Kids Town - Chicago Children's Museum (and Navy Pier)

This is probably the area where we spend the most time. There’s a bus, carwash and grocery store, plus a good area for crawlers, among other features. It’s designed well, with a single exit that is easy to see, so you can give kids a little more freedom.

Kids Town also has a nice chair for nursing (with a good view of much of the room, including the exit), and a small area with a curtain for nursing privately, or helping a child to calm down. Kids Town also has the best area for crawlers, with lots to explore and which is nicely walled off to contain the crawler.


The bus has several rows of seats, including a spot for a driver. There’s also a very repetitive Wheels on the Bus song, but at least it doesn’t play for long each time they push the button. The carwash has squeegees and brushes, as well as a place to fill the car with gas, and the ability to replace the tires on the car, plus space to get in the car and drive.

The store has a large variety of groceries, and even an oven with fake fire in the back to cook. There’s pretend money for paying, and a couple of shopping carts, though they’re not the most stable. Nice bowls make carrying food easy, so be ready to “eat” the large meal delivered by your kids.

Further back is a little set of stairs to climb up to a small nook with beanbag chairs. Underneath that nook are pipes that kids can play with, and nearby are some trucks and blocks. All around Kids Town are mailboxes and a variety of letters to be delivered.

Kids Town has the best space for crawlers, which is both large, interesting, and fenced off so crawlers can’t get out. It’s clearly marked, but a lot of older kids still go in, even running through the area, so prepare to be a little feisty protecting the space of your little one. I’ve tried a variety of approaches, but the simple action of authoritatively saying “this is just for babies” as soon as someone starts to climb in has been the approach that has worked best for me—most big kids seem happy to clarify that they are not babies.