Chicago Traveler Blog

Chicago Traveler Blog

The Whales Exhibit Closes in Two Months... Should you Rush to See It?

11/4/11 | by

While it opened last May, it’s winter now and museum season is upon us, so many Chicagoans and tourists alike are just now making their way to the Field Museum to check out The Whales exhibition. We too finally made it to The Whales recently and our opinions are a little mixed...

While it was somewhat interesting, we just didn’t feel like The Whales made that big of a splash. The exhibit was rather small and disappointing. We expected a lot as you have to pay an extra fee to get in, but we were let down with only three rooms in the exhibit, one of which just featured a documentary.

Plus, you’re not even allowed to take photos inside the exhibit. We had to learn this the hard way when we were scolded by security while snapping pics. You’ve been warned.

But... it was interesting to learn about the size and evolution of whales. Bet you didn’t know that the first whales actually walked on land? Yeah, it was news to us too. Then the exhibit proceeds to show how smaller walking whales eventually evolved in to the enormous water whales of today.

It’s also interesting, especially being so far from the ocean, to see the full scope of a giant whale in person. The exhibit houses the entire skeleton of a sperm whale. Their skeletons look nothing like the real animal, but their sheer size makes Sue look small.

The Whales exhibit actually came to Chicago from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. At the end of the exhibit there is a documentary based on whale riders of the South Pacific. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s bizarre. Apparently there are people out there that say they have actually hitched a ride on the back of a whale in the ocean... some to different islands. It’s a little... well frankly very hard to believe, but their stories definitely had us entertained.

So while we love the Field Museum, this exhibit is one you might wanna skip over if you’re running low on time or don’t want to pay the extra $10 exhibit fee . But if you’ve got the time and it’s free (we were able to talk the nice lady at the ticket booth into a free pass) then it’s worth maybe... 25 minutes of your time.

But you’re gonna have to go soon. The Whales exhibit closes forever in about two months on Monday, January 16.