Field Museum

 
Chris Nguyen

We like big dino bones and we cannot lie.

The Field Museum houses its fossil friends in a marble temple that makes the Supreme Court look like a piddly shack, but Máximo the Titanosaur, the largest dinosaur ever discovered (on display on the museum’s main floor), demands nothing less. Between Máximo, the special exhibitions, and the 3D movies, you could easily spend a half day in the Field Museum. The dinos, mummies, and top-quality taxidermy are the headliners, but some of the museum’s quieter rooms are just as captivating—for example, the Hall of Gems is a great spot to fantasize about an epic jewel heist.

Best things to see at Field Museum

SUE the T. Rex

Her name may make her seem like a nice enough lady, but we’re willing to bet you wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with the living, breathing SUE when she was alive 67 million years ago. SUE the T. Rex is the world’s largest, most complete, and best preserved fossil ever found and is on permanent display in the Griffin Halls of Evolving Planet.

 

Grainger Hall of Gems

Ever wonder what it would feel like to be dripping in gemstones? While you can’t actually touch anything on display, it’s certainly fun to imagine as you peruse the museum’s stunning collection of over 600 gemstones and 150 pieces of antique and contemporary jewelry. Each display features the three stages of each gem, from raw stone, to cut and polished, and finally, mounted on a piece of jewelry. Ooo la la!

 

The fossil prep lab

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes before the fossils in the museum are ready for public view, and you can watch as they are prepared for display or research. Each fossil begins as a huge hunk of rock—not that exciting, right? But with careful precision and a lot of finessing, the pros in the McDonald’s Fossil Preparation Laboratory take that hunk of rock and reveal the precious fossil preserved inside. Just don’t expect to see any fast work being made—it takes a long time. SUE the T. Rex took 12 years to unearth!

 

The rotating exhibits 

From ancient mummies, to exploring the world from a bug’s eye view, to immersing yourself in the world of chocolate (yum!), the museum’s temporary rotating exhibits feature anything from ancient cultures to the latest scientific discoveries at any given time. Check out the museum’s website to see what’s in store for your visit!

Best places to eat & drink near Field Museum

Dining options at the Field Museum

The museum has two restaurants, a seasonal outdoor grill, and a picnic area on the ground level if you chose to brown bag it. If you plan to purchase your meal, your dining options range from kid-friendly casual fare to made-from-scratch soups and seasonal salads. On nice days, the northeast terrace offers the perfect place to  rest your feet, grab a drink, and play some lawn games while soaking in the glittering waterfront view.

 

Grab a slice of deep dish

When in Rome (er, Chicago), right? This iconic dish is either delicious or pretty meh, depending on who you ask. But, if you’ve never tried a piece of this famed pie, you owe it to yourself to at least see what all the fuss is about. You’ll find several pizza places within a quick walk of the museum, so once you’ve had your fill of dino bones, go fill up on a slice of ooey, gooey goodness.

Field Museum directions and parking

The best way to get to the Field Museum

The Field Museum is located in East Chicago right off of Lake Michigan. The closest CTA train stop to the Field Museum is Roosevelt, servicing the Red, Orange, and Green lines. The #146 and #130 buses will also take you right to the Museum Campus, and the closest Metra stop to the Field Museum is the Metra Electric District station. We recommend biking—the Field Museum is easily accessible off of the Lakefront Trail. And if you want to come by car, there are plenty of parking options available around the museum.

 

Best parking near the Field Museum

There is plenty of parking around the Field Museum, but rates and hours are subject to change, especially for events at Soldier Field or Huntington Bank Pavilion. The two closest parking lots are the Soldier Field North Garage and the East Museum Lot. Accessible parking is available first come first serve in the East Museum Lot.

 

Field Museum FAQs

What are the museum’s hours?

Open Daily 9am to 5pm (last admission at 4pm)

Closed Christmas Day.

 

How can I purchase tickets?

Tickets can be purchased online or in person. Prices vary for adults, children, and seniors.

 

Can I store my stuff?

The Field Museum offers checking for coats, bags (including backpacks and shopping bags), and strollers.

 

Are wheelchair and stroller rentals available?

Yes. Wheelchair and stroller rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Is re-entry permitted?

Yes! Same-day re-entry is permitted—just hold onto your ticket.