Museum of Science & Industry

When I was a kid, my dad used to assign my brother and me summer projects so our brains would not decay from lack of use. Said projects were quite boring (sorry, Daddy), but now I see that's mostly because we never went on vacation to Chicago. Chicago has dozens of world class museums and even more locally renowned cultural institutions, so learning, for the most part, is fun here. To help keep your kids' wheels turning all summer, here are (a few of many) educational pit stops that will make your kids excited to learn.

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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.)

Peggy Notebaert Museum

This gem is a must-visit to get kids excited about the world around them. Featuring loads of interactive and exciting exhibits, the museum tackles everything from the lives of bugs to how to make your home more environmentally friendly. Between this and the gorgeous nature preserve surrounding the museum, your kids (and you) will leave with a new passion for our precious earth and the necessity to protect it. 

Chicago Children's Museum (700 E. Grand Ave.)

Chicago Children's Museum

For my money, this might be the best part of Navy Pier. This museum is not exactly a "pit stop" since you and your family could probably spend all day in here (and then some). This museum is built around the way kids really learn, with interactive exhibits suitable for a variety of ages. You can dig your own dinosaur bones, create an elaborate boating system, and built your own big city.

Garfield Park Conservatory (300 N. Central Ave.)

Garfield Park Conservatory

This stunning testament to the beauty and diversity of our natural world is sure to spark your kids' interest. The conservatory offers a wealth of information about botany, the ecosystem, and our role in preserving it. Knowledgeable volunteers are always available with kid-friendly activities and the conservatory offers a kid-directed program every Saturday and Sunday.

Bronzeville Children's Museum (9301 S. Stony Island Ave.)

Featuring a unique guided tour format to ensure maximum learning from each exhibit, the Bronzeville Children's Museum is guaranteed to open new doors for your kids. With an emphasis on real-world skills, the museum offers exhibits on healthy lifestyles, careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and on real-world banking and financial management.

Museum of Science and Industry (5700 S. Lake Shore Dr.)

Museum of Science & Industry

It's hard to pick my favorite museums in Chicago (they are ALL amazing), but if I had to, the Museum of Science and Industry would be on the list. It is an interactive learner's paradise with rooms and rooms of exhibits, each better than the last. Between exhibits about weather systems, genetics, and the real U-505 submarine, this museum will offer hours, if not days, of educational excitement. 

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