on April 18, 2008
Having grown up in the Chicagoland area as a child, I had fond memories of visiting the museum. Much to my delight, some of my favorite exhibits are there and brand new things to see as well.Since our kids aren't in school yet, we were able to take advantage of a free Tuesday. They have a number of them posted before Christmastime on their website. Parking is pretty reasonable for Chicago and unless you partake in one of the special exhibits, you can get away with spending next to nothing. We on the otherhand chose to see the Star Wars exhibit which was mostly models, but also some working robots, and my 3 year old got to ride on a hovercraft! Overall they were too young to enjoy things except playing with all the phones that talked to you about the exhibits but at least it entertained them while my husband read up on things and took LOTS of photos.We spent time in many of the classic areas such as the chicken hatchery, the dollhouse, the model trains (which has expanded to include a model of Chicago), and the circus area. The toddlers especially enjoyed a newer area with a very large waterplay area. It was like a mini children's museum within the museum. Their other favorite item is when you walk-in; there is an old-time pinball style advertisement sign created in Switzerland. You follow the ball down the mountains, into a bus, in a phone booth, on a train...eventually it arrives at the hotel. We found kids staying around to watch it more than once just like us.Make sure you give yourself a whole day here. If you don't enjoy crowds, make sure you don't visit at the end of December when they have their Christmas trees from around the world displayed. When we went on Tuesday, even though it was free, the crowds were very small since school was in session! One other tip, if you have young kids, they won't be interested in much on the top floor because it all has to do with health.Have a great time!
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