DuPage Children's Museum pilots new cultural exhibit experience, ‘A Taste of East Asia’

The DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville is piloting a new exhibit, “A Taste of East Asia,” for the Association of Children’s Museum, in partnership with the Freeman Foundation.

From June 15 to July 26, museum guests can explore different East Asian ingredients as well as food preparation and cooking methods through pretend play experiences.

The most basic way people connect with other cultures is through food. “Incorporating activities around food — and the various cultures from which dishes originate — can help children expand their worldviews. At DCM, children will be learning about a culture through play,” said Sweta Sobrib, the museum’s Early Learning and Family Engagement manager.

In “A Taste of East Asia,” kids and families will enjoy playing in the thoughtfully designed kitchen where they can prepare, cook, and serve pretend food to friends and family. They will enact various cooking methods like barbecuing, steaming, and stir-frying play ingredients using real utensils.

While some may gravitate to the oversized noodles, shrimp, and veggies in the giant Ramen and Bibimbap bowl, others will be able to try their hands at making noodles, cooking dumplings, and grilling seafood.

With the exception of scent jars containing real spices which are the mainstays of East Asian cooking, all other food items in the exhibit are pretend representations of East Asian ingredients.

As with all children’s museum play experiences, this exhibit will feature a combination of fine motor activities and bigger gross motor exploration — like climbing into the noodle bowl!

With thoughtful and intentional design, this exhibit is a celebration of culture rather than a study on nutrition. Over the past 20 years, the Freeman Foundation has invested in developing a greater appreciation of Asian cultures and histories in the United States.

Through the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, produced in partnership with the Association of Children’s Museum, children’s museums across the country have made Asian culture accessible through play-based learning.

The DuPage Children’s Museum is thrilled to be a partner to help pilot the exhibit before it is produced for small children’s museums around the country. This pilot test will provide a pretend play opportunity for museum guests while giving the Association of Children’s Museum an opportunity to understand more about how visitors will interact with the exhibit elements.

Admission is $19 for children and adults, $18 for seniors, or free for kids under age 1 or museum members.

Museum hours are: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Preregistration is recommended. The museum is located at 301 N. Washington St. in Naperville.

Plan a visit to experience “A Taste of East Asia” on June 15 to July 26, at

About DuPage Children’s Museum

DuPage Children’s Museum nurtures joyful discovery and learning by inspiring curiosity, creativity, and problem solving through STEAM play. It continues to reach new audiences and change lives by expanding access to immersive exhibit experiences and community-based playful learning programs. Authentic partnerships embedded in communities statewide extend the museum’s impact across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. With more than 35 years of experience, it strives to ensure that all children thrive through access to extraordinary learning experiences. For information, visit or call (630) 637-8000.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.