Chicago is known around the globe for its first-class museums. These
cultural institutions quench the thirst for knowledge of millions of visitors
each year. See what's in store at these great treasure houses with our roundup of the top 10 activities at each museum.
can command a space shuttle and discover a new planet in Planet Explorers.
the Shoot for the Moon, you can feel
the sensation of jumping on the Moon by trying the Lunar Leap. While you're
there, view the fully restored Gemini 12 spacecraft, which launched from Cape Canaveral
on November 11, 1966, making it the tenth and final flight of the Gemini series.
The Adler Planetarium opened its doors in 1930,
becoming the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.Take your
picture in front of the giant bronze sculpture outside the Adler entitled Man
Enters the Cosmos. It isn't just a cool piece of art - it's a 13-foot sundial!
back in time in The Atwood Sphere to see
what the Chicago night sky looked like in 1913. The sphere is a 17-foot
diameter stainless steel sphere punctuated by 692 holes of different sizes,
replicating the night sky in early 20th century.
the Space Visualization Laboratory,
and meet astronomers to talk about their new research and discoveries.
Telescopes: Through the Looking
exhibition showcasing telescopes dating from the 17th century to modern day
instruments, is a "must-see" for anyone who has looked up at the sky and wanted
to know more.
as a live show,Cosmic Wondertells the
compelling story of how, through time, we have pieced together an understanding
of the cosmos, inviting audiences to ask questions and help scientists unlock
modern mysteries of the unknown. The next adventure departs from the Grainger
Sky Theater - the most technologically advanced theater in the world.
planets, moons, comets and asteroids in the Adler's newly re-designed gallery, Our Solar System.
out The Universe: A Walk through Space
and Time, an interactive exhibition that transports visitors to the distant
corners of the cosmos and shows how the Universe evolved over 13.7 billion
years - from the Big Bang to modern day.
your picture with the famous Art
Institute Lions at the entrance on Michigan Avenue.
the Grand Staircase, view beautiful
architectural fragments from some of Chicago's historic buildings that have
at the largest collection of Impressionist
and Post-Impressionist art outside of Paris. The Art Institute's
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections are among the best in the
world with more than 350 works by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Gauguin.
the largest painting in the museum,
Georgia O'Keeffe's Sky Above Clouds IV
iconic 19th and 20th century American
Art by finding:
Wood's American Gothic
Cassatt's The Child's Bath
a peek at the Chicago Stock Exchange
Trading Room, one of the finest examples of architect Louis Sullivan's work
and a faithful restoration and reinstallation of the room originally in the
Chicago Stock Exchange building (now demolished).
miss experiencing the beauty of the new Modern
Wing. Designed by Italian architect, Renzo Piano, the use of natural light
and windows is unlike any other art museum.
museum also has one of the top three
collections of Surrealist art in the U.S. and is on display in the Modern
outdoor third-floor Nichols Bridgeway
connecting the Art Institute to Millennium Park offers spectacular views of the
skyline and Lake Michigan.
the Thorne Miniature Rooms - tiny
recreations of European interiors from the late 13th century to the 1930s and
American furnishings from the 17th century to the 1930s.
"nose" to "snout" with SUE, the world's largest, most complete T.rex
fossil ever found! Sue is 67 million
SUE's real skull on display on the
second-floor balcony overlooking SUE's skeleton in Stanley Field Hall. A cast of SUE's skull is mounted with the
skeleton, because the real skull is too heavy, weighing almost 1 ton!
Inside Ancient Egypt, and explore a
full-sized mastaba tomb complex. View
the 5,000 year old hieroglyphics and 23 Egyptian mummies hidden inside.
the Egyptian tomb, delight in examining the wooden funerary boat which is 3,700 years old and one of only four
in existence today.
the Hall of Jades, which houses
North America's largest collection of Chinese jade.
the Hall of Gems and find the
world's largest blue topaz, weighing 5,899.5 carats.
Evolving Planet and find the
"Rapetosaurus krausei," an 18-foot juvenile sauropod, found by Field Museum
Scientists in Madagascar. It is the only one of its kind on exhibit in the
miss the Pawnee Earth Lodge in the Native
American Halls. This full-scale
reconstruction of a traditional Pawnee lodge is true to the originals in form,
appearance and construction.
into the windswept world of the Ice Age Mammoth hunters in Ancient Americas Hall and examine the most sophisticated spear
points known to exist, created by the Clovis people to take down mammoths and
other giant animals.
around Stanley Field Hall and look
for fossils embedded in the floor tiles.
