When you arrive at the Kohl Children’s Museum, you will stand befuddled. With 17 exhibits to pick from, you don’t know where to take the kids first. Do you foster their creative side at “Adventures in Art”? Instill sustainable energy lessons at “Powered by Nature”? Watch them adorably navigate the kid-sized mechanics’ shop? Or — oh, wait. The kids have decided for you, dashing over to the Potbelly Sandwich Works. In seconds, they’ve started assembling plastic sandwiches and punching at the mini cash register. You hover nearby, but are clearly forgotten. In a world built just for them, the kids roam free — and you couldn’t be happier.
That’s the beauty of this fantastic children’s museum: It’s a paradise for kids, where they can play as they please, and learn something along the way. Still, you can offer helpful suggestions, like when you point out the Pet Vet station, where your little ones can care for plush pups and nod sagely at “X-rays” of their furry charges. Or give your child a job in Dominick’s Supermarket, where they can bake bread in the bakery, work in the stock room, or call the next customer at the deli. You can even load up your cart and let them check you out with a beeping scanner.
But the Kohl Children’s Museum newest exhibit, Science and You, is a clear favorite. There’s a kid-friendly lab, with little tables and equipment, perfectly engineered to a kid’s perspective. Your kiddos eagerly scrub up and step into a make-believe “blue light shower” to make sure they’re super-clean before putting on a real white lab coat (resulting in a precious photo op). You’re all fascinated when they step on a gel-like mat to clean their shoes, just like real lab scientists — it changes colors and demonstrates how dirt particles are removed. Hopefully, it also makes them think twice before walking into the house without wiping their feet. Wearing thick lab gloves, your kids can wield funnels and beakers, and they experiment with solid and liquid elements.
On your way out the door, you stay a while longer at the Habitat Park outside. Your family looks for birds and bugs, and the little ones clamber all over the park’s playground structures. As for you, you’re just happy to find a seat and let them play on for a little while longer.