The Dr. Seuss Experience is Coming to Delight Kids in Chicago

The Dr. Seuss Experience will be in Chicago in October (photo from Houston exhibit).
The Dr. Seuss Experience will be in Chicago in October (photo from Houston exhibit).

Big news: the Cat and the Hat finally found Chicago! The Dr. Seuss Experience opens at Water Tower Place on October 8th, but tickets are available for purchase now.

One of our Houston writers was able to visit the exhibit in her city, and we're sharing her experience here ahead of the Chicago opening, as well as some tailored tips for attending the event in Chicago. Read on for all the installation details and tips for attending. But should you go yourself? Well..."If you never did you should. These things are fun. And fun is good."

Almost every child has read at least one Dr. Seuss book, so every child is likely to love visiting The Dr. Seuss Experience. Familiar characters and settings make up the colorful and zany installations themed on some of Dr. Seuss’ most iconic tales. It’s as if the books have come to life; and our family had an amazing time walking through them.

The attraction gives kids a chance to see, hear, feel, and experience their favorite settings from nine of Dr. Seuss’ stories as they go from room to room to interact with each installation. Keep your eyes open while you’re there—you might even bump into the Lorax strolling around the grounds.

What Are the Installations Like?

If you want to be surprised, then skip over this section! However, if you're curious what the installations at the Dr. Seuss Experience entail, read on:

Oh, the Places You'll Go: When first entering the installation space, visitors are welcomed with a maze of faux balloons inspired by Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Surrounding this maze are eight other rooms that form a journey through Dr. Seuss’ delightful world.

The Cat and the Hat: Here guests find a Cat in the Hat replica in the corner, tempting kids to make a great big mess while Mother is away. Meanwhile, the sensible goldfish in the fishbowl tries to dissuade them.

Wocket in My Pocket: Explore this colorful room and find all the hidden creatures from the book There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. My kids loved looking for the Jertain in the Curtain and the Nook Gase in the Bookcase. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the Bofa on the Sofa.

Circus McGurkus

Circus McGurkus: Spin the giant wheel to find out what your circus talent should be, then perform it while waiting in line to get on the (slowly rotating) swinging carousel for a quick ride.

Horton Hears a Who: Stroll through the clovers and get lost in the field of fluff while listening for a Who!

The Lorax: Put your ears to some cool-looking tubes to hear the story, then make your away among the Truffula Trees. Find a place to swing for a bit or grab a friend to enjoy a swing made for two.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Pick up one of the fishing poles and try your hand at fishing out some wrapped Christmas presents from a conveyer belt going round and round.

The Sneetches—both with and without stars.

The Sneetches: Step into this little mirrored space and be part of a fun illusion. When they shut the door behind you, you'll see yourself multiplied. It will also look like there are Sneetches as far as the eye can see!

Throm-dim-bu-lator: Funky gears and widgets seem to have jumped off a page from Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Kids can play with the different components, turn gears, and catch the fluffy balls shooting out of the machinery.

Searching for a Who in Horton Hears a Who. 

What Age Is the Dr. Seuss Experience Fun For?

Dr. Seuss is not just for little kids!

Surprisingly, even my older elementary school-aged kids really enjoyed the experience, because they connected it with all the Dr. Seuss books that are so familiar to them. There are lots of whimsical things to look at and plenty of opportunities to interact with in the different installations.

Toddlers enjoy all the colors and the novelty of discovering new rooms, but there will be some interactive portions that they won’t be able to participate in without help. Some require kids to be taller, or more dexterous. No matter what your age, though, those vibrant and creative installations are really well done and fun to look at, so plan on taking lots of photos!

More Info: Strollers, Bathrooms, and Gift Shop

If you have a stroller, the attendants will ask you to park it in the stroller parking area right before you enter the attraction. Many of the individual installations are not quite big enough to have a stroller pass through comfortably, especially if there is a crowd. On the way out, kids can't help noticing the colorful and well stocked gift shop, with T-shirts, stuffed toys, books, and other branded merchandise. The items are cute and displayed attractively, so prepare for some pleading as you exit. If anyone needs to use the restrooms, those are located right past the gift shop. There's a family bathroom available there as well.

Throm-dim-bu-lator machinery

What about Covid Safety Precautions?

All visitors age 2+ must wear masks if unvaccinated. There are hand sanitizer stations located throughout the space, since this is a high-touch attraction. The exhibit is likely to get crowded during peak times. If you’re concerned about potential crowds, check out the tickets for limited capacity days.

How Much Are the Tickets, and How Do I Buy Them?

Prices vary depending on the type of ticket you plan on purchasing. There is no charge for infants 12 months and under, but add an 'Infant Under 12' ticket when purchasing for your group. 

General Admission: Tickets are sold for entry times 15 minutes apart. Prices range from $18 to $34, depending on age—child (age 1-13) or adult (13+)—and whether you want a peak admission time. The best value is the 4-pack ticket package, available for General Admission only, valid for kids and adults.
VIP Anytime Tickets: These tickets have no timed entry restrictions. Guests can enter at any time during opening hours on the day of the ticket. Be aware that opening hours are different each day. Each VIP ticket costs $50, regardless of whether it’s a child or adult ticket.
Super Stoo-pendous Hours: Although you still have to select a time slot for these tickets, the organizer limits capacity during Super Stoo-pendous days, so you’ll be paying for a less crowded experience. Each ticket costs $45.

Where Is the The Dr. Seuss Experience?

The Dr. Seuss Experience is located inside the Water Tower Place shopping center, located at 835 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 100.

What Is Parking Like?

The Water Tower Place parking garage can be accessed from Chestnut Street, but expect to pay $30-40 to park there for a few hours or afternoon. There are many parking garages and street lots in the Magnificent Mile area for those who don't mind walking a few extra minutes.

What Else Can I Do with Kids in Downtown Chicago?

There are so many things to do with kids in Chicago! In fact, we have a whole article on Things to Do with Kids in Chicago's River North and Gold Coast Neighborhoods, which is the same area as Water Place Tower.

All photos by Houston author, Vicky Yip

Concerts at the Glen
The Glen - 4:00 PM Pick
Tunes on the Terrace
Willis Tower - 4:30 PM Pick
Millennium Park Summer Music Series
Millennium Park, Jay Pritzker Pavilion - 6:30 PM Pick
Chicago Park District Movies in the Park
Multiple parks citywide - various times Pick
Chicago's Little Italy Festa--Taylor Street
Taylor Street - various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides