Kookaburra Play Cafe

Kookaburra Play Cafe is closed. Click here to find other indoor play areas in the Chicago area.

Kookaburra Play Cafe – website

Location: 2267 N. Clybourn Ave, Chicago

Phone: 773-281-5400

Monday-Friday               9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday                             9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Admission: $12 per child; $7 per sibling. Infants (non-crawlers) free with drink purchase
10-day open play pass is $100 per child and $55 per sibling. A monthly unlimited pass is $85 a child and $60 for each sibling.

Parking: There is no parking lot but there is free street parking available.

Bathrooms: There are private men’s and women’s bathrooms. The bathrooms are large and have a changing table and step stool.

Nursing: There is no designated area for breastfeeding, but there are several places to sit, including chairs and a couch.

Handicapped/stroller accessibility: The cafe is all one level and is fairly open. The floors are wood and some areas are carpeted or have foam, but it would be very accessible for the handicapped or for strollers.

Other amenities: In addition to tables and chairs, Kookaburra has an area with a tv, couch, and magazines available. Party or event packages are available starting at $295 and there are several additional add-on options. Kookaburra is available for parties or events on Friday evenings and Saturday or Sunday. Classes are also available; currently art, fitness, and chess classes are scheduled.

Food: The cafe offers a wide range of beverages, including coffees, tea, juice, and vitamin water, as well as pastries made by Lovely Bake Shop. Prices are comparable to Starbucks.

Special events: A calendar of events is available online.

  • Halloween celebration – Saturday, 10/29 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. General admission prices. Children can come in costumes and will have an opportunity to mummy wrap staff members. There will be professional photography, story time, a craft, door prizes, and goodie bags.

Activities: Kookaburra has a coat and shoe area (shoes are not allowed on the non-wood floor surfaces), a baby play area with toys and a mirror, a play kitchen with a shopping cart and lots of food, a train table, dress-up clothes, a large play structure with a slide and basket with pulley, and a variety of other toys.

We paid: Nothing. We visited Kookaburra Play Cafe for a special event so there was no admission. The normal cost for me to visit with the boys would be $19.

Our experience:

We visited Kookaburra Play Cafe on a weekday morning for a Kidgrade Ambassador event. There is free parking on the streets around the cafe and we found a spot about a block away. I really loved the bright colors (orange is my favorite color, so I may be a bit biased) and playful look of the place. I signed the waiver, we spent a few minutes in the party room, then the boys took off their shoes and the boys were off to play.

There were plenty of toys and activities to choose from; the kids explored a bit of everything and then spent some quality time with their favorites.

Cooper really seemed to enjoy the dollhouse, the train table, and the play structure. He spent a lot of time climbing up and sliding down, hiding in the lower part of it, and using the bucket and pulley to get small items up to the top.

Dexter enjoyed the play kitchen, play food, and shopping cart a lot. He also spent a lot of time at the train table, and playing on the play structure.

We spent about two hours there and the boys had plenty to do. I’m sure that they would have been entertained for a couple more hours if we had stayed longer. We saw kids ranging from infants to about 9 years old and all of them seemed to be finding things to entertain themselves. Most of the play cafe is open, making it easy to keep an eye on your kids from almost any of the seating areas.

We don’t live near Kookaburra Play Cafe so I think it’s unlikely that we’ll visit again, but if we lived in the area or had friends near there I think it would be a great place to meet up with another mom to talk (actually talk!) over coffee or tea while the kids stayed busy, or even just to get a little time to relax or get some computer work done on my own.

Have you visited Kookaburra Play Cafe? What did you think?


  1. Linda Kim says

    Went to Kookaburra this morning (4/24/2012) and my 2-year-old son enjoyed it. I felt like there were lots of things that kept him interested (big trucks, ride-on toys, like bikes and push-cars, shopping carts, etc.). There were some toys that I just thought were filthy (food stained)and could have been cleaned/sanitized. I’ve noticed employees at Little Beans Cafe sanitize toys, but not at Kookaburra.

  2. I do live in the city and prefer other play cafes. My 2 year old didn’t immediately want to play with anything, nor did we (which is not the case at other places). It wasn’t clear where shoes should be worn/not worn which made the place seem not as clean as others (Little Beans, Family Grounds, the Purple Monkey). The play areas seem really separate and disjointed as well.

  3. I’d have to agree, there are a lot of great cafes to play inside Chicago but I have few friends, and none in Chicago so visiting these would be an “only if in the area” ordeal.

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