The Panda Cares Center of Hope (formerly the Family Life Center) serves as the main respite area for all inpatients and their families, providing a variety of helpful activities, work spaces and rest areas. We know that every family member is affected when a child is in the hospital, so we focus on providing activities and purposeful spaces not only for our patients, but for their siblings, parents and relatives as well.
Check out our spaces and activities below to learn how we can help make your stay more comfortable.
All of our special activities, like performances, special guest appearances, playgroups and Skylight TV broadcasts, happen in our sunny atrium. If there’s something exciting going on, chances are the atrium is where you want to be.
While we do occasionally offer concerts or celebrity visits, we host developmental playgroups for inpatients and their siblings ages 3-12. There is staff supervision and volunteer support for each of our playgroups, so parents are welcome to drop their kids off. These playgroups are more than just playtime — our activity coordinators always plan a special, educational activity related to the integrated curriculum we focus on each month.
Infant & Toddler Room
This space is geared toward our younger patients and their siblings, ages 0-36 months. Full of age-appropriate activities, the developmental playroom is a great place for the youngest children to socialize and distract themselves from the hospital setting.
While parents can take their children in the room to play anytime the Panda Center is open, a child life specialist supervises the room from 10-11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday, if you’d like to leave your child with our staff.
What interests a seven year old usually doesn’t excite a 15 year old, so our teen lounge is reserved for our patients and siblings ages 13 or older. It’s a great space for the older kids to explore activities that interest them, while also getting a chance to talk to kids their age who are having a similar experience.
Snow City Arts as well as our art therapists and music therapists frequently use our art room to lead patients and their siblings in activities. Whether kids are helping out on a project with a local artist or working through difficult experiences, the room is always a creative and useful outlet for a wide variety of helpful distractions.
Chicago Cubs Charities Classroom
The hospital’s Education Program is housed in our state-of-the-art Chicago Cubs Charities Classroom. Learn more about how we can help make sure your child stays current in school by reading about our Education Program.
Volunteer hairstylists frequently come to cut and style our patients’ and their families’ hair in our salon and also at patients’ bedsides. Our salon also serves as a massage space for parents when professional massage therapists come to visit.
Our business center has computers with internet access, a copy/fax machine and phone so that parents may keep up with work even while their child is in the hospital. The business center is open during open Panda Center hours.
Parents who need to get away for a moment are always welcome to come to our Quiet Room. It’s parents-only space for reflection and contemplation, close to our other activities, letting parents take a break while never being too far from their children.