Time Traveler’s Suitcase
Filled with hands-on activities and bursting with history, these suitcases can be enjoyed by Time Travelers of all ages. Pick up a passport to track your travels. Time Travelers who get stamped in all six eras can turn their completed passport in for a prize. These kits are being released on a rolling basis. Available suitcases include Rocks and Dinos and From Another Land. There is a two week check-out period, with a $5 refundable deposit required. Pick up suitcases at the Museum during regular hours.
Half-day Summer Camps
The City Museum offers half-day camps during the summer. Kids ages 5-12 are invited to the Museum to learn about railroad and local history in West Chicago through a morning of related activities. Contact the City Museum at email@example.com or (630) 231-3376 for additional information on 2016 camps.
Passport to Adventure
Each summer, suburban museums team up to provide the Passport to Adventure. The program runs from May through Labor Day and is open to children between the ages of 4 and 12. Families may pick up Passport books at the City Museum or the Kruse House Museum as well as at the West Chicago Public Library starting in May. Each Passport book contains a listing of participating museums, including addresses, hours, admission fees (if any) and a brief description of the exhibits available at each location. Children receive stamps in the Passport books at each site they visit, and at the end of the summer, children may receive prizes based on the number of museums visited.
Field Trips to the Museum
Prearranged tours and special programs are available to groups coming to the Museum. These activities have been created to meet the needs of all visitors. You may reserve a guided tour of the Museum for your class or group. (All ages)
Main Street Walking Tour
Guided walking tours of the downtown area focus on the growth and development of West Chicago. The tour features the area encompassed by the original town of Turner and can be adapted to focus on business, architectural styles, railroad history or other areas of interest. (Grades 3-12, 30 minutes – 1 hour)
This historical tour features West Chicago’s oldest cemetery. Students learn to use the cemetery as a source of information on the people and lifestyles of the past. A special emphasis is placed on the importance of respect for such places and focuses on the artistic styles and symbolism found on grave markers of this late 19th century cemetery. (Grades 3-8, 30 minutes – 1 hour)
Traveling programs have been developed for school or youth groups and comply with State school curriculum guidelines and Boy Scout badge requirements.
Josefina Story Quilt
Using the children’s book The Josefina Story Quilt, by Eleanor Coerr, a member of the Museum staff will introduce children to pioneer life and the importance of quilts as seen through the travels of a young girl. (For grades K-2, 45 minutes)
Trains, Train, Trains
Equipped with artifacts, role-playing activities and more, a member of the Museum staff will present a program in the classroom on the jobs, signals, and work of the early railroads. (For grades 1-5, 45 minutes)
A member of the Museum staff will bring the toys of yesteryear alive to your students. While children enjoy playing with a variety of wooden and metal toys, they are learning about our changing technology and the impact of this change on our life. (Grades K-5, 1 hour)
Then and Now
Oh the times, they are changing. This program offers a look at the differences and similarities between the modern era and life around the turn of the 20th century. Numerous hands-on experiences are included in this fun-filled program. (Grades K-5, 1 hour)
Take home History Kit “Tackle History: Immigration”
This interactive, bilingual history kit gives children a look into the four main immigrant groups that settled West Chicago-English, German, Irish, and Mexican-as well as general history about immigration to the United States. Children check out the kit from the Museum or in the children’s gallery of the museum. (Grades 3-5)
This educational kit contains maps, books, and artifacts that chronicle the early years of West Chicago. The early importance of the railroad is emphasized. A teacher’s guide contains suggestions on how to use the materials in the trunk. (Grade 3)
Check out our set of McGuffey’s Third Eclectic Readers, first published in 1879. The Readers show how students’ education was conducted from the 1830s to the 1920s when the Readers were used as the primary learning tool in classrooms across the country. Students can read the stories and complete the spelling, handwriting, grammar, and vocabulary exercises. (Grade 3-5)