The Chicago area has many museums suitable for kids, both in the city and in the surrounding suburbs. One such museum is the Kohl Children’s Museum in Glenview. Located a little more than 20 miles north of the downtown loop, this museum is an attractive place for small children and older kids alike. With many exhibits covering a wide array of subjects there is enough to keep the little (or not so little) ones entertained for a few hours, or all day.
Admission to the Children’s Museum is $12 for adults and children and $11 for seniors. Children under one get in for free. We don’t go very often-maybe once or twice a year- because in my opinion, the price of admission is a little steep, especially since many of the exhibits are for the little ones while parents stand around and watch. But every time we go, Ladybug loves it and doesn’t want to leave.
So what exactly is there to do at Kohl Children’s Museum? Take your pick. There are many exhibits ranging from a baby hospital- where toddlers can practice taking care of baby dolls by changing their diapers and taking their temperature- to a water exhibit- where kids can shoot cowbells with water guns and discover new sounds it can make.
We have a few favorite exhibits where Ladybug spends most of her time when we go. Her favorite is the water exhibit. She loves trying to shoot the cowbells with the water gun (although her coordination is still a little lacking, it’s fun to try) and catching the red balls with the net and sending them up to the top of the waterfall.
The music exhibit is another one of our favorites. Kids can learn about sound and how it is made on a particular instrument. They can also dance around in front of a censored screen and see their black silhouette move amid colorful shapes on the screen. Or, if there is an animal lover in the family, the Pet Vet is an exhibit they are sure to love as they can pretend play with stuffed animals, learn about x-rays and practice taking care of sick animals.
When Ladybug needs a little break from all the stimulation, we like to sit on the large beanbag in the Goose Nest of the Nature Corner and read a book. After a story, Ladybug is ready for more playtime in the Hands on House where she can pretend to build a house and paint the inside.
The museum is not just limited to these exhibits. There are so many more that I didn’t mention. Although admission is a little high, it is still worth a visit at least once or twice. Kids from toddlerhood to mid elementary age would love Kohl Children’s Museum. There is even a café just inside the entrance to the museum if you should feel the urge to eat there. Or, if you’d like to save a few bucks, there are tables outside where you can eat if you brought your own lunch from home.
When visiting the museum, I should offer one more piece of advice. Kohl Children’s Museum has a tendency to get very crowded during the day. If you plan to visit, I would choose a day that is not rainy or cold. It has been our experience that more adults and children flock to this museum when the weather is bad because it is indoors and keeps the kids entertained for a long time. Instead, go on a day when the weather is nice. Although it will still be crowded, it won’t be too congested. On a related note, it would be a good idea to go as early as possible before the large crowds arrive. The museum opens at 9:30 am on weekdays and Saturdays and at noon on Sundays. (We try to arrive as close to 9:30 as possible and stay through lunch.)
Though overpriced, Kohl Children’s Museum is a fun way to spend a few hours during your family’s Chicago stay.
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