We were invited to visit WNDR Museum and were quickly immersed in the creative spaces. Once you arrive you are able to interact with different exhibits with multiple opportunities for the perfect Instagram-able photo. 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.
We were greeted with many different exhibitors to create Instagram-worthy shots. Disrupting the traditional museum experience, WNDR’s exhibits were interactive, multi-sensory and immersive. We spent just about 90 minutes walking through the various exhibits.
We were excited to participate in debut of the yellow Dots Obsession, a three-story immersive infinity installation by the globally iconic Yayoi Kusama. Dots Obsession was created by Yayoi Kusama in 2008 and has been exhibited around the world. After making its debut in London, it has made its way to Lithuania, Singapore and Australia, and Indonesia in 2018. This is the first time that yellow Dots Obsession is in the United States and opened May 12, 2023 in Chicago’s WNDR Museum.
What I loved about this exhibit and the journey of Yayoi Kusama’s work was that it touched on an important and huge issue today – Mental Health. Dots Obsession portrays the hallucinations which channeled Yayoi Kusama’s artistic work to include intiricate colors, repetitive motifs and intricate patterns.
The beauty of her art via the dots shined through. A quote by the artist resonated while looking at her art, “Since my childhood, I have always made works with polka dots. Earth, moon, sun and human beings all represent dots; a single particle among billions,” Kusama said. There was something about reading her biography and journey and walking into the space that brought so much more gratitude and love for seeing her work.
There are over twenty installations ranging from flip sequins, an optical illusion room that changed the size of people in it to a notepad wall that the kids enjoyed leaving their mark on. Our favorite is the floor lights where the kids danced around and watched the lights swirl and move with them.
The main highlight is walking into the area with the Yellow dots. The kids were excited to see the huge yellow dotted balls splashed up around the room and was excited to walk into the ball to see the infinity mirror room.
5 Tips for Bringing Kids to WNDR Museum
Art becomes better when you can be a part of it so with that being said, we recommend the WNDR Museum for kids aged 5 and above, tweens, teens, and adults. Younger children are welcome but if you plan on bringing children, here’s a couple things to know before you go:
- WNDR is a high sensory experience that may contain flashing lights, sounds and other high sensory elements.
- You can only walk in one direction from one exhibit to the next. Since you cannot walk backwards and need to follow the arrows, so take your time at each exhibit before moving on.
- The restrooms are located at the beginning and closer to the end of the experience. The bathrooms are fun! There’s a “Do not touch” Red button in the bathrooms that the kids loved. Hitting it treated the kids to a dark disco session with great music. Also the “coin” wall provides more instagram-worthy shots.
- There aren’t any benches or stopping points, so once you start you will be on your feet for the entirety of your visit.
- All of the exhibits can be touched and explored, except Dots Obsession.
Location and Parking
WNDR is located in Chicago’s West Loop at 1130 W. Monroe St. While the website states that parking is very limited, there are many options in public parking lots through Spothero. WNDR also reommends suggest public transportation or ride shares. We found a parking spot for under $15 that was just a min walk away from the location through Spothero.
Tickets must be purchased online before your visit and you will be given a reservation time. Your scheduled time ensures that you have a pleasant experience. Tickets are non-refundable, however, you can reschedule your visit if the need arises.
General Admission starts at $32 for adults and $22 for children 3-12 years old. There is a VIP experience that goes for $50 that gives you Expedited Entry, a Limited Edition Collector Pin, WNDR Photo Memory, 10% off Retail & WNDR Re-Run. You can also purchase a collector pack for $15 that includes WNDR Swag.
P.s: In case you were wondering, WNDR museum is pronounced Wonder Museum.