The first thing you notice when you walk into the new KidsWork Children's Museum is how open and bright it is. The first thing your kids will notice is the 60,000 pins in the pin screens, perfect for making impressions of their faces, hands and little bodies over and over again.
The museum, geared to kids up to 7, is full of things to explore and do. Our kid testers especially liked the sensory tables, a music area that let them make all the noise they wanted and the art area that kept them busy making butterflies and bookmarks.
But during a recent visit, the real show-stoppers were the shows created by and starring the kids, who eagerly bedecked themselves in costumes and hats at the elaborate Imagine Theater. There's even an area for puppet theater with a wide array of high-quality puppets.
Our kid testers, Zoe and Gianna, both 6, reported: "We loved everything."
The museum plans to continue to grow. For the most up-to-date information on new exhibits, special events and programming, check its Web site, www.kidsworkchildrensmuseum.org.
• 11 S. White St. (the Old Trolley barn)
• (815) 469-1199
Tips for parents
• Plan potty breaks before hitting the second floor, especially if you have more than one child.
• Bring a light sweater. The second floor temperature feels cold.
• After your visit, check out the other businesses in the Trolley Barn, including Kernel Sweetooth, which sells gourmet popcorn, candy and yummy ice cream by the scoop.