It is important for children to understand the value of education and how fun learning is from an early age. Instilling the idea that learning is an ongoing process helps children develop skills necessary to help them become inquisitive and encourages them to seek answers. One of the best ways to help children experience how learning can be fun is to introduce them to new experiences and take them to museums. These formative trips will help them discover their interests and explore their world. Read on to learn about our suggestions of museums you need to visit near Warrenville, Illinois. 

The Morton Arboretum

Two children run a pathway surrounded by trees.
Image via Flickr by dkaz Licensed CC BY 2.0

Tiny horticulturists will be smiling from ear-to-ear while at the Morton Arboretum, just 10 minutes from Warrenville, in Lisle. This public garden and outdoor museum and library serves as an inspiration to guests of all ages looking to learn about, appreciate, and protect trees. Guests can expect to see acres of beautiful plant life along easy-to-follow paths. 

For the kids, there’s a Children’s Garden. Featuring four acres of area to explore, little learners will be able to practice imaginative play, explore with their hands, and get some fresh air and sunlight. Kids can splash through hidden streams, climb enormous acorns in the playground area, explore and get dirty in the mud kitchen, and practice word-building in the word garden. 

Once the kids release all their extra energy, head over to the Sterling Morton Library. Located in the Administration and Research Building, the library is free to use. The library offers historic and contemporary books, journals, papers, and even landscape plans for browsing and research. A current exhibit at the library, The Mary T. Watts Reading Garden, is right next to the library and creates an intimate setting to relax and read. There’s seating in a cozy nook near a wall with lush plants and flowers. A small pond makes this location ideal for unwinding with a good book or taking a break to meditate. 

While on the premises, we suggest you take the “Human + Nature Walking Tour with Daniel Popper.” It features an insightful guided tour discussing the awe-inspiring larger-than-life sculptures. The tour takes 2.5 hours to complete, and covers 1.5 miles. Arrive a half-hour to twenty minutes early, as space is limited. 

The Morton Arboretum is at 4100 Illinois Route 53, in Lisle. General admission starts at $16 for adults and $11 for children. It is open from 7 a.m. until sunset. For more information, or to learn about becoming a member, call 630-968-0074.

DuPage Children’s Museum 

The DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, Illinois, is an interactive educational destination where children are encouraged to explore and can benefit from a hands-on learning experience. Because play is fundamental to learning, children and adult visitors are encouraged to ask big questions and to work together through the many interactive exhibits to find the answers. 

Exhibits are designed to spark curiosity. While there are no directions at each exhibit, learning through exploration is a fundamental part of the museum experience. As such, exhibits have different outcomes, depending on the mode of completion each guest chooses. 

A featured exhibit you should see on your visit “The Questioneers.” New to the museum, it is based on a book written by Andrea Beaty with illustrations by David Roberts. Intended to celebrate the STEM subjects of science, math, technology, and engineering, the exhibit celebrates perseverance and passion. Following the lead of the book’s popular characters like Sofia Valdez and Aaron Slater, museum guests use the process of “read, question, think” to solve everyday mysteries. Designed to be inclusive, the exhibit also features sections for building and art, and has signs that are in English and Spanish. 

The DuPage Children’s Museum is at 301 N. Washington Street. The museum’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Adult and children general admission begins at $15. Children under one may enter for free, and the museum does offer a senior citizen discount. For more information, including how to become a DuPage Children’s Museum member, call 630-637-8000.

Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College Museum

The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College Museum features memorabilia and artifacts from the extensive collection focused on seven authors. There are seven authors featured at Wade College including C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, George MacDonald, G. K. Chesterton, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams. The museum invites guests to browse the exhibits, that showcase letters, manuscripts, and personal artifacts to understand the authors’ lives, appreciate their writings, and contextualize the historical setting in which they lived. 

Permanent features include a desk and a wardrobe owned by C. S. Lewis, author of the famous children’s book “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.” Other fiction fans will be excited to see the desk of J. R. R. Tolkien, writer of “The Lord of the Rings” series. 

The Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College Museum is at 351 E Lincoln Avenue in Wheaton, just under 20 minutes for Warrenville. Entry to the museum is free. Museum hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Reading Room hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. To make plans to visit the museum, email or call 630-752-5908.

So there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Warrenville, Illinois, has enjoyed sharing with you our list of must-see museums in our city. Help develop your little one’s interests and support their education by taking them to any one of these fantastic museums. The experience can strengthen family bonds and show your child that learning and fun go together. What do you think of our list? Did we miss your favorite museum to visit to encourage brain activity? If we did, let us know! Leave us a message sharing your thoughts and we’ll check out your ideas.