The WNDR Museum opened in September 2018 as a “pop-up” (temporary) exhibit but its popularity here in Chicago has earned it a permanent location in the West Loop. It is described on its website as an “experiential” museum meaning it is “involved in or based on experience and observation”. This could not be more true. Lights, sounds, and mirrors all combine to provide a platform where science meets art.
Full disclosure, my SO for the day was my favorite oldest child. He has wanted to check out this museum since it opened, and I wanted to write about it, so he jumped at the chance to let me pay for him 😊 The ironic thing about our pairing is that, this is a very Instagram-friendly activity and you couldn’t find two people more averse to having their picture taken than the two of us.
Some of the exhibits in the museum were hands-on interactive, like this light bulb wall:
Don’t be fooled into thinking this place is just for kids. There were exhibits and activities for all ages. They have an optical illusion room that is still mind-boggling to me when I look at the pictures. We were only standing a couple of feet away from each other!
Let’s not forget about the science part of it. Each exhibit had an educational aspect to it, some more appealing than others depending on your interest.
Be careful though. There is a 100% chance that the child in you will come out at some point. My 23 year-old and I got into a balloon fight with an 8 year old (we totally won, just sayin’).
By far our favorite exhibit was the floor that lit up when you walked, or danced, across it. The video below doesn’t do it justice and we honestly could have spent an hour watching the colors dance. It was so pretty.
In an effort to maintain its presence in Chicago, the museum will close periodically to refresh its exhibits. One such update will take place the entire month of April 2019. This doesn’t mean it will be completely new each time it reopens. They will continue to evaluate which experiences people respond to the most and keep those while replacing less popular ones. One crowd favorite that will most likely make the cut each time is the infinity mirror room by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. My pictures did not even do this one justice. It absolutely needs to be experienced.
Tickets for the museum are $32 per person. You have to schedule your entry as this helps avoid a traffic jam once you are in there. You should also expect to spend at least an hour there. There is also no onsite parking and street parking is very limited.
One last picture before you go, this exhibit was made with STRAWS. Using plastic without destroying the planet.