for children and adults. Explore our site to discover the perfect All Things Art experience for you!


At Blooming Succulents Studio, you will be given everything you need to develop your craft. Guests pick out elements from a beautiful variety of succulents in order to create unique pieces of art. All are encouraged to dream up personal creative and innovative project


The Little Artist Naperville, Illinois

If your child loves art, give The Little Artist a try. They offer art classes for creative drawing, painting, and mixed-media art for kids ages 4-13. Kids can develop and nurture creative skills by exploring a variety of mediums and learn new techniques in art. They have both private and group art classes. The class size is limited, so everyone receives individual attention. The Little Artist is an amazing colorful world. Join and let your child’s creative sprit run free!


ESCAPE ROOMS


Escape Hour Room Bolingbrook, Illinois

Can you escape in 60 minutes? Are you smart enough to find a way out? Friends, families, tourists, gamers, and corporate retreats welcome (8 years old and up)! Escape Hour Room is interactive scenario based games, where small groups of players use puzzles and elements of the room to escape within the 60-minute time limit. Escaping from themed rooms requires keen problem-solving skills. Players must communicate efficiently while working together to find new clues and solve puzzles. Uncovering clues moves you one step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of unlocking the door to freedom!


Fuzzy Logic Downers Grove, Illinois

You can book this exciting escape room experience online. No waiting in lines for your (8 years old and up) team! Just choose an available time on the calendar, book your slot and arrive 5 minutes before your scheduled time. Put your problem solving and communication skills to the test to see if you can solve all the puzzles and escape within 60 minutes.


Legendary Escape Rooms & Axe Throwing Plainfield & Aurora, Illinois

Visit online to choose either the Plainfield or Aurora location and select an exciting escape room theme.

Both Plainfield and Aurora also offer state of the art “Projection” axe throwing and/or a new thrilling version of axe throwing called Tic-Tac-Toe!


FAMILY FUN CENTERS


Altitude Trampoline Park Oswego, Lombard, and Skokie, Illinois

Channel your energy, cut loose with your best flips and tricks, and prepare for the Jump Life!℠ Featuring thousands of square feet of indoor trampolines and other attractions, Altitude Trampoline Park is an exciting destination for families, groups, and individual jumpers to have healthy, athletic fun.


Funway Batavia, Illinois

Whether you are hosting a birthday party, looking for quality family time, or having an office get together, enjoy the fun inside and outside of Funway in Batavia! Funway’s “Indoor” attractions are open and ready for enjoyment, 7 days a week, rain or shine. From family roller skating hours to arcade games to open bowling, Funway has everything to offer your family or group. In spring and summer, head to Funway for their “Backyard”outdoor attractions, including 18 holes of mini golf, go karts, batting cages, bumper boats and more.


Enchanted Castle Lombard, Illinois ad

Come to Enchanted Castle and experience a 60,000 square foot, all indoor, family entertainment center. It specializes in family-fun, birthday parties, group celebrations, company teambuilding and events for all occasions and ages. Attractions include laser tag, indoor go-karts, bumper cars, the Catapult Thrill Ride, and so much more! The game room offers over 200 sports, video, and redemption games plus a large redemption prize center. Menu items include homemade pizza plus a variety of sandwiches and burgers.


Funtopia Naperville, Illinois

Is your family looking for a unique truly active experience! Funtopia in Naperville is definitely worth a visit. They offer fun through movement doing activities that work for you. Climbing the Fun Walls, balancing through the Rope Course, racing through the Ninja Course or playing in the Toddler Area will cater to all types of participants.


Sugar Grove Family Fun Center Sugar Grove, Illinois

There is something fun for every member of the family at the Sugar Grove Family Fun Center. This amusement park features 2 go-kart tracks, miniature golf course, bumper boats, water wars, game room, lighted golf range & more. The Sugar Grove Family Fun Center is one of the most fun and economical venues for your birthday party or your corporate/special outing.


Urban Air Adventure Park Bloomingdale, Naperville, North Riverside & St Charles, Illinois

Urban Air is an adventure park that provides a safe place where your whole family can jump, soar, race, climb, and play. Urban Air is the perfect place for a birthday party because there’s something for everyone. In addition to all the thrilling attractions, Urban Air features a café and more relaxing areas to explore. Your birthday boy or girl and all their guests will love these top 5 attractions: dodgeball, warrior course, sky rider, climbing walls and bumper cars. There is so much to offer your party guests, so be sure to check out the attractions at your local park and choose the party package that fits your group.


FOOD


Charlie’s Restaurant Bolingbrook, Illinois

Watch the planes at the Clow Airport as you eat! They offer a wide array of fresh food – garbage skillet, biscuits and gravy, breakfast sandwich, cheese omelet and more.


