12 special exhibits to check out with your family

    12 special exhibits to check out with your family

    Jan 10, 2019

    Explore the city and suburbs of Chicago while learning as well! Here are some special family-friendly exhibits you don't want to miss this month. 


    The Beach Chicago

    When: Jan. 19 to Feb. 3

    Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago

    A giant, immersive installation ball pit comprised of a tall enclosure which creates a large, open room filled with more than a million antimicrobial and recyclable plastic balls. Deck chairs, lifeguard chairs, umbrellas and signage mimic the sensation of a day at the beach, complete with a pier from which onlookers can watch and revel in the installation below. 

    Imagine the Moon Sky Show

    When: Jan. 21 to March 16

    Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

    The planetarium is kicking off the new year with a brand new sky show, Imagine the Moon, which takes a closer look at humanity’s relationship with Earth’s nearest neighbor.

    Infinite Possibilities

    When: Through Feb. 28

    Where: Adler Planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

    Featuring Moon by UK artist Luke Jerram, this installation located in the north and south stairwells at the planetarium shines a light on humanity’s fascination with the Moon throughout history, the exploration it inspires and the mysteries it still holds.


    When: Through April 21

    Where: The Field Museum, 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

    Cost: Included with a Discovery or All-Access pass

    The exhibit uses modern technologies to take an unparalleled look at the remains of the ancient people within the wrappings. With the help of CT scanners and 3D imaging, scientists can explore what these people's lives may have been like and even what they looked like when they were alive. Visitors will be able to explore mummies and artifacts with touch tables and see full-sized dioramas of what burials looked like. 

    Frederick Douglass Agitator

    When: Through April 30

    Where: American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan, 2nd Floor, Chicago

    Cost: Free with museum admission

    Highlights excerpts from speeches and writings, some recorded by students from Young Chicago Authors. Other excerpts include Douglass' speech on Haiti at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition and "The Reason Why" pamphlet he and Ida B. Wells distributed to protest African-American exclusion from the fair. 

    Amplified Chicago Blues

    When: Through Aug. 10

    Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago

    Cost: Free with admission

    Immerse yourself in the history of Chicago blues of the 1960s through pictures, and experience the blues by playing guitar, designing an album cover, writing lyrics, and singing karaoke. 

    Underwater Beauty

    When: Through late 2019

    Where: Shedd Aquarium, 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

    Cost: Free with museum admission

    Get a glimpse of the grandeur beneath the waves as 100 species from around the world come together. Watch sea jellies pulse, eels ribbon and a rainbow come alive with reef fishes. Free with admission. 

    Remembering Dr. King: 1929-1968

    When: Through March 1, 2020

    Where: Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., Chicago

    Cost: Free with museum admission

     The exhibition invites visitors to walk through a winding gallery that features more than 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King's work and the Civil Rights movement, with a special focus on his time in Chicago. A reflection space prompts visitors to reflect on King's impact and how his work for equality remains relevant today. 


    Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites

    When: Through Jan. 13

    Where: Kohl Children's Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd., Glenview

    Cost: Free with museum admission

    Allows kids to immerse themselves in the life-sized worlds of award-winning children's books through imaginative, interactive experiences and dramatic play. 

    Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails!

    When: Jan. 12 to May 12

    Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford

    The interactive exhibit inspired by the popular children’s series on Nickelodeon rides into Illinois for the first time. The STEM-focused exhibit allows kids ages 2-7 years to climb into Thomas' cab, fix Percy's wobbly wheels, explore the Island of Sodor, load luggage onto train cars and load Percy's coal box and fill his tank with water from a tower. Kids can also dress up as the conductor to exchange money and sell train tickets to other visitors.

    Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit

    When: Jan. 19 to May 12

    Where: DuPage Children's Museum, 301 N. Washington St., Naperville

    Children enter the world of Daniel Tiger and friends to explore the Neighborhood. Through immersive experiences, visitors collaborate to solve problems, use their imaginations to transform their surroundings and play along with Daniel’s singable strategies as they learn life’s little lessons.