Your Summer Paradise: Yu Kids Island in Vernon Hills

It’s 10:00 a.m., and it’s already sweltering outside. The kids are complaining that it’s too hot to play outside, yet they are already bouncing off the walls. You know that if you don’t act fast, there will be crayon on the walls and Barbie dolls stuffed in the toilet.

When you just can’t take the heat–or when you need a break from cleaning sand out of your toddler’s diaper–take your kids to an island paradise that will ensure your sanity while entertaining the kids for hours: Yu Kids Island in Hawthorn Mall, Vernon Hills. This candy-colored indoor playland is the perfect place for your kids to burn off their pent-up energy while you all enjoy a few hours of air conditioning.

Birthday Express YuKids IslandYu Kids Island is unlike any other playland–there are revolving palm trees that kids can climb and swing on, a bounce house, a climbing structure with a slide, a padded teeter-totter, and best of all, a dancing balloon area where colorful balloons swirl and fly through the air, propelled by giant fans. Your kids will love to hop around the room while trying to catch the oversized balloons. The play area is clean and fully enclosed, and the play structures are fun and unique.

Yu Kids Island in Vernon Hills. Photo Credit: Laura Otto
Yu Kids Island in Vernon Hills. Photo Credit: Laura Otto

Only kids who are 48 inches tall and shorter can play, so you don’t have to worry about your little ones being trampled by big kids. There is also a soft play area for crawlers.

When I take my six-year-old and three-year-old, I make sure to buy one of their pre-paid punch passes. A five-visit pass is only $45, and a 10-visit pass is only $85 – that’s only $8.50 per visit, and admission is valid for the entire day (you can take a break for lunch or shopping, and come back to play some more). The punch passes are also great if you want to schedule a weekly play date or play group at Yu Kids Island.

Yu Kids Slide
Yu Kids Island in Vernon Hills. Photo Credit: Laura Otto

Admission is regularly $10 per child Monday through Thursday ($9 for additional siblings), and $12 per child Friday through Sunday ($11 for each additional sibling), so it’s a significant cost savings. (Children younger than 12 months old are free.)

If you want to come during the last business hour of each day, the cost is only $5 per child, but I’ve never taken advantage of that –it’s usually too late for my early risers, but it’s a great option for kids who have a later summer sleep schedule.

Yu Kids Teeter Totter
Yu Kids Island in Vernon Hills. Photo Credit: Laura Otto

Need to get some shopping done, but don’t want to drag the kids along? Yu Kids Island has a drop-off program, where parents and caregivers can drop their kids ages of 3-6 off for up to two hours of supervised play. Just imagine ­trying on clothes without little ones pulling on your legs, or a leisurely dinner with your significant other! Rates are $25 for the first hour of play and $15 for the second hour. (Totally worth it for some stress-free shopping time!)

Be sure to check out their monthly specials too, where you can get discounts on punch passes, drop-off deals and birthday parties.

Photo Source : Yu Kids Island Vernon Hills.
Photo Source : Yu Kids Island Vernon Hills.

My kids are regular visitors to Yu Kids Island, and they never tire of it. The staff members are friendly and upbeat, and will engage the kids in a game of hide-and-go-seek or tag. I never tire of watching their little faces light up with joy as they race around their personal paradise – and the free Wi-Fi is pretty great, too!

Yu Kids Island
122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
(847) 680-3800 | Facebook

Take a two-minute tour and see for yourself how much fun it is!

Disclosure: Yu Kids Island is a Little Lake County paid advertising partner. 



About Laura Otto 26 Articles
Laura Otto is an associate professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, where she teaches courses in journalism, writing for new media and creative writing. She lives in Vernon Hills with her husband, Matt, and three kids: Cole (19), Maya (7) and Shane (4). When she isn’t grading papers or scrubbing crayon off the walls, she can be found playing Downton Abbey trivia games on Facebook or doodling all over her kids’ homework.

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