Field Museum: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
The Field Museum in Chicago is a welcoming, family friendly destination any time of year. The bonus of doing our show in our home town is that we can invite friends and family to join us! One of our Family Travel team members, Jenny Quinn, joined us for a visit to the museum with her son and his buddy for our show about things to do in Chicago during the holiday break. They were the perfect friends to invite because the boys had just been studying dinosaurs in school. And there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your kids’ eyes light up when they make connections with what they are learning in the classroom and what they are seeing on vacation. It’s like a family field trip!
The Field Museum is a Chicago staple. Here’s a little background info about the museum…the original building was created as a memorial of the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. Prominent Chicagoans including Marshall Field, George M. Pullman and Harlow N. Higinbotham among several others contributed significant sums of money to create a variety of collections that can still be enjoyed at the museum today. Click here for more info on the museum’s history.
Since the boys had just been studying dinosaurs in school, we focused our visit on this section in the museum. Our first stop was a visit with SUE, famous for being the largest and most complete T. Rex ever found. She is huge and worthy of a photo op for sure, so don’t forget your camera! Make sure that you visit SUE’s original skull, which is on display on the Museum’s balcony. The one that that is part of the display in the main lobby is a replica because the original weighs 600 lbs! That’s one big dinosaur!
Inspired by our visit with SUE, we explored the Evolving Planet exhibit. There were saw more life sized dinosaurs and fossils of all sizes. The boys had fun telling us all the things they knew about dinosaurs that they had learned at school. They were clearly excited! If you have time to plan ahead for your visit, pre-register for one of the programs, such as The Great Fossil Hunt and the Fossil Prep, to learn more about fossils. You can also take advantage of the discovery carts used by museum staff to share fun facts with visitors.
To enhance your visit, either before or after you go, you can find a ton of resources on the museum website. Whether you focus on just one collection or visit many exhibits at the Field Museum, it is a can’t miss attraction during a family vacation in Chicago. Enjoy your visit!
Some Additional Tips & Fun Facts:
- An app is available with special content, tours and fun scavenger hunts.
- The Edible Treasures Garden is on the Museum’s West Terrace. Over 100 Field Museum staff volunteer on the garden team and share the harvests for potluck learning activities.
- Every Friday from 10am to noon, scientists share highlights of their research. You can learn about objects not usually on display at The Field.
- Throughout the year, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts can participate in programs to earn badges.
- Dozin’ with the Dinos is an overnight experience available for the whole family! Kids in the family must be 6-12 years old.
- If you have little ones between 2-6 years old, check out The Crown Family PlayLab. It is free with basic admission and open from 10am to 4pm, Thursdays through Mondays.
- For an additional fee, visitors can watch 3D movies like the one about SUE.
- Free highlight tours are offered every day. Ask at the Field Museum Information Desk for a schedule.
- Save money and skip the lines with a CityPASS ticket to the museum.