Chicago Teachers Strike: Keeping kids active

September 13, 2012 10:13:16 AM PDT
With the Chicago Teachers Union strike lingering on, parents impacted by the strike are looking for options to continue the learning process for their children.

Time Out Chicago Kids found numerous places opening their doors for strike-stranded families. Check out the full issue of

  • Museum of Science & Industry -- MSI is free to Illinois residents weekdays thru 9/28. Two highlights here: 1. the museum has a full-scale model of NASA's Mars Curiousity Rover, which is very timely. 2. If you haven't had a chance to check out the Science Storms exhibit, this is a great excuse. Exhibit is all about the science behind weather: why lightening strikes, tornadoes spin, etc.
  • Field Museum -- discounted admission every day for Chicago residents, but free Wed and Thu Weekdays at 11am is "Talk to a Scientist Hour" in the DNA Discovery Center. Scientists answer questions about DNA, genetics and evolution.
  • Adler Planetarium -- free admission for Illinois residents on Wed, and Tue, Wed next week "The Universe: A walk Through Space and Time" is a new exhibit that opened this summer that tracks how our universe evolved, from Big Bang to present day. Super kid-friendly with lots of interactive elements.
  • Art (or Science)

  • Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art -- free admission on Fridays Small museum in western suburbs dedicated to rocks and gem stones. Great for budding geologists, with lots of kid-friendly stuff including a scavenger hunt throughout the museum where kids answer questions based on the exhibits.

  • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum -- free admission for Illinois residents every Thursday. The Wilderness Walk, which opened last year, is an outdoor exhibit that has recreated three natural environments: a prairie, a savannah and a dune. Inside, the exhibit "Monsters on Bikes" features the works of more than dozen artists and is a fun, light-hearted looks at cycling. This runs through Halloween.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden -- admission is always free (but parkign is $20 per car) A 7,500-square-foot "Model Railroad Garden" directs mini-trains around 1,600 feet of track, which includes 50 miniature replica landmarks like Wrigley Field and Mount Rushmore. The exhibit is open through October 28.
  • Morton Arboretum -- Wednesdays are discount admission days An exhibit called "Tree House Tales" inciudes six unique tree houses that prompt a discussion about the vital role that trees play in our lives.

  • The Chicago History Museum -- admission is free to Illinois residents Tue-Thu this week and next week. Lots of great kid-freindly exhibits about the city's history, including Sensing Chicago, a permanent exhibit where kids can "catch" a fly ball at the old Comiskey park, make themselves into a Chicago hot dog, hear sounds from the Great Chicago Fire, etc. "Facinf Freedom" is a great exhibit for older kids, because it looks at protests, boycotts and unions throughout the city's past.

  • The Court Theater is offering a special free performance of August Wilson's Jitney for any CPS student (and one parent/guardian) with a valid CPS ID. This free matinee will be Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. (assuming teachers still on strike) at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. There is no need to RSVP, simply present a valid CPS ID at the theater.
  • Art Institute of Chicago's Ryan Education Center -- free admission daily for 14 and under They have an exhibit thru Oct 28 called "Told and Retold: Picture Book Artists from Studio Goodwin Sturges:" Magical worlds with castles, dragons, pirate ships, and princesses and the equally enchanting realms of friendship and family tradition?these are some of the subjects conjured with pencil, paint, textiles, found objects, and digital media by the eight artists featured in this exhibition. Preparatory sketches alongside original illustrations provide insight into the different working processes. explore familiar stories and media reworked in new and fascinating ways.

  • Second City Offers Free Day Camp During Chicago Teachers Union Strike As a special offer to assist parents with child care, The Second City Training Center will be offering a free Day Camp from 10:00am-3:30pm during the Chicago Teachers Union Strike. Students will spend the morning learning Improv games and exercises and the afternoons studying Sketch comedy. Plus while they are in the building, they'll get the opportunity to see a family friendly Second City show!

    Registration is free but space is limited and on a first come first serve basis. Lunch is not included but a supervised break will be provided between 12:30-1:00pm. Attending students should bring a sack lunch as students will not be allowed to leave the building during the break.

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