Celebrate President’s Day at History Museum
February 15, 2012 3:50PM
Updated: March 17, 2012 10:11AM
What would it be like to live in a big white house with a huge yard, a particular house frequented by dignitaries and shared with Secret Service agents?
You can get some insights at “Kids in the White House,” a day of free special programs and activities about presidents and their children at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at the Chicago History Museum, 1601 N. Clark St., at North Avenue.
The program begins with a storytelling and musical rendition of the book “Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters,” by President Barack Obama. This will be followed at 11 by a program called “In the Service of the President’s Children,” and at 1 p.m. by the Brass Ambassadors Great Lakes Navy Band.
Crafts and patriotic face painting are planned all day, and visitors can meet President Abraham Lincoln and first lady Mary Todd Lincoln through actor-historians. They will conclude the day’s program with a performance at 2 p.m.
It’s worth mentioning another upcoming event at the Chicago History Museum — the 10th annual Chicago Maritime Festival. This day of presentations on sailing, shipwrecks, naval battles, naval architecture, lighthouses and characters of the lakes, rivers and seas takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. An evening concert of maritime music and sea shanties at 7 will feature performers from around the world.
I got a taste of the concerts in an entertaining program at last weekend’s University of Chicago Folk Festival.
Tickets to the day programs of the Chicago Maritime Festival are $14 for adults, with free admission for ages 12 and younger. Concert tickets are $20. There also are $25 combination tickets, which are $20 if purchased at www.chicagomaritimefestival.org by Feb. 21.
When visiting the Chicago History Museum, leave time for two other destinations in the neighborhood: Lincoln Park Zoo and the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Both are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are free.
Design site launched
If you’ve taken the river architecture tour of Chicago or any of the interesting walking or bus tours offered by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, you know how informative and entertaining they are. The group has expanded its programming by launching the website “DiscoverDesign: A Student Design Experience.”
The CAF describes this website as a “learning tool that gives high school students the opportunity to solve real-world design problems through project-based learning ... engaging users in a dynamic and social experience, guiding them through the architectural process from start to finish.”
The site gives many examples of school buildings with innovative designs. It then invites students to offer ideas on projects ranging from new school lockers to a technology wing, and to comment on the work of other students.
The site also challenges high school students to consider how they would redesign their cafeterias for healthy eating in a sustainable space, and invites them to submit their designs to the DiscoverDesign National High School Architecture Competition.
Participants must register by March 14. Complete details can be found at www.discoverdesign.org.