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Chicago Children's Museum

700 East Grand Avenue, Suite 127 Chicago, Illinois 60611

Thursday: 9 am-1 pm Friday-Sunday: 10 am-5 pm

$$$

indoor-activities, museums

The Chicago Children's Museum has playful features and interactive educational tools that kids will love!

The museum is at the front of Navy Pier and has multiple floors with incredible exhibits and activities. You can spend a good amount of time here because the exhibits are so engaging. Plan for at least two hours, probably more! Some of our favorite activities here include:

Chicago Fire Station: Put on your boots, jacket, and pants and slide down the pole to board the firetruck! Operate the steering wheel, pump controls, and hoses to put out a "fire."

Fossil Digging: Grab your tools and uncover dinosaur bones in a huge digging area covered with rubber "dirt." Giant replicas of dinosaur fossils can be found underneath!

Water Tables: Put on a waterproof covering to protect your clothes from the water and have fun learning about the way that water moves.

Pottery Studio: Put on a smock, get some clay and create your own masterpiece!

Kids’ Town: Put gas in the car, go shopping at the grocery store, and play house!

CloudBuster: The Children's Museum's newest feature has a vast network of metal ramps that climb and spiral high above the museum. The CloudBuster's design was inspired by the shape and movement of atoms inside the FermiLab particle reactor, a massive nuclear science complex located outside of Chicago. Kids must wear helmets and be accompanied by an adult.

Kovler Family Climbing Schooner: There is a great climbing section that goes up a level and out onto a drawbridge, with features that look like a schooner ship. My 5-year-old daughter climbed this approximately 10 times!

Treehouse Trails: Explore an interactive forest, with a stream to fish, a log cabin to play house in, and a toddler-friendly treehouse.

Tinkering Lab: Grab your tools and put together your own structures while solving engineering problems, inspired by the view of the city's skyline out the windows.

Zoom Room: Test out your toy car on various ramps and slides that zoom in fun arrangements around the room!

Founded in 1982, the Chicago Children's Museum has a prime location on the Navy Pier and was created by the Junior League of Chicago in response to program cutbacks in the Chicago Public Schools. The exhibitions are great for any age, many being curated especially for younger or older kids. There is even a toddler room specifically for when you just need a little break from running around the museum. There are new exhibits all the time, so check their website to see what is going on during your visit. Advance ticket purchases are required. Reservations are available at each hour throughout the day. Ticket prices vary based on whether or not you are a member and on your age. They are free for children under a year, and otherwise are around $25 for all others.

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The happyly team

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