The big kids are back in school. Whether it was a boo hoo or a yahoo experience for you, some of you are now home with a toddler or preschooler who has grown accustomed to having their older siblings around. At one time you looked forward to having this one-on-one time with your younger child; but, if you’re like a lot of parents I know, you’re already asking,
OMG, what am I going to do with this child??
So, I’m officially christening this week as “Stir-Crazy Sibling Week.” It’s that limbo period when your big kids have gone back to Big Kid School but your little one is waiting for preschool to start. And they’re bored…. they are really, REALLY bored. Listen, I feel ya. Here’s a quick rundown of low-cost/no-cost preschooler-friendly activities around town to help you survive “Stir-Crazy Sibling Week.”
Entertaining Preschoolers in Lake County
Playgrounds for Preschoolers in Lake County
Maybe it will stop raining long enough for you to enjoy some tot-friendly playgrounds. With school in session, most all of your favorite spots will be far less crowded. Check out Betty Russell Community Park in Gurnee or Holly’s favorite tot lot, Clifford Park in Antioch.
Water Play for Preschoolers in Lake County
Many of our area’s outdoor pools have already closed for the summer, but there are still splash pads and spray parks open to help you keep cool. They are also perfect for little ones, and you don’t have to get wet! Here is what is still open:
- The Grayslake Park District Splash Pad is still open this week through next weekend. Read former writer, Kristy’s review.
- The Buffalo Grove Park District Spray ‘N Play is open through August 31st.
- The Village of Lake Barrington Countryside Park District Spray Park will be open daily through Labor Day Weekend.
- Mundelein Park & Recreation District Spray Park is open through Labor Day (not to be confused with Barefoot Bay which is only open weekends through Labor Day.) Read Melissa’s review.
- Round Lake Area Park District Splash Pad only (pool closed) open daily through September 7th. Read former writer, Dawn’s review.
- Waukegan Park District –Bowen Park Splash Pad is open through Labor Day. Bowen Park was the site of the launch of this summer’s Little Lake County Playground Tour 2014.
Museums for Preschoolers
For a child who likes reptiles, nothing beats the Wildlife Discovery Center in Lake Forest open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am-4pm. Plus it’s FREE! Read my review to learn why my family loves it so much.
The Round Lake Area Park District has two great museums on their campus perfect for little ones! The Children’s Neighborhood Museum is a tot-sized replica of a real neighborhood and has been a Little Lake County favorite for many years. The Prairie Grass Nature Museum is always FREE and its small classroom size is perfect for young children. Small live animals and always changing activities are a perfect way to keep littles entertained, especially following a trip to the nearby splash pad.
The Bess Bower Dunn Museum in Libertyville is a local gem offering hands-on activities and exhibits that give kids a look at the history of Lake County and more. The museum is FREE for kids on Tuesdays (half price for adults). Read our review of the opening.
The Raupp Museum in Buffalo Grove showcases the history of Buffalo Grove through its local artifacts and special exhibits. Always FREE, they have a changing calendar of walk-in activities and are open Mon-Thurs from 11am-4:30 p.m.
The Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview has long been an area favorite. Melissa reviewed their literacy exhibit last year. You can still snag this deal from Goldstar for discounted afternoon admission. If you are there in the afternoon don’t miss their storytimes on Wednesdays.
Drop-in Arts & Crafts for Preschoolers
Artsy Tots at Artist @ Heart in Libertyville is a favorite of Melissa and her toddlers. Kids 1-4 will discover ways to create art using watercolor, finger painting, clay, gel sticks, paint, collage and more! Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. and only $5/class.
Don’t forget to check our website calendar, the most comprehensive event listing of family-friendly activities in Lake County! You can filter by category to find exactly what you’re looking for. We highly recommend checking out a library storytime near you.
Head over to Mom & Tot Bowl at Pinstripes in South Barrington or Northbrook every Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. -12 noon. Kids Bowl for $5 and Mom is FREE (limit 4 children per adult.) Melissa has enjoyed it for years while I just adore the food!
You can also see all our past reviews from the drop-down menu on our home page under “Where to Go” We’ve got reviews on indoor play places, farms, and everything in between that will win over young hearts and minds while saving yours.
Is there anything I missed? Probably, I’m exhausted. Help a mom out and share your suggestions below. Sharing is caring.
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