Field Museum of Natural History

Field Museum of Natural History information

Chicago , USA
1400 S Lake Shore Dr
+1 312 922 9410
Getting there
Bus: 146, 130
More information
adult/child $18/13
Opening hours
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The mammoth Field Museum houses everything but the kitchen sink – beetles, mummies, gemstones, Bushman the stuffed ape. The collection's rock star is Sue, the largest Tyrannosaurus rex yet discovered. She even gets her own gift shop. Special exhibits, such as the 3-D movie, cost extra.

The museum's galleries hold some 20 million artifacts, tended by a slew of PhD–wielding scientists, as the Field remains an active research institution.

After communing with Sue, dino lovers should head up to the 'Evolving Planet' exhibit on the second floor, which has more of the big guys and gals. You can learn about the evolution of the species and watch staff paleontologists clean up fossils in the lab.

'Inside Ancient Egypt' is another good exhibit that recreates an Egyptian burial chamber on two levels. The mastaba (tomb) contains 23 actual mummies and is a reconstruction of the one built for Unis-ankh, the son of the last pharaoh of the Fifth dynasty, who died at age 21 in 2407 BC. The relic-strewn bottom level is especially worthwhile.

Other displays that merit your time include the Hall of Gems and its glittering garnets, opals, pearls and deep-blue tanzanite stones (1000 times rarer than diamonds, which you'll also see plenty of). The Northwest Coast and Arctic Peoples totem pole collection got its start with artifacts shipped to Chicago for the 1893 World's Expo. And the largest man-eating lion ever caught is stuffed and standing sentry on the basement floor. Preserved insects and birds are also on display in all their taxidermic glory.

The museum is vast, so get a map at the desk and make a plan of attack or download the museum's free app for curated tours of various collections.