Day two of our Chicago vacation brought with it the first of the final two concerts of the Dead & Company summer tour Wrigley Field, which meant that we needed to wrap up our activities in time to get back to the hotel, change clothes, grab some snacks, and hop on the train.
Our main activity of the day was the Field Museum, which came highly recommended by several friends who also warned us in advance to set aside an entire day to visit the museum because we’d want to spend A LOT of time there — and they were right…
The Field Museum was amazing and we spent more than five hours exploring the exhibits.
While at Willis Tower the day before, we bought the Chicago CityPASS, which included admission to the Field Museum, an All-Access Pass to all permanent and ticketed museum exhibitions, a 3D film experience, a museum store discount, and a discount on the purchase of tickets to the Jurassic World Exhibition.
Jurassic World The Exhibition
We upgraded our ticket to include admission to Jurassic World: The Exhibition!, a special timed-ticket exhibit open May 26, 2017 to January 7, 2018. Created in close collaboration with renowned paleontologist Jack Horner, the Exhibition is infused with interactive educational elements — drawn from the real-world science of dinosaur DNA that allowed Jurassic World to come to life.
Based on one of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, Jurassic World: The Exhibition! immerses you in scenes inspired by the beloved film and lets you get closer to dinosaurs than ever before.
Stepping into the Jurassic World Exhibit was like stepping into an entirely new world, lush with plant life and “live” dinosaurs! The tour brought us up close and personal with a brachiosaurus, parasaurolophus, pachyrhinosaurus, velociraptor, stegosaurus, and a tyrannosaurus rex, and the exhibit featured props from the actual movie.
Jurassic World: The Exhibition! is an amazing experience. It takes about an hour to move through the various parts of the exhibition and is well worth the extra ticket cost.
Special Ticketed Field Museum Experiences
Next, we explored the special “extra” ticketed experiences and exhibits that were included with our Chicago CityPASS tickets:
- We chose to see our 3D movie right after our Jurassic World experience to get all timed-events out of the way so we could just expose the rest of the Field Museum at our leisure. We chose Nature’s Wonderland: Galapagos 3D, which was fantastic.
- In the Underground Adventure exhibit, we got a slightly creepy, bug’s-eye view of the world when we magically “shrunk” to 1/100th of our actual size to explore an environment of bugs, worm tunnels, and soil chambers.
- We explored the Cyrus Tag Hall of China, covering one of the world’s most influential civilizations. In this exhibit, more than 350 objects, including rare textiles, rubbings, bronzes, and ceramics, tell the story of deep tradition and dynamic change that define Chinese culture.
- We viewed specimens of all kinds, pinned in drawers, submerged in jars of alcohol, and laid out on display, in the SPECIMENS: Unlocking the Secrets of Life exhibit.
The Field Museum Permanent Exhibitions
When you visit the Field Museum, you’ll have the opportunity to see more than 26 million artifacts, including Sue, the world’s largest, most complete tyrannosaurus rex. We learned about the environments of Africa, the mammals of Asia, gemstones and jewelry, environmental conservation, and the ancient Americas.
Our favorite exhibits by far were Inside Ancient Egypt and Evolving Planet.
Inside Ancient Egypt
This exhibit displays the largest collection of mummies found in any U.S. museum.
The Museum’s three-story recreation of a mastaba features two authentic rooms from the 5,000 year-old tomb of pharaoh’s son Unis-Ankh. From hieroglyphs, mummies, and a Book of the Dead, to a marketplace showing artifacts from everyday life, the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit demonstrates how the elaborate preparations that ancient Egyptians made for the afterlife gives clues to their lives on Earth — and to what ancient Egyptians might have had in common with people today.
Evolving Planet lead us on a journey through four billion years of life on Earth, from single-celled organisms to towering dinosaurs and our extended human family. Unique fossils, animated videos, hands-on interactive displays, and recreated landscapes help tell the compelling story of evolution.
Also included in this exhibit, are dinosaurs in an expanded dinosaur hall including every major group and the worlds they lived in. We LOVED the dinosaur hall, with all of the different skeletons, and the entire Evolving Planet exhibit with an incredible number of animal skeletons.
Know Before You Go
- The Field Museum is located at 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago Illinois, 60605. It is part of Chicago’s Museum Campus along with the Adler Planetarium and the John G Shedd Aquarium.
- The museum gets pretty crowded in the early afternoon. To avoid crowds, arrive when the museum first opens.
- Reserve your 3D movie when you purchase/pick up your tickets. Shows fill up fast.
- The Field Museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except Christmas, with last admission at 4:00 pm.
- Download the Field Museum brochure and map.
- There are two dining options at The Field Museum: the Field Bistro and the Explorer Cafe. You are also welcome to bring your own brown bag lunches to museum as long as you eat in designated areas in the Siragusa center.
- Mothers are welcome to nurse wherever they are comfortable within the building. A private nursing room is also available on the Ground Level inside the women’s restroom, located behind the Siragusa Center.
- Strollers are available to rent for $3 (or $5 for double strollers) on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors may also bring their own strollers. Strollers are allowed everywhere in the Museum except for ticketed special exhibitions, where stroller parking is available near the entrance to the exhibition. Stroller parking is also provided outside of the 3D Theaters.
- Wheelchairs are available for visitors to borrow at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis. They are located at the East Entrance on the Ground Level and at the Coat Check.
- In addition to admission discounts with a CityPASS, the Field Museum offers several different admission options based on your budget and the time you have available.