Snoopy, Woodstock, Charlie Brown and friends never fail to make people smile, and they’ve been doing so for 65 years. To celebrate the anniversary of the Peanuts gang, the Elmhurst Historical Society is hosting “Pigskin Peanuts,” a traveling exhibition about Peanuts and football that is organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California.
If you go
The Pigskin Peanuts
Elmhurst Historical Society, 120 Park Ave., Elmhurst
Sunday, Tuesday-Friday: 1-5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Third Thursdays: 1-8 p.m.
Admission is free
Charles M. Schulz drew over 250 Peanuts cartoon strips about football, and 50 of them are on display as part of the exhibit. They show how Schulz had fun with the game of football, and how his characters changed over time.
One portion of the exhibit explains how Schultz had fun with the visual gags that football provided and the action of the game, which also means that kids can follow what happens in the cartoons even if they can’t read them all yet.
In addition to the strips, the exhibits feature two fun backdrops for taking photos and a Dress Up Station styled like a locker room, complete with football props like pads and helmets. (Fear not, moms, there’s a can of Lysol right there to disinfect the headgear after each user.) One of the backdrops allows visitors to recreate the famous way Lucy would pull the ball away from Charlie Brown as he ran up to kick it.
Everyone can relate to those strips, as even little ones can understand that having the ball moved is no fun. It’s a great chance to talk with kids about what it means to be a good friend and teammate, and the importance of playing fair.
The Pigskin Peanuts exhibit also features a few collections of collectibles, like a pin collection featuring Snoopy as a player for each NFL team, as well as everything from plates to figurines. The Snoopy stuffed animal in a Bears shirt was a big hit with my daughter.
I was partial to the “Girls Rule!” portion of the exhibit, explaining that the girls had equal billing and that the best athlete and competitor of all members of the Peanuts gang was Peppermint Patty, a girl.
The Pigskin Peanuts exhibit takes up the first floor of the museum and is nicely sized for a visit that doesn’t take too long. Even short attention spans will have fun checking out Snoopy, Woodstock and friends.
If time permits, pop on up to the second floor of the museum to learn about the history of Elmhurst and see a few unexpected treasures, including one of Carl Sandburg’s typewriters. (I know, I know, that one means more to adults than kids. Instead, have them go on a hunt for a rocking chair or the Keebler elf figurine.)
While you’re in the neighborhood, spend some time checking out fun places in Elmhurst. Check out “Exploring Elmhurst: 8 things to see and do with kids as tour guides” for some great options.