Word nerds unite at American Writers Museum

You read to your pea while he or she was still in the pod. You use your kiddo’s precious naptime to scribble down fleeting phrases in a Moleskine notebook. You are the only person who actually reads the book in your book club. If any of these statements are true, just face it: you’re probably a word nerd.

If you go

American Writers Museum

180 N. Michigan Ave., Second Floor

Chicago, IL 60601



Good new, lit-loving Chicago parents, the American Writers Museum opens its doors on May 16!

Carey Cranston, the museum’s president, explained the evolution of this new nest for local culture vultures.

“When our founder, Malcolm O’Hagan, realized such a museum did not exist in the United States, he realized it needed to happen,” she says. “It seemed imperative that if we celebrate sports heroes and celebrities, we also need to celebrate our writers.”

There are many reasons why your family should join this pen-to-page party, but let’s start with these five.

If you want your little ones to heart reading

Cranston believes that the number one reason for families to visit is to foster a love and respect for reading from a young age. And, I mean, c’mon, it’s pretty hard to argue with that one.

If your kiddos are sweet on Seuss

Your mini Cat in the Hat fan will love the seeing the beloved character adorning a wall in the Children’s Literature Gallery. This wiggle room for budding bookworms features six exhibits that showcases children’s book authors. There is lots of space for me and for you to read or to listen to story time, too.

If your future novelists like to explore

Beyond the designated Children’s Literature Gallery, there are stunning visuals and fun interactive exhibits to keep your crew engaged. WordPlay has touch-screen tabletops with word-based games. The Story of the Day is an interactive area where you can encourage your small scribes to write and share experiences at the museum. They could even go old school and do it on a typewriter!

If you are a literary locavore

Uncover hometown heroes on rotating panels throughout the Chicago Gallery. You can also go over the grid of The Community Interactions map to find literary landmarks or take in a video animation of Nelson Algren’s words in “Chicago: City on the Make.”

If you like brand-spanking new and family-friendly places

This 11,000-square-foot museum is located just north of Millennium Park on Michigan Avenue. The space should be easy to navigate with strollers, which are permitted unless it is too crowded. (If that’s the case, there will be a designated parking area.) The bathrooms have changing tables and there is also a family bathroom.

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