Looking for a fun way to spend a couple hours with active tots? Then head over to the Skokie Park District’s Exploratorium and enjoy all of the fun there is to offer!
Fun on a Small Scale
One of the reasons I prefer the Exploratorium over places like the Chicago Children’s Museum, Kohl Children’s Museum, or DuPage Children’s Museum is because it has many of the same engaging and interactive play features—but on a much smaller scale. So that means that it is much easier for me to track down my active boys without being on a run non-stop. There are also many different areas to sit throughout the museum, so you can sit and hold/nurse a fussy baby if need be and still have an eye on your older kiddos.
Excitement for Everyone
We started going to the Exploratorium when my oldest was still a baby, and we were pleasantly surprised with all of the activities that a crawler could enjoy. There is a large room with tons of push toys, climbing structures, and other wall mounted toys so the little ones are able to be just as excited as engaged as their older counterparts, all while safely separated.
What is the perfect age for the Exploratorium? In my experience, I would say it is best for kiddos from ages 1 through 4. The older kids love the climbing wall and fortress of tubes and slides, and the younger ones adore the water area, light up tables, and magnetic toys. The train/car table is not very exciting at the Exploratorium, but they have a great theatre area for putting on a show—with red curtains and all! Since my boys are very into arts and crafts right now, they also like to explore the different art supplies that are set up in the crafting area, but then get sidetracked by their beloved water area (surprise, surprise).
What to Pack
Since there is a water area, I highly recommend bringing a change of dry clothes. I must pleasantly report, however, that the water smocks provided do a great job of keeping little ones dry. But don’t even think about putting your kiddos in the baby seats in the water area…they will be SOAKED.
There are a few vending machines in the eating area, but I highly recommend bringing your own snacks and lunch—which is allowed. There are a handful tables to choose from, so on a busy day it gets to be a pretty cramped space. If you are looking for somewhere to eat out after your Exploratorium visit, there is a great pancake house just a few blocks down from the museum.
We prefer to visit the Exploratorium when the weather is bad as an alternative to being outside, but if you are able to visit on a nice day, be sure to build some time into your schedule for enjoying the park outside of the museum. It has a ton of great slides, swings, and a really fun sand play area.
You can bring your stroller into the museum (there is an elevator) but I would recommend wearing your baby just so you don’t have to worry about pushing your stroller everywhere around the small museum space.
The museum is closed on Thursdays and Sundays
Non-residents are $5 each and residents are $3 each
There are also packages available, see their site for details.
Looking for other museums to visit? Enter “museums” into the search box in the right side bar.
Check out my suggestions for indoor fun!