We had the opportunity to check out the new, interactive exhibit at the DuPage Children’s Museum: The Questioneers: Read. Question. Think. Play! before it opens this Friday, October 1, 2021 so we can give you a sneak peek! The exhibit is based off the New York Times best-selling kids picture books, which focus on science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The different pieces of the exhibit challenge visitors to solve everyday mysteries and think more critically about their world, just as the second-grade characters in the book do. Each character and their unique passion is brought to life through various hands-on activities, with something to engage every age group from young toddlers to elementary school kids.
First, we put our science hats on in order to check out the hands-on “investigation stations” in Ada Twist’s room. My 4-year-old son immediately noticed the colorful buttons on the shelves, some of which come bring the pieces to life when pressed in different combinations. It takes some trial and error to figure out which buttons do what, which is all part of the fun. We got to see all of her science experiments change colors, see the cat pop out of the box, and watch a mini neon light show.
Next, we got to learn about Rosie Revere, the aspiring engineer who is always building contraptions out of whatever she can, including a life-size Heli-o-cheese-copter! If you’re a kid, does a helicopter made of cheese not sound like the coolest thing ever?! My son enjoyed getting to sit in the “pilot” seat and making the propeller spin by pushing the lever.
I would say we definitely spent the most time interacting with the Engineer activities, especially once my son set his eyes on the rockets and the wind tunnels. We loved these stations because they really piqued his curiosity, motivating him to ask questions about how everything worked and wondering things like, “What happens if I press this?” I could see the wheels turning in his brain, and it was nice to watch him be so engaged by experimenting with the activities over and over.
The only true failure can come if you quit.
El verdadero fracaso es darse por vencida.
Next, we learned about Iggy Peck, the budding architect. We hung out at the large table where you can design your own unique buildings with all kinds of different pieces including blocks, Lincoln Logs, train tracks and various odds and ends. You can check out the whimsical bridge made from rope or build a life-size arch made of giant pancakes (my personal favorite part of the exhibit,)! The pancakes are made from soft, foam circles and honestly, I think I could have been happy building with these for hours. It’s such a silly, fun concept (that also leaves you craving breakfast, but only as long as you add chocolate chips, we say).
Another favorite stop of mine was walking through the interactive leadership story about Sofia Valdez, a little girl who wants to become President someday. When you step inside the circular booth, the story unfolds beneath your feet, with little tidbits about what she does to make a difference in her community. While we both enjoyed looking at this, I think the context was a little too advanced for my 4-year-old, but that’s what is great about the exhibit. All of the stations appeal to kids in different ways, whether they enjoy interacting with the gadgets or are old enough read the stories and follow along as you travel through the stations.
There’s even a fun, interactive area for toddlers filled with activities to engage their fine motor skills and some go-to favorites including soft, touchable stuffed animals, rubber ducks, and inviting places to sit and relax. I would definitely consider bringing my toddler on our next visit; he would have more than enough excitement to keep him entertained.
Before we left, we also made sure to stop by the art station (where my son loved the smelling jars, these are so fun!) and made one more trip back to engineer area to try our hand at launching paper airplanes.
The whole visit was a breath of fresh air, partly because it was so nice to be back playing at the museum after so long but more than that, it was something really different to do with my son. It engaged all five of our senses, piqued our curiosity, allowed us to think outside of the box, and gave us a chance to learn more about a book series which we are now very excited to make part of our collection as he gets older. We look forward to coming back as a family very soon!
A few things to note:
- There are restrooms on the same floor as the exhibit (which is great since my son had to go multiple times!). It was nice not having to take the elevator downstairs to find them.
- At this time all guests, members and non-members, are required to reserve their entry time to visit the museum because of lower capacity limits. Reservations are just for entry time; there is no limit to play time.
- The museum currently requires masks to be worn by everyone ages 2 years and older.
- This is a traveling exhibit, which means it’s not permanent, so make the time to see it while it’s here!
- The Bean Sprouts Café is temporarily closed, so be sure to make other plans for lunch.
- Admission is $15/adults, $15/children, $14/seniors, and free for infants under one year and DuPage Children’s Museum members
- The Museum is open Mondays–Tuesdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm; and Wednesdays–Sundays 9:00am – 5:00pm.
About the DuPage Children’s Museum
Explore, create, build, wonder, think, and PLAY – the possibilities are endless. Kids and adults together have a blast exploring the Museum’s hands-on exhibits, making new discoveries, and creating lasting memories.
DuPage Children’s Museum is at the intersection of fun and learning where you and your family will laugh, learn, and love spending time together. For more than 30 years, DCM has been inspiring children and their adults with experiences that encourage curiosity, discovery, and collaboration. It’s one of our favorite children’s museums and we are thrilled to be partnering with them.
- Design with hundreds of colorful loose parts like Magna-Tiles® and Glow Rods and watch your creations glow
- Build self-confidence and engage problem-solving skills working with real tools and materials in the Construction House
- Tinker and design with Rigamajig®, a large-scale building kit, that includes wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts, and rope
- Stack, balance, and create patterns together using blocks on a giant Pyramid Bench