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Digging in the Dirt

Waukegan Public Library | Waukegan, Ill.


Kids find insects, plant seeds and plants, learn about the nutritional value of the food that they produce and learn gardening skills in this family program.

When: 3:30-4:15 Tuesdays
Cost: Free

Ribbit! The Exhibit

The Morton Arboretum | Lisle, Ill.

The Exhibit showcases 23 whimsical, larger-than-life frog sculptures fashioned from copper. The copper sculptures are created by North Carolina artist J.A. Cobb. Each frog has his or her own name, story and personality.

Cost: Free with arboretum admission

Lego Exhibit

Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens | Rockford, Ill.

Come see Lego sculptures and colorful Lego bricks set among tropical plants. Get building for Lego contests and displays by area Lego clubs.

Cost: Free with conservatory admission

Zoom Room

Chicago Children's Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Send toy cars hurtling through race jumps, long runs, loops, dips, and super spirals within a colossal, multilevel race course. Crash sites, obstacle courses and tracks with different textured surfaces invite physical science exploration for the innately curious of every age. Zoom Room is a play-filled, physics laboratory for kids.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China

DuPage Children's Museum | Naperville, Ill.

Exhibit focuses on four children from Hangzhou at home, at school, in the library, in the theater, and in the countryside. Visitors will discover that Chinese life today mixes ancient traditions with modern lifestyles and that life in China is both similar to and different from life in North America. The museum is also hosting performers and activities themed around the exhibit. Students from Naperville Central High School’s Chinese Honor Society will be at DCM on March 4, 12 and 19, facilitating Chinese themed activities, including helping children write their names in Chinese calligraphy, decorating Chinese opera masks and more.

Cost: Free with museum admission

Toys: The Inside Story

Kohl Children's Museum | Glenview, Ill.

Peek inside some of the most popular toys ever made. Kids get to explore the linkages, cams, pulleys and circuits that make their favorite playthings tick, spin, buzz and jump. The exhibit consists of 14 different components that allow for a complete hands-on experience of exploration and experimentation. Each station provides visitors with interactive activities with some of the most beloved toys, such as Etch A Sketch, Operation, Dr. Duck, Hungry Hippo, Hokey Pokey Elmo and more.

Cost: Free with museum admission

What Is a Planet?

Adler Planetarium | Chicago, Ill.

Visitors will discover that new approaches and perspectives in science can change how we define worlds near and far. Witness how astronomers and the media reacted to Pluto's demotion in 2006; learn the current definition of a planet and hear what Adler astronomers think of this current definition; voice your opinion about Pluto alongside skeptics and space enthusiasts through an interactive voting poll in real-time; explore artifacts from the Adler collections that illustrate the ever-evolving definition of a planet.

Cost: Free with museum admission

The S.S. Discovery

Discovery Center Museum | Rockford, Ill.

Kids can strap on life jackets, board the wooden ship and take part in a variety of activities. Children can navigate the ship, peer through a telescope and binoculars to spot dolphins jumping, and peek through the portholes to spy sea life and dry land. Once they “dock” at their tropical destination, they can search for seashells at the beach, relax under the shade of a palm tree and enjoy a tropical adventure before returning to port.

Cost: Free with museum admission

China’s First Emperor and His Terracotta Warriors

The Field Museum | Chicago, Ill.

Explore the life of the ruler who vanquished his rivals, unified China’s many states, constructed the first Great Wall, built roads, and standardized China’s script, currency, weights, and measures. See priceless treasures from one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, including the fierce terracotta warriors.

Cost: Included with All-Access and Discovery passes

Brick by Brick

Museum of Science and Industry | Chicago, Ill.

Features a spectacular collection of more than a dozen giant Lego-built structures of engineering marvels, including a 60-foot long Golden Gate Bridge. Guests will learn how architects and engineers push the limits of design, materials and location to make the seemingly impossible, possible; witness how form follows function; learn how building beautifully uplifts us all; and explore Chicago’s impact as the birthplace of the skyscraper.

Cost: Requires a separate, timed-entry ticket.

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