If you’re anything like me, I like to make the most of weekends when the whole family is home, and plan ahead with activities. With that being said, I also like to choose things that will add enrichment to my children’s lives, get them asking questions, and spark up conversation amongst all of us. So, when I came across this gem, I knew we had to take the kids!
A 1920’s landmark in Elgin, Illinois, stands the Elgin Public Museum of Natural History and Anthropology. The building itself is a gorgeous Neo-Classic style structure which houses an array of exhibits and collections which promotes an appreciation of the natural world and other cultures, both past and present. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from noon-4pm and is operated on an admission by donation basis. It is suggested that adults donate $2 and children $1.
Drawn to the low cost/high enrichment aspect of this local destination-we ventured out to kick off our Spring Break (woo!). Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly and informative staff that was happy to answer any questions we had and briefed us on the layout of the museum itself.
One of our favorite exhibits was the Endangered Species collection which features a variety of creatures, including a black bear, various birds, a coyote, and owls which totally captivated our daughter.
But, I must hand it to the Elgin Public Museum-they have an entire playroom dedicated to the enrichment and exploration of its littlest guests, the Discovery Room. Every inch of the Discovery Room is filled with educational books, puzzles, toys, opportunities for creativity, and more. We spent the majority of our visit here.
After venturing through the rest of the museum, we were pleased to learn that the building sits on Lords Park Pavilion-a gorgeous 108 acre municipal park featuring picnic areas, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, a family aquatic center, a nature trail, and three lagoons. Whoa!
During the summer season, there is also a zoo which houses sheep, cattle, chickens, pigs, goats and many more! Since our visit took place in the Spring, we did not get to enjoy the zoo. BUT we did get to observe elk and white-tailed deer which live on the property. And probably the best part, and highlight of my tots’ trip-the American bison which call Lords Park home. Yes, the BISON, up close and personal!
With all that the Elgin Public Museum of Natural History and Anthropology has to offer, I would definitely add this to your list of must-do activities for the family. To recap mamas and papas:
- Indoor and Outdoor activities
- Tot/Child Friendly
- Low Cost
I hope you’re able to visit soon! Enjoy!
Amanda Cifuentes Walchli