Best Children’s Museums In and Around Chicago

Museums with kids? Sign us up. At least when it comes to these awesome children’s museums, which have fun attractions for every member of your family. Your kids will go wild for these children’s museums, where everything’s sized just for them (and nothing is breakable).

Chicago Children’s Museum

Parents will love: The first Sunday of each month kids ages 15 and under are free. Every Thursday from 4-8 p.m., groups of up to 4 people pay just $20.

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.

Don’t miss: Cloud Buster is a 37-foot-tall climbing structure where kids can explore routes, tubes, bridges and even a “Chicago apartment” on top.

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 $9 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.

Don’t miss: Every Wednesday, there is an artist who teaches kids painting techniques and projects.

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 Cafe provides a wonderful food option.

Kids will love: The Whole Foods Market 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.

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. The outer portion of Habitat Park is open April through October.

DuPage Children’s Museum

Parents will love: The museum is divided into eight neighborhoods to explore with clusters of exhibits in each area. It’s easy to spend a whole day here.

Kids will love: The Creativity Connections area allows younger kids to explore their senses, while the AWEsome Electricity area ignites the minds of older kids.

Don’t miss: The new featured exhibit, How People Make Things (opening Jan. 20), will help kids learn how every day objects are made.

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.

Don’t miss: The three exhibits each have one-hour tours on Tuesdays-Saturdays that include an oral presentation and interactive activities.

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 $8 per person.

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

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

Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn

  • Address: 5100 Museum Drive, 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.

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.

Discovery Center Museum

Parents will love: The museum’s special events make the drive up to Rockford even more worth it.

Kids will love: Explore more than 300 interactive exhibits. From bubbles to a planetarium, the options are endless!

Don’t miss: The new special exhibit, Discovery Town, opens on Jan. 18 and features a kid-sized job where you can take on any role (pizza server, vet, pilot, etc.).


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