Sparkling bright winter days deliver plenty of ways to play and keep the kids active and happy with lively activities on Chicago’s North Shore. Outside and inside, entertaining and educational, these places specialize in delivering a brrrilliant time. Explore all the Fun for the Family hot spots!
Kohl Children's Museum, Glenview
Mix It Up with Movies and Museums
Catch the latest blockbuster or animated gem with all the movie palace extras (and popcorn galore) at Landmark at the Glen (1850 Tower Dr., the Glen Town Center, Glenview). Just around the corner, learning is a blast at Kohl Children’s Museum (2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview) with oodles of interactive exhibits, where kids can visit a grocery store, build a house, make music, take care of cars and much more. Hands-on features at Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (3001 Central St., Evanston) engages with take-home craft activities and their teaching lodge, a life-size Anishinaabek (Potawatomi, Odawa and Ojibwe) hunting wigwam where kids can climb inside and learn about how they were made.
Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe
It’s Only Natural
With a bit of bundling, the littles can still run themselves silly at Emily Oaks Nature Center (4650 Brummel St., Skokie). Wander this 13-acre savanna with its oak trees, trails, three-acre pond, Interactive Nature Exhibit and playgrounds. Chicago Botanic Garden (1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe) offers children’s day camps during school breaks, plus your child can explore the whole garden with nature investigations and science and art activities all year long! Continue the exploration through the over 150 acres that make up The Grove National Historic Landmark and explore the wildlife, Native American Village, Log Cabin and Schoolhouse that you’ll find on the grounds.
Funtopia Adventure Park (2050 Tower Dr., Glenview) combines sports and fun with bountiful attractions. Conquer the heights of the Fun Walls, balance through the Ropes Course elements, explore the Caving System or play in their Jungle Gym. North Shore Sports Center (1900 Old Willow Rd., Northbrook; formerly Athletico Center) is a hub for youth sports with Champions League Soccer, Feeder and Travel Basketball and indoor flag football. The multi-use facility hosts a variety of activities from leagues and camps to classes and rentals. No matter what season, there’s plenty of watery fun at Splash Landings (2400 Chestnut Ave., Glenview), the four-pool indoor aquatic center, including the Play Pool, sloping from zero depth to three-and-a-half-feet with waterslide and more.
Ignite Gaming, Skokie
Put on Your Game Face
Cold temps outside don’t mean a thing when the competition heats up at Ignite Gaming (8125 Skokie Blvd., Skokie). Pick from hundreds of PC and console games with your friends while enjoying food and drinks at this premier all-ages gaming venue. With 18 bowling lanes, six bocce courts, a year-round outdoor patio with fire pit and a family-friendly kids menu, Pinstripes (1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook) has it all. The massive dining and entertainment venue features an exceptional Italian-American bistro, plus plush seating and professional, game-side food and beverage service.