DCM at The Mall: Mini mall packs big fun in a small space

The DuPage Children’s Museum is feeling the love. Since significant water damage from a broken pipe on Jan. 8 forced the museum to close for the immediate future, the ideas and offers to help have come pouring in. No pun intended.

One of those ideas from DCM member Scott Samson, General Manager of the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in nearby Aurora, has blossomed into the newly opened DCM@TheMall.

Westfield has donated an empty retail space to DCM (second level, close to Carson Pirie Scott) so they can feature some of their favorite “Neighborhoods” and play spaces for area children and families to enjoy. In just under a week, volunteers created a warm, bright and friendly environment that still has the same feel and focus of the DCM – inspiring creative and imaginative play in children.

Fan favorites such as the Art Studio, Building Blocks, soft exploring space for the tiniest ones, and magnet boards and tiles for new creations can be found here, as well as merchandise sales from the DCM gift shop. They are hoping to resume a class schedule soon, and off-site programs such as Learning Labs, Play to Learn, Family Math or Science Nights, and Professional Development are still very active.

DCM@TheMall is running on a Pay As You Will admission structure and they are encouraging donations to help raise funds for the significant reconstruction that will be needed at their main location.

Existing DCM members are having memberships extended for the length of time that the museum is closed, and local area restaurants, shops and museums are pitching in to provide special offers to DCM members until the museum reopens again.

Here is a list of participating locations:

The Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn

50 percent off admission

10 percent off merchandise

Matching DCM birthday party package prices

Valid for all DCM members with proof of membership

Kohl Children’s Museum

Free admission on weekdays

50 percent off admission on weekends and holidays

KCM member discount on birthday party rentals and special ticket events

Valid for all DCM members with proof of membership

Wonder Works Children’s Museum

Free Admission for DCM members

Naper Settlement

Free Admission for DCM Members

The McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage

50 percent off adults tickets to Click, Clack, Moo performances on Feb. 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

50 percent off adult tickets to Junie B. Jones performance on March 1 at 11 a.m.

Grounds for Hope & Kid Street Play Center

$5 off a 6-month membership ($45 for up to four kids) OR $1 off regular admission

Chicago Children’s Museum

Discounted admission (more details to follow)

Two Bostons

10 percent of their purchase will be donated back to DCM with proof of DCM membership

Flat Top Grill

– Naperville location

Kids Eat FREE Monday through Wednesday with proof of DCM membership

Haagen Dazs/Popcorn Palace

– Downtown Naperville location

25 percent of amount spent by DCM members will be donated back to DCM with proof of membership

I’m excited to check out some of these other museums that we haven’t been to, since the DCM was practically in our backyard and we’ve been members for the last seven years.

If you hadn’t been to the DuPage Children’s Museum before, you should definitely put in on your radar. They are expecting to reopen again in the late spring, better than ever. In the meantime, check out DCM@TheMall for a preview of the fun that the DCM can add to your family’s life!

For more information about local organizations or special events benefitting DCM, visit dupagechildrensmuseum.org or call 630-637-8000 x0.

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