Every so often, my family gets the urge to pack up the car and spend a few hours or days in Chicago. It’s a lovely city and a popular tourist destination for people from all over the world. Those of us in the Midwest happen to be lucky enough to live within driving distance.
As an added bonus, the road trip view isn’t awful.
Of course one of the hard decisions to make when you visit a big city is what to do and what to skip. Here’s why the Field Museum in Chicago was on the agenda for our last trip.
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SUE, the T. Rex. Thanks to The Magic Treehouse Series, my four-year-old loves dinosaurs. And of course kids (and grown ups) who love dinosaurs are fascinated by the legendary Tyrannosaurus Rex. The world-famous fossil known as “SUE” is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found and makes her home at the Field Museum.
The photo ops. If you’re really lucky, you migh get to meet a SUE lookalike!
The other dinosaurs. Sure, the tyrannosaurus may get the glory, but the Field Museum is paradise for the future paleontologist. My oldest (who had just turned four at the time of our visit) still talks about the dinosaur we saw that “chews” its food using small rocks and stones lodged in its stomach.
The magical forest. This”forest” was officially a part of the Evolving Planet exhibit, but for my girls it was a magical/spooky play land that was great for imaginative play.
The mummies. Both kids and adults love the adventure of exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb and exploring the Egyptian marketplace in the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit.
The kids’ area (aka the Crown Family PlayLab). In the play lab, my girls colored, hatched baby dinosaurs, dug for fossils in kinetic sand, looked at bugs using a digital microscope, and had easy access to a changing room when our potty training tot had a peemergency.
The price. The Field Musuem participates in the ASTC Passport Program. Since our home museum (the Terre Haute Children’s Museum) also participates in this program, our family gets to visit the Field Museum Chicago for free! Current (as of September 2015) details: Two adults and their children or grandchildren under the age of 18 living in the same household. Proof of valid membership and photo ID are required to receive complimentary basic admission. Special exhibitions, 3-D Theater tickets and coat check are not included.
Know before you go: The Chicago Field Museum is open every day of the year except Christmas. Wear your walking shoes and bring a stroller if you can–there’s a lot of ground to cover.
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605 (312) 922-9410