Walk through a recreation of an Egyptian tomb and learn about mummies. Pretend you're the size of a bug and take a journey underground. Explore how the first peoples of the North and South American continents evolved from the Ice Age to the cultures they are today. See how fossils are carefully dug and cleaned for museums and scientific study. Best to all? Meet Sue: the biggest, nastiest, most complete T Rex skeleton yet to be discovered.
The Field Museum of Natural History concentrates largely on archeology, anthropology, zoology and earth-centered sciences and will be over the heads of very young children but ages 6 and older will find plenty to do while wee ones nap in the stroller. The place was crawling with kids and they all looked (and sounded) to be having a boisterously good time. Amusing to me were the stuffed critters that have been at the Field since I was a child: the place has a long history.
Some suggested itineraries for families can be found on the website as well as information on all of the current exhibits. The Field is in Museum Campus right next door to Shedd Aquarium and close to Adler Planetarium so all three could be visited in one day although I wouldn't recommend it: older kids will be on overload after two of the three, and younger folks with short attention spans will likely be done after just one so spread your visits out.
If sightseeing on a CityPASS be aware that it covers general admission, "fast-line" entry and Underground Adventure but not the 3D flicks or special exhibits.
This is a great place - don't get me wrong. I'm glad they've got "Sue" here. But. . .
I've noticed that they've taken to calling themselves (simply) "The Field Museum" - leaving out "of Natural History." This was originally created as a place to display the gathered collections of the 1893 Columbian Exposition here (see "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson.) Not only Natural History, but also Anthropology was one of its major focuses. In the 1920s, The great Marshall Field himself earned "naming rights" to the museum through his sizable contributions.
I know some people in the world of museums who grumble about how the Field has taken to emphasize "blockbuster exhibits" that often have nothing to do with its core mission. There are essentially commercial enterprises that are more part of the entertainment world than the educational one. I think they have a point: the Field hosted a "Star Wars" exhibit a while back, and now they are working on their next biggie, one devoted to Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Huh?
The Field Museum is like Oprah or Mayor Daley: in this city, no individual and no institution is above criticism.
I have to confess that this museum's permanent collections are not on my personal top 10 list of places to visit in Chicago but I recognize that it is a personal preference and not because it is not a good museum.
For those that are fans of Natural History museums, you'll want to be sure and see Sue, the world's largest and most complete T Rex, the man eating lions of Tsavo and Bushman, the famous gorilla from the Lincoln Park Zoo. Self guided tours can be found on the Field's website or at the admissions desk.
The Field has had several excellent temporary exhibitions in past years that I have enjoyed, including the Splendors of China's Forbidden City and the Jackie Kennedy exhibit. The more popular special exhibit can sell out so if you have a tight schedule I'd recommend securing tickets in advance.
Information on discount days for Illinois residents, admission and free museum highlight tours can be found on the attached website.
There aren't many restaurants near the museum campus but there is a Corner Bakery for sandwiches, soups and salads in the museum as well as a McDonald's. Some restaurants close by are the Bongo Room at 1152 S. Wabash for breakfast/brunch, Chicago Firehouse for American at 1401 S. Michigan or Gioco for Italian at 1312 S. Wabash.
The museum has a variety of areas to stroll and see. They have a special feature of Egyptian tomb that covers two floors, and through that you see 23 mummies in the narrow walking area that takes you through what may have been a real replicated entry to the tombs. They also have a number of artifacts and hieroglyphics in this attraction that takes about one hour to view. The other main feature are all the dinosaur skeletons, maybe 5-80 in total, and even a huge one called Sue. And another great exhibit is of the evolution of man, and it focuses on the Indian tribes and cultures from the regions of North America over many centuries.
Overall, the museum may take 4-8 hours, depending of what and how much you want to see. It is today laid out to keep the interest of young children and teens, more than the old days when you did not have interactive exhibits, but more viewing pleasure. I liked the old way best, and the new method to keep interest of youth detracts from the great things to see, in my opinion.
It is open 9-5, and admission is $28 for the full package that includes a 20 minute IMAX 3D show and Mammoth exhibit, or $22 for basic minimum. The 3D was just so, so for the money. Get ready for big city parking at $14 for under 4 hours, of $19 over that, and they have 4200 spaces but some take a long walk to the museum. McCormick Place parking is closest.
The Field Museum is the place to go if you want to check out Sue, the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil yet discovered.
