New exhibits and immersive experiences are popping up all over the Chicagoland area. As if we need more reasons to love our trips to spots like the Field Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry, they’re constantly adding exciting exhibits to explore. In addition, new immersive experiences often operate as pop-up museums and are filled with opportunities to dive (sometimes literally!) into slime, sprinkles, and all of your favorite things.
Some experiences have seen great success and extend past their intended deadline, while others wrap up right on schedule. The Kidlist team keeps this list updated as we receive details and attend previews, so bookmark this link and check back, too.
Immersive Experiences in Chicago
Immersive Van Gogh Chicago + Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius
September 8 through November 16, 2023
What’s better than seeing Immersive Van Gogh Chicago or Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius? Getting to see them both for one ticket price. Experience the works of Vincent Van Gogh and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart like you’ve never before. These captivating shows are filled with moving art and music. Make sure to read our tips for Bringing Kids to Immersive Van Gogh Chicago before purchasing your tickets online.
From April 29, 2023 through September 15, 2023
There are three locations for these umbrella sky installations in Elmhurst:
- Schiller Court at Schiller and York Streets
- Cultural Campus at 110 South Cottage Hill
- North York Stage at 254 North York Street
Schiller Court is complete and the next two will be popping up in May. All three will remain through August.
This one is a nice photo op paired and is best paired with eating at a local restaurant and/or playing at a nearby playground, such as Wilder Park or the new Centennial Park.
Opened November 19, 2022
Get ready mess-makers, this one’s for you! Sloomoo Institute, located in River North, features spaces designed by contemporary artists where artisanal slime comes to life with various scents, sounds, and immersive experiences. A visit to this one-of-a-kind sensory experience is perfect for your slime and ASMR enthusiasts. Rita’s family recently visited, and she put together a Sloomoo Institute review to prepare you for your visit.
Opened June 17, 2022
Traipse through installations by local artists, pluck candy-colored macarons from a rotating conveyor belt, toss handfuls of Chicago-flag-colored confetti through the air, slide (or jump or swim) through a giant, monochromatic ball pit filled with 200,000+ serenely mint-green balls, and more at Color Factory Chicago, which spans over 25,000 square feet in Lower Level 2 of Willis Tower. Click here to read Rachel’s review.
Museum of Ice Cream
Opened July 16, 2022
Jump in a pool of sprinkles or experience one of thirteen other exhibits at the Museum of Ice Cream. Hop on the pink Sprink-L line, you won’t leave with an empty stomach! Grab your tickets now for this one-of-a-kind pop-up museum. Click here to read Rachel’s review and get a sneak peek.
Jurassic Gardens at Volo Auto Museum
Come face to face with your favorite dinosaurs at Jurassic Gardens in the Volo Auto Museum. Click here to get all the details about what you’ll see, how to get food, or even tips for extending your visit to the far north suburbs.
Peppa Pig World of Play
Peppa Pig World of Play transports you into the life of Peppa Pig and all her friends! Ride the bus with Miss Rabbit, sort packages on Mr. Zebra’s Post Van, or watch TV on Peppa’s couch. Click here to get an insider’s view and see photos of what you can expect.
WNDR Museum Chicago is full of interactive and thought-provoking art exhibits. There are over twenty installations ranging from flip sequins to robotic painters all leading up to the Infinity Mirror Room by iconic Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Check out our review for an inside look.
New Exhibits in Chicago and the Suburbs
Elmhurst Art Museum: Picasso: Fifty Years Later
Open September 9, 2023 until January 7, 2024
Marking the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, Elmhurst Art Museum is one of countless museums throughout the world celebrating the life and work of Pablo Picasso in 2023. Explore his work, as well as the work of many contemporary figurative artists. Special events, workshops, and activities will take place coinciding with this special exhibit.
Morton Arboretum: Of the Earth
Opened May 26, 2023 through spring 2025
Of the Earth, by Polish-American artist Olga Ziemska, features five pieces of art created from naturally downed trees. We’ve gathered more details about it, and other exhibits at the Morton Arboretum.
DuPage Children’s Museum: Math Connections
Opened January 21, 2023 with no end date announced
Create with unit blocks, build with LEGOs, and design on the magnetic Pattern Block Wall in DuPage Children’s Museum’s newest exhibit. Sorting, estimating, and exploring patterns in Math Connections will have your child appreciating math everywhere in the world around them.
Field Museum: Chicago’s Legacy Hula
Opens May 26, 2023
The Field Museum’s newest exhibit, Chicago’s Legacy Hula, celebrates four Kumu Hula, which are master teachers of Hula, and their influence on Hawaiian cultures and communities in the Chicago area. Look through artifacts and photographs as you explore cultural impacts from past generations. More information about this exhibit is shared on the Field Museum’s website.
