Kids: Things to Do in the Museum

Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is reduced availability of hands-on spaces, activities, and programming at the museum. Please check our Visit page for the latest information about what is available.

Draper Spark!Lab

Spark!Lab is where museum visitors become inventors. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation invites children between the ages of 6 and 12 to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent. Activities for children and families incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, museum, and creativity. See opening times and additional information »

Wegmans Wonderplace

Wegmans Wonderplace welcomes curious kids ages 0–6 and their grownups to exercise their imaginations, wiggle their bodies, and explore with their hands. Wonderplace is built around the enduring wonders of childhood, the things kids are naturally curious about—blocks, animals, sounds--and branches out to make connections to the museum’s diverse collections and exhibitions. See opening times and additional information »

Interactive Carts

Get your hands on history! Look for carts throughout the museum to try your hand at a variety of historical activities and learn more about our collections. Peek through a stereoscope or use a press to print a card. Carts are available most days—check in at the information desks when you arrive for that day’s schedule. See our daily calendar »

Historic Theater

Step right into history with interactive programs featuring historical characters. Offered seasonally. Check our theater calendar »



Spotlight Tours

Docents stationed in selected exhibitions lead 15-minute overview tours and circulate through the galleries to answer questions and discuss the exhibition. Check in at the information desk when you arrive for locations. See our daily calendar »



The museum has many exhibitions with features designed to appeal to kids. Favorites include our transportation exhibition America on the Move where you can ride a Chicago “L” train car from the 1950s; stepping into a president's shoes by reading a famous speech in The American Presidency; seeing beautiful ball gowns in The First Ladies; or interacting with historic objects in Object ProjectSee all exhibitions on view »

Audio Tours

The museum offers a family tour, designed for kids 6-12 and their adults to take together, featuring the theme “People who make a difference” and a preschool tour of the first floor, designed for multi-generational groups to take together, which includes a fun interactive element at each stop. See more about the audio tours »