DuPage Children’s Museum
301 N. Washington St., Naperville, IL. 630-637-8000. www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org
$7.50 ages 1 and up; $6.50 seniors 60 and up. Free parking. Stroller accessible. Restrooms with changing tables available.
Reciprocal admission through ACM (see “Adventures on a Budget” above for more information).
Our trip to the DuPage Children’s Museum was somewhat unplanned. We wanted to go to the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier, but the Navy Pier parking lots were full and we gave up on finding the alternate parking in downtown Chicago, so we looked at our list of potential Chicago-area places to visit and decided on DuPage Children’s Museum. It ended up working out well, as the 30-40 minute trip there gave the kids a chance for a little nap in the car.
We had called for directions, so we found the museum without any trouble. The museum is also right next to a Metra train station, so that would be another transportation option.
Inside, most of the exhibits are on one level. (We didn’t even realize there was a second exhibit area until we were on our way out at closing time.) Instead of being separate rooms, they are grouped into “neighborhoods” that flow from one into another. In some ways, this is nice, because our children could be exploring different things at different times, but on the other hand, it was hard to keep track of everyone!
I really liked the special baby and toddler areas so that the little ones had some age-appropriate things to do. The building workshop was a hit with my four-year-old, and the six- and three-year-olds liked the music area (which is in its own room to help contain the noise of the bells and drums). The water/bubble area succeeded in getting everyone wet despite the plastic smocks, but that comes with the territory.
This is a bright and cheery children’s museum, with large windows that let in sunlight. It is also well-staffed so that you see museum workers out on the exhibit floor. (This is not true at every children’s museum.) I did think it was loud in there in a white-noise kind of way; I’m not sure if was the ventilation system or the ball-blast exhibit, but there was a general loudness (beyond children’s voices) there.
There’s a huge purple chair available for kids to take a rest or climb on, and it’s the perfect place to take a souvenir photo. Benches for parents or grandparents to rest on are also plentiful throughout the museum.
We hadn’t arrived at the museum until mid-afternoon, so our visit was cut short by the closing of the museum. We would have liked to explore even more.
I really liked the choo-choo train outside by the door.
I liked the balls when they sent them different places.