Winter has officially begun in Chicago. When the temperature drops and fills the city with snow families head indoors for fun! A family favorite of indoor fun for the winter is Navy Pier. Navy pier currently has multiple museums for children such as the Chicago children’s museum and the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows.
The Chicago Children’s Museum is three floors designed for children under 10. The exhibits are hands on encouraging interactive play for children and families. The Children’s museum has multiple exhibits for children to explore. In the Allstate Foundation Presents Play Safe exhibit children can practice fire safety and dress up as fire fighters. In the Dinosaur Expedition children can experience a real life Saharan expedition where children can dig for dinosaur bones. In the Big backyard section explore a gigantic garden with oversized flowers, enormous insects, and digital raindrops. This is a great section for infants and toddlers.
For those with artistic personalities step into the Kraft Artabounds Studio which is an authentic art gallery with trained staff artists and educators to help children paint, print, sew, sketch, or sculpt. All children infants and up as well as special needs welcome. Admission to the museum for children and adults are $12 and children/ members are free. Daily hours other than major holidays are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with late free nights on Thursdays at 5 p.m. closing at 8 p.m.
A free art museum at the pier is the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows. The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is a museum of 150 stained glass windows housed in 800 ft long gallery along the lower level terrace of festival hall. It has been opened since February 2000 and houses stained windows that are in four categories: categories: Victorian, Prairie, Modern and Contemporary.
The windows depict life in Chicago since 1870 which shows the diversity of the city in ethnicity and religious people. One of the most famous artists has 13 stained glass windows in the museum, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany designed hundreds of beautiful windows for churches, public buildings, and homes of wealthy clients.
Admission to the Smith Museum is free and open daily during pier operating hours Sundays through Thursdays 10 a.m. – 8p.m. and Fridays/ Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Take a look at all of the stained glass windows to become inspired to tell your own story through this art work.
Objective: The objective of this lesson is to showcase how Louis Tiffany was able to create works of art with glass and how we can create a family story on a work of art.
Strips of various construction paper
Cutout of blue construction window
White drawing paper
1. Start discussion of the history of stained glass windows used in churches, public buildings, and homes.
2. Discussion on how we can use windows to tell our family story.
3. Give the child a piece of white drawing paper, one cutout of blue window, glitter, strips of the construction paper, and glue.
4. Ask the child to create a family story on their window.