Go Back in Time at Dads Slot Cars

Looking for a place to introduce your kids to the good old days where electronics were a rarity and family time was a priority? Then look no further than Dads Slot Cars in Des Plaines. It is truly a step back in time where you and your family can bond over slot car racing and soda fountains… they even give out freebies for A’s on report cards, just like your grandparents used to do!

Haven’t heard of slot racing before?  I hadn’t either before our visit…and I was a bit embarrassed by my lack of knowledge. I mean, I AM the “queen” of all things boys, from construction equipment to insects, and I am happy to report that I mastered slot cars after a few trips around the track.


Basically, slot cars are connected to electric tracks that are guided by a controller. What makes slot car racing so fun is the track, and figuring out how to slow down around the corners and speed up on the straightaways.

We rent the cars and controllers since we don’t visit Dads slot cars enough to make an investment in our own personal slot cars and it ends up being more affordable. We also stick to racing for a half hour session, which is more than enough time to experience all of the fun that slot car racing has to offer.

If you are racing cards with the under 6 set, use the track in the back of the room since it has less complicated turns and only use the track in front if you are up for a challenge. Just heed my one warning: slot cars tend to fall off course a ton while racing (especially when you have little ones who don’t understand what it means to “ease up” around the corners), so be prepared to pick up and readjust the cars often.

Lastly, don’t leave without enjoying some treats from the traditional soda fountain. If you ask me, there is nothing better than a hot fudge sundae after a day of family fun…am I right?


If you are looking for other ways to take your kids back in time, be sure to check out my upcoming article in Chicago Parent’s “Going Places” magazine where the focus will be how to have an old fashioned summer.

Also, be sure to add these other suburban spots to your “must try” list!

Happy Racing!
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  1. Jeanette says

    You are not the only one that has not heard of this! I haven’t either! My boys would love this! I am going to have to see if there is something like this close to me.

  2. Kimberly says

    I have not heard of this before and I think it is the best thing ever. *Inserts hands in the air* I would love to have something like this in my city. My son (ok and me and my husband) would totally love this. I could see us spending a lot of time playing this. How awesome!

  3. Tatanisha Worthey says

    There’s a place similar to this near us. However, it’s not about cars, it’s actually a place for men to get their hair cut. It feels like stepping back in time at this place as well. Both places are so neat!

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc says

    What a cozy looking place for Dads and their kids to hang out in. This place really takes you back in time! Oh and the soda fountain is so authentic! The place looks like something out of a period movie!

  5. Pam Wattenbarger says

    This is so retro. I love the look of the traditional soda fountain. I had never heard of slot racing before.

  6. Krystal says

    This place looks amazing! I love how it is retro themed. My husband and son would have a ball there. I will have to put it on our list the next time we visit Chicago.

  7. M.G. Brown says

    I am sorry to say that the person who runs Dads Slot Cars recently passed away. Here is the statement from his family:

    Dad will be truly missed. Please help us celebrate celebrate his life and legacy at Dads Slot Cars, 700 Lee street on Saturday December 15th 12-3pm. We look forward to hearing stories of the fun times everyone had with him.

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