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Canoeing for Kids

Emily Oaks Nature Center | Skokie, Ill.

After a basic instructional course on canoeing safety and paddling skills, load the canoes with two children per craft and paddle around the pond at Emily Oaks! Two trained adults will closely supervise the group and give instructions. All canoe equipment is provided, including life jackets.

When: 4-6 p.m.
Cost: $13, $10 residents

Second Saturdays

Chicago History Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Explore the city's stories with your family through interactive activities, make-and-take crafts, music, performances, and more. April 12 and July 12: Prairie. Imagine what Chicago looked like before it was a city. Investigate the prairie plants that used to grow here: from gigantic flowers to far-reaching fields. May 10 and Aug. 9: Maps. Use a compass and connect artifacts to where they came from in the city. Follow clues and share stories. June 14: Artifacts. Find out what artifacts say about the city and its people. Touch, look, and talk about objects from Chicago’s past with your family.

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission; free kids 12 and under

Tree House Tales

Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

Enter a tree house village filled with adventure and imagination. Play, make believe, and become part of the trees' ever-changing tale. The exhibition is comprised of six fun-filled, educational tree houses, aimed at kids 2-10.

When: 7 a.m.-sunset
Cost: Free with admission

Circus Zirkus

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Children can immerse themselves in backstage preparation, perform routines in center ring or manage the behind-the-scenes action of lights and sound. Plus, try making a circus balance toy or dress up like a clown.

Cost: Free with admission

Eggs to Chicks

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

The exhibit features the rare Black Java and White Java strains of chicken, which were an endangered species less than a decade ago. Includes a special child-height egg incubator, hatchery unit and a pen for newborn chicks. Runs from March 18-June 16.

When: Open during regular museum hours
Cost: Free with museum admission

Japan and Nature: Spirits of the Seasons

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

A multi-media, interactive, exhibit that allows children to discover how nature is reflected and celebrated in the lives of Japanese children through special seasonal environments and traditional Japanese activities. The exhibit focuses on the regions of Lake Biwa, Sapporo, Kyoto and Fukuoka, offering an in-depth exploration of each region through video, audio and visual media, as well as authentic props and hands-on interactive activities.

Cost: Free with admission

Pet Vet

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

Kids will be able to explore the pet vet office and learn a new respect for creatures as they nurse sick and injured animals back to health on the examining and operating tables; examine x-rays; get play animals clean; determine what diet is best and make a healthy meal; climb aboard a large format animal scale; help the lost pets find their correct homes and clamber through the pet obstacle course.

Cost: Free with admission

Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World's Fair

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Travel back to 1893 and experience the excitement of the White City. Digital technology will bring the World's Fair to life. Visitors will see items that thrilled fairgoers 120 years ago including large taxidermied animals, fully articulated animal skeletons, and ancient fish from Wyoming's Green River fossil bed. Using an iPad application, visitors can explore many items from the World's Fair still hidden in the Museum's vaults and will also get an overview of the Museum's history and the personalities who helped shape this institution.

Cost: Included in Discovery and All Access passes

The Machine Inside: Biomechanics

Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Exhibit explores animals and plants as machines built for survival, complete with pumps, pipes, insulation, motors, springs, and intelligence gathering devices. Using real specimens, life-like models, amazing video footage, and interactive displays, the exhibition investi­gates how cheetahs run so fast and fleas jump so far; how the bite force of an extinct fish made it a top predator; how a toucan stays cool in the jungle; how a Venus fly trap detects its next meal; and how many other organisms function as machines in order to survive, move, and discover. Presented in English and Spanish.

Cost: Included in Discovery and All-Access passes

80 at 80

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Special exhibit showcases 80 rarely displayed artifacts from the museum's extensive collection in honor of the museum's 80th anniversary. These artifacts, carefully selected by MSI curators, will ignite guests' memories from past exhibits but many will be revealed for the first time.

Cost: Free with admission
 







 
 
 
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