Museums

Your guide to the best Chicago museums, exhibitions and shows

Art

"The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music"

The MCA's latest is a brash but sophisticated look at art forms colliding and evolving through the decades

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Kids

Free museum days at the best Chicago museums

Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to spend a fortune in order to visit the city's best museums

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Things to do Buy tickets

Adler After Dark

No kids allowed interactive fun at the planetarium 

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Art

"De vuelta: Works by Chicago Imagist Errol Ortiz"

See the colorful acrylics of a Chicago native

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The best Chicago art museums

Art

Art Institute of Chicago

Flanked by iconic bronze lions, this encyclopedic institution owns more than 300,000 artworks and artifacts from all over the world

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art

Situated on the Northwestern University campus, this museum’s permanent collection boasts 4,000-plus works

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Museums

DePaul Art Museum

Hop off the Red or Brown Line at Fullerton and take in an eclectic exhibit at the DePaul Art Museum

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Art

Museum of Contemporary Art

The MCA houses one of the largest collections of modern art in the nation and frequently hosts major touring exhibits

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Museums

Museum of Contemporary Photography

See a brilliant mix of archival and new photos at Columbia College's picture-perfect museum

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Museums

Smart Museum of Art

The University of Chicago's fine art museum hosts a mixture of contemporary pieces and antiquities from its collection

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See Chicago's best contemporary art galleries

The best science and history museums in Chicago

Museums

Adler Planetarium

Take a virtual-reality trip through time and space or enjoy the stars at this lakefront planetarium

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

The Field Museum

This massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 300,000 square feet

Users say
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Chicago History Museum

Cull through thousands of archived photographs and curi and take in several permanent and temporary exhibits

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Museums

Shedd Aquarium

This 75-year-old institution houses enduring favorites such as piranhas, frogs and snakes of the Amazon

Users say
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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Museums

Museum of Science and Industry

If you’re into exhibits loaded with interactive bells and whistles, this expansive Hyde Park locale is your ticket

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Museums

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

From prairie and river ecosystems to the biology of Ice Age–mammals, the focus at this Lincoln Park museum is vast and varied

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