When I was researching my Chicago family travel book (Wait. You didn’t know I wrote this book? Huh.), I found all kinds of places around the Chicago area that my family had never experienced before. One of my (and my boys’!) very favorites was American Science & Surplus.
This is not a sponsored post, by the way.
The store contains what you would expect: science stuff and odds and ends. Lots of it is VERY odd, in fact.
You can get test tubes and bottles, but you can also get little motors and paper and maps and crime scene tape and marbles and lava lamps and frames and military stuff and literally thousands of other things that you didn’t even know you might need, lots of it older than dirt.
I used to take my boys to the West Chicago/Geneva location (on Roosevelt Road) when they were younger and give them a $5-10 spending limit. They LOVED shopping for their own stuff and would come out with a bag full of treasures that kept them busy for days and cost them, err me, very little.
I stopped in over the weekend because I was in the area (and I’m usually not!), and I had a blast walking through the aisles all by myself. I was there for nearly an hour and even found a few things to bring home with me. The best part was the fun I had reading the shelf tags, which are written by the hilarious employees there.
Forgive me, but I’m showing you eight of them. I took about twenty pictures so at least it’s not like I’m forcing you to look at my vacation slideshow but really, you should just go and see them for yourself, in person. Right after you finish this post.
American Science & Surplus has one other Chicagoland location (on Milwaukee Avenue) and there’s a store in Milwaukee (on W. Oklahoma), too!
Grab ten bucks and head over there with your kids. Or without your kids. In fact, call me. Maybe I’ll tag along!