Kid-Friendly History Museums and Historical Societies with Events for Kids

Do your children like learning about history? My boys love to “go back in time” and visit our local Historical Society in Western Springs. There is a Children’s Museum on the third floor that has an old typewriter, train table and chalkboards.  They enjoyed it so much that I started looking for other options, and I found a bunch of other historical societies that we can’t wait to visit! We can’t wait go on a Time Travel Trip, turn ourselves into a Chicago-style hot dog, and make pancakes with Pippi Longstocking!

Historical Societies and History Museums with Kids Areas

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street 
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 642-4600

The Chicago History Museum has a lot to explore and is a field trip destination. On the first floor there is a hands on section called Sensing Chicago where kids can jump into a Chicago-style hot dog and more. There is also a fun music studio where you can play guitar in a sound booth and other instruments on the second floor.

Children 12 and under are free. Adult admission is $19.00 and ages 12-22 are $17.00.

Swedish American Museum

5211 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 728-8111

Brunk Children’s Museum of Immigration is located on the third floor of the Swedish American Museum and offers children’s programs.

Museum Hours: Monday through Thursday 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Adults $4; Children/students/seniors $3; Families $10. Free admission the second Tuesday of every month.

Lombard Historical Society

Victorian Cottage
23 W. Maple
Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 629-1885

Peck Homestead
355 E. Parkside
Lombard, IL 60148
(630) 629-1885

The Pioneer Playhouse is normally located at Peck Homestead at 355 E. Parkside, but is currently behind the Victorian Cottage due to an art exhibit. It will return to its normal location on August 31, 2019. There is also a Sensory Garden at Peck with raised beds so your kids can play in the dirt.

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Naper Settlement

523 S. Webster Street
Naperville, IL 60540
(630) 420-6010

Naper Settlement has an early learning playscape (open April 1 – October 31) and splash pad (May 15 – September 30) when the temperature is above 70 degrees. They also offer a variety of kid programs, such as tours and tea parties.

Western Springs Historical Society 

Western Springs Historical Society 
Inside the Water Tower on Hillgrove
Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 246-9230

The Children’s Museum is on the third floor of the Historic Water Tower and is open every Saturday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Admission is free. Please be aware that there are a lot of stairs, so it’s not wheelchair or stroller accessible.

DuPage County Historical Society

102 E. Wesley Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 510-4941

Train Saturdays are the 3rd and 5th Saturdays of the month from 1:30 – 3:30 pm where your kids can see model trains that travel over 2,000 feet of track with local landmarks and scenes.

Historical Societies with Kid-Friendly Events

If you or your children are interested in history, check out the following local history museums. These do not have designated areas for children, however they offer periodic kid-friendly programming and events.

Bensenville Historical Society

Korthauer Log House
900 W Wood Street
Bensenville, IL 60105
(630) 766-4642

Open every Second Sunday of the month from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

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Berwyn Historical Society

1401 Grove Avenue
Berwyn, IL 60402
(708)484-0020

Open Saturdays from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Bolingbrook

444 E. Briarcliff
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
(630) 378-4208

Open every second and fourth Saturday of the month from 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Brookfield Historical Society

8820 1/2 Brookfield Avenue
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 485-7344

Flagg Creek Heritage Society and Robert Vial House

Pleasant Dale Park District grounds
7425 S. Wolf Road
Burr Ridge IL 60527
Alice Latham: (708) 839-9616

Open first Sunday of every month from April to October from 2:00 to 4:00 pm and most Thursdays from 10:00 am until 12:30 pm all year.

Carol Stream Historical Society

301 W. Lies Road
Carol Stream, IL
(630) 217-1868

Clarendon Hills Historical Society

Heritage Hall
50 Sheridan Avenue
Clarendon Hills, IL 60514

Darien Historical Society 

The Old Lace Schoolhouse and Museum
7422 Cass Avenue
Darien, IL 60561
(630) 964-7033

Open to the public the first and third Sunday of every month, 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

Downers Grove Museum 

831 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 963-1309

Monday through Friday 12:00 – 4:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Elmhurst History Museum 

120 E. Park Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
(630) 833-1457

Open to the public Sunday and Tuesday through Friday 1:00 – 5:00 pm and Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

The Historical Society of Forest Park 

7640 Jackson Boulevard
Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 232-3747

Glen Ellyn Historical Society

Stacy’s Tavern Museum
557 Geneva Road
Glen Ellyn, IL
(630)469-1867

Tours April 1 through mid-December and is closed during the winter. April thru mid-December, docent-lead tours are available on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. and by appointment. The last tour begins at 3:45 p.m.  $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for students ages 6 – 17, and children 5 & under are free.

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Hinsdale Historical Society 

15 South Clay Street
Hinsdale, IL 60521
(630)789-2600

Open Saturdays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm or by appointment

Immanuel Hall
302 South Grant Street
Hinsdale, IL ;  Roger and Ruth Anderson Architecture Center Open Wednesdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm or by appointment

La Grange Area Historical Society

444 S La Grange Road
La Grange, IL  60525
(708) 482-4248

Learn about the history of La Grange and La Grange Park. They also have programs and events, including their popular American Girl Tea Party.

Museum Hours: Wednesdays 9:30 am – 12:00 pm and the last Sunday of each month 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Summer Hours: Saturdays 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Museum at Lisle Station Park

921 School Street
Lisle, Il 60532
(630) 968-0499

Tours Scheduled by appointment

West Town Museum of Cultural History

104 S 5th Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153
(708) 516-0628

Oak Brook Historical Society

1112 Oak Brook Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523
(630) 368-7750

Wednesday 10:00am to 2:00pm or for appointment call 630-325-1314

Oak Park River Forest Museum

129 Lake Street
Oak Park, IL  
(708) 848-6755

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM Wednesday through Saturday.

Admission $5 Oak Park/ River Forest residents with ID; $7 Non-Residents; $3 Students age 7- college (with ID). Free for museum members and children under 7.

Riverside Historical Society 

10 Pine Avenue
Riverside, IL 60546
(708) 447-2542

Open Saturdays 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM.

Save the Prairie Society

11225 Constitution Drive
Westchester, IL 60154
(708) 531-1851

Gregg House Museum

115 S. Linden Avenue
Westmont IL
(630)960-3392

About the Author

Liz Haskins
Liz is a mom of three equally active and adorable sons, aged six, eight and twelve. As a child, her family moved to Western Springs from Central Illinois, and she and her husband are thrilled to raise their own family here. She works two days a week as a medical assistant, so she tries to fill her time with the boys outside of school with activities that they can all enjoy. This winter, they’ve enjoyed swimming at a few indoor pools, and the boys love going to zoos and children’s museums. In the summer they love to do anything outdoors; they try to hit a different park every week! Their go-to for indoor days are open play spaces that have a range of activities to accommodate her children’s age differences. Outside of being a mom and working, Liz’s passions are photography, reading, and, as an extrovert, she loves meeting new people and connecting over mutual interests.

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