2Toots Train Whistle Grill Bartlett & Glen Ellyn, Illinois

2Toots Train Whistle Grill is a great place for families and groups to enjoy a tasty meal, but it is so much more! You will be seated right on train tracks, and your delicious food will be delivered by 2 toy electric 50’s “O” scale Lionel and MTH trains.


Crusade’s Burger Bar Crest Hill & Yorkville, Illinois

Craving hot, freshly prepared comfort food? Stop in Crusade’s Burger Bar for a creative burger made from tri blended beef. Thirsty for a delicious drink? Crusade’s offers giant milkshakes, true craft cocktails, and the most sought-after craft beers in town!


Medieval Times Schaumburg, Illinois

Take a trip back in time with the Queen of the Royal Court to Medieval Spain. While feasting on a four-course banquet, you and your guests will experience two hours of extraordinary jousting, swordsmanship, falconry and horsemanship.

GAMING


Yetee Station Arcade Aurora, Illinois

Yetee Station is a FREE PLAY arcade! Just a $15 admission gets you in the door all day, no quarters needed. You get to play all the games as many times as you would like. Yetee Station has a wide selection of games from the 80’s to current day.


Casual gamers of all skill levels will love Scrims! This gaming center features a mix of high-end gaming PCs and consoles. You can drop in solo or with friends to play dozens of game titles. Scrims also gives access to exclusive competitive leagues and live local tournaments.


Sandbox VR Oak Brook, Illinois

Sandbox VR at Oakbrook Center features 6 virtual reality rooms for gaming. This socially immersive gaming experience combines full-body motion capture and high-quality haptics to provide unprecedented realism and complete immersion that’s not possible with home VR systems or other location-based VR venues. Unique, active and social, Sandbox VR is a perfect place for friends and family to get together, from friendly outings to birthday parties and group events.


MUSEUMS


DuPage Children’s Museum Naperville, Illinois

Come with the whole family or host a one-of-a-kind party at DuPage Children’s Museum. Have a blast celebrating, playing and learning together in the Museum’s interactive exhibit neighborhoods. Check the website for their amazing special events!


Fox River Trolley Museum South Elgin, Illinois

History and train buffs alike will love this museum! The Fox River Trolley Museum is all about preserving, interpreting, and operating historic railway vehicles on its demonstration electric railway, over the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River Electric route at South Elgin, Illinois. Furthermore, the museum preserves, displays and interprets smaller artifacts, photos, oral histories, and documents which help relate the importance of electric transport in and around the Chicago Metropolitan Area, putting them in context with their surroundings and era.


The Little White School Museum holds the rich history of the community and reflects the spirit of its early residents. Built as a church in 1850, then used as a school until the mid-1960’s, the building is now a community museum open to the public and an archive of local Oswegoland history. Step in and take a step back in time.


NATURE


Honey Bee Gardens Downers Grove, Illinois

If you are looking for a safe place to have your kids discover the beauty of nature and explore their creativity, Honey Bee Gardens is where to go. There are educational programs where visitors learn what it’s like to care for farm animals and see how foods are grown. Honey Bee Gardens has an exciting pond full of fish, bullfrogs, turtles and dragonflies, too!

. Morton Arboretum Lisle, Illinois

Morton Arboretum has something for everyone. You can choose to check out the award-winning Maze Garden, request a guided experience, explore the 4 acre Children’s Garden, take a quiet stroll through 16 miles of beautiful trails, or attend one of the many exhibits, activities, events or classes the Arboretum offers.


Plainfield StoryWalk Plainfield, Illinois

StoryWalk® is a fun, educational activity that places the pages of a book along a popular walking route. StoryWalk® combines the joy of reading with all the benefits of being active outside. The pages of a children’s book are placed in holders along a path. As you walk the path you discover page after page, and soon, after a short stroll you have read a story.


PARKS/PLAYGROUNDS


Boating in the Park Glen Ellyn, Illinois

One of Glen Ellyn’s finest gems becomes your space for exploration once again this summer. Row or paddle alongside the Boathouse, shores, fishing pier, and out onto the middle of Lake Ellyn during the Boating in the Park Series, presented by the Glen Ellyn Park District.


Pure joy will be on your child’s face as they run, bounce, balance, traverse and hang out at this beautiful playground. They can even climb up the Willis Tower to slide down the tube slides!


Summerlakes Park Warrenville, Illinois

If your family is into American Ninja, you will love this park! As well as a ninja warrior type obstacle course, this park has tons of other entertainment for all ages. It’s tucked away from the busy streets and backs up to a forest preserve. The park has tennis courts, a baseball field, and a skateboard park with fun little ramps for the kids to use. It also has a park geared towards younger kids, batting cages, and a bike trail through the forest preserve for riding and taking walks.


