The Dr. Seuss Experience takes you to far-off places in this immersive 25,000-square-foot adventure at Water Tower Place in Chicago. My family had a blast! The experience was like hopping into a page of a Dr. Seuss book. My kids wandered through Seussville, attended a carnival, engineered games, made a mess with Cat in the Hat, and went on a parade with all of the live characters.
As a teacher with young children, Dr. Seuss is my idol. His literature takes readers into an imaginative land that astonishes all audiences, young and old. If your children love Dr. Seuss, this experience is one you don’t want to miss! “You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so . . . get on your way!”
We were invited to the press preview of The Dr. Seuss Experience and all opinions are my own.
The Dr. Seuss Experience at Water Tower Place
The Dr. Seuss Experience opened October 8, 2021 at Water Tower Place on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The exhibit will last through January 2, 2022, and then travel to another city.
The experience features immersive installations themed after some of Dr. Seuss’s most iconic stories and characters. It’s a hands-on exploration for children to open their imaginations to the world of Dr. Seuss. Each room incorporates a storybook and allows visitors to see, hear, feel, and experience like you walked right onto the page. The experience is very visually appealing and highly Instagrammable!
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go”
This room has floor-to-ceiling balloons, all lined up with a walking path throughout. My son loved the balloon maze and did it over and over again! My oldest daughter was searching for secret word balloons that, if all turned properly, reveal the missing words to the quoted text from the story.
“If I Ran the Circus”
This circus-themed room actually had a swing carousel that went around and around. It overlooks Michigan Avenue and my kids had fun waving at everyone outside. The carousel went slow, so it was appropriate for young toddlers though about age 10.
Swing amongst the truffula trees with swings of all size. There are plenty of staff to help the kids or adults on and off the swings. All three of my kids could fit on one swing. On the swings, all you can see around you are the bright, fluffy, trees that feel so soft!
“Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are”
This room of invention was full of interactive games. One wall has moveable gears you can arrange to link together and spin. Another wall has a shooting ball machine. In the middle of the room, kids can crank and turn the Throm-dim-bu-lator Machine. This room was a future engineer’s dream!
“There’s a Wocket in My Pocket”
This was one of my favorite rooms. There is a narrator script playing overhead, and he lists all of the odd things you need to find in the room. My kids were searching in closets and under tables, as well as playing with the tableware. It was an interactive I-spy book brought to life!
“Cat in the Hat”
Have you ever told your kids to clean up their rooms? Well, not in the Cat in the Hat room. Cat tells the kids to make a mess and throw scarves all around! The air machine shoots the scarves all over the room! There is a very cool interactive Cat in the Hat that talks directly to the kids. You can ask him questions, tell him your name, and he talks right back to you!
This room was a kid favorite! Kids use fishing poles to fish for presents, then add them to the present meter. There are two scales, and my kids would race to see who could fill the present scale first!
This room was still under some construction when we were there, but we got to peek in for a photo. There are sneeches all over the beach, sitting in the sand. Their eyes are moving and glowing and you have to find them. It looked cool from afar, though not as interactive as the other rooms.
“Horton Hears a Who”
I had to bend down for this picture! My three year old was the perfect size for hiding in the trees. My kids played hide and seek until they found where the Who was hiding. After they found the Who, they just kept playing hide and seek with each other.
This was so cute! Every single hour they have a character parade! The kids got streamers and were able to walk in a parade around the exhibit with all the characters. They play music, have a ringmaster announce all the characters, and walk around and wave to everyone!
Character Photo Opportunities
There are tons of characters that come around all the time for photo opportunities. If you have children who love to interact with characters, they will love it. Thing 1 and 2 played catch with my son! He was so excited! There were five characters wandering about the exhibit hall while we were there. They took pictures, played games, and gave lots of high fives and hugs.
On your way to the exit, you will cruise right through the gift shop. The shop has small items, such as pencils and pens, and larger items, such as stuffed animals and clothing. There plenty of books and bookmarks to help encourage continuing your Dr. Seuss journey at home. Prices ranged from $1–$50 for various items.
The facility is handicapped accessible with wheelchair ramps in each room. A stroller would also fit in the exhibit hall, but because of the nature of the interactive displays, toddlers would want to get out to play.
Know Before You Go
Dr. Seuss Experiences reminds guests that there is an Illinois mandate that requires all individuals over the age of 2 to wear a mask in indoor settings.
There are no bathrooms in the exhibit hall. There are bathrooms in the general mall of Water Tower Place, so it is my advice to use the restroom before you walk in! No outside food or drink is permitted.
The Dr. Seuss Experience takes between 1-1.5 hours, but you are free to explore at your leisure! In my opinion, the experience is geared towards ages 3-10, but children and adults of all ages will have a great time!
The Dr. Seuss Experience
Water Tower Place
835 N. Michigan Avenue Ste 100
Chicago, IL 60611
(At N. Michigan Ave & E. Pearson St)
There is a parking lot under Water Tower Place that is very convenient. We used that lot and took the opportunity to leave our coats in the car. The staff also told us that Spot Hero often has the parking garage available for a lower rate.
Tickets can be purchase here and are selling out very quickly. The Dr. Seuss Experience is a temporary exhibit between October 8, 2021 and January 2, 2022. There are multiple types of tickets are prices available. VIP anytime tickets give you the flexibility of coming any time between 12:00pm – 6:30pm. VIP tickets cost $50 per person and are free for children under 12 months old. General Admission tickets are for timed entry and cost $34 for ages 13+, $22 for ages 1-13, and $25.25 per ticket for a family four-pack. Infants under 12 months are always free. For group sales, click here.
If you’re looking for more kid-friendly museums and play places within the Chicagoland area, check these ideas out!