Cloud Buster at the Chicago Children’s Museum

As must have noticed by the EPIC snowfall on Halloween, it’s just about time for us Chicago parents to start creating our lists of where to take our energy filled kids when the weather isn’t cooperating. The Chicago Children’s Museum has always been on our list, and now with the new Cloud Buster exhibit, it’s basically our ENTIRE list. Every time you scale the 37 foot, jaw dropping structure it is wonderfully unique, but here are some tips for exploring the Cloud Buster exhibit at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

My family and I received free admission to the Chicago Children’s Museum. All opinions are my own.

Bring comfortable climbing shoes

Opposite of most play spaces that require shoes off and socks on, the Chicago Children’s Museum requires you to wear shoes while climbing and exploring the Cloud Buster. So leave the flip flops, chunky boots, and heels at home and instead lace up your gym shoes and get ready for adventure!

Pack lightly

I know, I know…this is hard for parents, especially when kids demand snacks every 2.5 seconds. But backpacks and large purses aren’t allowed when you are in the Cloud Buster exhibit. Either leave big bags at home or use one of the lockers available at the Chicago Children’s Museum or Navy Pier.

Wear a helmet

Because the climbing structure is made of so many unique materials (structural steel, wood, wire, rope, acrylic, fiberglass, and artificial turf, for example) hard hats are required. From my observations, they are sanitized after each use and they have adjustable straps to fit all head sizes.

Be prepared for a wait

Since the Cloud Buster is in such a confined area, there is a limit on how many people can enter at one time. My suggestion is to visit tright when it opens or mid-afternoon before the big kids are out of school in order to avoid lines and prolong your time in the Cloud Buser exhibit

The adorable and creative Mo Willems exhibit is right around the corner, so you can play there while keeping an eye on the line if you don’t think your child can stand still for long.

Climb along with your kiddos

Adults are welcomed in all parts of the Cloud Buster so don’t feel like you have to miss out on all the fun. And since some kids can be timid or not as advanced as other explorers, it is great to go along with your child so he/she feels safe or secure (there are Chicago Children’s Museum staff stationed throughout the Cloud Buster if you are like me and terrified of heights).

Explore different routes

Artist Kevin Winters created the massive 30 ton Cloud Buster exhibit so that kids can push boundaries, face challenges, and feel empowered. So challenge them (and yourself) to find different routes and challenge yourself to go to the top and check out the replica Chicago themed apartment while also looking over Navy Pier’s Fifth Third Family Pavilion.

Be sure to check out my other articles for other new museum exhibits, as well as the best places for indoor play in Chicagoland.

Happy Exploring!


Don’t miss a post…follow me on Blog Lovin’.


  1. Charlene says

    Oh my goodness! This looks like so much fun! And I love all your tips. Especially the one about climbing along with your kids! We can all still be kids at heart!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.