You just might see something unusual!
miss Science Storms! Manipulate a
40-foot tornado, trigger a 20-foot avalanche, create a tsunami, and more!
the U-505 Submarine - the only
German submarine captured in World War II - take a guided tour to learn what
life was like on board.
the human body in YOU! The Experience,
make the 13-foot 3-D, Giant Heart beat in time with yours; run in the
human-sized Hamster Wheel; see blood running through your veins and examine
more than 50 real human specimens!
the Coal Mine. Take a ride into the
bottom of a mine shaft, learn about the technology used in mining coal and see
the working conditions of a typical U.S. miner.
a scientific adventure in the Omnimax
Theater, Chicago's only five-story, domed, wrap-around movie theater.
how the lunar landing almost failed, try to "dock" at the International Space
Station, and remote control your own Mars Rover - all in the Henry Crown Space Center.
the miracle of life right before your eyes in the Baby Chick Hatchery. Baby chicks peck and maneuver out of their
shells-taking their very first steps!
the winding journey across the United States from Chicago to Seattle through The Great Train Story, a model railroad
allowing you to witness more than 30 trains running on 1,400 feet of track.
some of the Museum's most fascinating-and rarely-exhibited-historic bicycles,
juxtaposed with the coolest, fastest and most high-tech bikes currently on the
market, in The Art of the Bicycle.
out Earth Revealed, an interactive
exhibit that demonstrates Earth's characteristics such as climate, geophysics
and weather as well as the human impact on the planet. See the powerful forces at work on our planet
in several guided daily shows.
a diver feed the animals and answer your questions in the 90,000 gallon
habitat, Caribbean Reef.
the Shedd Aquarium's oldest resident,
an Australian lungfish "Grand Dad." He arrived at the Shedd Aquarium in 1933,
and at 85 years old, is the oldest known fish in any zoo or aquarium.
sure to see our rotating cast of various animals in Shedd's Aquatic Show, One
World, where you'll see and hear how the sea lions, dolphins and
beluga whales at Shedd arecared for every day by their trainers.
out over 24 sharks without worrying about getting wet when you explore The Wild Reef Shark habitat.
miss the chance to touch a Sea Star (or starfish) in the touch pools of the Polar Play Zone.
Naluark, the heaviest beluga whale
at the aquarium. Hint: Look next to the dolphins!
don't need to be in the North or South Pole to see penguins. Head to the
Polar Play Zone and learn how to tell the difference between a Rockhopper
penguin and a Magellanic penguin as you watch these speedy underwater
miss the fun and surprises at the newest show in the Shedd Aquarium's 4D Theater!
Stingrays swimming under your feet
in the Wild Reef exhibit.
a Shedd volunteer why the green sea
turtle in the Caribbean Reef is named Nickel.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
CAF presents a comprehensive
program of 85 exciting tours of Chicago by boat, foot, bus, bike, and
Segway. Additionally, exhibitions,
lectures, special events, and adult and youth education activities, are all
designed to enhance the public's awareness and appreciation of Chicago's
outstanding architectural legacy.
Chicago Children's Museum
Chicago Children's Museum is a
place where families with infants and children are encouraged to create,
explore, and discover together through play. The museum features three vibrant
floors of exhibits and activities that provide sensory experiences and engaging
educational content focusing on literacy, science, math, visual and performing
arts, and health.
Chicago History Museum
If you live in Chicago or are
visiting and are curious about the city's past, present, and future, the Museum
should be your first stop. The Chicago
History Museum cares for, showcases, and interprets millions of authentic
pieces of Chicago and U.S. history.
Clarke House Museum
Built in 1836 for Henry B.
Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago's oldest house. The house shows what
life was like for a family in Chicago during the city's formative years before
the Civil War. Its fascinating history began at a time when Chicago received
its city charter and much of the area was still undeveloped prairie. Tours
conducted by Glessner House Museum.