SKATING (ICE SKATING, ROLLER SKATING, SKATE PARKS)


Aurora Skating Center Aurora, Illinois

Take a look at this website and go on a virtual tour of Aurora Skating Center. The regular weekly schedule is up and you can also get info on speed team, women’s roller derby and lessons. How about hosting a skating birthday party or a private event? Don’t forget to visit the Aurora Skate Shop if you need to pick up some new skating gear.

Darien Sportsplex Darien, Illinois

Check this out! Darien Sportsplex is home to the Chicago Hawks Hockey Club, Chicago Edge Skating Academy, DuPage Stars Hockey Club, Chicago Empire FC, and several other local youth sports organizations.


The Den Indoor Skatepark Oswego, Illinois

The Den Community Group (TDCG, Inc.) is a group of volunteer caring community members who provide a safe recreational area for youth, teens, young adults and veteran skaters to skate! Not many indoor skateparks around Illinois!

Fox Valley Ice Arena Geneva, Illinois

Wow! Fox Valley Ice Arena houses two ice rinks, a sporting goods store, a fitness center, and a pub and grill.


SPORTS/ATHLETICS


Kane County Cougars Geneva, Illinois

Did you know the Kane County Cougars have sent 180 players to the Major Leagues? For an affordable and fun family baseball experience, grab some tickets and go to some Cougar games this season!


Puttshack Oak Brook, Illinois

This place rewrote the rules of mini golf. They paired modern technology with crazy courses, great food and drink, and cool vibes. (Recommend kids 7+. No kids after 8 pm.)

TopGolf Naperville & Schaumburg, Illinois

TopGolf has regular golf items: clubs, balls, tees, turf, etc. They also have items that you don’t find on the golf course: loud music, giant targets, huge TVs, and a hand-crafted food and beverage menu. Fore!


Ultimate Ninjas Glenview, Libertyville, & Naperville, Illinois

Ultimate Ninjas offers classes that are not only fun, but the challenges, obstacles, and courses provide your kids with the unique experience of seeing how their hard work can help them overcome and achieve their goals! Ninja training for kids not only boosts self-confidence, but promotes fitness, agility, and helps put kids on the path for lifelong fitness! Their classes are designed and led by professional Ninja athletes who train to conquer the same obstacles seen on the NBC hit, American Ninja Warrior.


SWIMMING


Centennial Beach (Quarry) Naperville, Illinois

A visit to Centennial Beach is more than just about swimming – it’s a real social occasion. With the expanse of grass and beautiful shade trees, it’s also a great place to enjoy a family picnic or a game of cards. Some of the aquatic programs offered are swim lessons, adult float and paddle board yoga!


Cypress Cove Family Water Park Woodridge, Illinois

What does Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park offer? You will experience thrills and relaxation for all ages including a spray playground, a zero-depth pool, a 600-foot lazy river, 3 body slides, a tube slide, a kiddie slide, a sand play area and much more!

Hall Quarry Beach Batavia, Illinois

If you are looking for some fun in the sun this summer, plan a day at Hall Quarry Beach. The Quarry features a beautiful sandy beach and swimming area, thrilling drop slide, kid flume water slide, inflatables, zero-depth edge, large picnic area, concession stand and sand volleyball courts.


Raging Waves Yorkville, Illinois

Clean, friendly and safe are all words to describe Raging Waves in Yorkville. Sprawling over 58 acres, visitors can enjoy 32 waterslides, a ¼ mile long lazy river, 350,000 gallon wave pool, 43 private cabanas, 11 dining options, and more!

UNIQUE


Foam Party All Stars Oswego, Illinois

Turn your next party into an unforgettable experience that your guests will be talking about for years to come!

​Foam Party All Stars is a mobile foam party service that brings a memorable, unique, safe and interactive foam experience to make your next event the best ever! They handle everything and bring the foam party to you throughout the Chicago suburbs. Skip the cheap foam machine rental and let the pros knock your party out of the park!

iFly Naperville, Illinois

Gear up and experience the sensation of flying in state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnels. This is sure to be an unforgettable time for you and your guests!


Discover outdoor activities, events, and dining options in a 300-acre park, just 22 miles southwest of Chicago. We've got adventures for all ages, energy levels, abilities, or interests. Experience one of the USA Today's 10 Best Aerial Adventure Parks in the USA!

Kiddy Club is a family-owned activity center for kids. They welcome parents and their children into a calm, pleasant, fun environment that will further growth, development, and education of the whole child through play.

Whirlyball Naperville & Vernon Hills, Illinois

Whirlyball is the most fun you can have going 4 miles an hour! Whirlyball combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball, and bumper cars in a game of skill coupled with a touch of chance.

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