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Little Ears, Big Tales

West Chicago Public Library | West Chicago, Ill.


A themed selection of songs, stories, and activities will be shared to introduce children to reading and parents to early literacy skills they can use with their children outside of the library.

When: 10:30-11 a.m.
Cost: Free

Butterflies & Blooms

Chicago Botanic Garden | Glencoe, Ill.

Outdoor butterfly garden where visitors can immerse themselves with hundreds of live tropical butterfly species from around the world. A field guide is available to help visitors identify dozens of species in the exhibition. Visitors can also observe butterflies hatching through a window into the pupa emergence room.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., weather permitting.
Cost: $6, $5 seniors, $4 kids 3-12. Discounts for members and combination tickets available.

Festival of Flight

Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, Ill.

Fly high with excitement while you watch trained birds soar, swoop, and dive as they demonstrate their natural flight abilities. Vultures, hawks, parrots, a hadada ibis, and a variety of other bird species will demonstrate natural behaviors as they fly overhead and interact with the audience and the host of the show. Guests will see a trumpeter hornbill catching objects, African white-necked ravens collecting cash for conservation, and more. Three shows are offered daily.

Cost: Free with zoo admission

Puppets! An Interactive Puppet Extravaganza

Art Institute of Chicago | Chicago, Ill.

This interactive installation celebrates the art of puppetry by allowing visitors of all ages to explore the movements of shadow, hand, and finger puppets. Using imaginary figures or creatures and characters inspired by artworks in the Art Institute’s collection, novice puppeteers can experiment with ways to create puppets, develop stories, and use sound effects and props in order to create playful, one-of-a-kind performances.

Cost: Free with museum admission


Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Kids immerse themselves in a nautical experience of their own invention, complete with docks and an assortment of boats. Toddlers to tweens will be inspired to create their own lake-faring scenarios, like steering the ship, kayaking, hoisting a sail, or dropping a fishing line to catch ‘the big one.’ The exhibit includes a dock with a bait and tackle shop, a kayak, sailboat and two-level work boat with a wheelchair-accessible lower cabin (complete with bunk and a kitchen prep area) offering countless opportunities for kids to envision themselves as a cook, rescuer, biologist or whichever role they choose.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Chagall for Kids

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

Showcases 14 multi-sensory exploration stations, each incorporating a high-quality reproduction of one of Marc Chagall's works. Interactive components offer hands-on activities and an audio description of each work specifically geared to children.

Cost: Free with admission

The Secret Lives of Objects

Chicago History Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Features objects extraordinary and unfamiliar that have emerged from the Museum’s protected vaults to tell their tales and shine a light on their mysterious pasts. Whether they are artistic works, key evidence from crime scenes, or everyday objects, one thing all the items have in common is that they serve as touchstones of Chicago’s rich history.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Pigskin Peanuts

Elmhurst Historical Museum | Elmhurst, Ill.


A traveling exhibition organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum that showcases 50 of Schulz's popular football-themed Sunday and daily strips depicting the cartoonist's wry humor through the exploits of the beloved Peanuts characters. Visitors will experience classic Peanuts objects and memorabilia, plus interactive activity stations: dress up in the team locker room, snap a football trading card photo, and try out Lucy’s infamous “Fall Classic” by pulling the football from Charlie Brown.

Cost: Free

Mission Moon

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

Follow the legendary career of Captain James A. Lovell, Jr.—an astronaut immortalized on film as the Commander of Apollo 13—from his childhood through his quest for the Moon. Alongside Lovell, we will share the stories of Lovell’s family, NASA’s Mission Control, and others from around the world who made the quest to land a man on the Moon possible.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Mammoths and Mastodons

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Mammoths and Mastodons tells the story of the giant creatures that shared the world with early humans, providing a source of food and artistic inspiration. In addition to seeing real fossils and prehistoric artwork, families can practice tusk jousting and explore touchable replicas of mammoths, mastodons, and other Ice Age animals. New additions to the exhibition, including an eight-foot-tall African elephant tusk, weave together the stories of mammoths and mastodons with those of their modern-day cousins.


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