I have no idea who Peggy Notebaert is or was, but I love her Nature Museum in Lincoln Park. It is one of my favorite places to take The Boy, The Girl, and The Baby. It is small, with several small child-friendly exhibits and a dedicated place to play for the under-7 set. Our membership expires at the end of January, but I plan to renew. They have food in a small cafe, and their serving pieces are all compostable. Speaking of which, since it is the eve of the new year, one of my goals for 2008 is to get a standalone composting bin.
Today, The Boy had been housebound for long enough that he was making me crazy, so I loaded him, The Girl, and The Baby in the car for an outing. I had originally intended to go to Pottery Barn Kids on Clybourn to "browse" while the kids played, but traffic was so light, we decided to head to the Nature Museum instead. Apparently, I was not the only mother going nuts with small boys in the house because The Boy spent a good hour running around the under-7 area with twin 5.5-year-old boys. The Girl, who normally holds her own even with 4- and 5-year-olds, decided that she could not play with them because they were boys. The Baby alternately nursed and crawled around.
We split two organic cupcakes and a bag of pretzels from the cafe, then went upstairs briefly to look at the reptiles exhibit. I patiently read the names of each turtle, snake or lizard to the kids and we looked in each window to locate the reptile. The Boy knew that the Jolly Roger sign on some of the descriptions meant that that reptile was dangerous or poisonous to humans. Smart kid.