Whether it’s blustery winds or dark looming clouds, next time the weather rains on your parade, don’t let it get you down. Do something to keep your spirits up close to home, from exploring a museum to playing indoor sports. Use this list to find a few entertaining activities to do on a gray day in South Barrington, Illinois.

Discover the Schaumburg Library

A child leans against a book shelf while reading at the Schaumburg library on a gray day in South Barrington, Illinois

Libraries” licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr by CityofStPete

Located on South Roselle Road, the Schaumburg Library offers kids a spectacular reading room. Staff decorated the area to look like an enchanted forest, complete with toadstools, benches, and a caterpillar for lounging. Everything on the shelves is easy to find and within reach for even the shortest reader.

When the books get boring, there are endless ways to while away the day at this library, like movies, CDs, computers, and games. Your kiddos can operate the train set, put together a puzzle, and play with the wooden dollhouse. Parents can grab a fresh title from the fiction section and settle in by the roaring fireplace. There’s even a delightful coffee shop and a cafe with snacks. It’s not a bad way to spend a gray day in South Barrington.

Head to the Community Center

It might be gloomy outdoors, but inside Schaumburg Park District’s community recreation center, a lot is going on. Located on North Springingsguth Road, administrators designed the Creative Activity room for children 2 to 5 years old. It includes a colorful indoor play area complete with a ball pit, slides, and tunnels. Your kiddos can also splash around in the center’s indoor water park.

Sign up everyone in the family for a fun, rainy-day class. There’s something for every age group, like ABCs, 123’s, Come Play with Me. This weekly hour-long class is a terrific way for kids ages 3 to 6 to learn the fundamentals. Your school-aged children can also take a class like ballet, acrobatics, swimming, and ceramics, while parents explore their interests.

Work Up a Sweat at The Sports Center

Exercising is a marvelous pursuit for everyone, regardless of your fitness level, and the weather shouldn’t keep you and the kiddos from staying active. Our community is lucky to have access to the Schaumburg Park District’s Sports Center on West Irving Park Road. Kids of all ages can get involved in organized athletics at this 110,000-square-foot all-indoor facility.

Get out of the rain and sign the kids up for soccer, gymnastics, and flag football, or play volleyball or basketball inside the sports center’s climate-controlled courts. Kids as young as two can sign up for Sports Mania. It’s a terrific way to introduce your children to a team sport.

Explore History at the Dunn Museum

The Bess Bower Dunn Museum on West Winchester Road in Ibert is an interactive history, art, and popular cultural institution. It provides a stellar destination, regardless of the weather. Curators deliver a fun, well-rounded experience with loads of hands-on displays. See 420-million-year-old fossil rocks in the Prehistoric Lake County exhibit. Then, catch a glimpse of the 35mm motion picture machine used by the early motion picture industry.

Changing exhibitions grace the special exhibition gallery, and you can check out a virtual presentation from the cozy comfort of your couch. Past productions include Our Voice is Black History: Past, Present, Future. Students can even take a virtual tour before or after school.

Go Ice Skating at Rolling Meadows

Rolling Meadows Nelson Sports Complex Ice Arena is a premier ice skating arena on Owl Drive in Rolling Meadows. It offers South Barrington residents of all skill levels the chance to hit the ice with public skate sessions every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. This budget-friendly activity is fun for the whole family, from beginners to expert skaters.

This rink is the coolest place in town to spend a gray day. So, stop by on Friday and brighten your disposition with Cosmic Skate when staff illuminates the arena with colorful neon lights. Then, sail across the ice in your skates or rent a pair for $3. Admission is just $6 for children 12 and under and $8 for parents.

Embark on an Adventure at Medieval Times

Embark on an 11th-century adventure inside the halls of Medieval Times. This dinner and tournament show features a royal court led by the mythical King Philippe and Queen Maria Isabella. You’ll cheer for knights of the realm as they battle it out in the jousting arena, wielding ancient weapons of the realm. Will someone in your family be chosen for the coveted title of Queen of Love and Beauty? The court will pick this freshly crowned sovereign right from the audience.

Privileged royal guests like you will travel beyond the doors of the Hall of Arms to your table. There you’ll dive into a delicious four-course feast complete with roasted chicken, herb-basted potatoes, and tomato bisque soup. Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament is in nearby Schaumburg on North Roselle Road.

Visit the Shedd Aquarium

This state-of-the-art indoor aquarium is a popular rainy day destination, thanks to its 32,000 resident critters. Organizers opened the Shedd Aquarium’s doors in 1930 on South Lake Shore Drive. It features 5 million gallons of aquatic habitats, including simulated oceans, reefs, rivers, and lakes. Meet the center’s sea turtles, see an alligator, and spot a rockhopper penguin all under one roof.

Don’t forget to take in the spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Even on a gloomy day, the landscape is worth a look. Purchase your timed ticket in advance online and breeze right through the doors once you arrive. You can even symbolically adopt an animal, like a beluga whale. Your family’s donation helps the staff provide quality animal care.

Well, that’s a wrap! The staff at Crème de la Crème of South Barrington brought you this list of fun things to do on a gray day. What activities does your family enjoy when sunny skies turn dark? Let us know! Drop us a line so we can share your ideas with other Illinois families.