art museums

Initially I thought that little kids wouldn’t be interested in going to art museums, but because I love art so much I decided to take both of my kids and see how it goes. They loved it! I wouldn’t underestimate the enjoyment babies and toddlers can glean from looking at colorful, intriguing paintings. We also stumbled across a childrens area of the Art Institute of Chicago (which they call the Family Room), how wonderful! My son created a book that he gave to my mom because she couldn’t go with us that day. I also had been reading “Mini Masters” board books to the kids which were perfect because he actually recognized the paintings and got so excited to see the huge originals. If you check the museum’s website a couple days before you go they often have ideas on what to do to get your kids excited about art so when they are there it holds their attention even longer.

The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
general number: (312) 443-3600
family programs:  (312) 857-7161
Monday–Wednesday, 10:30–5:00
Thursday–Friday, 10:30–8:00
Saturday–Sunday, 10:30–5:00
$18.00 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, free for children under 14
*It’s free weekdays now until Feb. 4! but there always seem to be free days, so look it up before you plan to go!

Mini Masters
set of 4 board books
currently $13.59 on

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Monday, closed
Tuesday, 10am-8pm
Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm
$12 for general admission, $7 for students and seniors, free for children under 12
*Tuesdays are always free all year

Smart Museum of Art
The University of Chicago
5550 South Greenwood Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 702-0200
Monday Galleries closed
Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Sunday, 10am–5pm
Thursday, 10am–8pm
always free

Elmhurst Art Museum
150 Cottage Hill Avenue
Elmhurst, Illinois
(630) 834-0202
Monday, closed
Tuesday-Thursday, 10am-5pm
Friday, 10am-8pm
Saturday, 10am-5pm
Sunday, closed
$7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, free for children under 12
*Fridays are free all year

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