Play (and Parties) for Kids of All Ages

Appears in the January 2024 issue.

Ball Factory celebrates 10 years of fun in Naperville

Inside Ball Factory

A decade ago when Naperville couple Eliza Jurowska-Antoniuk and Marek Antoniuk set their sights on a day of family fun, they were finding themselves underwhelmed by the indoor play options for their three kids. “There was just no place that our little one and the oldest one could enjoy together, and always somebody was unhappy,” Jurowska-Antoniuk says. “Our littlest was too small for the trampoline parks, and our oldest was not happy at the little places.”

And so, the Antoniuk family set out to fill the gap they saw in the market by opening Ball Factory (864 Rte. 59, Naperville), an indoor play place with entertainment for wee ones all the way up to age 12. Five years ago, they welcomed a fourth child into their family and opened a second location in Mount Prospect. Their children are now ages 5, 12, 16, and 20, with the eldest two working for the family business.

“We have our main play structure with an amazing slide that parents can go down as well, and you can climb through mazes and obstacles,” Jurowska-Antoniuk says. There’s also a pedal tractor area with pint-size vehicles and a building section with oversize foam blocks. Toddlers up to 42 inches tall can cavort in the soft play area, which has a climbing wall. “This is for crawlers up to age 4, and it’s gated,” Jurowska-Antoniuk says. “This was important to us, because as parents you want to be able to keep your kids together where you can see them and not be afraid they will run out.” A ball-blasting arena equipped with foam ball cannons is a favorite for all ages. “Not only kids, but parents love it,” she says. Another welcome bonus for grownups: The onsite café serves Lavazza coffee and Tazo teas, so you can fuel up with a toasted almond mocha, coconut matcha latte, or passionfruit iced tea while the kids play.

People celebrating Ball Factory's 10th anniversary

The cost of admission for kids ($20 on weekdays, $25 on weekends) includes a five-inch bouncy ball to take home—a parting gift that the Antoniuk family introduced to help curb it’s-time-to-go-home-now meltdowns. “We saw how hard it is for the kids to leave, so it seems to help when they get that ball to take home,” Jurowska-Antoniuk says. “It’s just a little help from parent to parent.” Admission for adults (ages 13 and up) is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays; babies under 1 are free.

Birthday party packages are also popular here, and they start at $300 for a mini-party (6 kids, up to 10 adults) and range up to $1,200 for a private event (150 people maximum). Packages include pizza (stone-baked onsite with imported Italian mozzarella) or chicken nuggets, fruit cups, beverages, and colorful table settings.

After too many past experiences being rushed out of party rooms when attending events with their own kids, Ball Factory always schedules a one-hour buffer in between parties. Guests are welcome to stay and play past the end of the party, through closing time. You can book your party online and secure your preferred time with a deposit.


Photos: Ball Factory