Mo Willems Exhibit at Chicago Children’s Museum

This exhibit is no longer running at Chicago Children’s Museum. Find out the latest exhibits to see from Chicagoland museums. 

Friends from the Mo Willems gang are on hand to help Chicago Children’s Museum guests enjoy a new learning exhibition. The Pigeon Comes to Chicago!: A Mo Willems Exhibit opened Sept. 21 with activities for preschool and elementary-aged children that let the books of artist, author and Chicago-native Willems come to life.

Kids can interact with and play out some of their favorite books, as well as see how Willems draws his characters. In the two-room display, guests can create with Willems, leave notes of thanks and play games of skill. They can also talk like Gerald and Piggie, play Plinko to give the Duckling a cookie, toss hot dogs or build with blocks.

The exhibition was co-organized by Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and is on display in Chicago at the museum based on Navy Pier until Jan. 12, 2020.

For fans looking for their favorite characters, here are some activities to watch for.

Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus was Willems’ first book in 2003 and quickly became a critical and popular success. Pigeon has had successive books with hot dogs, cookies, trying to stay up late and taking a bath. Fans at Chicago Children’s Museum can interact with Pigeon by:

    • Driving a bus
    • Walking the exhibit as vehicles
    • Tossing hot dogs
    • Giving the Duckling a cookie
    • Making Pigeon the star of flip “movies”
    • Learning to draw PIgeon

Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Knuffle Bunny

Trixie, a character named after Willems’ daughter, is a young toddler who can’t yet talk. When she loses Knuffle Bunny at the laundromat, her communication woes confuse her Daddy until Mommy finally realizes the problem and the trio help save Knuffle Bunny. Subsequent books have seen Trixie grow and Knuffle Bunny lost many other times. Knuffle fans can:

    • Spin the Laundromat to find Knuffle Bunny, laundry and other characters
    • Read Knuffle Bunny books
    • Find Knuffle Bunny “lost” in other parts of the exhibit

Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Elephant & Piggie

Gerald the elephant and his friend Piggie are kind pals who have grown from the early reader series into children’s plays and theater. The pair go on adventures and learn the trials of everyday life, like eating something new, finding new friends and learning to say thank you. Guests can:

    • Talk like and with Gerald and Piggie
    • Make Gerald and Piggie dance
    • Learn about Thank Yous & let Piggie pick the recipient of your Thank You note
    • Find them in a laundromat
    • See early works
    • Learn to draw Gerald & Piggie

Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

Leonardo & Naked Mole Rat

Leonardo is a terrible monster who can’t scare anyone. Naked Mole Rat has a secret: he likes to wear clothes. The pair help kids learn to be themselves in their books: Leonardo, The Terrible Monster and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Kids can:

    • Put clothes on Wilbur
    • Work together to roll Wilbur through a fashion show
    • Build someone for Leonardo to scare
    • Read the books for both characters
    • Learn to draw them

Photo Credit: Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh


The Pigeon Comes to Chicago! A Mo Willems Exhibit

Runs through Jan. 12, 2020

Included in general admission

Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

Find more information at

Follow Chicago Parent on Instagram.


- Advertisement -


Dine Out for Less with These Kids Eat Free Deals at Chicagoland Restaurants

Eat out without breaking the bank! We've picked our favorite kids-eat-free deals for every day of the week in Chicagoland.

Exciting Chicagoland Events for Tweens and Teens This Summer

Make sure your older children aren’t bored with these tween and teen events this summer in the city and suburbs.

Find Out Where the Best Teachers in Cook County Public Schools Are

See whether your local school in Cook County has the best-ranked teachers.

- Advertisement -