If you haven't been up to Kohl Children's Museum in a while,
this summer just might be the perfect time to visit. They've got
some great temporary exhibits, some permanent exhibits that are
especially popular this time of year, and all of the usual family
faves. Here are our five picks not to miss.
It's the perfect time of year for butterflies, so start your
visit at this temporary exhibit (through Sept. 1), an easy-to-miss
window located just outside the Adventures in Art studio. Kids can
see beautiful orange-and-black Monarchs perfectly at eye level and
watch them flutter around or take a break at some orange slices.
Plus, get an up-close glimpse at the whole metamorphosis process,
thanks to chrysalises shipped in from Florida.
If you've got older kids, you won't want to miss this temporary
exhibit (through Sept. 1). In our preview, we compared the human
centrifuge to a scaled-down Gravitron. But really it's more similar
to the Gravitron's carnival cousin, the teacup ride. Kids will love
testing the concepts of spin while mom gets a great arm workout.
And there are lots of other fun twists to try, from the racing
rollers to the air thrusters, and even a cool spinning chair.
If you're headed up to Ravinia for one of their open-air
concerts - or to your park district, for that matter - first stop
at this permanent exhibit that explores how sounds turn into music.
Sure, parents might think it's noisy in there, but kids have a
blast plucking strings, beating drums and creating their own music
box melody. We especially liked the video screen tucked into the
back corner where you can dance and see your body make colorful
When it's time for some running, jumping and climbing, head
outside, where you'll find a sensory garden, nature-themed
equipment and lots of space to stretch. Little Spidermen (and
women) will love the webbed climbing structures, while more
thoughtful visitors can try out binoculars or examine the local
greenery. It's a great place to find some peace and quiet, too. But
be aware that the Park is only open when weather allows (not too
hot or cold), so check before you go.
If all that running's got you a little hot and sweaty, there's
no better place to cool off than this aquatic escape. Kids love
pushing buttons to make water squirt, filling up tanks and
navigating boats. Plus, it's painted in ultra-cool blue, so it
feels like you're right in the middle of a real ocean. Apron-style
smocks are available, but we'd recommend bringing along a change of
clothes in case your kids go a little water crazy.