In the north and northwest suburbs, there are places that are relatively inexpensive and even free to take your little one.
200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park
Ravinia in Highland Park has a series of children’s concerts that are not too expensive, especially if you buy lawn seats. Pack a picnic or just throw a blanket into your car and buy food at the park. Bring a couple of toys to entertain your little ones when the music and food no longer keep their attention. Bubbles work great.
10 Marriott Drive, Lincolnshire
Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, has great, one-hour children’s shows that inspire imagination, and budding actors, and give mom and dad a chance to be entertained too.
The Glen Town Center
2660 Valor Drive, Glenview
Looking for some creative art time with your kids? Check out two places at The Glen Town Center, in Glenview: Make-a-Messterpiece and Color Me Mine. Your kids can get messy and creative and have finished artwork to bring home.
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview
While at The Glen, you should visit the always-entertaining Kohl Children’s Museum. Children love the pretend grocery store, water area and pretty much everything else!
16400 W. Buckley Rd., Libertyville
You want to play outside? Take the kids to Independence Grove in Libertyville, for the beach and park.
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
The Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, which is always spectacular, also has special events for all ages.
1425 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville
Another great outdoor place is Lambs Farm in Libertyville. Your kids will love it and you will be helping out a group of special people. This is a must do!
2171 Northbrook Court, Northbrook
On a rainy day, the Northbrook Court shopping mall treehouse let’s your kids climb and slide and have make-believe adventures. A warning — on busy days, playing at the treehouse can be like hand-to-hand combat for kids!
Michele Youngerman, cbschicago.com