The DuPage Children’s Museum is back and better than ever

The DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) in Naperville reopened this weekend and made good on its promise to make lemons into lemonade after experiencing a major internal flood that damaged most of its 50,000 sq. ft. facility and exhibits.

If you go

301 N Washington St.

Naperville, IL 60540

630-637-8000

www.dupagechildrens.org

“All your old friends are back, with some big wow twists,” says DCM staff member Alix Tonsgard. “It’s really awe-inspiring.”

The museum prides itself on research-based exhibits designed to ignite the learning potential of all children through hands-on exploration, focusing on science, math and art. That focus was apparent in some of the improvements.

Some of the biggest changes in the re-imagined museum can be found in the Creativity Connections, which features several new additions, with one of the more popular being an exhibit called Shadow Sand, which will use technology so that children can play with “virtual sand.” They’ll use their physical bodies to create shapes and movement, making art not just fun, but endlessly interesting and even thought-provoking.

Speaking of art, there will be more time for your little ones to create their masterpieces because The Studio — the art space — will be open more hours than before, another change sure to please both little ones and their parents.

The Wonder Room is all about light, shadows and color. It is an open space complete with new light tables on which children can play with colored transparent blocks, like Magna Tiles, giving the space a very cool effect.

Shapes also make an appearance at the Math Playground, a new one-year temporary exhibit that adds to the existing Math Connections and Math Young Explorers neighborhood, providing more full-body experiences that relate to geometry, spatial relationships and patterns.

While kids and parents alike seemed thrilled with the new space, the reopening is just the start of exciting happenings at the museum.

In addition to the return of Family Fun Friday Nights and Creativity Classes, here are a few special exhibits and events coming in the near future:

AWEsome Air will open in November, followed by AWEsome Water in spring 2016 and when AWEsome Energy is completed, it will be the largest single exhibit in DCM’s history.

Bubble Bash 2015, the museum’s big New Year’s Eve bash featuring an exciting countdown to noon, returns this year.

In January 2016, the exhibit Children of Hangzou: Connecting with China will open. The exhibit was created by Boston Children’s Museum and designed to engage children and families in learning through play about one of the world’s oldest civilizations — now among the most modern — through some if its youngest people.

“This museum is the gift that keeps on giving,” Mayor Steve Chirico says, “It is a gift to families in Naperville and to all the surrounding Chicagoland communities.”

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