Top Ten Places to Play with Toddlers in Champaign-Urbana
The BEST Places to take your toddler to play in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Ask any parent with kids of any age and they’ll remind you that toddlerhood is just a unique time in the life of a parent. Finding places and spaces to be safe and enjoy fun with toddlers is helpful to navigating this season in parenting, and especially so if you are also caring for more than one child (such as a young infant), too.
All of our local libraries are great spaces for toddlers, but if you’re looking for some alternatives, we’ve got a few for you to try.
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In Champaign-Urbana, we are not lacking for options when it comes to enjoyable toddler play. We’ve talked to our toddler moms and put together a list of our top ten places to take your toddler to play in C-U.
- Another mom-of-toddler’s house
This one seems like it should be obvious but may often get overlooked. Going to another house means the space is already childproofed and they have toys your kids will love but may never have seen before. Find other toddler moms you enjoy hanging out with and take turns visiting each other’s houses when you get together.
- Windsor Road Christian Church
This relatively new play area features a race-car themed (enclosed) indoor playground. Toddlers love building with the large lego-type blocks and sliding down the big yellow slide. This playground is a nice contained area in which you can see the entire space at all times, making it a great places for a toddler parent to meet up with other parents. Bonus: This Play space is open on Sunday.
- Colbert Park
Colbert Park is one of our favorite parks in Champaign-Urbana and especially so for toddlers! Check out the parent-child swing, the fun walking musical path, and climb up the huge hill to run or roll down.
- Elevate Trampoline Park
Did you know? Elevate has toddler time! Designated toddler time is less expensive and less crowded than regular open hours. Be aware that toddler time is usually not an option during school breaks, though. Check their calendar for upcoming toddler times.
- Orpheum Children’s Museum
We love having an Orpheum membership! No matter what the weather is outside, we always have somewhere to go play. The water table and big slide are big hits with toddlers. Don’t forget that your Orpheum membership is part of the nationwide museum passport program, making it possible for you to visit kid-friendly museums all over the country.
- Soccer Planet Kids in Action
Held during the school year, we think you and your toddlers will love Soccer Planet’s enclosed space with lots of balls and toys to play with. Another great, safe, enclosed space to run off some of that toddler energy.
- McDonald’s PlayPlace
Another overlooked or forgotten option, kids love the slides and tunnels at McDonald’s! The two McDonald’s locations in Champaign-Urbana that have PlayPlaces are the one on N Neil St (by the mall) and on Kirby Ave and Duncan (by County Market).
- Toddler time at Sholem Aquatic Center
A great summer option, we like toddler time at Sholem. It starts early in the morning (because toddlers get up early, right!?) and is a perfectly toddler sized pool that is gated off so they can’t leave without a parent. There are no deep water areas here and it is just a spot to splash around and stay cool with other families. Held most mornings all summer long. Check their website to confirm dates/times each season. Looking for swimming fun in the fall? This post can help!
- Hessel Park
Another one of our top favorite playgrounds for all ages, Hessel Park has incredible playgrounds and a great new splash pad, too. Be aware that the play areas aren’t gated off or anything, but we think you (and your toddler) will enjoy this expansive playground so much it’ll be worth all the steps chasing after them during your visit!
- Marketplace Mall Play Place
Another year-round, open any time option, Marketplace Mall has lots of padded equipment to climb and jump on. Parents can sit on benches around the play area and watch their toddlers run and play. We know this is a favorite for parents that may have a toddler and an infant, as this is a great spot to take a break from pushing the stroller around the mall and a chance to feed the baby while the older child plays.