Hey Mama Hey! The weather here in Chicago is getting downright cold. Last Tuesday the high was 26 degrees. Cold outside and crazy in here. ObieQ was playing his favorite game, take out every toy he owns and spread them all over our living room. His energy was through the roof and there is no amount of iced coffee that would allow me to keep up. There we were pushing his ride along toy in our messy living room. I knew it was time to go. I got us dressed and just a mere hour and half later, we were out the house.
In the winter, indoor playrooms are one major part of what keeps me sane. Spending hours, yes hours, at a playroom helps Q and I both. For him, he gets to run off all the the infinite energy that God has seemed to bless him with. For me I get to interact with him and often meet other Mamas. Win-Win.
Mamas I’m here to make your life easy, I’m going to share with you my Top 5 Indoor Playrooms in Chicago. Below are all the deets, in no particular order, of my Mama Fresh Approved Chicago Indoor Playrooms.
2184 N Elston Ave
M-F: 9a-6p Sat: 9a-12p Sun: Check Website.
Additional Classes Available: Yes, tons! Check website for full deets
Mama Fresh Two Cents: If you are an avid follower of Mama Fresh, you know this is one of our favorite places in the city. As soon as we step through the door ObieQ takes off and heads right to the Meadow Room! The open play room in softly carpeted and full of tunnels, climbing toys and unexpected treats like a small sled you can pull around the room. This room is perfect for crawlers and early walkers. They also have a pre-crawlers corner that is full of toys, books and materials to stimulate little ones. If your little one is not so “little” anymore, visit the Loose Parts Lab which is curated for kiddos 3-6yo, full of sensory exploration.
Cost for open play: $12
MamaFresh Hook Up: Use the code MamaFreshChi for 15% off
600 E 61st St
Additional Classes Available: Ongoing programming. Check website for deets.
Mama Fresh Two Cents: Hello Baby is truly one of a kind. As soon as you walk in the door you can’t help but to feel happy. The award winning designed space is full of special aspects to make you smile. Debbie and her team are serious about their commitment to community. Mamas, caregivers, and children all exploring together. HelloBaby is Chicago’s only free play space so even when the budget is tight your baby can have access to the resources they deserve. This playroom is closest to our home so we find ourselves there often. We are greeted by name and with a hug. There is a calendar of programming here so one day you can stop in for yoga. Another day, an hour of playful learning activities.
Cost for open play: Free!
MamaFresh Hook Up: They love Fresh Mamas here, so mentioned you read about them here and Kiah and Anitra will show you around!
Little Beans Cafe
1809 W Webster (Chicago) 430 Ashbury Ave (Evanston)
M-F: 9a-6p Sat/Sun: 9a-3p
Additional Classes Available: Yes, at both locations. Check website for deets.
Mama Fresh Two Cents: A space where you can get a cup of coffee, mac & cheese for your little one and room to play….YES PLEASE! Little Beans play space has an imaginative play village that is perfect for your little one with budding imagination. I took our niece to visit here and one moment she was a Princess another she was a Firefighter. A girl does not have to choose! She had a blast running from one station to another. In between her role-playing she snacked on apple slices and string cheese while I had an iced coffee. We were both in bliss. If you have kids with a large age range, I would definitely make this a must visit. There are two locations, and the Evanston location there is a “Big Beans” obstacle course for kids 5-12yo.
Purple Monkey Playroom
2040 N Western
M-F: 9:30-5:30p Sat/Sun: Depending on private party schedule, check website
Additional Classes Available: Yes, some are even included in drop-in price.
Mama Fresh Two Cents: Purple Monkey has a homey feeling that I picked up on immediately. They know how to treat Mamas right. There is complimentary coffee and tea for parents and caregivers. Comfy couches and WiFi make it easy to catch up on emails (or Instagram) while your little one gets their independent play on. There is also a space for you to have snacks or lunch. Since my child thrives off of Veggie Sticks and pouches it’s great to be able to take a time out and then hop right back into playing. They also have a partnership with SitterCity that is going to knock your socks off! Every Tuesday Purple Monkey offers Drop Off Care with Chime of SitterCity. Pre-registar online and pay the $25 fee. That way, you can drop off and enjoy. You are reading that right. You can drop off your little one with vetted sitters and you have 2 hours to yourself. I know Mama, are you getting emotional? You’re welcome.
MamaFresh Hook Up: $50 off Private Booking with the code MAMAFRESH100. Perfect for booking birthday parties!!!
1454 S. Michigan Ave 2nd Floor
M & F: 9:30-2p Tues/Wed/Thurs: 9:30-5:30p
Additional Classes Available: Yes. Check website for deets.
Mama Fresh Two Cents: Sod Room will always have a special place in my heart because this was our first indoor playroom play date, back before Q was even able to walk. (How does time go so fast?!?!?!) This South Loop playroom is eco friendly with recycled cork flooring and reclaimed wood everywhere, even the toys are safe/sustainable. You and your little one will forget you are indoors as you play on the low hanging swing and climb in the treehouse jungle gym. There are also fair trade and locally made costumes to play with and purchase so you can play local and shop local!
There you have it Mamas. Chicago winters can be brutal so I hope this list is full of places that help bring some joy, even when they skies are grey. What are some of your favorite places? Comment below and let me know what places I am missing. I am always looking for a place to hold our next play date!