Classic Children’s Books Come to Life at Chicago Children’s Museum

“Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites” introduces classic books to little readers in an exciting, hands-on way.

Your little bookworm can see their favorite children’s books come to life at “Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites,” the latest exhibit at Chicago Children’s Museum. 

Through Jan. 7, kids can journey through hands-on activities based on beloved children’s books, including “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter. The exhibit will help avid readers and early talkers practice their letter knowledge, print awareness, vocabulary and other important literacy skills, all by completing fun games and activities that are designed just for littles. 

Quick details about “Storyland” at Chicago Children’s Museum

Photo credit: Chicago Children’s Museum

  • When: Sept. 16 to Jan. 7 
  • Address: 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago
  • Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Cost:  $21/person. Infants under 1 year are free. The next free family day is Thursday, Oct. 26. 
  • Getting there: The 2, 29, 65, 66 and 124 CTA buses have drop-off points near the museum. 
  • Parking: Validation is available for the Navy Pier parking lots. Guests must validate when they check-in prior to their visit.

Once you’ve made your way through “storyland,” there are many more interactive and educational exhibits for kids of all ages. 

Make a splash at WaterCity!, an exciting exhibit with water features that echoe the three branches of the Chicago River, a lock-and-dam system, Lake Michigan and skyscrapers from Chicago’s iconic skyline. Kids also love playing on Cloud Buster, a 37-feet playground made of steel, wood, turf and other scalable materials. Plus, there are dinosaur expeditions, educational safety exhibits and much more. Don’t skip out of the Tinkering Lab, a maker space that offers kids of all ages opportunities to build and create. 

But, before you head to Chicago Children’s Museum, we have some homework for you and your kiddo. Below you’ll find a reading list of titles to check out before you visit “Storyland” so your family can be familiarized with the stories in the exhibit. Plus, we have plenty of tips for navigating the museum with kids and ideas for more family fun once your day at Chicago Children’s Museum is done.

Books to read before you head to “Storyland”

Photo credit: Chicago Children’s Museum

To make the most of your visit to “Storyland,” read some of these books with your little bookworm before you go. Don’t own the title or can’t find it at your local library? No worries! Click on each title to access a virtual storytime. 

Tips for families when visiting Chicago Children’s Museum

Photo credit: Chicago Children’s Museum

  • Timed reservations are available when purchasing tickets online
  • Planning your visit on a budget? Navy Pier hosts Free Family Fun days on the last Thursday of the month. This includes free admission to the children’s museum, as well as many other Navy Pier attractions. The next Free Family Fun Day is Thursday, Oct. 26. 
  • Pack a lunch or snacks to enjoy at the designated Snack Spots. Water fountains are available, and bottled water is available for purchase. 
  • There are nursing chairs, a nursing room, changing tables, family bathrooms and other child-friendly amenities throughout the museum. 
  • The museum may restrict re-entry when there is high visitor traffic, so plan any breaks you may need accordingly. 
  • Final admission is no later than 1-hour before the museum closes. Make sure you allow ample time to account for travel and enough time to experience the exhibit. 

Other things to do at Navy Pier

  • Take a spin on the iconic Centennial Wheel, a nearly 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel that is air-conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter. 
  • Dine at classic Chicago eateries like Billy Goat Tavern, Giordano’s, Garrett Popcorn Shops, Rainbow Cone, Harry Caray’s Tavern and more.
  • Make a new fuzzy friend at Build-A-Bear Workshop, located just steps away from the museum.
  • Looking for more Navy Pier attractions? Check out our complete family guide to Navy Pier to find where to eat, play, shop and explore with the kiddos.

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Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts
Nikki Roberts is the assistant editor on the Chicago Parent team. She is always on the lookout for the coolest and trendiest new attractions, restaurants and events for Chicagoland families. Her newsletters, online family guides and exciting digital content keep families informed on all the latest happenings around town.


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