Located a bit off the beaten path from the Chicago suburbs, Crystal Lake still boasts enough entertainment and activity to make it worth your while to visit and see the sights. Even when the weather isn’t pleasant, you’ll still find enough for children to do indoors in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Crystal Lake provides a few different options for indoor play and learning activities. Take your toddler or preschooler to Monkey Joes (monkeyjoes.com/crystal-lake) for a rousing good time. Inside the center, you’ll find inflatable play areas set up for jumping and sliding activity. There’s even a special play area for little ones under age 3. Got a birthday coming up? Book a party at Monkey Joe’s, too! The Crystal Lake Public Library (crystallakelibrary.org/) is another spot to head with the youngsters. The library offers story time for both toddlers and preschoolers on weekday mornings as well as other organized programs throughout the day and evening such as movies, craft times, Wii parties and science activities.
Any time is a good time for a dip in the pool with the Dolphin Swim Club (dolphinswimclub.com/index.php?view=article&id;=15#policy) in Crystal Lake. This is the place to head when you want to splash and swim -- the two pools stay at a constant 89 degrees Fahrenheit for comfortable swimming. Book a birthday party or sign your kid up for swim lessons, too. Even little ones might enjoy toppling a few pins at the Westland Family Bowl (no website; 211 N. Virginia Street, Crystal Lake; 815-455-6633). Kids can bowl with special gutter guards to keep the bowling ball on a straight and narrow path -- don’t you wish you could bowl with them too?
If you want to hit an indoor skating rink, head to Crystal Ice House (crystalicehouse.com/) for public skating, youth hockey, parent and tot skating or figure skating lessons. The parent and tot skating classes have no minimum age, and the beginning hockey and figure skating classes are for 4 to 6 year olds. If inline skating is more your style, head over to the X-treme Wheels Family Fun Center (xtremewheelsfuncenter.com/). Rent skates for toddlers on up -- if the skates fit, your little one can roll. On Saturdays, you can even push a stroller around the rink.
Expose your little one to performing arts at the Raue Center for the Arts (rauecenter.org/wordpress) in Crystal Lake. The theater fills an ongoing schedule with a variety of performances, including ballet, orchestra, voice performances and even improv. Choose a performance you think your little one will enjoy at a time when she’ll be ready to sit and then expose her to a little culture. If there’s a kid’s flick in the theaters that’s on your must-see list, visit the Regal Crystal Lake Showplace Stadium 16 (regmovies.com/Theatres/Theatre-Folder/Regal-Crystal-Lake-Showplace-Stadium-16-1115) for a family-friendly theater that will deliver comfortable viewing for everyone.