If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you’d know that my family loves to visit children’s museums. We’ve been to quite a few and always seek one out when we’re on vacation. In Illinois alone, we’ve been to the one in Oak Lawn, Rockford, Naperville, and Glenview. We hope to hit them all in the coming years too!
On our last trip to the Champaign-Urbana area, my entire family visited the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum and we had a good time. We dropped by on a Sunday afternoon about 10 minutes before the museum officially opened at noon. A birthday party was just wrapping up while we waited for opening time. It’s obvious that the museum used to be a theater and we loved the architecture and some of the original details inside. The museum isn’t very large, but it is situated on 2 levels with various exhibits that incorporate a fun way to learn about science.
My son had a great time at some of the exhibits at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum. Some of his favorites were the train table (of course…it was so hard to pry him away from the train table), the water table (again, a favorite among many kids – but this table was different in that it had different sized plastic pieces that you could configure to control water flow), and a sand table with purple sand!
My teenage daughter and I really enjoyed the Momentum Machine on the lower level. A small spinning circle teaches angular momentum - just like you see the figure skaters do on the ice. You kick off with one leg, hold your leg out to the side, then slowly bring your leg back to your other leg. You’ll start spinning faster and faster! We were so dizzy but kept trying it out over and over again!
During the summer months, the outdoor courtyard features a dinosaur dig area where kids can excavate dinosaur bones from the large sand pit. There were many opportunities at the museum to teach your kids a science lesson. My son, while only a toddler, had lots of “Why?” questions for us about different exhibits – thank goodness my husband was there to answer many of his science-related questions.
The museum was a tad bit on the small side, and we couldn’t get some of the exhibits on the second level to work – due to missing pieces and such. That didn’t deter us from trying everything though!
The Orpheum Children’s Science Museum is a great way to spend a few hours. Children will benefit from the many science lessons found throughout the museum – and they’ll have tons of fun doing it! Admission is only $5 per person (as of January 2015, please check website for details), so it’s an inexpensive educational outing for the kids!
Connect with the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum
Disclosure: My family received complimentary admission in order to facilitate this review and I was not required to state a particular point of view. All opinions are 100% my own.