Jump into the balls of learning

Fun and education, without all the backhanded pretension? I'm lovin' it!

Hey, Moms and Dads: Looking to take the kids out for a day of culture and learning that’s also fun? Forget the stuffy Art Institute with its boring “great masters” and skip the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum—unless you prefer your museums located next to a swamp. Instead, check out a kid-friendly spot that combines learning with good old-fashioned fun: the McDonald’s PlayPlace at 2834 North Ashland Avenue.

Before you say, “I thought McDonald’s was just a magical place where families can get delicious food at reasonable prices,” we have to tell you something in all seriousness: You’re completely wrong! In addition to all the tubes and slides for your kids to enjoy, there’s plenty of stuff in all subjects to learn about here.

Government Your kids will get to meet an active member of city hall, Mayor McCheese, who is also a walking case study of a fascinating and rare medical condition—Hamburger Head.

History Talk to Birdie the Early Bird. She’s the lovable yet clumsy lady-pilot who knows the importance of a nutritious breakfast—just like Amelia Earhart! (A lot of people say she’d still be around if she’d had a McMuffin for breakfast that fateful day.)

Law The Hamburglar’s sad but ultimately touching story of a life in crime serves as a cautionary tale for your kids.

Math Grimace will teach your kids how to find the area of his unique geometric shape: the cylinderspheramid.

Anthropology What child wouldn’t be fascinated studying the unique language and complex social systems of the Fry Guys?

And for convenience, you can’t beat the built-in “museum café” at the McDonald’s Playland at 2834 North Ashland Avenue. It serves delicious food for the whole family: yummy burgers and fries for your kids and delicious, nutritious salads and wraps for Mom and Dad. Now, I’ll admit the McDonald’s Playland at 2834 North Ashland Avenue is a little short on paintings by artists you’ve never heard of and displays about lost civilizations you don’t care about, but what it lacks in tedious exhibits it more than makes up for in clowns.

Is this some kind of joke? Yes, actually. The above was part of TOC's 2008 April Fool's issue. Read more about it here.