Emily Rosencrans is the creator of the Instagram account, @two.busy.babies.
Best Park District Spaces:
Located in the Oakton Community Center, this space is part play place, part science museum. It boasts a two story climbing structure, giant story book, extensive water table and a pre walker area. There are plenty of STEM related activities here including a magnate table and large blue blocks
$5 Residents, $6 Non Residents
***ROUND LAKE- CHILDREN’S NEIGHBORHOOD
New this year, this neighborhood children’s museum has been quite a hit! The adorable stations have various themes like a schoolhouse, mechanic garage, construction site and doctor’s office. There’s even an adorable grocery store! This space caters to all ages with areas for pre-walkers, too. They have recently extended their hours as well!
$3 Residents, $4 Non Residents
Best Hidden Gems:
***VERNON HILLS- RAINBOW PLAY SYSTEMS OPEN PLAY
Rainbow Play Systems offers open play during the week where kids are able to play in the showroom where over 15 different play sets are set up. There are swings, slides, trampolines and basketball hoops set up for all the fun!
$10 per child
***MOUNT PROSPECT- THE GYMNASTICS SHOP
The Gymnastics Shop offers open play for kids ages 2-6 every Tuesday-Friday morning for just $6 per child. You do not need to be enrolled as a student at the gym to come in for play time. Kids will have a blast jumping in the foam pit, bouncing on the trampolines and swinging from the rope swings.
$6 Cash Only
Best Free Activities:
***SCHAUMBURG- SCHAUMBURG TOWNSHIP PUBLIC LIBRARY
Did you know that you don’t need a library card or even live in the district to visit any public library? Anyone can enjoy these free spaces which boast wonderful play opportunities for kids. The Schaumburg library is one of our favorites. The enchanted forest is a beautiful play area with tons of interactive activities. There are often traveling exhibits that rotate through the library as well!
***GLENVIEW- WAGNER FARM
Wagner farm is an interactive and educational farm with fun, kid-friendly exhibits and even live animals to interact with. Children can play in the pretend chicken coop area to collect eggs or draw on the life sized chalkboard painted cow. There is also a beautiful playground here. They offer tons of great programs for children and adults too!
Best for All Ages:
DES PLAINES- PRAIRIE LAKES AQUATIC CENTER SPLASH PAD
This splash pad is perfect for the long, cold winter moths to help remind us what summer feels like. The splash pad here has a fun play structure, plenty of fountains and bubblers. The best part is that the water is warm and the facility is separated from the larger pools which makes it a safe and fun option for kids of all ages.
$2.50 Residents, $5 Non Residents