Exposure to educational activities allows children to explore their creativity and problem-solving skills. The best educational and kid-friendly places encourage learning through play and exploration. Fortunately, Illinois can provide children just that. From museums to nature centers, here are our 10 favorite educational activities for children in the state.
Full of outstanding exhibits, the Discovery Center Museum is one of the best children’s museums in the state. Kids can learn about electricity, the universe, weather, fitness, dinosaur fossils, and much more at the hundreds of hands-on exhibitions located inside the museum. The Rock River Discovery Park outside the museum is also full of exploration.
Perfect for children who love the outdoors, Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens offers 85 acres of gardens, wetlands, prairies, water, and woodlands. This nature center encourages interaction between children and nature by offering opportunities for kids to learn about good ecological practices.
DuPage Children’s Museum offers a wide variety of learning adventures for children. Kids are presented with engaging science, math, and art activities. These hand-on projects stimulate kids’ minds and make learning fun. Children aged three years to fifth grade can also attend summer enrichment camps at this high-rated museum.
The Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center is rich in history and aims to educate children about the local forests and wildlife. A fruit orchard planted in the early 1900s still stands on the land, allowing visitors to enjoy the apple, pear, and plum blossoms in the springtime. Children can also enjoy the activity room and live animal exhibits.
Kids interested in space will love the Adler Planetarium. Featuring world-class exhibits about the universe, planets, astronomy, and our solar system, Adler is one of the biggest planetariums in the country. Children also love the theatre shows about the cosmos.
Brookfield Zoo has a wide variety of educational activities and programs for children of all ages. From Zoo Camp to the Sleepover Safari, Brookfield Zoo makes learning about animals fun and engaging. They also offer family play programs, backstage adventures, and many events throughout the year.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center not only teaches visitors about wildlife, but rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife. They offer many educational programs throughout the year to help children learn about all different types of animals. Their visitor center also allows children to look into the nursery and see how the orphaned and injured animals are fed and cared for, and the classroom and indoor discovery center include additional educational activities for children.
With two floors of educational exhibits, kids will have hours of fun at the Children’s Museum of Illinois. They offer educational workshops through their learning labs, summer camps, and several educational experiences throughout the year. Their exhibits include the Paint Wall, Johnston’s Market, Luckey’s Climber, Healthy Mouth, and many others for all ages of kids.
Most kids love being creative, and McLean County Arts Center is the perfect spot for exploring art. They offer hands-on art classes, allowing kids to explore painting, drawing, and ceramics. McLean County Arts Center also hosts the yearly Sugar Creek Arts Festival, which features over 100 artists and live music.
Innovation, exploration, discovery, and learning are all part of the Children’s Discovery Museum in Normal. Kids from toddlers to preteens get inspired to learn with the numerous hands-on exhibits. The Innovation Station encourages engagement in science, art, math, and technology by allowing kids to use problem-solving skills and collaboration. They also offer Physics Days, summer camps, an art studio, and other learning programs.