Even though the famous groundhog didn’t see his shadow this February 2 we still need some fun things to do while we wait out the rest of the winter.

I know that on cold days when I’m home with my son {and are tired of playing blocks} we both feel anxious to get outside and do something.  We typically run to several stores so I can get my errands done, but really that is no fun for him.

First up, I adore the indoor playgrounds, they are a blast for Holden but also fun for adults too, especially if you have a playdate at one.  Most of them serve coffee and food so you can really make a 1/2 day of it.  They are all drop in play and average about $12 per child (adults are free).  Here is a list of my favorites, but please comment and let me know your favorites!

1. Little Beans – Bucktown | Elston & Webster | This place is like having every toy and pint sized jungle gym in your basement, except you don’t have to house all the stuff!  They have a great cafe and wi-fi so you can get some work done too if you choose.  You can pay a little extra to have a staff member supervise your child while you work…great for those days when your nanny calls in sick.  We love to go in the afternoons and burn off extra steam before dinner.  They do fill up so check their facebook page for capacity notices.

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2. Pump it up – Lincoln Park | Blackhawk & Kingsbury | Jump and climb until your hearts content and then go have pizza next door or hit up Whole Foods after for lunch or a healthy snack.

3.  My Corner Playroom – Lincoln Park | Clybourn & Kenmore in the complex with the Treasure Island and Pottery Barn Kids.  This spot is really low-key with a great staff and a ton of fun toys to play with.  They have a rice box (alternative to a sand box) where Holden played in for the longest time!  They also have various classes so check their website for class schedules.  They also have sitter care in the event you need to drop your child off and go to an appointment.

4. Explore & Much More – Southport Corridor | Southport & Grace next door to LuLu Belles.  This

bi-level play spot has a huge slide, jump house, glow in the dark room and so much more!  I found that this is better for 2 year olds and up since there are a lot of stairs and it seems that the kids need more coordination to really enjoy this spot.  Go in the morning and then hit up LuLu Belle’s next door for brunch/lunch.  Kids eat free on Tuesdays!

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5.  Pickles Playroom – Lincoln Square | Lawrence & Oakley | We are going to head to this one soon for Holden’s first big boy haircut.  They have a cute kids salon and the kids get to play for free for 30 minutes when you purchase a kids cut.

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6.  Kookaberra – LIncoln Park | Clybourn & Webster | We haven’t been to this one yet, but it looks clean and modern with a lot of fun things to climb on.

7.  Kid City – 1837 W. Grand @ Wolcott | We haven’t been to this one, but it sounds great!  Complete with a marketplace with mini shopping carts and a boutique with dress up clothes.

Next, who doesn’t like free?!?  Here is the list for the museum free days for 2013!!  This is free fun for both you and the kids!  Enjoy!

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2013 Chicago Museum Free Days

Many Chicago area museums offer FREE days for families! Please note that special exhibits and features may not be included in the free general admission. See individual museum web sites for details.

Always call ahead to doublecheck! The following information may change without notice.

Adler Planetarium
Illinois residents can enjoy complimentary general admission on Adler Discount Days with proof of residency.
January: 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30 and 31
Feburary: 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27 and 28
March: 5 and 6
June: 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 12
September: 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25
October: 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 and 30
November: 5, 6, 12, and 13
Art Institute
Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is free to Illinois residents every weekday from January 7 through February 13, 2013. Children 13 and under always free.
Brookfield Zoo
Free on Sundays Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through February 28. Admission to Hamill Family Play Zoo also free through February 28.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Always free.
Chicago Children’s Museum
Always free: Free for everyone from 5-8 p.m. every Thursday, and the first Sunday of every month for kids 15 and under. Always free to children under 1.
Chicago Cultural Center
Always free.
Chicago History Museum
Illinois residents can enjoy free admission to the museum during Illinois Resident Discount Days. January: 21
February: 4 – 28
March: 4
Always free for children ages 12 and younger.
DuSable Museum of African American History 
Admission is free to all on each Sunday of the year. Admission is also free on school days to all Chicago Public School students.
Field Museum
Illinois residents may enjoy free general admission on the following days:January: 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 28, 30
February: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28
March: 6, 7
June: 3, 5, 6
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Illinois Resident Discount/Free General Admission Days:
January: Mondays and Tuesdays; Sunday, Jan. 20
February: Mondays and Tuesdays; Sunday, Feb. 17
March: Mondays and Tuesdays
June: Mondays and Tuesdays
September: Mondays
October: Mondays
November: Mondays
December: Mondays
Museum of Contemporary Art
Admission is FREE for Illinois residents on Tuesdays year round.
Family Days take place every second Saturday of the month from 11 am to 3 pm at the MCA from October to May and are free for families with children 12 and under.
Museum of Science and Industry
Illinois residents can enjoy free general admission on the following days:
January 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31
February 6, 13, 20, 27
March 4
April 22
May 6
June 3-7, 10
September 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, 30
October 1-2
November 4
December 9
National Museum of Mexican Art
Free Admission Every Day. Open Tuesdays to Sundays.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Free for Illinois Residents on Thursdays.
Smart Museum of Art
Always free.

Enjoy Chicago,


The Yeager Team:  A Chicago Real Estate Family Helping Chicagoans Move 

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