As the twinkling holiday lights slowly begin to fade, the recent blast of wintery weather over the weekend served as a bone-chilling reminder of the longest of seasons ahead. First, we will endure “Winter” and then on to what I call “Sprinter”… the season which is partially Spring, but mostly still Winter. I can’t help it, I grew up in Kentucky where the warmth of Spring begins thawing out the bluegrass, which isn’t actually blue, in late March.
While I consider myself an optimist who is well-versed in making lemonade out of yellow snow…. or something like that… during the winter, the dark days of being cooped up inside the house with the children leave us parents scrambling for enjoyable activities which everyone can enjoy.
In Naperville, there is one place which is #1 on my list when it comes to the Wintery plight and that is the DuPage Children’s Museum (DCM) over on Washington Street near the Downtown Naperville Metra Station. For those who are not familiar with DCM, just look for the colorfully artisitic block building with large windows facing Washington Street displaying an indoor water and bubble splashland.
We are truly blessed to have this arts-infused creative family institution located in Naperville. My family and I have been annual members for a number of years and recently renewed for 2008. It’s a great bargain at around $88 when you consider the one day price for a family of four. If you aren’t ready to commit and decide somewhere between the music room and the wind tunnel that DCM is the place for your family, never fear… you can apply your paid one day admission toward an annual membership. Since DCM is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, the membership is also tax deductible. Larger donations in support of the museum are always welcome as well.
I must confess that while our boys have a great time at DCM, it’s easy for the parents to get lost in play as well. There are three floors of interactive educational attractions for all ages. One of my personal favorites is the music room which is full of makeshift metal and wooden xylophones and drums. Ever wanted to jam with the Blue Man Group? there is a pvc pipe instrument complete with the soft flipper paddles similiar to the one played by Blue Man Group.
Wind, water and bubbles are a big theme as well with plenty of experiments which can be conducted by the little scientists. Step onto the sudsy platform to see if you can pull a human-size bubble around you. Over-sized light brights, ball and track exhibits, a speedboat with a wind cannon, a dark room where you can freeze your shadow on the wall and activity rooms and tables are just a few of the other attractions. Special programs and events are scheduled regularly throughout the year.
Under the talented leadership of Executive Director Sue Broad, there is a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to make each visit memorable. By the time you emerge from the fun, you will have almost forgotten those wintertime blues.
You can learn more about the DuPage Children’s Museum at: www.dupagechildrensmuseum.org or drop by for a visit at 301 North Washington Street in Naperville. Their phone number is 630-637-8000. SM