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Best Toddler-Friendly Activities In Chicago

Toddlers Emma (L) and Marina play in a B
(Photo credit: JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Toddlers have a lot of energy, and there are times when a field trip outside of the home is necessary for both the toddler and parent or caregiver. There are a variety of toddler-friendly activities in Chicago listed below, some are free and others charge a fee. But all offer a chance for toddlers to have their minds and bodies engaged, while giving parents a chance to enjoy a refreshing day out. There are many options throughout the city, but here are Chicago's top toddler-friendly options in the city.

Kohl Children's Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd.
Glenview, IL 60026
(847) 832-6600

Kohl Children's Museum offers hands-on learning experiences for children from birth to 8 years old. The museum has permanent, temporary, rental and traveling exhibits; all encourage learning through play and are aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards. The exhibits are varied and excellent for a range of ages from birth to 8 years old. Examples of exhibits include: Adventures In Art, Baby Nursery, City On The Move, Car Care, plus many more. It's a place where toddlers are learning and don't even know it, keeping your tots entertained and engaged for extended period of times.

Purple Monkey Playroom
2040 N. Western Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 772-8411

The educational 1,500-square-foot playroom offers infants through preschoolers the opportunity to explore in a safe environment with age-appropriate toys. Parents and caregivers are offered free coffee, tea and WiFi along with the opportunity to connect with other adults. Purple Monkey Playroom was the recipient of the 2012 Red Tricycle Award for "Coolest Indoor Playspace." Whether it is snowing, raining or bright and sunny outside, this is a great option that is perfect throughout the year.

Adams Playground Park
1919 N. Seminary St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-7787

Hot summer days are the best when water is involved, and Adams Playground Park has a refreshing and fun spray and splash pad. The pipes sprinkle water on kids and the waterfalls are mild enough for babies and toddlers. There is also a playground and sandbox that is typically filled with toys. Best of all, this water entertainment destination is completely free!

Related: Best Rainy Day Activities In Chicago

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park
Chicago, IL 60624
(312) 746-5100

Toddlers need to move, and with its plethora of walking space, Garfield Park Conservatory is the place to do it. This Chicago destination is a feast for all senses; the Garfield Park Conservatory offers a children's area, water displays, waterfalls and many different specimens of plants including hybrids, plus much more. The Conservatory is open year-round so even when there is inclement weather, inside is still beautiful. One of the best aspects of the Garfield Park Conservatory is that it is free and includes free parking.

Commercial Club Playground
1845 W. Rice St.
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 742-7558

The playground at Commercial Club is excellent for toddlers, as it is very kid friendly — play items are lower to the ground. The playground has different swings, little jungle gyms and a gardening area for kids. The highlight of the playground is the dragon low to the ground that small children will enjoy playing on and engaging their imaginations in another world.

Related: Best Parks In Chicago

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner living in Chicago, Illinois. She also has experience in school administration, literacy coaching and is proud founder of and Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of Chicago, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on
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