Friday, September 30, 2016

10 Places To Go When It Is Rainy Out in the Chicago Area

Checking through the microscope at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago

The last few days we have had less than desirable weather. So, I thought that I would put together a quick list of 10 places to check out when rain---or dare I say snow--has crept in.



  • Kohl Children's Museum: This Glenview treasure was our go-to when our daughter was younger. There are so many fun yet educational experiences there. A wonderful way to spend a day indoors! They have a mini grocery store among many other exhibits--need I say more!
  • Raupp Museum: The Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove is really one of those diamonds in the rough. Learn about the history of Buffalo Grove with life-size elements, true artifacts and memorabilia and hands-on fun. A fun diversion on a rainy afternoon.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden: Yes, you read correctly -- the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Chicago Botanic Garden has several greenhouses to visit. So, you get to have a lovely, warm weather walk despite rain. Also, if the rain is more like a slight drizzle you can take a walk around. We have found that we tend to see more wildlife with a light drizzle than on a warm, sunny day.
  • Barrington Area Library: The kids area of the Barrington Area Library is amazing! A large Lego board, large building blocks, a Light Brite wall, pretend marketplace and more will keep kids busy for awhile.
  • Pinstripes: Pinstripes has a nice bowling space that is cleaner and more comfortable than your standard alley. Plus, the food is more upscale and will appeal to parents and kids alike. Pinstripes also has indoor bocce ball allowing you to play on a lawn despite rain! You can call ahead to reserve.
  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Sitting with the butterflies while it is raining, need I say more? The Nature Museum in Chicago allows kids to explore with nature and learn about conservation despite the weather. Plus, a respite in the butterfly room is magical!
  • Garfield Park Conservatory: If you are looking for a place to be "outside" without being in the nasty weather, the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago is the place to do it. Waterfall features, tropical palms and more will transport you away. There also is a children's exploration area.
  • TreeHouse: The TreeHouse in Lake Zurich has plenty of space for kids of all ages to run around and get out that energy despite being cooped up. They also have a cafe with healthy menu items.
  • Punch Bowl Social: Punch Bowl Social in Schaumburg has quite a few indoor activities to keep the kiddos busy -- jumbo size Scrabble, arcade games, bowling, foosball and more! The food is well crafted with a menu sporting interesting concoctions.
Going a little further afield:

  • Kenosha has quite a few museums, so you can easily fill up an entire day there. The Civil War Museum, Kenosha Public Museum and Dinosaur Discovery Museum will interest children. They all have hands-on elements that will inspire investigation.
  • Rockford also has a collection of museums that will help keep the kiddos busy--while learning AND having fun! The Discovery Center Museum, Burpee Museum, Midway Village and Tinker Swiss Cottage will engage children in the sciences and history.
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