The 10 Best Educational Activities for Children in Illinois!

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. 

1. Discovery Center Museum, Rockford, IL

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. 

2. Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, Palos Heights, IL

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. 

3. DuPage Children’s Museum, Naperville, IL

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. 

4. Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs, IL

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. 

5. Adler Planetarium, Chicago, IL

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. 

6. Brookfield Zoo, Brookfield, IL

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. 

7. Willowbrook Wildlife Center, Glen Ellyn, IL

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. 

8. Children’s Museum of Illinois, Decatur, IL

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. 

9. McLean County Arts Center, Bloomington, IL

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. 

10. Children’s Discovery Museum, Normal, IL

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. 

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110 West Fremont Street, Arlington Heights, IL
Mission: The past is never lost - as long as it is remembered. Towards that goal, the Arlington Heights Historical Museum collects and preserves si... Read More
408 South Broadway, U.S. Highway 37, Salem, IL
About William Jennings Bryan was born in this home in 1860. The house was built for his father, Judge Silas M. BRYAN. The house is on the Nationa... Read More
5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
About the MuseumChicago's Museum of Science and Industry, one of the largest science museums in the world, is home to more than 35,000 artifacts an... Read More
5550 South Greenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL
Mission statement: The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago opens the world through art and ideas. Aboutus: As the art museum of the... Read More
1524 North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
Mission:  The mission of the Museum is to enrich people's lives by enhancing their appreciation and understanding of the history, development... Read More
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL
Mission Statement: The Field Museum inspires curiosity about life on Earth while exploring how the world came to be and how we can make it a bette... Read More
1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL
Mission Statement The Chicago History Museum is a privately endowned, independent instiation devoted to collecting, interpreting and presenting th... Read More
2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL
The Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum inspire people to learn about and care for nature and the environment. The i... Read More
2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL
Founded in 1857, The Chicago Academy of Sciences was Chicago’s first museum. In 1999, the Academy opened the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in... Read More
1852 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL
Our Roots And Mission: In 1982, Carlos Tortolero organized a group of fellow educators and founded the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, which open... Read More
800 South Halsted St., Chicago, IL
Mission Statement The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum serves as a dynamic memorial to Jane Addams, the work of her associates, and the neighborhood ... Read More
700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL
Mission: Chicago Children's Museum's mission is to improve children's lives by creating a community where play and learning connect. About Us: C... Read More
116 Altgeld Hall, Northern Illinois University, Dekalb, IL
Mission and ObjectivesAs an art museum belonging to an academic institution, the dual roles of the Northern Illinois University Art Museum are to c... Read More
509 North First Street, Dekalb, IL
The House Today The Ellwood House property today consists of about 8.5 acres, which includes the wooded area to the North of the mansion. The origi... Read More
150 Cottage Hill Avenue, Elmhurst, IL
Mission:Our mission is to provide the people of Elmhurst and surrounding communities with a center for visual arts - known for its welcoming atmosp... Read More
40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston, IL
Mission Statement: The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art enriches teaching and learning on the campuses of Northwestern University and in the comm... Read More
2N930 Garfield Rd., Lafox, IL
Garfield Farm and Tavern, listed in the National Register of Historic Sites, is a 281-acre farmstead and former 1840s teamster inn 40 miles west of... Read More
813 School Avenue, Matteson, IL
Mission The mission of the Matteson Historical Museum is to curate, conserve and provide access to the historical documents and artifacts on loan ... Read More
901 Washington Street, Mendota, IL
The Hume-Carnegie Museum fosters an understanding and appreciation of Mendota and the surrounding communities by collecting and preserving the area... Read More
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