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Favorite Podcasts for Adults and Kids

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity as a way to learn, be entertained and connect with others. Even if you are not commuting, you can listen while walking, gardening, doing home projects, washing the dishes, or doing other household chores. And for kids, it’s a great way to learn and have fun without being in front of a screen.

Here is a list of favorite podcasts for adults from Naperville Park District staff, followed by recommended podcasts for kids and the whole family.

Happy listening!

Staff’s Favorite Podcasts (for adults):



 Description and Why I Like It


Ologies with Alie Ward

Interviews with "ologists," mostly science, but any professional with "ologist” in their title. It is fairly in- depth and a current look into whichever topic is featured, yet she does a great job of relaying information in layman's terms. 

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe

A weekly podcast that promotes critical thinking and science literacy.  I found this podcast early on in my quest to improve my understanding of science and through it I have gained a new set of critical thinking skills.

Warming Signs

A weekly podcast discussing issues related to climate change. I’m very interested in learning about the environment and that which affects it.

News, Journalism, Biographies, Literature

NPR News Now

Daily news. I like that it is just a quick, 5-minute update on current events.


Interviews with authors, filmmakers, journalists. They have interesting guests and I always learn something.

Mobituaries with Mo Rocca

Stories of great lives and why they matter.


Left, Right, and Center

A weekly podcast featuring civilized political debate.  I like to keep up with politics and this podcast offers the issues from different perspectives.

General Knowledge

Stuff You Should Know

An educational and entertaining show covering a wide variety of topics. I like that the material is presented in an approachable and entertaining way.

TV Shows, Movies, Radio

Office Ladies

Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey host the ultimate “The Office” rewatch podcast, offering a behind the scenes look at the making of the hit NBC series, one episode at a time. I finally found a podcast that my bride and I can share.

Jonathan Brandmeier

Longtime Chicago radio personality has rejoined with Buzz Killman. “Johnny B” was part of the LOOP (WLUP 97.9) back in the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s that made Chicago Radio great. 


Tiny Desk Concerts

A variety of musicians playing short concerts. I like the variety of different types of musicians they have on the show and the interviews they do with those musicians.

Broken Record

Rick Rubin and Malcom Gladwell interview a variety of different musicians. Great insight and conversation revolving around musicians and their process in making some of their best albums.

Leadership and Personal Development

Jocko Podcast

Retired Navy Seal Jocko Willink discusses leadership and personal discipline strategies for professional and personal development. He approaches his commentary with a mind-body- spirit holistic mentality towards excellence and success. 


Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Each episode or series takes a deep dive into the details of a particular historical event. The detail and presentation make it very engaging and informative.

Business and Economics

How I Built This

Interviews with entrepreneurs. Inspiring stories of how business owners overcome obstacles.

Planet Money

Wide ranging topics about economics, trends, etc. Provides insight into trends like the growth of Dollar Stores and what it means for towns’ economies.

Outdoors, Adventures and Athletics

Dirt Bag Diaries

Stories about the dreamers, athletes, and wanderers—people that love the outdoors.  Love the stories they share about different outdoor athletes/adventurers.

She Explores

Stories of inspirational women in the outdoors. I love hearing about women that are successful and inspirational in the outdoors.


Podcast about the band Phish from a female’s point of view. Phish is one of my favorite bands and I enjoy listening to interviews of mainly females that are making a name for themselves in the Phish community.  



Best Podcasts for Kids (and the whole family)





Wow in the World

Hosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. We'll go inside our brains, out into space and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

Brains On!

Each week, a different kid co-host joins Molly Bloom to find answers to fascinating questions about the world. Their mission is to encourage kids’ natural curiosity and wonder using science and history…but there’s no age limit on curiosity, and episodes of Brains On can be enjoyed by anyone.

But Why?

But Why, is a show led by kids! They ask the questions and they find the answers. It’s a big interesting world out there. On But Why, they tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Children’s Stories

Peace Out

Short stories that help children calm down and relax by guiding them through visualization and breathing exercises. Perfect for parents or teachers who want to teach mindfulness and self-regulation.

Story Pirates

Story Pirates is a group of world-class actors, comedians, improvisers and musicians who adapt stories written by kids into sketch comedy and musical theater. 

Little Stories for Tiny People

Features original audio stories that will delight the tiny people in your life. Perfect for bleary-eyed parents, innovative teachers, and at-wits’-end babysitters looking for an alternative and non-annoying way to engage the toddlers and young kids they love at bedtime or any time!


The Past and the Curious

A History Podcast for Kids!

We love to share the stories of Spies, funny foods, George Washington's foibles, early advancements in cartooning and ballooning and much more! 

Leadership and Personal Development

The Dream Big Podcast

The Dream Big Podcast is a family-friendly podcast inspiring kids (and adults!) to pursue their passions in life and take action to make their dreams a reality. 

Radio Drama/Serial

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

A high-quality serial mystery story for middle graders, performed by kids.

The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd

This family-friendly new twist on “old time radio” features the adventures and exploits of the World’s Most Brilliant Scientist, Dr. Floyd! Join Dr. Floyd as he tries to thwart the plans of his evil arch-nemesis, Dr. Steve, all the while learning about the people and events that shaped the history of the Earth.

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian

The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian is a serialized science-fiction story for kids, told in 15-20 minute episodes for parents to put on when driving around town, or on those marathon road trips, or to bond over before bed. The story centers on Finn Caspian, an 8-year-old boy aboard The Famous Marlowe 280 Interplanetary Exploratory Space Station. 


Also, don’t forget that Naperville Park District has its own ParkTalk podcast, bringing you news and information about health and wellness, nature, sports, community and everything related to parks and recreation.

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