The 7 best children's museums in Chicago

When it feels like you've run dry on ideas to keep the kids busy, a trip to a children's museum is a no-fail.

Here's what's new and fun:

 
 

Wonder Works

Parents will love: The small size is great for little kids; it's large enough to be fun, but easy for parents to keep an eye on them. Plus at only $6 per person, it's very reasonable.

Kids will love: The giant indoor treehouse encourages climbing, while the stage area allows for drama and theatrics. Kids can do it all in their visit.

What's new: The newly donated fairy tale castle and fantasy
village make the museum feel like a whole new place. Let the kids' imaginations run wild in the firehouse, police station and market.

Don't miss: Every Wednesday, there is an artist who teaches kids painting techniques and projects. Every Thursday at 11:15 a.m., there is a musical sing-along with a teacher playing instruments.

 
 

Kohl Children's Museum

Parents will love: As soon as your little one is toddling, this museum is designed to engage and entice with 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits. Plus the attached Cosi café provides a wonderful food option.

Kids will love: The Dominick's supermarket is just one of the many experiences where kids can participate in familiar real-life activities. From shopping the aisles to working the register, kids run the show.

What's new: The Eggs to Chicks exhibit opens March 19, where kids can see baby chicks emerging. From the end of May through Labor Day, exhibits on the life cycle of the monarch butterfly and the science of rotation will be on display.

Don't miss: A two-acre outdoor Habitat Park for kids to explore and connect with nature. From the prairie grass maze to the climbing structures, it's a great extension of the museum.

 
 

Chicago Children's Museum

Parents will love: The first Sunday of each month kids 15 and under are free. Every Thursday from 5-8 p.m., everyone is free.

Kids will love: There is fun everywhere you look, from the life-size fire truck to the dinosaur dig to the water works tables. You can make a whole day of fun at the museum.

What's new: Tinkering Lab is the new permanent exhibit that allows kids and adults to work with real tools and materials to develop their own products and ideas.

Don't miss: Unboxed, the cardboard exhibit. It's still there through May 5. They provide the cardboard and craft materials. The kids provide the creative fun

 
 

DuPage Children's Museum

Parents will love: With more than 20,000 square feet, the museum is divided into eight neighborhoods to explore with clusters of exhibits in each area. It's easy to spend your whole day here.

Kids will love: The Waterway & Bubbles and Airworks areas allow younger kids to get their hands wet in a real hands-on adventure, while the AWEsome Electricity area ignites the minds of older kids.

What's new: The unique S.M.A.R.T Café provides healthy and reasonably priced meals, while also teaching kids to experience science, math, art, reading and technology.

Don't miss: Included in admission, there is a daily art project in the drop-in studio that kids can create and take home to remember their visit.

 
 

Bronzeville Children's Museum

Parents will love: It's the first and only African American children's museum in the country that integrates history into the experience of learning through play. It's geared towards kids 3-9.

Kids will love: The You Are What You Eat exhibit teaches kids about the five food groups, while also teaching about African Americans in the food industry.

What's new: The S.T.E.M Rocks exhibit launched during Black History Month features aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the African American community.

Don't miss: The three exhibits each have one-hour tours on Tuesdays-Saturdays that include an oral presentation, craft project, short film and interactive playtime.

 
 

KidsWork Children's Museum

Parents will love: There is nothing else like it in the Will County area and it's an affordable outing for the family at just $6 per person.

Kids will love: Absolutely everything in the museum is meant to be touched and explored.

What's new: The giant Operation game table based on the buzzing board game has come to life. It's real fun for both the kids and their nostalgic parents.

Don't miss: The recently finished fishing dock area is ready for passengers with a huge rowboat, life jackets and fishing gear.

 
 

Children's Museum in Oak Lawn

Parents will love: The size of the museum hits the sweet spot between too small and too large. You can be on the second floor and still see your child at all times, even with the many exhibit areas.

Kids will love: Designed for kids up to 12, there is something for everyone. Little ones can run free in the vet area and grocery store, while older kids use their imaginations in the build-it workshop or raceway exhibit.

What's new: Opening this spring, Megan's Mazes allows children to sharpen their critical thinking skills with different winding mazes and activities.

Don't miss: The We the People exhibit is like none in the country with two beam pieces from the World Trade Center Towers. It focuses on unity, friendship and patriotism.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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