Moms in the Mix


Welcome to MOMS in the MIX presented by
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Welcome to MOMS in the MIX, a Virtual VIP Insider Playgroup devoted to Chicago Moms featuring: special outings and VIP opportunities at The Museum of Science and Industry and other Chicago attractions for kids, the latest mommy news and parenting tips, Monthly Mom Blogs, best kid friendly places to eat and play, and much more.


MSI makes learning history fun for kids
By Melissa Haak
I think now, perhaps more than ever, we are understanding how important it is to teach our kids history. Not just from facts and memorization but from a place of commonality with people and places that look so different and far removed from their own life experience. Museums are great ways to do just that, especially when they are hands-on and interesting. The Museum of Science and Industry might not the first museum that comes to mind when you are thinking history, but for small children it may be one of the best.

We spent one of our spring break days exploring the U-505 Exhibit and all of our children (ages 4-12) were engaged, entertained and learned something. And while I don’t expect the youngest ones to take away any life-long lessons on the atrocities of WWII I do think they have a slightly better understanding of how different life is now.

If you are unfamiliar, the U-505 is a German submarine that terrorized the Atlantic. The exhibit covers everything from the science — how do you hide something that is the length of a city block — to the basics — where did they sleep, how did they live on the boat — to the history of the capture in June 1944.

You can enter the exhibit, see the boat and explore all the levels around the boat for free with your general admission. I highly recommend taking the onboard tour, which is an extra (timed) entry.

Gabe, our docent and guide, really brought the history and story to life for our children. He was also more than willing to listen to their questions at the end, even the ones from the littlest ones.
If you are taking the tour, keep the following in mind:
• While the museum recommends you arrive at least five minutes before it starts, half the exhibit is on the winding path down to that locale. Even moving through quickly, it took us almost 20 minutes to get through.
• If you are claustrophobic, this is not for you. It’s very small and tight.
• All ages are welcome on the tour, all my kids lasted through it (it’s about 22 minutes long). However, it is a multisensory experience. Lights flicker and go out, there are crashes and explosions, you can feel some vibrations in the boat. Children with sensory issues will not enjoy and small children should stay towards the back of the group where it will always be less dark.

One of the parts my youngest children loved the most was at the beginning of the exhibit. There are telephones. Each one is linked to a different U.S. sailor giving their oral history of that day. The kids really enjoyed hearing all their different voices and “talking” to all the people.

After you get off the on-board tour or walk around the sub, the entire lower level is filled with hands-on activities to teach you about how the sub worked, using the Engima machine to decode or the periscope to see around you. There are artifacts and memorabilia from both sides and even a model of the living quarters.

Parents will also like to know that there are bathrooms on the lower level before you leave the exhibit. Also, like many modern museum exhibits, it does send you into a gift shop before you exit.
The U-505 should be on your museum to-do list if you haven’t seen it in its new(ish) home yet. The whole family is sure to take something away from the experience.

To see all the Chicago Parent Blogs, click here.

Mom to one, Katie is a marketing copywriter by day, worker-outer whenever possible and valiant lover of top 40 hits.

Why spring cleaning is a beautiful thing
By Katie Niekerk
I know the phrase “spring cleaning” isn’t the most exciting set of words ever uttered, but keep reading (please?). The time to declutter is upon us. Temperatures are warming, the spring solstice is in full swing, and we’ve had our last snow. Yes, I’m knocking on wood right now.
As cliché as it might sound, spring cleaning is a chance to start fresh, to throw open the windows and get rid of all that stuff you don’t need. It’s an annual opportunity to lighten your load (not to mention donate those clothes you never wear and bestow new-to-them toys upon the neighbor’s kids).
For me, spring cleaning conjures up images of my basement. Basements are horror movies in our collective human subconscious, but mine is particularly bad. The sump pump is broken and apparently can’t be fixed, so every time it rains, I expect an inch of water on the floor. I’ve learned not to keep anything I care about on the ground, but this leaves a mess of disposable things that get soaked, from drugstore Halloween decorations and waxy faux wreaths to cardboard boxes with nothing in them (why, Katie, why?).
Starting in April, I’ll be tackling this disaster. I’ll single-handedly keep Target in business for a weekend with how many clear plastic storage bins I’ll buy. And I’ll go through everything in the basement, piece by piece, determining what I actually want and what’s down there because I didn’t know what else to do with it.
The thing is, my basement is otherwise a basically unlivable space. The laundry machines are down there, along with a Christmas gift drum kit that my 7-year-old son played for exactly two days (Dec. 25 and 26). The space unfinished and pretty depressing—it’s certainly not like I’ll scrub it sparkling so I can host dinner parties there every night.
But I’ll clean it anyway, because the psychological benefit is worth it. Every time I do laundry, I won’t feel the need to cringe. Every time it rains, I won’t roll my eyes in frustration. And maybe, just maybe, every time I bring something new downstairs, I’ll check myself first.

Click here for Moms in the Mix Blog Archive.

I often dream of being a philanthropist. I can think of no better job than finding worthy charities to support and help. But until I find a money tree, I settle with giving what I can, when I can, with my time, money and talents. Luckily, Forefront is organizing #ILGive [...]
Thu, May 25, 2017
Source: Moms In The Mix – News

Kids and adults can explore their creative sides. Materials change daily and trained facilitators assist with the artistic process. [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
Kids and adults can explore their creative sides. Materials change daily and trained facilitators assist with the artistic process. [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
Visitors are invited to imagine, construct, and play within their own special places as everyday materials take on new shapes and purposes to become a fort builder's... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
Use the senses of touch, hearing, and sight to discover what's inside a variety of natural and human-made objects. Reach inside a box and let your sense of touch... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events
That's Weird, Grandma is a variety show of short sketches and songs adapted from stories written by kids in Barrel of Monkeys' arts education programs. Equally... [...]
Source: Moms In the Mix – Events

See where the power of play can take you at the Museum of Science and Industry’s newest exhibit, Brick by Brick! Explore architectural marvels—all rendered in LEGO bricks—like the Roman Colosseum, the Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, and more. This hands-on look at engineering and architecture also challenges you to put your own brick creations to the test under challenging conditions. For more information, visit