Boredom is a state very hard to achieve in a place like Chicago, where top-quality exhibits and programs for kids lurk around every corner. Some are permanent, some are temporary, but they all are perfect go-tos when creativity is waning in coming up with family date ideas. From massive dinosaurs at Brookfield Zoo to Marvel superheroes at Museum of Science and Industry, we’re letting you in on some of our favorite long-running or temporary exhibits for families in Chicago.
The Museum of Science & Industry's Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes celebrates Marvel history with more than 300 artifacts, including original comic book pages, sculptures, interactive displays and costumes and props from Marvel's blockbuster films. Visitors to the Museum can learn about the origin of iconic characters such as Spider-Man, Black Panther, Hulk and Captain Marvel and see how they have evolved alongside society over the past 80 years. More info.
Immersive Van Gogh
Chicago is hosting the US premiere of the blockbuster art experience, Immersive Van Gogh, through Nov. 28. This visually spectacular art exhibition invites audiences to step inside the iconic works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent Van Gogh. The experience evokes his highly emotional and chaotic inner consciousness through art, light, music, movement and imagination. More info.
The Immersive Van Gogh exhibition invites Chicagoans to a very special yoga session under The Starry Night. Each workout is designed to challenge the body and inspire the mind and is choreographed in harmony with music, sounds, light and moving images from Van Gogh's catalog of masterpieces. More Info.
Black Creativity: Juried Art at MSI
Established in 1970, the Museum of Science and Industry’s Black Creativity: Juried Art Exhibition is the nation’s longest-running exhibition of African American Art, presenting more than 100 works of art from emerging and established African American artists. The exhibition is on display through Jul. 4. More info.
Dinos Everywhere at Brookfield Zoo
Nearly 45 animatronic dinosaurs that are BIGGER and BADDER than any dinos you've ever met are visiting Brookfield Zoo. Dinos Everywhere features acres of earth-shakers, including the largest—argentinosaurus—that was estimated to measure more than 100 feet in length and weigh up to 110 tons. Through Sep. 6, zoogoers will be able to search for these amazing life-like animatronics throughout the park. More info.
Greektown's Fanciful Fish
Greektown Chicago's Fanciful Fish features 21 artworks lining Halsted Street from Monroe to Van Buren. The exhibition was created by a diverse group of Chicago artists and celebrates Greek culture, from mythological gods and seaside vistas to the Greek language. More info.
Get a Chicago-style Italian Beef ready for sandwich-loving Joey because the wildly popular FRIENDS Experience is in Chicago until May 31. Originally created for the 25th anniversary, fans can celebrate their favorite friends and revisit some of the series' most iconic moments with this two-story interactive experience. More info.
Chicago Children's Museum at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Chicago Children's Museum brought their kid-favorite experience to the Raddison Blu Aqua Hotel. In the spirit of the museum's mission to improve children's lives through connecting play with learning, they have created the ultimate family getaway where kids and their parents will be inspired through interactive programming throughout the hotel. Your family can enjoy private time at a designated play space where you'll find beloved activities from the museum, including the Imagination Playground and Zoom Room Test Track. More info.
WNDR Museum, the ever-evolving, immersive art and technology experience, features one-of-a-kind installations from artists, collectives and studios locally and globally that prioritize joy, curiosity and creativity. More info.
Apsaalooke Women & Warriors Exhibit at Field Museum
Hear the voices and stories of warriors who are fearless in battle and powerful women who are keepers of war shields in the Apsaalooke Women and Warriors exhibit. Visitors to Field Museum will learn about the history, values and beliefs of the Apsaalooke people of the Nothern Plains, also known as the Crow. From 100-year-old war shields to contemporary beadwork and fashion, Apsaalooke community members share their stories and share vibrant works of art. More info.
Art on theMart
Art on theMART is presenting Astrographics through Jul. 4 in collaboration with the Adler Planetarium. Astrographics will explore ways in which humans conceptualize their universe and how that has changed over time. More info.
In addition, Art on theMART is collaborating with Chicago Public Schools to showcase artwork of CPS seniors. The program entitled Hope is a LIght: Select Works from Chicago Public School Class of 2021 will be shown May 20-Jun. 26. More info.
Remembering Dr. King at Chicago History Museum
On display until Jul. 4, 2022, Remembering Dr. King is a collection of 25 photographs depicting key moments in Dr. King's work during the Civil Rights Movement. The exhibit places a special emphasis on his time in Chicago shedding light on the existence of discrimination and segregation. the abysmal state of housing and the realities of poverty in the north. More info.
Butterflies & Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden
Fill your summer days with butterflies and blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden’s temporary exhibit where visitors can immerse themselves in a habitat filled with hundreds of winged beauties and pretty petals. From May 29-Sep. 6, you’ll find species native to South America, Asia, North America and Africa, as well as those native to Illinois. More details.
Frida Kahlo Exhibit at Cleve Carney Art Gallery
The Cleve Carney Art Gallery is hosting an exhibition, Jun. 5-Sep.6, of the works centered on Frida Kahlo, who is considered one of the greatest artists of her time. The 26-piece collection will feature work spanning Kahlo's career with a series of photographs detailing the artist's life, interactive video presentations, a poetry garden and a children's area. More info.
Model Railroad Garden at Chicago Botanic
Experience the delightful sights and sounds of miniature trains traversing high and low tunnels, across bridges and around buildings at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Model Railroad Garden, May 8-Oct. 10. The exhibit features 18 garden-scale trains on 1,600 feet of track with vignettes of tiny people and animals that give it a storybook feel. More info.
— Maria Chambers