The Chicago Children’s Museum believes an accessible and inclusive museum must address each visitor’s experience – making the museum’s facilities, offices, exhibits, services, programs, and staff welcoming to all. Play For All, the museum’s access and inclusion initiative, is recognized as a critical component of the museum’s planning and development.
Held the second Saturday of every month, Play For All events invite children and families with disabilities to experience Chicago Children’s Museum’s inclusive, multisensory exhibits and programs. The museum opens one hour early, at 9 a.m., for pre-registered guests. (Pre-registration is required for this program.) The first 250 visitors to register receive free admission. Group opportunities are available. For more information, call the Play For All hotline at (312) 321-6551.
The entire museum is wheelchair accessible; elevators serve each of the museum’s three floors. Two child-size and three adult-size wheelchairs are available, free of charge, at Membership Desk on the second floor. All bathrooms and water fountains are wheelchair accessible. Accessible parking is available in the Navy Pier parking garage. Service animals are always welcome.
In addition, the Museum offers guides to assist children and their caregivers during their visit. The Storybook Guide describes each of Chicago Children’s Museum’s exhibits from a child’s perspective and helps families choose exhibits to visit. The Storybook Guide, specially designed for children with developmental disabilities, is appropriate for any child who would like to know about exhibits and activities. The Therapeutic Play Guide offers support to children working on their therapies during a museum visit. Utilizing the museum’s rich environments, the Therapeutic Play Guide enables children to build skills in many developmental areas, including motor, sensory, language, literacy, social, cognitive and self-care. Available in both English and Spanish.
The following devices are available at the museum’s admissions desk: Sound-reducing headphones, lap trays for wheelchairs, personal museum schedules, and visual rule cards. Chicago Children’s Museum staff receives ongoing professional development to better assist visitors with disabilities and their families. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.
Throughout the school year, Chicago Children’s Museum welcomes students with disabilities to explore the museum’s interactive exhibits with specially-trained students from Francis W. Parker School as their guides. The program provides free transportation and museum admission to participating classrooms.
Play For All is generously supported by Morgan Stanley and The Northern Trust Company.