Kid-Friendly Museums in Chicago

Chicago History Museum

#1 – Chicago Children’s Museum At Navy Pier

The Chicago Children’s Museum offers 3 floors full of educational exhibits, programs and events. Here, your children can climb a 3 story ship, build a skyscraper, splash and navigate their boat through a waterway, uncover a dinosaur, and much more. Bring extra clothes, as your kids are sure to get wet in the waterplay activity.

  • Neighborhood: Streeterville
  • Hours: Sun-Wed:10am – 6pm
  • Thu-Sat:10am-8pm
  • Web Site: www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org

#2 – Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Complete with a Butterfly Haven and an interactive waterplay exhibit that teaches the significance of Chicago’s waterways, Peggy Notebaert is a great place to bring your children for a fun day of learning, disguised as playtime. Bring extra clothes, as your kids are sure to get wet in the interactive waterway exhibit.

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Hours: Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Sat & Sun: 10am-5pm
  • Web Site: http://www.naturemuseum.org/

#3 – Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium offers visitors an opportunity to venture underwater to a beautiful magical world. Make sure you check out the Jellies exhibit, take in an aquatic show, and go on a 360-degree tour of a colorful diverse reef community.

  • Neighborhood: Museum Campus
  • Hours: Daily: 9am-6pm
  • Web Site: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/

#4 – Field Museum

The Field Museum offers visitors an exciting exploration through the creation of the Earth to the present – a glimpse into the plants, animals, people and their cultures. Some favorites at the museum include Sue (the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton), an immense human cultural anthropology exhibit (with artifacts from all over the world) and a large taxidermy collection.

  • Neighborhood: Museum Campus
  • Hours: 9am-5pm
  • Web Site: http://fieldmuseum.org/

#5 – Museum of Science & Industry

The Museum of Science & Industry offers visitors a true hands-on experience, allowing them to explore and discover how exciting science can be. Some of the notable exhibits are the MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition, The Hidden Life of Ants and the U-505 Submarine.

  • Neighborhood: Museum Campus
  • Hours: Daily: 9:30am-5:30pm
  • Web Site: http://www.msichicago.org/

#6 – Adler Planetarium

From being on a starship in Deep Space Adventure, to seeing 3D space junk flying at you in the 3D theater, the Planetarium has something to offer everyone.

  • Neighborhood: Museum Campus
  • Hours: Daily: 9:30am-6pm
  • Web Site: http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/plan

#7 – Bronzeville Children’s Museum

The first and only African American children’s museum in the country, the Bronzeville Children’s Museum caters to children ages 3 to 9. They offer a variety of 1-hour tours, which begin on the hour.

  • Neighborhood: Avalon Park
  • Hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-2pm
  • Web Site: www.bronzevillechildrensmuseum

#8 – Art Institute of Chicago

Located in Grant Park, the Art Institute boasts such classic pieces as Nighthawks and American Gothic. The sheer size of the museum and the number of diverse collections can be a little intimidating, so remember to focus on the art that really speaks to you, and wear comfortable shoes. Also, stop into the Ryan Education Center where there are a ton of hands-on art activities for kids.

  • Neighborhood: Loop
  • Hours: Mon-Wed:10:30am-5pm
    Thu: 10:30am-8pm
    Fri-Sun: 10:30am-5pm
  • Web Site: http://www.artic.edu/aic/

#9 – Chicago History Museum

From interactive exhibits, colorful photos and memorabilia, and unique Chicago smells in the sensory exhibit, stop in to learn more about the Windy City.

  • Neighborhood: Lincoln Park
  • Hours: Mon-Sat: 9:30am-4:30pm
  • Sun: 12pm-5pm
  • Web Site: http://www.chicagohs.org/

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