Website: Skokie Parks Exploratorium
Location: 4701 Oakton Street, Skokie
Phone: 847-674-1500, ext. 2700
- Monday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Tuesday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Wednesday – 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
- Thursday – Closed
- Friday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Saturday – 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday – Closed
Admission: $3/resident, $5/non-resident. Children under 1 free. Explorer Passes (a 10-visit pass) are available for $27 for residents and $45 for non-residents.
Parking: Free parking in attached lot.
Bathrooms: There are two family bathrooms in the playground area. There are public mens and womens bathrooms in the reception area.
Nursing area: There is no designated nursing area, but there are benches located throughout the playground area.
Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The building is accessible. There is an elevator to get to the playground area. Strollers can be parked just outside the gate of the playground area. (The attendant allowed me and another patron to bring our strollers into the playground, but it was not very busy on the day we visited.)
Food/eating area: There are four tables located near the reception desk just outside the playground. There are a couple vending machines there, but no other food available.
Other amenities: Birthday parties can held at the Exploritorium.
Special events: Storybook Corner at 10:30 am on Tuesday, August 20. Free with general admission.
- Tubes & Tunnels Indoor Playground – Like the indoor play area at your local fast food play, but much, much bigger, better, and cleaner. Bring socks!
- New Engineering Megastation – A variety of magnets and other activities for kids to explore.
- “Lite Brite” Exhibit – Kids can create glowing designs with this giant peg board.
- Water Play Area – Even babies can enjoy water toys with special seats in a water table.
- Climbing Wall – Holds in different shapes and sizes allow kids to scale the wall (with heavy padding on the floor).
- Dress-Up Area/Stage – A great variety of dress-up clothes let kids be whoever (or whatever) they want; they can put on a performance on the curtained stage with different backdrops.
- Toddler Zone – A separate area for children under 5 with activity boards on the walls, a small play structure with a slide, and various ride-on toys.
- Transportation Station – Tons of trains on this large train table.
We paid: $15. It was $5 each for me, Cooper, and Dexter. Campbell was free.
Skokie Exploritorium has been on my list of places to visit for quite a while. I’ve read about it online and heard great things from people who’ve been there. A recent shopping trip in the Skokie area was the perfect opportunity to take the boys. We visited on a weekday afternoon and I was expecting it to be crowded (I even told the boys we might not stay too long if it was very busy) because it was summer vacation, but it wasn’t at all.
The Exporitorium is called an indoor playground, but it’s very similar to a children’s museum. It’s definitely smaller than the other children’s museums near Chicago, but there was plenty to do to keep the boys busy. In fact, we spent a few hours there and they never even got to the dress-up clothes and stage, the Transportation Station, or the Engineering Megastation.
When we arrived Cooper and Dexter spent a few minutes at the “Lite Brite” Exhibit, but as soon as they caught sight of the Tubes & Tunnels play structure they ran to that. It’s a huge structure and the boys couldn’t stop raving about the slide – apparently it’s the faster slide they’ve ever been on. Cooper told me it was the best slide he’s ever been on!
The water table was fun – Cooper and Dexter used the nets to fish water toys out of the water and separate them into different categories. Campbell got to play too. There is a special very shallow part of the table with infant seats in the table. I put an apron on him before putting him in the seat, but he still wound up getting pretty wet. Luckily I had a change of clothes with me.
The climbing wall was another favorite area. Cooper climbed to the top several times and enjoyed jumping down onto the mats instead of climbing down. Dexter got pretty high on the wall as well, but not quite to the top.
Campbell and I spent some time in the Toddler Area and he really enjoyed the activity boards on the walls.
We really enjoyed our time at the Skokie Exploritorium and if it wasn’t such a long drive I would definitely purchase an Explorer Pass. I highly recommend the Exploritorium if you’re in the Skokie area.