Oh, the place you should go: exhibit brings Dr. Seuss stories to life


Chloe Ma

An animated “Cat in the Hat” speaks to an audience at the Dr. Seuss experience at Water Tower Place.

Chloe Ma, Content Manager

Bright colored lights, whimsical music and nostalgia-evoking displays create a captivating affair. A new museum-like experience now fills the former Macy’s location at Water Tower Place on North Michigan Avenue and has completely transformed the area. 

The Dr. Seuss Experience is a window into the vibrant world of the Dr. Seuss books. While kids today may or may not have had the same experience with Dr. Seuss’ works growing up, the fantastical scenes featured there are more than enough to entertain families and friends alike.

General admission tickets to the exhibit range from $20-$45 based on age and time of attendance.

 Upon entrance, children stampede to the queue for the exhibit, and parents follow close behind. The line moves quickly and opens to a curtain-lined hallway. To the right is a wall with two colorful backdrops, where parents and kids pose and take photos. 

Dr. Seuss quotes and general trivia questions about Dr. Seuss books are pasted to the walls. The transitions between the immersive displays include nostalgic sights like Truffula trees from “The Lorax,” the Sneetches and the Grinch.

 With lighting, speakers and some impressive set design, the exhibit pulls visitors back into their beloved childhood stories. One of the most captivating models is a reconstructed room from “The Cat in The Hat” in which a highly animated puppet of the main character speaks to its audience. 

When guests walk through the halls, playful benches swing in the Truffula tree room, fantastical puzzles reminiscent of the Dr. Seuss books await children to solve them, and the Throm-dim-bu-lator from “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?” commands attention from the center of the room.

One of the most enchanting parts of the entire experience is the parade featuring some of the most well-known Dr. Seuss characters like the Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and Thing 2, The Grinch and Max. Children receive colored ribbons tied to sticks to wave at their favorite characters and are encouraged to dance by the non-costumed parade leader. Each character does a quirky dance, poses and walks off to let the next life-sized character perform. The ribbons are returned to staff members after the parade for sanitizing.

In terms of coronavirus precautions, conveniently placed hand sanitizer stations are dispersed throughout the exhibit but young children still ran around rampantly without masks. According to the Dr. Seuss Experience FAQ, all guests older than 2 are required to wear masks if unvaccinated while inside Water Tower Place. 

Even teenagers who may not feel particularly connected to the books can enjoy a good photo op, with this exhibit being similar to other attractions like the WNDR museum.

With the bright colors, bewitching activities and mind-bending visuals, all that’s missing from the Dr. Seuss Experience is a plate of green eggs and ham.