19 Immersive Experiences and New Exhibits in 2024

Indoor Places to Go

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.

Umbrella Sky in Elmhurst

April 27 – October 1, 2024

Schiller Court at Schiller and York Streets
Over 300 brightly colored umbrellas with another round of umbrellas in a new color palette replacing the first set in early July. They will remain in this location through Rock the Block Party in mid-September.

Cultural Campus at 110 South Cottage Hill
Multi-colored ribbons will be hanging near the art museum, library, and Wilder Park. Visit this one when the wind is moving the ribbons for the full effect. Again, the colors will be switched out mid-July and will remain in place through September.

North York Stage at 254 North York Street
Waves of fabric will be hanging at this location and a second color round will be installed mid-July and remain through September.

Flyover Chicago

Opened on March 1, 2024

Flyover, an immersive attraction at Navy Pier, incorporates drone technology and aerial shots to showcase the city. From climbing skyscrapers 13,000 ft. high to diving straight down buildings, skimming sidewalks, swooping into iconic landmarks like the Chicago Theatre, to floating though fireworks and more, this experience will be the first of its kind to hit Chicago.   

Annie and her family experienced this immersive ride and have all kind of Flyover Chicago tips and inside information to share with you!

Area 51 Encounter

Open June 7, 2024 through August 4, 2024

Photo Courtesy of Area 51 Encounter

Located in the John Hancock building, Area 51 Encounter is an out-of-this-world, interactive experience for visitors of all ages. Explore alien artifacts, a simulation of alien abductions, and an Area 51 replica. More details, including how to purchase tickets, can be found on their website.

Bluey x Camp in Chicago

Photo courtesy of CAMP

Opening May 24, 2024

Witness Bluey, Bingo, Bandit and Chilli’s world come to life! Pretend to make pavlova in the Heeler’s kitchen, play Keepy Uppy in their backyard, and watch a Bluey video created just for this immersive experience. Bluey merchandise will be on sale, too.

Tickets are already on sale for this adventure for Bluey fans.

Wonderverse Chicago in Oakbrook Center

Opened January 11, 2024

Wonderverse will allow guests to enter imaginative worlds from popular films, television series, and video games such as Uncharted, Ghostbusters, Jumanji, Bad Boys, Zombieland, and more. The 45,000 square-foot transformative space will host a hybrid of physical and immersive multi-media experiences, interactive installations, dynamic attractions, and themed dining experiences.

Check out Annie’s review of Wonderverse Chicago in Oakbrook Center.

Sloomoo Institute in Chicago

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 put together a Sloomoo Institute review to prepare you for your visit.

Color Factory in Chicago

Opened June 17, 2022

Traipse through installations by local artists, 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 colored balls, and more at Color Factory Chicago, which spans over 25,000 square feet in Lower Level 2 of Willis Tower.

Read Rachel’s review of Color Factory Chicago.

Museum of Ice Cream in Chicago

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!

Read Rachel’s review of the Museum of Ice Cream in Chicago.

Jurassic Gardens at Volo Auto Museum in Volo

Come face to face with your favorite dinosaurs at Jurassic Gardens in the Volo Auto Museum. Read our guide to Volo Auto Museum to get all the details about what you’ll see, how to get food, and tips for extending your visit to the far north suburbs.

Peppa Pig World of Play in Schaumburg

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.

Check out my review of Peppa Pig World of Play and see photos of what you can expect.

WNDR Museum in Chicago

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 Rita’s review of WNDR Museum Chicago for an inside look.

New Exhibits in Chicago and the Suburbs

Kohl Children’s Museum: Van Gogh for All

May 19 through September 8, 2024

Just in time for summer, Kohl Children’s Museum welcomes Van Gogh for All, which brings to life the art of Vincent Van Gogh. These hands-on experiences will immerse families in Starry Night, The Bedroom, The Yellow House, and more works of art. More details can be found on the Kohl Children’s Museum’s website.

Elmhurst History Museum: Victory at Home: 1941-1945

March 1 – August 18, 2024

Elmhurst History Museum’s newest exhibit will look at the Home Front had on the United States’ successes in World War II. Victory at Home: 1941-1945 is filled with artifacts and photographs from Elmhurst and other areas throughout the Chicagoland. While this exhibit is on display, the museum will also be partnering with Operation Support Our Troops to collect supplies on behalf of members of the military. To find out more about visiting the Elmhurst History Museum (it’s free!), check their website for details.

Griffin Museum of Science and Industry: 007 Science:Inventing the World of James Bond

Opened March 7, 2024

Photo courtesy of the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry

Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit goes behind the scenes of one of the world’s most famous secret agents: James Bond. Explore the science behind his spy gadgets and immersive yourself in Q’s lab. This special exhibit requires additional timed-entry tickets. Learn more about what you’ll see, and purchase tickets online, all through the Museum of Science and Industry’s website.

Chicago Children’s Museum: Circusville

Open January 25 through September 7, 2024

Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum as they welcome back Circusville, an interactive take on the dynamics of circus life. Practice being a performer as you walk the tightrope, or get a behind-the-scenes look at the staffing needs required for hosting these incredible events. This special exhibit will be open Monday through Thursday 10:00am – 2:00pm, and Friday through Sunday, 10:00am – 5:00pm, and is included in general admission pricing.

DuPage Children’s Museum: The Questioneers: Read. Question. Think. PLAY!

Opened February 1, 2024

DuPage Children’s Museum welcomed back a fan favorite exhibit, The Questioneers: Read. Question. Think. PLAY!. Visit the second floor of the museum to see what they’ve done to update this exhibit based on the books of local author, Andrea Beaty.

Field Museum: Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches

Photo courtesy of the Field Museum

Open October 27, 2023 through September 2, 2024

Learn about bloodfeeding species found throughout the world at the Field Museum’s newest exhibit. You’ll see both 3D models and live specimens of horse flies, mosquitoes, leeches, ticks and so much at this immersive experience. To learn more about over 30,000 bloodfeeding species, and their cultural and scientific impact, visit the Field Museum’s website.

Adler Planetarium: Chasing Eclipses

Photo courtesy of the Adler Planetarium.

Open through Summer 2024

Explore this one-of-a-kind exhibit filled with Adler Planetarium’s artifacts and activities as the Chicago area prepares for two solar eclipses in the coming months, happening on October 14, 2023 and April 8, 2024. More details about this exhibit can be found on Adler Planetarium’s website.

Morton Arboretum: Of the Earth

Open 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.

Field Museum: Chicago’s Legacy Hula

Open May 26, 2023 through March 9, 2025

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; exhibit extended through late 2024

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.

Field Museum: Native Truths: Our Voices, Our Stories

Photo courtesy of the Field Museum

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.

Looking for more ways to have fun with your family this fall? Check out our Indoor Activities Guide.

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