Jay was on a business trip in Chicago so we stayed with him for a few days. In other words- I'm cheap and the company was paying for the room... And the girls had not seen their dad in nearly two months! It was great and Jay was able to join us here and there while we explored.
This museum is FREE with the ASTC reciprocal program and it is a fantastic addition to the program! We did pay for entry to Vikings, which I would not recommend with kids under five. I don't feel it would be interesting to most children that age.
Upon entering we asked how long it takes to get through the museum, we were told about 3 hours for most people... We were there from open to close (summer hours) and still missed the wildlife halls. I think most people pick a few exhibits and move on. Unfortunately or fortunately, we seem interested in everything at this age.
My kids are learning to strike poses.
A1 is pretty interested in anything that can be found in the ground from artifacts to fossils or even rocks... So I should not be surprised when she was overly excited about a table of trilobites! This exhibit has so much! We were passed by countless people who seemed to be there for the Dino's, we spent three hours in this exhibit.
If we had a boy, he would have been named Darwin;)
Deforestation! This was fun!
Odin in the Viking exhibit:)
A sled for A2!
At the end of the day Jay joined us for an hour. We saved Egypt for the end of the day. I think it was special for A1 to share it with him. The volunteer was great and showed us around the entire lower level!
Mummies and canopic jars! Mummified cats and falcons:)
A child roughly her own age.
A boat- a very rare find, but hey- you need transportation in the afterlife:)
Pros: quality exhibits, well laid out, science, nature, diverse exhibits, ASTC reciprocated! They know their target demographic well, adults! Fantastic staff and volunteers!
Cons: potentially overwhelming or boring for young children.
A1 rates it a 10 out of 10. I'm rating it a 9/10. The children's section is lacking, IMO but the workers are fantastic! They allowed us to leave after the last entry to grab Jay from the entrance because he did not have his DMNS membership card.