My family usually sticks closer to the western suburbs when planning adventures to go on. The Kohl Children’s Museum is worth the drive! I’m already planning when we can go back. The museum has so many exhibits that appeal to all children’s ages. There are baby play spaces spread throughout the museum for little ones to crawl around, play with age appropriate toys, and look in the mirror while the bigger kids play. As a nursing mom, I found there were plenty of quiet places to choose from. There were family bathrooms, as well small sinks for little kids to reach easier. The staff were interactive with the kids and very attentive.
My kids loved the Whole Foods Market where they shopped, checked out, and ordered food from the counter. Kids pick out their own carts to push around while they shop. They even have check out lanes with money to complete the experience. I was proud Mom when Madison said she was, “perimeter shopping”!
My son, age 3, loved the City on the Move and Cooperation Station exhibits. He loved moving the crane and opening the digger arm. We had fun pushing around a wheel barrow and bicycling to fill a moving sculpture with air. We also played with cars in the “Spot Hero” garage. He immediately found a giant train table and could have played with the train cars all day long!
My eldest daughter, 5, gravitated toward the Baby Nursery and Pet Vet. She carried around babies, giving them check-ups and rocking them to sleep. In the pet vet, she gave physical exams to all the stuffed animals in her lab coat and stethoscope.
My youngest daughter, 1, made music in the Ravinia Festival of Music. She was grooving to the beats other kids were creating and enjoyed beating on the drums and stroking the guitar herself. Right before we left (mom strategy) we went into the Water Works exhibit. My kids could play in the water all day. They explored water pressure, redirection of flow, and my youngest loved the rhythmic fountain. I always save the water areas for last so we don’t have to walk around the exhibit wet and, just in case, we had a change of clothes in the car.
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Boulevard
Glenview, IL 60026
Interested in more indoor activities for kids, check here for more ideas!
Another Review of Kohl Children’s Museum
We have visited Kohl Children’s Museum numerous times and always love it there. In 2014, Louisa wrote a museum overview from the perspective of a mom with a toddler. Read her full account below.
Even though we spend the majority of our time west of the city, on occasion we venture beyond our side of Chicagoland for something really great. And Kohl Children’s Museum in the northern suburb of Glenview has been on our toddler-to-do list for awhile.
Our two-year-old started her adventure in the Whole Foods Market exhibit, which opened in October, and is basically the world’s best child-sized grocery store (OK, I don’t know if it’s literally the best in the world, but it’s the best one I’ve ever seen). Emme loved pushing her cart, picking out fruits and veggies, and going through the checkout line like mommy and daddy.
From Whole Foods Market, we moved on to the Baby Nursery, where Emme played pediatrician. She rocked her baby, weighed him, and checked his vitals. Between the Whole Foods Market and nursery exhibits, our daughter could have easily played for an hour or more, but in the interest of journalism, we pressed on.
Next, we headed to Water Works, a fun, interactive water exhibit (and what toddler doesn’t love a fun, interactive water exhibit), and finally, we checked out the Ravinia Festival Music Makers exhibit. The music exhibit was a hit—Emme banged on a drum, plucked a bass string, and danced in the video room where she could see her movements make patterns on a screen.
As we made our way through Kohl Children’s Museum, I noticed that if you have a baby, there are plenty of accommodations to make your visit enjoyable. First, there are several spots where moms can comfortably nurse a baby. In addition (and I found particularly exciting), several exhibits have a baby area, where your little one can do some tummy time, coo at herself in a mirror, and play with age-appropriate toys without being in the way of the bigger kids, making this museum a great option for parents of two (or more).
We ended our visit in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Art Studio, where we heard a special reading of the book Brush Strokes for Little Folks, a book by Jeff and Lindsey Whitehead, which honors the life of their son, Charlie Whitehead. Charlie lived with Cerebral Palsy, and the book features his artwork. From now until December 30, you can see a series of Charlie’s original paintings at the museum.
What I love most about children’s museums is watching my daughter become engrossed in an exhibit and seeing her face light up when she learns something new. And Kohl Children’s Museum doesn’t disappoint. Yet, what I really appreciated about this museum is that it is manageable—there aren’t multiple floors or exhibits jam-packed into every available inch of space. Its spaciousness also makes it very stroller friendly, but if you want to ditch your stroller, there’s plenty of parking (and room for your other belongings) in the coat room at the entrance of the museum.
Kohl Children’s Museum is located at 2100 Patriot Boulevard in Glenview. General admission for adults and children over 12 months is $11; children under 12 months are free. Check out their website for more information about events, hours, membership, and lunch and snack options at the museum’s Cosi Cafe.
Interested in learning more about other local children’s museums? Check out our guide to Chicagoland Children’s Museums with exhibit information and age recommendations.
Head to the next page to read about past exhibits at Kohl Children’s Museum to get a feel for what type of experiences they provide. Please note that these exhibits are no longer at the museum.