Chicago’s biggest destinations remember 2010, look ahead to 2011

From the rare baby chick hatched at Kohl Children’s Museum to the one-of-a-kind Muppet world on display at MSI, it was a year to remember at Chicago’s top family destinations. We asked staff at a handful of museums and cultural attractions to tell us their favorite moments of 2010 — and what to watch for in 2011.

The Best of 2010: Celebrating SUE’s 10th anniversary. She’s a Chicago icon, and it was exciting to see people come out to ‘pay their respects,’ so to speak. Opening weekend of the SUE anniversary celebration, the building was filled with kids dying to meet the ‘real’ Sue Hendrickson.”

Coming in 2011:We’re looking forward to some BIG animals exhibitions with The Horse, opening in February, and Whales: Giants of the Deep, opening in May. I saw Whales in Boston, and it is amazing!”

-Emily Waldren, The Field Museum

Field Museum remembers…

The Best of 2010: “The opening of Nature Boardwalk! The south pond of Lincoln Park was completely transformed to create a natural prairie wetland ecosystem.”

Coming in 2011: “Family overnights, Spring Break programs for kids, adult programs like evening wine events and morning breakfast programs, wildlife photography classes, urban wildlife exploration and more. Keep your eye on our website for lists of all the new offerings.”

-Sharon Dewar, Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo remembers…

The Best of 2010: “It’s hard to choose between the full blooms of Mother’s Day and the brilliance of Fall Color. Can I pick both?”

Coming in 2011: We’re going to open Artscape: Art at the Arb, an exhibition of 11 works of sculpture, painting, and even crocheting! An artist will create yarn works that will encase a tree, symbolizing elements of nature that rely on trees and reminding us all that we, too, rely on trees. We’re going to have our first-ever 10K run in the spring, too!”

-Gina Tedesco, Morton Arboretum

Morton Arboretum remembers…

The Best of 2010: “We opened Science Storms, which highlights the amazing science behind natural phenomena with a 40-foot indoor tornado, a giant Tesla coil that recreates lightning and a 20-foot rotating avalanche disk.

Coming in 2011: “A big announcement about a U.S. premiere exhibit is coming soon, so stay tuned! Also, in April, we’ll be hosting Suited for Space, which explores the modern technological marvel of the spacesuit.”

-Anne Rashford, Director of Temporary Exhibits and Events, MSI

Museum of Science and Industry remembers…

The Best of 2010: “The Curious George: Let’s Get Curious! exhibit that opened in October. Curious George is just such a fun and recognizable character for children, and one that their parents hold fond memories of. Who doesn’t love the mischievous monkey? “

Coming in 2011: “For 2011, the big thing coming down the pipeline is the Science + You traveling exhibit that Kohl is currently developing. It premieres in June. Kids can explore microscopes, germs and antibodies, and nutrition.”

-Dave Judy, Kohl Children’s Museum

Kohl Children’s Museum remembers…

The Best of 2010: “Definitely our Mexico: Festival of Toys exhibit. It was a great experience to partner with the Papalote Children’s Museum in Mexico City to bring such a culturally significant, beautiful and timeless collection of toys to Chicago.”

Coming in 2011: “We’re excited to bring back our Forts exhibit next spring. This exhibit lets children use conventional materials—like couch cushions, blankets, and chairs, along with nontraditional items like upside down headboards and doors nailed together—to create the ultimate fort, and then play in it!”

-Natalie Krieger, Chicago Children’s Museum

Chicago Children’s Museum remembers…

The Best of 2010: “The opening of Great Bear Wilderness. Thousands of guests have had eye-to-eye experiences with polar bears, grizzly bears, Mexican gray wolves, bald eagles, and bison and learned about the animals’ past, present, and future.”

Coming in 2011: “The 10th anniversary of the Hamill Family Play Zoo. It combines nature and play in a revolutionary setting that redefines how children interact with and learn about animals, and special events celebrating the anniversary will take place in June.”

-Sondra Katzen, Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo remembers…

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