Sometimes we forget how long winter can be in Lake County. And with kids, cabin fever is sure to set in. We know that there are lots of great indoor play places to take them to burn off their energy. But did you know that Lake County has a wide range of kid-friendly museums within our borders? Not only can your kids actually learn something, but as parents, we can expand our brains a little as well.
The Button Room
4072 Old Grand Ave., Gurnee | (224) 399-9870
The only button museum and gathering place in Illinois.
Great Lakes Naval Museum
610 Farragut Avenue, Great Lakes | (847) 688-3154
You don’t have to be military to access it (MiaLynn gives you details here). This museum features monthly free kid’s activities, and has lots of boats, planes, and interesting historical exhibits.
Volo Auto Museum
27582 Volo Village Rd., Volo | (815) 385-3644
Mom Tip: The military exhibit with its realistic effects may be overwhelming for kids. However, there is still plenty to do, and there is a playground, too. Children with sensory issues should be aware that the rooms can be loud with different movies playing in different areas.
Pickard China Museum
782 Pickard Ave., Antioch | (847) 395-3800
Mom Tip: Pair this museum visit with the Lakes Area Historical Society Museum, as the china museum is very small.
Nature Museums in Lake County
Heller Nature Center
2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park | (847) 433-6901
Lots of great children’s programming can be found here.
Prairie Grass Nature Museum
814 Hart Rd., Round Lake | (847) 546-8558
Mom Tip: This museum is located in the aquatics center building, not the larger parks building next door.
Volo Bog Nature Center
28478 W. Brandenburg Rd. Ingleside | (815) 344-1294
I did not expect to find a wonderful, hands-on nature center when my family made an impromptu visit to the bog. The center is a renovated barn with two stories, housing lots of interactive exhibits for both adults and children.
Wildlife Discovery Center
1401 Middlefork Drive, Lake Forest | (847) 810-3663
Get up close and personal with snakes, crocs, lizards and other animals–both indoors and outdoors. Free admission during normal visiting hours on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p..m. There is a park located next door to the center. This is a favorite of Loralie’s; read her review here.
Children’s Museums in Lake County
Bonner Heritage Farm
19412 Sand Lake Road, Lindenhurst
This is an outdoor experience only, but there is a great playground. Check it out on a warmer-weather day or during the summer. They house many great events such as “touch a tractor.”