A First Time for Everything

| April 8, 2009 | 0 Comments

3487456733_02179a5c87_oBy Farrah Brown

While there are many things that cause stress for mothers, planning their kids’ birthday parties is right up there in the top 10. Maybe even the top five for some. My son is only three and I am already out of ideas. Not looking good for me. Could be that I set the bar too high or have unrealistic expectations. I just want the perfect toddler party, tons of fun, not much cash…is that impossible? Not anymore.

In search of a unique and fun place to have his party, my son and I wandered into the Dupage Historical Museum. Located in the heart of beautiful downtown Wheaton in the western suburbs, the museum is full of interesting artifacts and beautiful exhibits highlighting the rich local history and culture of this county. But that is not really why we went. The big pull for us, and for many, is the huge model train they have in the lower level. It is truly a work of art and an awe-inspiring site for kids and kids-at-heart. Once my toddler saw it, he was hooked.

When I inquired about having his birthday party there, I was informed by the museum staff that they have never had one before. However, from there the museum educator proceeded to plan and arrange the entire party on just over a week’s notice.  She planned activities and crafts for the kids, decorated the room, offered to purchase snacks, …  She did it all! It was a perfect toddler train party where the kids had tons of fun and it didn’t cost much at all.  It does exist!!

The Dupage Historical Museum has recently been purchased by the Wheaton Park District in efforts to keep the doors open.  They have all new staff and all new motivation to update the exhibits to enhance the visitors’ experience of the local history and culture.  They already have several hands-on areas where kids can get a feel for life in Dupage County in the 1800’s and other fun tactile activities.  They also have a beautiful auditorium perfect for events and performances.  Coming this fall, the museum will be hosting a series of educational and hands-on progams for adults and kids designed to draw the community back to this forgotten resource.

We loved our experience there.  The kids loved the trains, the staff was great and so very helpful and I got to sit back and enjoy the day.  Perfect.  And with the museum located in the midst of downtown Wheaton, you are just walking distance from dozens of local shops and restaurants once you see all that the museum has to offer.  We will be back again and again.  We have truly found a hidden gem!

Anyone interested in learning more about this local gem or about having your event (toddler party, office party, etc…) there, contact the museum educator Sara Buttita at (630) 510-4956 or sbuttita@wheatonparks.org.

An original Chicagonista article.


Farrah Brown is a part-time nurse and full-time babywearing mom who is always on the lookout for those “hidden gems” in the western suburbs. She can also be found blogging at BabyLove Slings and ChicagoMomsBlog and her newest project, DupageMamas.  Oh, and check out her beautiful handmade slings at BabyLoveSlings.com

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Category: Featured, See & Plays, Shops & Services

About the Author ()

Farrah Brown is a part-time nurse and full-time babywearing mom who is always on the lookout for those "hidden gems" in the western suburbs. She can also be found blogging at BabyLove Slings and ChicagoMomsBlog and her newest project, DupageMamas. Oh, and check out her beautiful handmade slings at BabyLoveSlings.com

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