Saturday, March 30, 2013

Brunk Children's Museum of Immigration (Swedish American Museum)

I have been meaning to take the girls to this museum for awhile and we finally made it there over spring break.  The Swedish American Museum is located in the heart of Andersonville at 5211 N. Clark.  On the third floor of this museum (easily accessible by an elevator located just inside the entrance if you have a stroller) is the Brunk Children's Museum of Immigration.  Upon entering the museum space, a volunteer pointed out to us that one side of the museum is called Sweden and the other side is called America.  Between the two sides is a boat with the aim of showing the immigration experience to visitors.  The museum is small but there is plenty for kids to do from wearing costumes, selling tickets to board the boat, milking a cow, or working in the garden.  On the Sweden side is a century old farmhouse meant to display life in the old world.  On the America side is a log cabin meant to show what life was like for immigrants about one hundred years ago. 

Our little guy slept in his stroller the whole time and there was room for the stroller in the museum, but just barely.  There is not a lot of extra space.  I initially considered taking his car seat out and leaving his stroller in the hall but a volunteer encouraged me to bring the stroller in.  She said I could put it anywhere there was room.  This was completely fine on a weekday afternoon (even though it was spring break) but might not work on a weekend. 

On the day we were there, a large side room was set up for Easter crafts.  This was the highlight of the visit for my older daughter and she spent a long time making a bunny, chick, and witch (a Swedish tradition we were told).  Because the museum is small, I was easily able to keep an eye on one in the craft room and one in the play area while also navigating the stroller. 

The sign at the entrance to the Children's Museum indicates that it is appropriate for children ages 6-12, although younger children are also welcome.  Both of my girls had a good time but it was my three year old who really enjoyed playing there and did not want to leave. 

The museum offers lots of fun events such as family nights, breakfast with Pippi Longstocking, and holiday activities.  Check their website for a schedule  -  Hours for the Children's Museum are Monday through Thursday 1-4, Friday 10-4, and Saturday and Sunday 11-4.  Admission is $4/adult, $3/child or $10 for a family.  Metered street parking is available.  This part of Andersonville is pretty busy, however it only took us a couple of minutes to find a spot.

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