Five things to see at Kohl Children's Museum this summer


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.


Watch Us Grow: Monarch Butterflies

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.


Spin: The Science of Rotation

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.


Ravinia Festival Music Makers

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 patterns.


Habitat Park

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.


Water Works

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.

Kids Eat Chicago

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