Chicago Museums: Virtual Fun for Kids and Families

While the physical doors of Chicago's many wonderful cultural institutions are closed, kids and families can enjoy the virtual options provided by museums around the city.

Adler Planetarium

From accounts of the Apollo 13 crew’s mission to the history of women in astronomy and space exploration, Adler's virtual exhibitions are not to be missed.

Gather some materials from around the house and watch the planetarium's Let’s Do Science videos to learn how to make even more family fun.

Art Institute of Chicago

Explore your artistic side with the Art Institute of Chicago’s Get Creative at Home activities, which include art making, creative writing and coloring pages.

Dive deeper into the museum's collections; view the renowned Thorne Miniature Rooms and special teen tour audio guide developed by Chicago teens.

Chicago Children’s Museum

The Chicago Children’s Museum offers a bevy of at-home activities and resources for families in the Parenting Playbook and Recipes for Play at Home. Try simple, engaging projects like No-Mess Painting or Cardboard Robots, a perfect upcycling project for all those delivery boxes you've collected.

The Field Museum of Natural History

Venturing out into your backyard or going for a walk? The museum’s field guides will aid in your discovery of local wildlife. 

Go behind-the-scenes with some of the museum’s history and collections in the The Brain Scoop video series.

If you have a pint-sized dinosaur aficionado in your house like I do, the Field Museum offers the opportunity to converse with Máximo the Titanosaur, the world’s largest dinosaur, by text or through online messaging. To explore more about life during dinosaur days, try Mission to the Mesozoic, a fun online scavenger hunt for prehistoric plants and animals.

Museum of Science and Industry

MSI’s Science at Home activities and videos are fun ways for kids and families to explore the scientific method or play an online coding game. Check out the Garden in a Glove or Egg Bungee activities or a time-lapse video of baby chicks hatching.

Early readers may enjoy visiting the Tuesday Tales storytelling page every Tuesday for a new story video. 

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium's Sea Curious videos are perfect for early learners who need to know if animals lose their teeth and what animals do at night.

Live views of the Underwater Beauty exhibit are a great way to relax and enjoy the peaceful simplicity of swimming fish. This exhibit has also inspired a series of related murals in various neighborhoods across the city.

Looking for more information? Consider signing up for each museum’s newsletter for news and developments.

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