It's no secret that Chicago winters are brutal and while we all suffer through it in our own painful way, I have to say that it's pretty rough with a toddler. In fact, we dread rainy and freezing days because the chances of running around at the park or playing soccer on the field is non-existent. So, now comes the time where we resort to all indoor activities and I have to say that one of my favorites by far is the Adler Planetarium.
When it comes to things to do in the city, there isn't a shortage of museums. From way up north in the North Shore suburbs all the way south to Hyde Park you'll find some of the best museums that cater to both adults and children. Since our winters are especially long memberships to one (or all if you can swing it) are well worth the investment and although it might be hard to choose just one, Adler is a great candidate if you have a young explorer just like my mini.
Liam is the type of kid that is perfectly content spending time at one station for hours at a time. I, on the other hand, am someone that needs variety. During our first visit, we spent a lot of time ooohh-ing and ahhh-ing over artifacts and historical details, but we should have studied the map a bit more because the kid's area is massive and quite honestly is the only excuse you need to go. Now we only go for the kids area called Planet Explore. A mock space ship, rocket ship simulators, giant building block area, astronaut role playing, robotic remote control cars and a walk through space are just some of the awesome activities that keep
me (err Liam) busy during our trips. Though he's not interested in it now, one day (hopefully soon) Liam will also want to participate in all the other hands on courses like astronaut training, building homes made to live on Mars and other fun stuff happening in the lab.
While Liam loves Adler (or what he likes to call the space museum) for all of the fun interactive games it offers, Matt and I love it for a few more reasons. Street parking is easy to find and much cheaper (as in $4) than parking at any of the other Museum campus lots that will charge you at least $20. Just be sure you don't head over during a Bears game - I've learned that the hard way. The kids space is never crowded and not over taken by a plethora of kids waiting their turn to do one activity - in fact one day it was just us and another family on a Saturday AM. Lastly, it's a place we all enjoy. If Liam wasn't in the mood to run around freely in the Planet Explorers space, it's a place that we enjoy just wandering around freely. While we soak in some facts about space, he likes counting how many moons he finds throughout the entire building. We just don't have the heart to tell him yet that there is only one moon.