Originally founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum still packs ’em in with more than 30 permanent exhibitions covering 480,000 square feet. Guests come from all around the world to see towering dinos, marvel at ancient artifacts from a royal Egyptian tomb or relax in a Chinese rock garden hidden inside the Cyrus Tang Hall of China. While a gigantic titanosaur skeleton named Máximo now guards the lobby, you'll find the Field's former greeter, SUE the T. rex, residing in the “Evolving Planet” exhibit. There's something for everyone, and you can easily spend an entire day here.
Whether you're a first-time visitor to Chicago or you've lived here your whole life, there's always something new to discover at the best Chicago museums. Want to see world-class art? Head to the Art Institute to check out thousands of works from the likes of Vincent van Gogh and Henri Matisse, or swing by the Museum of Contemporary Art for buzzy touring exhibitions. Itching to learn about dinosaurs? Pay a visit to the massive skeletons of Máximo and SUE the T. rex at the Field Museum. Hoping to save some money? Check out the free collections at the National Museum of Mexican Art, Smart Museum and other local institutions, or keep an eye out for upcoming free museum days in Chicago. With gorgeous architecture, killer collections and convenient access (many of these spots are located within a short walk from one another in the Loop), it's easy to see why these museums are some of the top Chicago attractions our city has to offer. Plan a day to explore the best museums in Chicago and get ready to learn a thing or two.
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