Guide to Chicago's Most Popular Museums

Chicago Museums

The Field Museum in Chicago IL

Chicago Interactive Map

Adler Planetarium

Adler Planetarium Chicago Illinois

Art Museums

Whether it's photography, drawing, painting, or sculpture, there are a number of top Chicago museums in the Windy City that focus on art. This is just a small guide to some of Chicago's most popular museums.  

  • Known as one of the best Chicago museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a great collection of art of all mediums, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.
  • The National Museum of Mexican Art has more than 6,000 objects that focus on Mexican culture and heritage, making it one of the biggest collections of Mexican art in the U.S
  • The David & Alfred Smart Museum of Art has four major sections: Asian Art, Contemporary Art, European Art, and Modern Art and Design. There is no admission fee to visit the Smart Museum of Art, making it one of the most popular free museums in Chicago.
  • The Evanston Art Center offers a wide selection of art classes for children and adults, including painting, drawing, photography, and sculpture.  

Science Museums

If art isn't your thing, why not take a look at our guide to Chicago's most popular museums that focus on the sciences. Whether it's natural history, astronomy, or biology, here are just a few of the top science museums in Chicago.

  • Museum of Science and Industry was one of the first hands on museums in the nation. It strives to make learning fun with a host of interactive and educational exhibits that focus on the world around us. 
  • The Lederman Science Center is located about 35 miles from Chicago, and is designed to encourage children to enjoy learning about science and the world around them. Hands-on exhibits such as the "Quarks to Quasars" game are one of the many popular attractions that the Lederman Science Center offers.
  • The Adler Planetarium is one of the best Chicago museums around. It provides a fascinating look into the mysteries of space. A great selection of interactive exhibits make learning fun, and a laser and light show in the planetarium's dome theater is a great way to gain a deeper understanding about the world around us. 

Children's Museums

Entertaining kids on a family vacation can be a challenge, so let our guide to Chicago's most popular museums lead you in the right direction. There are a number of Chicago museums that are specifically aimed at children, and are designed not only to entertain, but to educate.
  • The Field Museum is one of the best Chicago Museums for kids. There are a number of fascinating exhibits that focus natural history. One of the most popular exhibits is the life-size skeleton of "Sue" - a Tyrannosaurus rex that is the most complete and well-preserved in the world! 
  • The Chicago Children's Museum is located in popular Navy Pier, and is primarily aimed at children ages 0 - 10 years old. The museum's  interactive exhibits and educational programs focus on reading, science, math, and arts, making it one of the top Chicago museums for children.
  • Aimed at children ages 0 - 8, the Kohl Children's Museum is designed to make learning fun. The hands-on exhibits teach children about the world around them. With thousands of visitors each year, it's no wonder that this museum was named one of the top 10 children's museums in the nation
Chicago Travel Info
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Whether you're looking for art, science, culture, or family-fun, our guide to Chicago's most popular museums covers it all. The National Museum of Mexican Art is one of the best Chicago museums, housing the largest collection of Mexican art in the United States. The Museum of Contemporary Art has exhibitions that feature paintings, sculptures, photography, and films.  And for interactive fun, the Evanston Art Center offers a great selection of different art classes where guests can create their own masterpieces!  

For those traveling with children, there are a number of kid-friendly Chicago museums. For kids up to 10 years old, a visit to the Chicago Children's Museum or the Kohl Children's Museum is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, while the hands-on exhibits at the Adler Planetarium are perfect for the budding astronomer.

No matter what you're looking for, our guide to Chicago's most popular museums won't steer you wrong.