Venue: Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
Location: 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, Illinois 60077.
Hours: Mon–Wed, Fri: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am – 8pm; Weekends: 11am – 4pm
Adult Admission*: $12.00
Seniors (65+): $8.00
Students (12-22): $8.00
Children (5-11): $6.00
Parking: Free – plentiful
Our Experience: I visited the Illinois Holocaust Museum with my 14-year-old daughter. I’ll start by saying that it has been a bit difficult to get my teenager to spend a little time with me. Of course, at her age she would much rather hang out with her friends. Miraculously, she agreed to accompany me to the museum – and we are both glad that she did.
The Illinois Holocaust Museum was an experience neither one of us will forget. When she was younger (probably 9-years-old) we visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. At the time, I believe she was too young to fully appreciate what the museum had to offer and wasn’t really interested in the stories or exhibits. Fast-forward 5 years later and she was completely engrossed in the survivor’s recounts of their experiences. She read every plaque, studied every picture, and viewed every film. She was moved, and I was extremely proud of her. It helped that she had recently studied WWII in school and had the educational foundation of the atrocities of the Holocaust. However, this level of interest, coming from a fashion and beauty-obsessed teenager, was truly remarkable.
The museum itself was beautifully done. The permanent exhibit is setup chronologically beginning with Jewish life prior to the war and ending with local (Chicago area) survivor’s stories and a poignant film prompting viewers to take a stand against genocide. While I was genuinely interested in each and every story, artifact and photo shown throughout the exhibit, one image in particular affected me in a way I won’t soon forget. As we rounded one corner I looked up and saw an image of a mother standing in a field tightly holding a young child. Standing a few feet behind her was a German soldier yielding an rifle aimed directly at her head. The woman, and her child, were seconds away from being executed in front of a mass grave. I can hardly describe the emotions I felt in that moment. The thought of being in that position with my own son was almost too much to bear. The poignancy of that image, and many others like it, make a visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum a necessity if you are in the Chicago area.
Overall: My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed our day at the Illinois Holocaust Museum. If you are planning a visit, be sure to set aside at least 4 hours to be able to see all the museum has to offer. This museum’s exhibits aren’t as graphic as some of the images shown at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC so the content is likely suitable for children over the age of 12.
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review. This was simply a mother/daughter outing that I wanted to share.