Steps away from Chicago's
Magnificent Mile, the Driehaus Museum offers visitors a fascinating view of one
of the few remaining examples of the palatial homes erected by the wealthy of
America's Gilded Age. The galleries, elegantly furnished with period pieces
selected from the Driehaus Collection, are presented in harmony with the
interiors and surviving furnishings, immersing visitors in the original
splendor of this late 19th-century home.
DuSable Museum of African American History
The nation's first independent
museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of the history and
culture of Africans and Americans of African descent. Exhibits, concerts,
films, children's events and literary discussions are just a few of the
institution's various programs offered.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Visit the Money Museum at the
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. View rare currency and displays of millions of
dollars. Detect counterfeit currency and create your own unique dollar bill
featuring your portrait. All visitors receive souvenir shredded money.
Glessner House Museum
A National Historic Landmark,
Glessner House was designed by noted American architect Henry Hobson Richardson
and completed in 1887. It remains an internationally-known architectural
treasure in Chicago. A radical departure from traditional Victorian
architecture, the structure served as an inspiration to the young Frank Lloyd
Wright and helped redefine domestic architecture. Offering guided tours, lectures, and other
special programs to interpret the themes of art, architecture, and social
history which are inherent in Glessner House, the museum's collections, and the
stories of its residents and neighbors during the late 19th and early 20th
International Museum of Surgical Science
Housed in a historic mansion on
Lake Shore Drive, the International Museum of Surgical Science spans the
history of surgery by means of art, books, medical instruments and artifacts.
The Museum's collections and exhibitions portray the mysteries, breakthroughs,
failures, and milestones that have shaped modern surgical science. Of special
interest to those in the medical field, our collection appeals to anyone
interested in history, science, architecture, or classical and contemporary
of Broadcast Communications
of only three museums dedicated to broadcast history in the nation, the MBC is
home to America's only National Radio Hall of Fame Gallery. The new MBC
includes Oprah's Door (through which she made her famous grand entrance each
day), WGN's Family Classics set, 183 inductee posters in the only National
Radio Hall of Fame Gallery, the "original" Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer
Snerd and Effie Klinkler, Scores of radio memorbillia and vintage radios, and a
working radio and television studio.
Museum of Contemporary Art
One of the nation's largest facilities devoted to the art of
our time, the MCA offers exhibitions of the most thought-provoking art created
since 1945 and documents contemporary visual culture through painting,
sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance.
National Hellenic Museum
premier institution that fosters a deeper connection to American history and
culture through the experiences of Americans of Greek origin.
National Museum of Mexican Art
One of the most
prominent first-voice institutions for Mexican art and culture in the United
States. Home to one of the country's
largest Mexican art collections, including more than 7,000 seminal pieces from
ancient Mexico to the present.
Oriental Institute Museum
World-famous collection of
artifacts from the ancient Middle East, including a recreation of an Assyrian
palace and a 17-ft.-tall statue of King Tut. A part
of the University of Chicago, it is an internationally recognized pioneer in
the archaeology, philology, and history of early Near Eastern civilizations.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Inspiring people to learn about
and care for nature and the environment through a unique indoor/outdoor
live animals, learn about food's life cycle and let your imagination go in the
Judy Istock Butterfly Haven.
Pritzker Military Library
Open to the public with live
events and a collection of books, films, and gallery exhibits that tell the
story of the Citizen Soldier in American military history.
Smart Museum of Art, of The University
the fine arts museum of the University of Chicago, the Smart is home to
thought-provoking exhibitions and an exquisite collection of ancient, modern,
and contemporary art from across the globe. Free and open to the public.
Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership
Chicago's Jewish education and
cultural center. It offers an innovative array of public programming, including
exhibits, performances, films, and lectures. The institute collects, preserves,
and displays materials from the Jewish experience. Art from the institute's
collection is showcased throughout the building and temporary exhibits examine
aspects of Jewish culture.
Swedish American Museum
don't have to be Swedish to visit Chicago's Swedish-American Museum! The Museum
has something for everyone-an art gallery, immigration exhibit, children's
museum, genealogy center, and a gift shop featuring a beautiful selection of
handcrafted Scandinavian gifts.
Ukrainian National Museum
Ukraine's rich culture through colorful Easter eggs, ceramics, costumes,
intricate embroidery, and religious artifacts. Learn about the Ukrainian
Genocide Famine and the Chernobyl disaster.