As so many of you know, the Nicholes family is definitely a fan of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. It’s the perfect place to hang out for several hours, and there is ALWAYS something educational to experience. This is why we were excited to be invited to a media preview, even BEFORE the members only preview (we’re members too!) and see what awesomeness the exhibit had in store.
We had a chance to chat with Kristen Pratt, who is the sustainability manager at the museum. She shared quite a bit about the exhibit, and we both focused on how science is being proven over and over again when it come to climate change. Holla at this biology major! The exhibit is super interactive, and friendly enough for children while speaking to their parents as well. Perfect for a family outing.
Here’s a bit more about the exhibit:
Build, play, and discover the future of home design in our newest hands-on exhibit, Our House! Explore a giant wood block house. Play touchscreen games. Be a home builder for a day, putting your imagination to work to create houses equipped to handle extreme weather and climate change. And see how we can reduce our environmental impact and support the natural habitats in our own backyards.
Packed with fun, interactive experiences, Our House takes children and adults through four climate change challenges and showcases creative solutions that reduce our environmental impact and support natural habitats for plants and animals. From the man-made environment to the natural environment, the Nature Museum is the best place for families to explore living with, and slowing down, climate change. Visit Our House and explore together!
Things to do in Our House:
- Explore a giant wood block house filled with interactive activities
- Walk into a backyard and learn about the animals that inhabit our yards and neighborhoods
- Learn how we can tell climate change is occurring
- Investigate new building materials and methods
- Solve climate change challenges facing our homes like flooding, hurricanes, drought, wildfire, and snow
- Build homes equipped to withstand extreme weather events, reduce our environmental impact, and support natural habitats
- Learn ways we can support natural habitat for our non-human neighbors
- Watch a landscape transform as a settlement changes the natural environment over time
- Manipulate the main CO2 causes found in our homes: power, materials, HVAC, and water
- Contribute to an ever-growing community art project
As we know, climate change has been a HUGE issue in the last several years, and we’re seeing the damage that it can cause on a global basis. While previewing this new exhibit, we learned ways that houses in different climates can build to be more energy efficient. Of course, since we’re in the Midwest, and snow central – well, previous years anyway – we saw ways that we can effectively use the energy that the Earth produces, rather than outputting energy from trying to warm up or cool our homes. We also learned ways to keep pesty pests out of the house too. Because who likes mice, bats, and anything else that can damage the infrastructure of your home?
Speaking of building homes, there’s a great scale that challenges little ones and their parents to build a “lighter” house. Meaning, build a great house, that’s light on materials to help the environment. It works people!
There’s a neat portion that allows you to see how different climate areas are handling their areas. Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and one more city that I can’t remember, but will update, were the focus of this area. Right smack in the middle of this portion of the exhibit was the Lego table, and enough bricks to build your very own home! The kids took full advantage of this area, and loved seeing their ideas form on the table. This is also the point in time that I mention that there are NO Legos in our house, and I’m not exactly sure why.
After our tour of the exhibit, we made sure to take our traditional photo outside of the museum, and then head on over to another museum regarding climate change as well. You can read more about that on the blog tomorrow. Until then, take a trip to Our House at the Nature Museum! You’ll definitely leave a little wiser!
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
$7 for students and seniors (60+)
$6 for children Ages 3 – 12
Free for children under 3
Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents.