Everything you need to know about visiting the Field Museum (1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605).
Founded to house the biological and anthropological collections assembled for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, this massive natural history museum is still one of Chicago’s most beloved institutions. With more than 350,000 square feet of permanent exhibitions to explore, you could spend several days immersed in the thousands of artifacts on display. Visitors can take a peek at ancient Egyptian mummies, get a closer look at a towering dinosaur skeleton or marvel at rare jewels in the Grainger Hall of Gems.
Have a T. rex encounter
Upon entering the Field Museum, you’ll come face to skull with Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that has ever been uncovered. Named for paleontologist Sue Hendrickson, the 67-million-year-old collection of bones made its debut in 2000 and has since become a popular prehistoric backdrop for selfies. You can find Sue’s original skull in a display on the museum’s balcony—weighing in 600 pounds, it was too heavy to mount on the skeleton without using extra support.
See a scientist at work
The skeletons and fossils contained within the “Evolving Planet” exhibition are certainly amazing, but it’s equally fascinating to see how they’re prepared before going on display. In the “Fossil Prep Lab” on the museum’s second floor, you can watch scientists using jackhammers, saws and sandblasters to uncover fossils that have been embedded in rocks for millions of years.
Catch a 3D flick
A general admission ticket gets you access to plenty of the Field Museum’s most famous exhibitions, but upgrading to a Discovery or All-Access Pass will allow you see a 3D movie. A rotating lineup of films transports 3D glasses-clad audiences to the land of dinosaurs, the Galapagos and ancient Egypt, complete with some eye-popping effects. You can save a few bucks by visiting on a free museum day and upgrading your free basic admission to include a 3D movie screening.
Our Chicago editorial team is constantly updating and reviewing the best attractions, activities and venues across the city, so that you're always in the know, with the best of Chicago at your fingertips. The Field Museum was most recently updated with new tips on June 26, 2017.
|Venue name:||The Field Museum | Chicago, IL|
1400 S Lake Shore Dr
|Cross street:||at McFetridge Dr|
|Opening hours:||Daily 9am–5pm. No entry after 4pm.|
|Transport:||El stop: Green, Orange, Red to Roosevelt. Bus: 12, 30, 146. Train: Elec Main to Millennium Station.|
|Price:||$22, seniors and students $19, kids ages 3–11 $15. Discounts for Chicago residents.|
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One could spend a week here easily and still not see all that this marvelous museum has to offer! Makes me proud to live in Chicago with such culture, scientific endeavors & education seemingly at your doorstep!!!
All of the displays—particularly Sue the T. Rex—in the beautiful central hall are great, as are some of the taxidermy items like the Bushman and Lions of Tsavo. I really enjoy the dinosaur, gemstone and Pacific Island areas, but others can feel a little bit old and overwhelming. In general, the museum is much more manageable than, say, the American Museum of Natural History, and often has intriguing exhibitions (Mammoths and Mastodons was a personal favorite).
Fantastic museum with tons to do for all ages. I really respect and admire the decolonizing methodologies used with the indigenous peoples exhibits they have.
The Field Museum is not the site of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893, the Columbian Exposition. It is the Museum of Science and Industry in the Hyde Park community at 56-57th Streets and located in Jackson Park (not Grant Park) that was the site of the Fair. Just to the south and at the rear of the Museum of Science and Industry is the Columbia Basin which flows into east and west branches of the lagoon which surround the Wooded Island. The Wooded Island and the Osaka Japanese Garden are just two of features designed by Frederick Law Olmsted specifically for the Fair. To the south of the lagoon and Wooded Island and on the site of the Electricity Building (one of the buildings of the Fair complex) stands the replica of the Statute of the Republic, in honor of the Columbian Exposition.