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Chicago Children's Museum Free Family Day Poster

October 26, 2023 @ 10:00 am

Free Family Days with Chicago Children’s Museum

Please be aware that the content on this webpage was authored more than 6 months ago, so some information may be outdated or no longer accurate. Please visit our event calendar for information on current events.

Free Family Days with Chicago Children’s Museum is back for 2023!

In partnership with the Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM), Navy Pier guests can enjoy five fun-filled days of activities for families and children (ages 10 and under) on the last Thursday of each month from January – May and two additional days of activities in September & October.

Admission to the Chicago Children’s Museum is free, in addition to the Pier’s workshops, programming, activities, and other resources stationed throughout the Pier. This event is made possible by generous support from the Pritzker Foundation.

Thursday, October 26

Creepy Crawlers are Cool!

Explore the magical world of bugs! Take a closer look at some incredible insects and explore the wonders of our natural world with Lucca’s BioHub. Design your own wearable work of art inspired by these amazing creatures! Where will you wear your new Bug Flair?

Fall into Films!
In partnership with FACETS Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, attend a short family film screening! My First Movies is for the littlest littles and youngest filmgoers. These films from around the world are intended to delight, bring out a smile or a giggle (or two). Most of all, these films are meant to be seen as a shared experience between caregivers, parents, and children to spark a lifetime love of the cinema.


  • Fall into Films!
    Navy Pier Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion Grand Stairway and Landing
    10:30 am and 12:30 pm
  • Insect Exploration with Lucca’s BioHub
    Fifth Third Bank Family Pavilion at Navy Pier
    10am- 12pm, and 1pm-3pm
  • Bug Flair with Chicago Children’s Museum
    Great Hall at Chicago Children’s Museum

    10am- 12pm, and 1pm-3pm

Schedule subject to change.

*Admission to Chicago Children’s Museum will be free. $10 Navy Pier parking available with museum validation.

2023 Prior Activities and Partners
On September 28, we explored the joyful and creative world of puppetry! We experienced the performance group Puppet Wonder Wagon’s stage show, created our own shadow puppets and put on a performance with the help of artist Anna Villanyi. After Free Family Day in the museum concluded, we greeted Amal, a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child on a 6,000-mile journey across the United States, at the “Flyboy” Sculpture.

On May 25, we explored the theatrical arts with our friends at Chicago Children’s Theatre as they performed their interactive stage show, “The Red Kite Friendship Tour.” We also experienced the joy of dramatic play through puppet-making, puppetry performance, and theatrical sensory play.

On April 27, we celebrated Earth Month by making art out of natural and recycled materials with trilingual artist Selva Aparicio, interacting with live animals from the Flying Fox Conservation Fund like Roxy the Sloth, and using our senses to engage with natural materials!

On March 30, we traveled and adventured, practiced our skateboarding stance, made and decorated fingerboards, and played in a miniature skate park with Natty Bwoy Bikes & Boards. We explored skateboarding-inspired movement and poetry with performance group, Every house has a door and held tight to a circus wheel and defied gravity with CirquesExperience. 

On February 23, we danced to the melodies and rhythms of West Africa with Kolaam Dance, we moved our bodies joyfully with Black Girls Dance, and found our inner superstar with K-Pop dance from the Korean Cultural Center of Chicago. 

On January 26, we explored the wonders of sound with artist, Barbara Silverman; the surprising sounds that everyday objects can make with the Chicago Children’s Museum team; the science of sound at a Curiosity Station hosted by the Museum of Science and Industry; and an “instrument petting zoo” hosted by the Old Town School of Folk Music!


10:00 am - 5:00 pm



Event Venue

Navy Pier


600 E. Grand Avenue,
Chicago, IL 60611


Chinese (Simplified)
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