One of the best museums of natural history in the world, Chicago’s Field Museum was built prior to the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 to house anthropological and biological collections. For 125 years, the museum has shared more than 24 million objects representing 4.6 billion years of strange and wonderful history.
Not to Miss at the Field Museum
Permanent exhibits feature themes such as China, Ancient Egypt, Underground, Gems, Ancient Americas, Conservation, 3D theatre and more. Since it’s almost impossible to enjoy everything in one day, choose a couple of “must see” exhibits before you go.
- Popular and friendly, 40-foot SUE is the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever discovered. For many years she greeted visitors in the Stanley Field Hall but was recently moved to the Evolving Planet gallery.
- Presiding over the Stanley Field Hall now is the prominent 122-foot, long-necked herbivore from Argentina, Máximo, the Titanosaur.
- Inside Ancient Egypt is a visitor favorite. Enter the pyramid on the main level and make your way through the chambers filled with mummies, treasures, and hieroglyphics dating back as far as 5000 years.
- The Grainger Hall of Gems and Jades encompasses rough stones as well as stunning jewelry and many other exquisite artifacts and pieces. The Opal Plesiosaur, Nano diamonds, and the 19th Tiffany Window are particularly distinctive.
- Visit the Underground Adventure and mysteriously “shrink” to 1/1000th of your normal size to experience first-hand the lives of bugs and worms.
Field Museum Amenities
Special services at the Field Museum include:
Two options for restaurants are available at the Field Museum, plus an outdoor grill which is open seasonally (weather permitting). The Explorer Café is a casual, family-friendly restaurant found on the ground floor and The Field Bistro features a menu filled with locally sourced foods as well as beer and wine.
If you’ve brought your own lunch or snacks, a picnic area on the ground level is available for all museum visitors.
Looking to take home a T-rex tooth or souvenir t-shirt? The main gift shop is located on the main level. The Dino Lab on the ground level is the place to build your own stuffed dinosaur. Also, find small gift shop collections near the exits of various ticketed exhibits.
For those requiring mobility help, Field Museum offers wheelchairs at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. Other accommodations include:
- wheelchair accessible parking
- elevators to all three of the public levels of the museum
- accessible restrooms on ground and entry levels
- trained service animals are welcome
- special tours are available for vision impaired
- special tours for those ages 8 and up who have learning, intellectual or developmental disabilities (with pre-registration)
- sensory friendly days
- free access for paid personal care assistants
Field Museum of Chicago Nearby Attractions
Located on Chicago’s museum campus, the Field Museum is adjacent to Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Soldier Field, and Grant Park.
Getting to the Field Museum of Chicago
It’s easy to get to the Museum Campus at 1400 South Lake Shore Drive:
Getting the Field Museum by car isn’t difficult but you should factor in potential traffic on highways and Lake Shore Drive during busier times. If you’re driving, the cost of parking is comparable to most places in the city. Convenient parking options include Soldier Field North Garage or the East Museum Lot, both of which are wheel-chair accessible and allow you to park for the entirety of the day. Special events may limit parking availability.
- The closest CTA train stop is Roosevelt, serving the Red, Orange and Green Lines. From here, the #146 bus (at State & Roosevelt) will take you directly to the museum campus.
- The #130 bus is also an option during the summer season.
- For Metra service, choose the Metra Electric District station at Museum Campus/11th Street.
- The closest bike-borrowing station (Divvy) is at McFetridge Drive on the southwest side of the museum.
- Public bike racks are available at East and West entrances.
When to Go to the Field Museum
Generally, the Field Museum is open daily 9-5pm and the last entrance is at 4pm. Avoid the crowds by heading over at opening time on weekday mornings. Illinois residents may like to take advantage of free admission days each month.
Field Museum Insider Tips
- If you’re aiming to see one of the 3D movies on exhibit, try to get there about ½ hour before your selected show time in order to get in.
- Did you know the Field Museum as a spectacular library? You simply have to request access from a member of Protection Services (appointments are encouraged).
- If you are planning on visiting several tourist attractions during your visit to Chicago, check out the Chicago CityPASS, Go Chicago Card and Explorer Pass, all of them include the Field Museum.