Nov. 8, 2007

Get out and play

This weekend grab your kids and your sense of adventure while you explore the Festival of Maps in Chicago. Thirty cultural and scientific institutions will be holding map exhibits through 2008 that feature maps, globes and artifacts. Some of the exhibits aren’t exactly kid-friendly and don’t open until early 2008, so we put together a few events that your family will enjoy this weekend.

The Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago, is free and best for the 12 and up set. Here, your family will find a map created by George Washington in his early 20s and the original map that William Clark drew by hand and used during the explorations with Meriwether Louis in the“Mapping Manifest Destiny: Chicago and the American West” exhibit.

A visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, will provide your 8 and up crowd with an interesting discussion in abstract maps and art at their“Mapping of the Self” exhibit. There aren’t any interactive exhibits here, but there is a live artist creating a spice rug. General admission is $10, kids 12 and under are free and don’t forget, Tuesdays are the museum’s free days.

The Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, explores places beyond Earth in“Mapping the Universe.” Bring the 10 and up crowd here for a scavenger hunt to find tools that early astronomers used. If you complete seven of the tasks and receive a goody bag and four free passes for a return visit. General admission is $8 for Chicago residents, $5 kids 4-17. Monday and Tuesday are free days at Adler.

When you visit Encyclopedia Britannica, 331 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, you will find 30 maps in their“Maps for All Seasons: The Encyclopedia Britannica Collection across Four Countries” exhibit. Some of the maps have been taken from their student encyclopedias and include Neanderthal fossil discoveries and U.S. population density. This exhibit is recommended for kids 7 and up. Admission is free.

The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, is best for the 6- to 12-year-old set with its exhibit,“Maps: Finding Our Place in the World.” This weekend, pick up a“Map It!” kit at the information desk to hone in on your mapping skills as you explore the museum. The maps will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and are free with museum admission. On Saturday, you can meet Caldecott award winning children’s author Lois Ehlert and listen to her read her book,“Leaf Man,” at the Crown Family PlayLab from 1:30-3 p.m. Admission is $19, $9 kids 4-11.

For more information on the Festival of Maps, visit the Web site Photo courtesy of The Field Museum.

Sweet Discounts

You don’t have to be Daddy Warbucks to take your kids to see“Annie” at Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora, this weekend. Chicago Parent Weekend E-dition readers can take $10 off their tickets this weekend. Friday evening the theatre is hosting a pajama party and will have free pizza and drinks before the show and milk and cookies during intermission. Readers will also be able to fly into the“Peter Pan” production next weekend with buy one, get one free tickets. Mention“Chicago Parent” when you order your tickets. For tickets and show times, visit the Web site, Offer not valid on previously purchased tickets or with other offers.

Get your tickets here

This month Chicago Parent will be giving away family passes to the Zula Patrol exhibit at the Adler Planetarium. Each week during November three families will win five passes for admission to the exhibit and a Sky Show. To win, we’ll post a different question to answer on our discussion board every week. For this week, we want to know what planet your kid would live on if they had a choice. Because we are still having problems with our Web site, please e-mail your answers to with your full name, your Chicago Parent online ID and phone number. We will not release your information–it is purely for contact purposes. Winners will be chosen at random every Tuesday and may have no affiliation with Wednesday Journal Inc. or its employees. Zula Patrol will only be in Chicago for a few more weeks, so get these tickets while they’re hot!

Piece of the prize

This week, we have ten copies of the 20th anniversary edition of“The Princess Bride” on DVD, courtesy of MGM Home Entertainment to give away to Chicago Parent families. To win, e-mail describing your family’s favorite wintertime activity. Please include your full name, your Chicago Parent online ID and phone number. We will not release your information – it is purely for contact purposes. Winners will be chosen at random on Tuesday and may have no affiliation with Wednesday Journal Inc. or its employees.

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