by Linda (minnemom) of Travels with Children
Set on the shores of Lake Michigan adjacent to the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium and across the street from Soldier Field sits the Field Museum. Known for being home of Sue, the largest, most complete, best-preserved T. rex, prehistoric animals aren’t the only thing found at the Field Museum.
With exhibits ranging from nature to world cultures, and fossils to DNA, the Field Museum has a large variety of permanent exhibits. In addition, temporary exhibits come and go to add another dimension to the museum.
The museum itself is spacious, and its main hall is grand. It makes the elephants and Sue, the dinosaur, look small in its open space. Other galleries twist and turn and can be quite confusing to navigate (or to find a child who’s gotten a few steps ahead).
While much of the museum is not hands-on, there are some activities and areas designed for children. Our kids enjoyed finding fossils in the floor with the help of a volunteer, and making a large world map on the museum floor. The museum is also home to the biggest McDonald’s I’ve ever been to, so there’s kid-friendly fare on the premises if you can put up with fast food.
Because of its location just south of Chicago’s downtown, it’s easy enough to walk from the Field Museum to other venues. (We walked from the train station near the Sears Tower to the Field Museum with four young kids; it was a long walk but manageable with plenty to see along the way.)
If you’re visiting Chicago and have any interest in natural history, the Field Museum should be on your to-do list.
Photo credits: minnemom