With the outdoor playground season coming to a close (we all miss the splash pads already), our family is in search of an indoor playground. We have a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old.

They went to Ridgeland Commons yesterday and the 3.5 year old was unimpressed after 15 minutes. Monkey Island in Melrose Park charges $21 for two kids and an 1 adult, which will add up quickly, though some reviews indicate they have a monthly pass, which must be pricey, too.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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Wonder Works on North Avenue is a great alternative. Their prices are pretty good. It is $5/person but you can also become a member which I think starts at $75 for a family and includes free admission for the year. It's not the same as a playground but lots of tactile fun, things to climb on etc. Definitly worth checking out.

You can find more on their website http://www.wonder-works.org/
I second the rec for Wonder Works! I spent countless hours there when my kids were your kids' ages.

Another option is the play area at the River Forest Community Center. It's $3 per kid, and there's space for you to sit where you can watch them easily. The main play structure might be a little big for the 1.5-year-old, depending on how well he/she climbs, but there's also a Little Tikes slide structure too.

Also, if you have a membership for the Zoo, one option is to park at the south entrance, then just go straight to the Hamill Family Play Zoo, which is right there. Little ones can entertain themselves for a long time in there!
Another plug for Wonder Works - what's also awesome about membership there is that for a nominal fee you can upgrade your Wonder Works membership so that it will admit you to a bunch of other Children's Museums around the country (including the one on Navy Pier). We've used it in several different locations and it has more than paid for itself.
I have the best indoor playspace for you! It's called Jumps and Jiggles in Elk Grove Village (their park district). The large, clean, friendly-staffed place has a large tube play area (like a clean, glorified McDonald's playspace) with smaller younger child play toys in the same space so you don't need to run around checking on two kids.

Now, here's the best part, the adjacent room has an indoor carousel! Not like the dinky mall type - a real, large carousel. Last winter my kids were just 2 and LOVED it.

Wait, there's more! It only costs $3.50/child, no cost for adults, and you can get a 2 for 1 coupon (see link below) and ample parking is free!

If you can't tell, I absolutely love this place. I can't wait to take the kids again this year.

http://www.elkgroveparks.org/pavilion.asp?id=1971
http://www.oakleesguide.com/coupons.html
Thanks to all - we have a membership to the Zoo and Wonderworks (good reminder to renew), so we will likely see you there!
There is one in Berwyn, never been to it, but heard it is good. I have been to the one in La Grange, and it's great. It was a few dollars, can't remember exactly, and it was off of Ogden near the tracks...in that vicinity. You'll have to look it up. Your children might like the train hobby store on Ogden on the way to or from the La Grange indoor gym, always a hit with little ones.

We should get the village to provide a better indoor gym than Ridgeland. I agree--not much there!! So much potential, but really unimpressive.

We also run around the Oak Park Conservatory, hit the library and visit the Garfield Conservatory (they have an indoor playground!)....


Heidi Ruehle-May said:
I have the best indoor playspace for you! It's called Jumps and Jiggles in Elk Grove Village (their park district). The large, clean, friendly-staffed place has a large tube play area (like a clean, glorified McDonald's playspace) with smaller younger child play toys in the same space so you don't need to run around checking on two kids.

Now, here's the best part, the adjacent room has an indoor carousel! Not like the dinky mall type - a real, large carousel. Last winter my kids were just 2 and LOVED it.

Wait, there's more! It only costs $3.50/child, no cost for adults, and you can get a 2 for 1 coupon (see link below) and ample parking is free!

If you can't tell, I absolutely love this place. I can't wait to take the kids again this year.

http://www.elkgroveparks.org/pavilion.asp?id=1971
http://www.oakleesguide.com/coupons.html
We love Jumps and Jiggles! Pirates Cove next door is also amazing when it's open.
I'm not sure if they raised the prices, but 1 adult and 1 child costs around $49 for a monthly membership at Monkey Island. If you go more than 3 times a month, it pays for itself, but still it seems very pricey against other memberships.

I am a huge fan of the Treehouse in Lake Zurich. It's definitely worth the haul. Admission is $10 per child, but you can leave and come back through out the day. They have plush leather seating, organic and gourmet food, as well as cappuccinos and lattes. They also offer free wifi. Finally a place designed with parents in mind.

Legoland is also a decent alternative if you don't mind the drive. I believe that you can buy a year membership per person for around $25 if you find a promo online.

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