Field Museum of Natural History

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Also known as The Field Museum of Natural History, this Chicago cultural landmark is home to the most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in the world along with a host of other fascinating exhibits dedicated to the history of Planet Earth. A trip to The Field Museum is a great way to experience some of the best that Chicago culture has to offer.

History

Located at the southeast corner of Grant Park, in an area known as the Museum Campus of Chicago, the Field Museum is part of a triad of Chicago cultural institutions which also includes the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium. The history of the Field Museum dates back to the 19th century when the cultural center of Chicago was just beginning to grow.

Initially named the Columbian Museum of Chicago, the Field Museum was actually a project of the State of Illinois which was incorporated on 16 September 1893. The museum’s goal, as stated at the time, was the “accumulation and dissemination of knowledge, and the preservation and exhibition of artifacts illustrating art, archaeology, science and history.” It was subsequently renamed to The Field Museum of Natural History in 1905 to honor benefactor Marshall Field and better reflect its mission.

At first, the museum was located at the World’s Columbia Exposition’s Palace of Fine Arts at 57th Street and Lakeshore Dr. However, it moved to its current campus in 1921. For a long time, The Field Museum was Chicago’s most popular cultural attraction. However, it lost out to its neighbor, the Shedd Aquarium in 2007. Still, millions of visitors traverse the halls of The Field Museum each year.

In addition, The Field Museum has been the centerpiece for several popular cultural references involving the city of Chicago. This includes serving as the setting for the horror film The Relic (1997) and appearing in the Kevin Bacon film She’s Having a Baby. Sue the T-Rex was also an important character in the novel Dead Beat, the 7th book in Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files.

Main Attraction

With over 21 million specimens and a prized natural history library, The Field Museum is a treasure of cultural and natural education in the heart of Chicago. The museum itself is divided into seven permanent exhibitions including its animal exhibits, the Grainger Hall of Gems, the Underground Adventure, Inside Ancient Egypt, the Evolving Planet, The Ancient Americas, and several working laboratories. Highlights include Sue, the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, along with the skeletons of several other dinosaurs, a bevy of cultural anthropological artifacts, and an extensive taxidermy collection.

A trip to the Field Museum is truly and all-day event as there are many exhibits to see and activities to pursue. The museum offers tours and highlights, a 3D theatre, and a host of educational and children’s activities including sleepovers with Sue! Visitors can also become members of the museum in an effort to support its research wing as well as plan private parties and events on the grounds.

The Field Museum is open every day of the year except Christmas Day and welcomes adults and children of all ages. Children under 3 receive free admission and discounts are available for students, seniors, active military, Illinois State teachers, and residents of Chicago.

Why It’s a Must-See

The Field Museum is so much more than another hall of dinosaurs; it is a Chicago cultural institution. From seeing Sue the T-Rex to digging in the dirt for the Underground Adventure the knowledge and hands on fun at Field is present everywhere you look. Planning a visit to the Field Museum as part of a Chicago trip will add diversity, culture, education, and fun to any vacation.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

Save up to 20% online at Smart Destinations. If you add more than one attraction to the cart, you will get an automatic savings of up to 20%. It’s called Make Your Own Pass.

Pay Full Price and purchase a ticket from Field Museum of Natural History either online or in person.

Purchase a Tourist pass. The Field Museum is available on the Go Chicago Card and Chicago CityPass..