Chicago's top children's museums

Parks and playgrounds are great, but kids can learn about the world around them while playing at a Chicago children's museum
Photograph: Chris Strong
By Samantha Lande and Morgan Olsen |

When the weather turns too cold, hot or rainy, and your kid has played with every toy at your local indoor playground—twice—a children's museum can be a savior. Chicago has some of the best museums in the country, and many feature exhibits specifically for little ones. Of course, there are several museums that cater only to kids—yet another reason why Chicago is one of the best places to raise a family. Check out these top spots for hands-on learning disguised as play, and be sure to explore our full guide to things to do in Chicago with kids!

Children's museums in Chicago

Museums, History

Swedish American Museum

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This may not be the first museum that pops into your head as child-friendly, but within the Swedish American Museum is the Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration, an interactive play space where kids can pretend to milk a cow or bring in firewood in a replica of a Swedish farmhouse. Kids will love the 20-foot-tall steamship and parents will love that the museum is small enough that they can watch their kids from all angles of the room.