Fun Interactive Learning Environment at Chicago Children’s Museum
Playing and learning collide in a fun interactive environment at Chicago Children's Museum. The museum fosters a creative atmosphere to inspire children and family members to discover and actively engage in displays. Family memories are created that last a lifetime. The three-story complex is located on East Avenue at Navy Pier. The Junior League of Chicago founded the museum as Express-Ways Children’s Museum in 1982. The museum grew from humble beginnings in two hallways of the Chicago Public Library. The museum name changed to Chicago Children’s Museum and was moved to the current location in 1995. Directions, hours and information on admission pricing are available on the website.
Children utilize pipes, pulleys and wheels to navigate a boat in an interactive exhibit known as Water Ways. Imaginations soar aboard a boat display that overlooks Lake Michigan. The boatscape features a lower cabin complete with kitchen and bunk area that is easily maneuverable for children with mobility devices. Muscles are exercised aboard the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner. The climbing project is a three story exhibit resembling a ship. Children may view tropical fish at the bottom and then climb to the top like Captain Hook.
The Dinosaur Expedition project is a favorite among children of all ages. Visitors marvel at the life-size skeleton of a suchomimus on exhibit. Children enjoy playing the role of a geologist and digging for dinosaur bones in the excavation pit. Young inventors experiment in the Tinkering Lab. A professionally trained staff member will assist children with power drills, saws and other tools to create gadgets. Kraft Artabounds Studio allows children to create masterpieces by painting, sculpting, sewing and more.
Children may slide down a fireman’s pole, put on fireman’s boots and pretend to drive a firetruck at The Allstate Foundation’s Play It Safe station. Wooden struts and real tools are utilized to build pretend skyscrapers at the Skyline exhibit. Michael’s Museum offers collections galore for children of all ages.
Pritzker Playspace is a special area designed especially for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Treehouse Trails is a second themed section conceived with the 5 and under crowd in mind also. A river, log cabin and forest are available for preschoolers to pretend to camp, canoe or fish. Kids Town offers a bus, car wash, grocery store, a nook for caregivers and more set in an urban environment.
(Photo is courtesy of Chicago, May 2009, 934 as downloaded by Kristi Welton-Kidder on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)