DuPage Children’s Museum

DuPage Children’s Museum website

301 N. Washington Street, Naperville, IL 60540
If you’re taking public transportation, the Metra station is across the parking lot from the museum; take the Metra BSNF Aurora line to the DCM stop.

Phone: 630-637-8000

Monday 9am – 1pm Thursday 9am – 4pm (open until 8pm every 3rd Thursday)
Tuesday 9am – 4pm Friday 9am – 8pm
Wednesday 9am – 4pm Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday Noon – 5pm
Hours may change on school holidays or due to special events. Check out the calendar for details.

Admission: $8.50 for adults & children, $7.50 seniors (60 and over), children under 1 are free. As of Monday, August 5, 2013, admission prices are $11/person, $10/senior 60 & over, and children under 1 are free.
I strongly suggest an annual membership with the Association of Children’s Museums Reciprocal Program. Join through any of the participating Children’s Museums throughout the country for $110/family and receive reciprocal memberships at over 165 participating museums throughout the United States & Canada. (Each museum has different features to their membership, so check out my comparison chart.)

Parking: Free parking in the museum’s large parking lot. If the lot is full, additional parking is available on the opposite side of the museum and on the other side of the train tracks for $2/day (pay at the Metra lot), for free on weekends only in the commuter lot across the street, for free on weekends and school holidays only at the high school, and for free any day at the city parking deck located a few blocks south of the museum. There is a map of alternate parking.

Bathrooms: The bathrooms are public and have changing tables. There are stools available so kids can reach the sinks, but the soap dispensers are still out of reach.

Nursing: The library on the second floor has a nursing area. There are also several places to sit throughout the museum.

Handicapped/Stroller Accessibility:
The main areas are wide and open and there is an elevator to the other levels. The elevator is small, but I can fit my double stroller in it. The bathrooms are also handicapped and stroller accessible. There are a number of resources, services, and materials for the benefit of visitors with special needs.
For families of children with autism spectrum disorders, mobility impairments, and/or visual impairments, the museum offers Third Thursday from 5-7 pm each month.

Other amenities: There is a coatroom with lockers available near the entrance. There is also a museum gift shop, The Explorer Store. Birthday parties, events and meetings, and group visits can be arranged.

Food/eating area: The lower level of the museum is a large lunch room, with high chairs available. You can bring in your own food and snacks, drinks, and ice cream are available in vending machines. There is also a microwave available.

Special events: The Chagall for Children exhibit is going on now until April 20.
Check out the programs calendar for daily activities, including art projects and story time, as well as Family Friday Nights, when the museum is open late and offers special activities. Classes and summer camps are also available. For families of children with autism spectrum disorders, mobility impairments, and/or visual impairments, the museum offers Third Thursday from 5-7 pm each month.


– Young Explorers – There are three areas designed for infants and toddlers (two on the main level and one on the second level). The areas are not enclosed, but are very large and have a wide variety of activities, including mirrors, musical instruments and toys, artwork, and blocks. I love the artwork at crawling level and my boys were huge fans of painting with water on the blackboard.

– Creativity Connections – Mirrors, light and shadows, colors, and music are just some of the ways kids can learn about creativity in this exhibit. We probably spent the majority of our time in this area during our most recent visit to the museum. The kids seemed particularly interested in all of the light and shadow activities, including a dark room you can go into to write on the walls with lights.

– Make It Move – Play with movement by connecting gears, creating pathways for balls, and observing how the placement or movement of objects affects other objects.

– Build It – Build with different kinds of blocks, or create a project with wood and real tools. The wood workshop may have limited availability so all kids can be supervised.

– AirWorks – Kids have a chance to experiment with the power of air and wind with tubes that use air to make objects move, and they can walk into a wind tunnel. Eye protection is available for the wind tunnel.

– WaterWays – This exhibit has a waterfall water table so kids can build a dam and experiment with how water moves. There is also a very large and winding water table with a variety of water toys and spouts, and a plastic bubble kids can stand under. A bubble table with bubble blowers in different sizes and shapes is nearby, and you can even stand inside a bubble! Aprons and dryers are available, and the giant bubble is wheelchair accessible.

– Math Connections – This exhibit lets kids experiment with math in a variety of ways. They can magnify small objects, view objects in mirrors at different angles, build in the large building block area, and experiment with weight using scales or the teeter-totter.

– The Play’s The Thing – This is a new exhibit on the second level that encourages kids to make believe. They can perform on a stage, play in a car, or climb in a spaceship.

– Art Studio – The Art Studio offers drop in crafts.

We paid: Nothing. We have an ACM reciprocal membership.

Our experience:
We’ve been visiting the DuPage Children’s Museum since Cooper was about six months old. I really like it a lot and the kids seem to love it. Most recently, we visited with some friends, Joslyn, Althea (age 3), and Autumn (age 1), as you can see in some of the pictures. The kids were so busy in the Creative Connections and Math Connections exhibits that we didn’t even make it to all the exhibits this time.
When we do play in the WaterWays area, just as with other children’s museums, I try to visit the water table early in the day so the kids have some time to dry off before going out in the cold.
The museum does get crowded at times, especially when there are school groups there, although most of the times we’ve been there (both weekdays and weekends) it hasn’t been too bad. It also gets pretty loud; I guess that’s true of all children’s museums, but this one seems even louder than others.
One of my favorite things about the DuPage Children’s Museum is the lunchroom. None of the other children’s museums that we’ve been to have a good place to eat if you bring your own food so it’s really nice that this is available. It’s nice to have the vending machines too, just in case you need something extra. I also like the photo opportunities; the mirrors upstairs, particularly the triangular tunnel, make for some great pictures. I have pictures of both my boys at various ages in that tunnel and they’re some of my favorite pictures.
A note of caution: the doors to the stairways are always open, and they’re close to exhibit area on the second floor so watch your little ones. Dexter made a dash for the stairs a few times.

** See my separate post about the Chagall for Children exhibit, which runs until April 20, 2011.

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