The Field Museum was founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. These objects form the core of the Museum's collections which have grown through world-wide expeditions, exchange, purchase, and gifts to more than twenty million specimens. The collections form the foundation of the Museum's exhibition, research and education programs, which are further informed by a world-class natural history library of more than 250,000 volumes.
There are always exciting special collections to view such as Pearls, Chocolate and recently the Jacqueline Kennedy exhibit. Be sure to check out the gift shop as they have wonderful items on sale pertaining to the exhibits.
Regular hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily. Last admission at 4 p.m. Open every day except Christmas.
Basic admission is $12 for adults; $7 for children ages 3-11, $7 for seniors and students w/ ID. There is a $2 discount for Chicago residents.
This was my favorite museum in Chicago. Granted, I didn't get to that many, and certainly not all, but I hit the big ones and this was the place that fascinated me the most.
I read somewhere that there are over 2 million artifacts in this museum. I doubt I saw them all, but even a short visit to the museum will leave you on information overload. The main and most advertised exhibit at the Field Museum is Sue- a large dinosaur fossil that is supposed to be the most complete dinosaur fossil ever found. A good portion of the museum is devoted to dinosaurs. But there is much, much more.
The tri level museum is enormous and definitely a place you could and just might want to get lost within. There are exhibits, artifacts and drawings from a multitude of countries and regions, including a recreated Egyptian tomb and artwork from Tibet. The first floor nature and wilderness section was absolutely fascinating to me and I'd recommend it to anyone who's a National Park fanatic like I am. The attention to detail on the displays is amazing, as is the number of parks represented, not only within the US but internationally.
In addition to the learning centered exhibits, there are a bunch of interesting displays as well. The gem room, which contains as its centerpiece the world's largest (I think that's what it said) topaz, makes for an interesting browse for anyone who likes to look at large precious stones. The underground exhibit, which creates the impression that it is shrinking visitors down to microscopic size, was pretty interesting as well, especially with the animated larger than life bugs which pop out here and there.
I'd highly recommend this museum, especially if you plan to only visit one. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse around each section too.
The Field Museum is located on the Museum Campus of Chicago. It is a very large museum that has a lot of interesting and exciting exhibits. Very worth the visit. Also, the museum offers "Free Days" when the basic admission to the museum is free of charge for everyone. Free days are usually Mondays and Tuesdays from September thru December. Regular basic admission is $10 for adults.
I am sure a lot of people have pages on the Field Museum. After all, it is one of the must see activitys in Chicago.
I will admit that i dont like most museums. Though i have gone to a lot, i am real picky on which ones i go to. Everyone kept saying "Bryan, you have to see the Field Museum, Bryan, you have to see the Field Museum" so i figured i had to see the Field Museum.
My two favorite exhibits were the dinosaur fossil exhibit (cause i am a boy at heart and what boy doesnt love dinosaurs) and the animal and plants exhibit. One of the specail exhibits there at the time was the chocolate exhibit. Just my luck i was traveling with Angelica and "girls love chocolate". Man i hate chocolate now! She read every single thing, and then ofcourse i had to buy some chocolate after, and wouldnt u know, i had to carry that chocolate around then for the rest of the day. The chocolate that was bought for her! Stupid chocolate!
Anyways there were so many different things to see there that it was hard to choose. You can literally spend all day there. I will have to hit up the museum again next time i am back in Chi-town, as long as the chocolate exhibit isnt there.
General admission is 10 dollars for adults, 5 for children 3-11 and 7 for senior citizens and students. Hours are 9am to 5 pm with last admission at 4pm.
Perhaps the most popular and most well-visited display is Sue, the world's largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex.
In addition to providing interactive permanent exhibits, professional symposia and lectures, the museum also presents numerous long-term special exhibits.
For example, the Underground Adventure features giant-scale replicas of life underground; "Sue" teaches us about the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered; and Masks: Faces of Culture features masks from all over the world throughout history.
Kids (3-11): $8
Students w/ ID: $14
Senior Citizens: $14
If you live in Chicago, you're allowed a discount.
The Field Museum is Chicago's museum of natural history. They do an excellent job of rotating exhibits; I go every year and always see something new. They have a nice T-Rex ("Sue") - look for the 1) healed fracture, the 2) bone tumor and notice that the head is fake (it is kept in storage). It is not a large museum but what they have is terrific. Close by to the planetarium and aquarium.
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