Museum of Science and Industry: Mold-A-Rama
Opened on November 3, 2022 through late 2023
The exhibit showcases a collection of popular, rare and experimental Mold-A-Rama souvenirs from the past with their quirky colors, designs and—of course—signature smell to showcase this exciting innovation to a new generation. It’s dedicated to telling the story of the beloved retro machines.
Museum of Science and Industry: Pompeii: The Exhibition
February 23 – January 15, 2024
The Museum of Science and Industry brings you back to this ancient Roman city like never before. Their newest exhibit contains over 150 pieces of weaponry, jewelry, and artistic artifacts. Immersive components of this exhibit include a battle of gladiators and an erupting Mount Vesuvius. Click here to read our review.
Field Museum: Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories
Opened May 20, 2022
Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories opened on May 20, 2022. This space, which is a major renovation of the Native North American Hall, features art, stories, poetry, photography and historical objects from Native American communities. Rachel visited this exhibit on a recent trip and loved seeing artworks, poetry, and even a video game made by Native artists that all speak to their experiences. Hands-on elements include the ability to try your hand at basket-making techniques.
Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop
June 3, 2023 through September 10, 2023
Andy Warhol Portfolios: A Life in Pop will be at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art in Glen Ellyn next summer, but now’s the time to get your tickets! Educational and interactive elements will include a biographical exhibition highlighting key points in Warhol’s life and career, video installation, a Children’s Print Factory area, Studio 54 and Silver Cloud Room experiences and Central Park-inspired outdoor space. Read all about what you’ll see at our visitor’s guide.
Past Immersive Experiences and Special Exhibits in Chicago
Mozart Immersive: The Soul of a Genius
Open through September 4, 2023
Experience Mozart’s works like never before. Arranged by Composter Luca Longobardi, and performed by Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra, these pieces are accompanied by brilliant pieces of artwork brought to life by the creative space in Lighthouse ArtSpace Chicago. Purchase tickets on their website when they go on sale January 27, Mozart’s 267th birthday.
Harry Potter: Magic at Play
extended through September 4, 2023
Wizard and witches, step into the world of Hogwarts at Harry Potter: Magic at Play. This hands-on exhibit spans over 30,000 square feet of potions, Quidditch, magic wands and more. Put your wizardry skills to the test at this one-of-a-kind experience. Tickets start at $37.50 for adults and $29.50 for children 9 and under. Click here for tickets. Be prepared with more details by reading my review of our recent visit.
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art: Inspiration Fabergé: Gemstone Carving
March 10 – June 18, 2023
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is featuring a new exhibit filled with carvings from Germany and Russia. These pieces include flowers, animals, figures and much more. This special exhibit is already on display in the museum, and included in general admission. Find more details on their website.
Pixar Putt Chicago
April 22 – July 23, 2023
Take a swing with Woody, Mr. Incredible, Nemo, and more at the newest putt-putt spot in Chicago. This course, which is found at Navy Pier, is filled with photo opportunities with all your favorite Pixar characters. Prices are per adult or child, but family four-packs are also offered. Click here to get the inside scoop from Annie’s experience on opening day.
May 4 – June 4, 2023
This free interactive exhibit at Oakbrook Center was created by Mexican designers, Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, and features eight different colorful spinning tops that invite visitors to play and engage with the art. Los Trompos, which means “spinning tops” in Spanish, is a traveling exhibit that has been displayed around the world, including Mexico, France, and New York. It’s located on the lawn between Crate & Barrel and Victoria’s Secret.
Disney and Pixar’s Elemental Experience
Open May 26 – 28, 2023. Friday and Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm; Sunday 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Disney and Pixar’s Elemental Experience, located on the first floor at the Yorktown Mall in Lombard, invites all ages into a free interactive exhibit that ties in characters and settings from the upcoming movie.
The four elements featured in the film each have an area with a related activity: make “hot coal truffles” to take home in the fire area, walk through shimmering ropes and put yourself into a movie in the water region, test your luck at grabbing movie tickets in a wind tunnel in the air section, and pick up a container of apple seeds to take home in the earth area.
Be sure to grab a picture on the park bench with the large Ember and Wade characters, and learn how to draw movie characters while watching tutorials from Pixar artists! This exhibit is free and only here for this weekend.
North Riverside Park Mall: Cartoneria
Runs until May 7, 2023
The Alebrijes: Mexican Folk Art Creatures you knew and loved at Cantigny Park in Wheaton have been moved to North Riverside Park Mall. They’re also hosting special events on select Saturday mornings as the artists restore their original sculptures. More details can be found on their website.
Morton Arboretum: Human+Nature
Open through February 2023
Last spring, Morton Arboretum welcomed Human+Nature, featuring incredible works of art by Daniel Popper. Throughout the grounds, you can find five breath-taking sculptures made of glass-reinforced concrete, wood, fiberglass and steel. Before you go, make sure to read all the details about Annie’s visit this past summer. In December, Morton Arboretum announced their new exhibit, Of the Earth, coming late May 2023.
