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The Field Museum
The Field Museum Review
More than 400,000 square feet of exhibit space fill this gigantic museum, which explores cultures and environments from around the world. Interactive exhibits examine such topics as the secrets of Egyptian mummies, the art and innovations of people living in the Ancient Americas, and the evolution of life on Earth. Originally funded by Chicago retailer Marshall Field, the museum was founded in 1893 to hold material gathered for the World's Columbian Exposition; its current neoclassical home opened in 1921.
Don't miss the dinosaur collection, one of the world's best. And you won't be able to overlook the 65-million-year-old "Sue," the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever found—it's on permanent exhibit in the lobby. Also visit the McDonald's Fossil Preparation Laboratory, where you can watch paleontologists cleaning bones. Another favorite is "Evolving Planet," an awe-inspiring journey through four billion years of life, from single-celled organisms to towering dinosaurs and early humans.
Shrink to the size of a bug to burrow beneath the surface of the soil in the "Underground Adventure" exhibit (additional fee applies). You'll come face-to-face with a giant, animatronic wolf spider twice your size and listen to the sounds of gnawing insects.
Travel to ancient Eypgt via a working canal, a living marsh where papyrus is grown, a shrine to the cat goddess Bastet, burial-ceremony artifacts, and 23 mummies. Or spend a couple of hours taking in contemporary and ancient Africa. Dioramas reproduce the homes and lives of Africans from Senegal, Cameroon, and the Sahara.
See nature at its most sparkly in the Grainger Hall of Gems, a permanent exhibit with hundreds of jewels and gems and 150 pieces of magnificent jewelry.
Don't hesitate to take toddlers to the Field; in the Crown Family PlayLab, kids 2-6 years old can play house in a re-created pueblo and compare their footprints to a dinosaur's.
It's impossible to see the entire museum in one visit. Try to get tickets to the special exhibit of the season and then choose a couple of subjects you'd like to explore, like North American birds or Chinese jade.
The Sue Store sells a mind-boggling assortment of dinosaur-related merchandise.
The lobby of the museum includes the Corner Bakery. The dining room tucked in the back comes with sparkling views of the lake and the Museum Campus.
- Address: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., South Loop, Chicago, IL, 60605 | Map It
- Phone: 312/922-9410
- Cost: $29 All-Access Pass; $15 general admission; see website for package deals and additional costs.
- Hours: Daily 9--5; last admission at 4
- Website: www.fieldmuseum.org
- Location: The Loop, Including West Loop and South Loop
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