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The largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere

Illinois

Chicago, Illinois: Inspiring Curiosity at The Field Museum

By: Amy Nance

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  • States:
    Illinois

Spend all day at this beloved museum, finding your sense of wonder again and again.

Visit the Galapagos, walk through a hall of glittering gems, step inside an earth lodge, or encounter the elaborate masks of the Pacific Islands: There’s so much to see and do at The Field Museum, a world-class natural history museum in the vibrant city of Chicago, Illinois. From temporary exhibits for traveling shows to an extensive collection of artifacts, The Field Museum showcases a variety of habitats, cultures, plants and animals throughout its hallowed halls. Consider this your field guide to this unique educational and scientific institution.

Getting a Lay of the Land

There’s no better home for SUE – the largest known tyrannosaurus rex fossil – than The Field Museum. SUE is 12 meters long and 4 meters high, with 58 razor-sharp teeth in a reconstructed skull (her real skull, weighing over 270 kilograms, can be seen in the alcove above). It’s hard to top this impressively intact skeleton, but the museum’s dioramas and exhibits offer even more. Head to the Hall of Asian Mammals to see hyenas, or step “Inside Ancient Egypt” to discover mummies. Walk through flora and fauna in the Nature Walk. Find out what life was like inside a Maori meeting house, or visit the “Ancient Americas.”

Visiting SUE at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois

Visiting SUE at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois
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The Story of Life on Earth

Head to the Evolving Planet exhibit, which tells the four billion-year-old story of life on Earth. Sloth skeletons, bear behemoths and apes appear before you as you follow the arc of history all the way to Dinosaur Hall. Here, nearly every major group of dinosaurs is on display. You’ll find animated videos, interactive exhibits, recreated seascapes and a huge selection of fossils. Exploring this part of the museum is not only an up-close-and-personal experience but a hands-on one.

A dazzling exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois

A dazzling exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois
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Science Hub

The Field Museum is more than just a natural history museum, dense with collections and exhibits; it’s a full-on research institution, where scientists of all backgrounds come together to make new discoveries. In the Grainger Science Hub, visitors get access to some of the most compelling artifacts from the museum’s 30 million objects. Meet scientists who answer your questions and let you examine their research. The museum’s Discovery Squad rolls out carts with specimens you can hold, and they propose research questions to inspire your scientific mind. Make a DNA discovery, learn about local wildlife, do a bit of crime solving or analyze some of the oldest minerals on earth – there’s no limit to what you can experience at The Field Museum.

Making new discoveries at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois

Making new discoveries at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois
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Getting There

Located right by the lakefront, The Field Museum is an easy stop to make while exploring Chicago, Illinois. Fly from international destinations into Chicago O’Hare International Airport or Chicago Midway International Airport, and drive for less than an hour to reach downtown Chicago and The Field Museum.

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