Headed to Chicago this spring break? Or you are a Chicagoan staying home to enjoy the city in bloom? Chicago museums have you covered when it comes to spring break fun with a dash of learning. Here are three Chicago museums (and one aquarium!) that are the place to be this spring in Chicago.
Explore the Most Fascinating Corners of the Earth at the Museum of Science and Industry
Calling all spring break adventure seekers! Journey to some of the wildest places on the planet via the Museum of Science and Industry's latest and greatest exhibit: Earth Explorers. Descend into deep-sea inside a 3D submersible, step into an Arctic cabin to test your ability to live in an ice-covered world, soar in a hot air balloon over a savanna to witness the migration of herds and meet the explorers who live these adventures every day. Earth Explorers will introduce you to the thrill-seeking men and women who help protect our planet's biodiversity while unearthing new scientific discoveries.
Spring into The Art Institute of Chicago
this Spring Break
The Art Institute is always a great pick for a spring break art adventure with kids: Kids under 14 are always free, and if you buy your tickets ahead of time, you can pop right into the museum in search of some of the greatest masterpieces of artists from around the world. Fans of knights in shining armor will appreciate the Arms and Armor: Highlights of the Permanent Collection exhibit, which features full suits of armor, cannons, and even a knight on horseback. Dollhouse lovers with adore the Thorne Miniature Rooms, 68 mini-model rooms that highlight interiors from the 13th century through the 1930's. The Lions Trail Family Tour is a wonderful audio guide geared towards families with kids ages 5-10 and offers a great overview of the museums collections, with 32 stops along the way, and takes about an hour depending on your pace. A visit to the Ryan Education Center, a comfy space perfect for taking a break and expanding learning at the same time, is a must-do for families with younger kids: Kids are invited to build their own architectural masterpieces with colorful blocks, assemble puzzles of Art Institute highlights, and explore art through a collection of more than 1,300 creative picture books. After your day of exploring, take the ultra-modern bridge from the Modern wing to Millennium Park's Lurie Garden.
111 South Michigan Ave.
Explore the Chicago History Museum after Dark
On Friday, April 11, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m., families are invited to the Chicago History Museum for a special evening program that explores the latest exhibition Railroaders. Listen to tales of the rails and live folk music, play train bingo, create a railroad lantern, take a picture in the family photo booth and more. Designed for families with children ages 6 to 12, entry is $10 for adults and $5 children
Saturdays are always filled with family fun at the Chicago History Museum: On Saturday, April 12, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., families will have the chance to imagine what Chicago looked like before it was a city and investigate the prairie plants that used to grow here; on Saturday, May 10, from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., families are asked to become history detectives, following clues using compasses to connect artifacts to their original locations in the city. Both programs are free with Museum admission; Museum admission is free for kids 12 and under.
1601 N Clark St.
Celebrate Spring with the Stingrays at the Shedd Aquarium
Head over to the Shedd Aquarium this spring break and check out One World - a live show that showcases Shedd's rescue work, highlighting the human connection to the living world in the wild and in our own homes. Little family members will adore the Polar Play Zone, which features touch pools, fun playscapes and underwater views of Shedd's most popular residents - the returning beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, penguins and sea otters.
Later this Spring, the Shedd Aquarium invites visitors to experience the underwater grace of stingrays in its latest hands-on experience, Stingray Touch. 40 cownose and yellow rays will call an 18,000-gallon pool located under a tented structure on the aquarium's south terrace home for the summer. Tickets for this special experience will be available beginning on May 1.