Field Museum: Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep
Opened February 25, 2022
Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep is an underwater journey to encounter some of the fascinating, fierce, and strange creatures that dominated Earth’s Jurassic seas while dinosaurs ruled the land. The exhibit features over 100 fossils and models ranging from giant marine reptiles that looked like real-life versions of the Loch Ness Monster to small, strange starfish cousins called sea lilies. Visitors will come face-to-face with marine predators and other friendly marine life of the Jurassic seas through real fossils and CGI projections.
Museum of Science and Industry: The Art of the Brick
Ran until January 16, 2023
The Art of the Brick is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art featuring more than 100 works. The exhibit features original pieces as well as re-imagined versions of some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces made exclusively from LEGO bricks like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”
Guests can get up-close and in-person with the fan favorite, Yellow, a life-size sculpture of a man ripping his chest open with thousands of yellow LEGO bricks cascading from the cavity. In addition, guests can walk under a 20-foot-long T-Rex dinosaur skeleton made out of bricks and come face-to-face with its giant LEGO skull.
Field Museum: Wild Color
Wild Color ran until Jan 8, 2023
Wild Color brings visitors through to a whole new side of nature where you can explore the beauty of colors found everywhere. This special exhibit adds even more excitement to an exciting day at the Field Museum. You can find more details in my review.
Immersive King Tut
October 14, 2022 through December 10, 2022
The newest immersive experience coming to Chicago takes you back to Ancient Egypt and into the life of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, more commonly known as King Tut. Explore tombs like never before, as King Tut’s world is brought to life through animations. Tickets start at $29.99, and are available to purchase on their website for individual or large group visits.
The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
November 19, 2022 through December 31, 2022
Experience this holiday classic like never before. Twirl along side the sugar plum fairies as you watch the start of the Nutcracker brought to life on the screens of this immersive space. Guests can purchase tickets for the performances, but can also take part in a separate Holiday Masterpiece class, where kids can take home their own artwork inspired by the show. Find more details for these experiences on their website.
Dr. Seuss Experience Chicago
October, 2021 through January 2, 2022.
Oh the places you’ll go at the Dr. Seuss Experience, located at Water Tower Place in Chicago. Your children will love to see some of your favorite children’s books come to life. Nicole’s review of the Dr. Seuss Experience includes information about the exhibit, as well as some great “Know Before You Go” tips!
The Office Experience Chicago
October, 2021 through January 17, 2022.
This immersive experience is for all you Michael Scott fans. Filled with interactive displays and great photo ops, this is a must-see for anyone who loves The Office. Before you go, check out our insider guide.
Immersive Van Gogh Chicago
February, 2021 through February 6, 2022.
Experience the works of Vincent Van Gogh like you’ve never before. This captivating show is filled with moving art and music. Make sure to read our tips for Bringing Kids to Immersive Van Gogh Chicago.
December 3, 2021 through January 2, 2022
Magic Immersive features two floors and 360 degrees of magic performances, illusions and interactive displays. The Illusionarium at Magic Immersive offers guests everything from up-close parlor magic to escape performances to jaw-dropping, large-scale illusions. Click here for our first-hand review.
August 14 through December 31, 2021
Explore 15 immersive and interactive installations designed to let you feel like a kid again at HideSeek. If you’re into Instagrammable spaces, this one is for you,
FRIDA: Immersive Dream
February 24 through May 28, 2022
Lighthouse Immersive and Maestro Immersive Art, the creators of Immersive Van Gogh, are bringing Immersive Dream to Chicago. The exhibition features some of the artist’s best-known works “brought to life” by the world-renowned master of digital art, Italy’s Massimiliano Siccardi, again accompanied by composer Luca Longobardi’s resonant score. Vittorio Guidotti is the Art Director.
Immersive Monet & the Impressionists
Open June 17, 2022 through September 24, 2022
Lighthouse Immersive and Maestro Immersive Art welcome the work of the Impressionist Movement with their newest exhibit in Chicago. Marvel at the works of Monet, Renoir, Degas and more. Click here for an inside look at Immersive Money.
Princess Diana Exhibition: Accredited Access
December 7, 2021
Walk through the halls to see beautiful photographs and stories behind each time in Diana’s life as well as the lives of the royal family. All ages are welcome in the exhibit, but we would recommend this one for those interested in the Royal Family. Click here for our review.
Tour an Amazon Fulfillment Center
The Amazon Fulfillment Center in Monee used to offer tours, however they have since stopped. The only Amazon facilities that now offer tours are in Shakopee, MN, Robbinsville, NJ, and Tracy, CA. Click here to get an inside look at the Monee facility and find out how to book a tour at a location that is currently offering them.
Looking for more ways to have fun with your family this fall? Check out our Indoor Activities Guide.