Chicago Children's Museum

Museum in Near North & Navy Pier

Designed to challenge the imaginations of toddlers to 10-year-olds, this colorful museum near Navy Pier's main entrance gives young visitors enough hands-on exhibits to keep them climbing and creating for hours. Among the favorites, Dinosaur Expedition explores the world of paleontology and lets kids excavate ‘bones.’ They can also climb a ropey schooner; bowl in a faux alley; get wet in the waterways (and learn about hydroelectric power); and use real tools to build things in the Tinkering Lab.

The museum is free for all ages on Thursday (5pm to 8pm); it's free for kids aged 15 and under on the first Sunday of the month. Get the trolley from Grand.