New Kohl Children’s Museum exhibit is full of secrets

Kids are notoriously bad at keeping secrets, and remarkably good at discovering them. Planning a surprise party? Forget about it. Keeping something from your mother-in-law? She will find out. And don’t get us started on those hidden presents. You know, and we know, that they’ll be found every time.

If you go

Animal Secrets

Sept. 28-Dec. 30

Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview


Kohl Children’s Museum decided to take advantage of the childish penchant for all secrets with its newest exhibit, Animal Secrets. This exhibit gives kids a peek into the lives of familiar woodland creatures and answers questions like “How does a chipmunk build its den?” “How does a mother bat find her baby in the dark?” and “How does an eagle feed its young?”

Animal Secrets is made up of three sections: The Woods, The Meadow and The Cave. Each area lets kids investigate different aspects of animal life through hands-on activities such as gathering acorns to prepare for winter or determining which animal makes a particular sound. There’s even a raccoon log-turned-puppet stage where children can act out their own woodland tales.

At the center of the exhibit is a naturalist station where kids can be scientists and explore artifacts, such as animal skulls, in greater detail. The naturalist station is especially good for older kids who are starting to gain math and science skills.

“Kids need to understand nature,” says Sheridan Turner, the president and CEO of Kohl Children’s Museum. “If they don’t, how can we expect them to respect and protect it?”

She says she hopes the exhibit helps kids develop empathy as they see how animals are similar to and different from people, and that they will want to explore nature, rather than destroy it.

After all, these secrets aren’t the type that need to be kept; your kids are welcome—encouraged, even—to blab them to the world.

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