Packed with opportunities for adventure, play, and learning, the Chicago Children’s Museum makes a popular choice for a family outing. Located on the popular Navy Pier, this 3-floor attraction is the fourth largest children’s museum in the country. Kids can spend their day interacting with hands-on exhibits that let them dig for dinosaur bones, captain a boat, build their own structures, and more.
Centrally situated in a popular tourist area, the Chicago Children’s museum isn’t far from the rides and games at Navy Pier, the Crystal Gardens, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and more. The museum is open daily from 10am-5pm, with extended hours till 8pm on Thursdays. There is a fee to enter, and while it’s not part of any city tours, the museum accepts Chicago Explorer Pass, Chicago City Pass, and the Chicago Go Card.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Make the most of your visit with extended hours every Thursday.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes so you can easily explore all three floors.
- It’s packed with activities for kids ages 10 and under.
How to Get There
The museum is easily accessible by car or public transportation. For direct public transportation service to Navy Pier, take CTA bus #124 from Ogilvie Transportation Center or Union Station. City buses #29, #65, and #66 also stop close to the museum. During the summer months, select water taxis drop passengers off nearby.
When to Get There
Open daily from 10am–5pm with extended hours on Thursdays, this indoor museum is an ideal family stop year-round. Members of the Chicago Children’s Museum can enjoy special members-only hours from 9am–10am Friday-Sunday. Check the calendar on the website for an up-to-date schedule of workshops, demonstrations, new exhibits, and more.
Family Fun at Navy Pier
After visiting the museum, head to nearby Navy Pier for even more family fun. Enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants, go for a ride on the Centennial Wheel, or play some of the amusement-park style games. For a more cultural experience, stop by the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the Crystal Gardens.