Do you ever want to take your kids to the museum but can’t face the crowds and mental overload? Don’t get us wrong — we adore The Art Institute and think the Museum of Science and Industry is magic — but sometimes it’s nice to have that feeling of accomplishment when you’ve tackled one whole spot before nap time. Flip through our photo album to see our favorite small museums for low-stress adventures.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Surround your kids in a glittering array of jewels and precious stones at this gem of a museum. The upper level houses the collection of Italian immigrant and businessman Joseph Lizzadro, a marvel of treasures big and small created from semi-precious and precious gems. Downstairs, learn the science behind those gems and see amazing specimens of rocks, minerals and fossils from around the world. The gift shop has lots to start off your junior geologist’s own collection.

220 Cottage Hill Ave. in Wilder Park, Elmhurst (630-833-1616 or Open Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., 1-5 p.m. Adults $5, students and teens $3, children ages 7-12 $2, children under 7 are free. Friday is Free Day at the museum.

What is your favorite hidden gem museum? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Ruth Rau

Cover photo: Courtesy of the SMART Museum of Art