A Comprehensive Guide to the Field Museum

••• Photo courtesy of the Field Museum

Field Museum in Brief

The Field Museum moved to its present location on the lakefront's Museum Campus in 1921, which along with the Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium, attracts a huge number of visitors annually. The Field Museum's first incarnation was on Sept. 16, 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago. Later named the Field Museum in 1905, in recognition of its largest benefactor, Marshall Field, it moved to its current location along Chicago's lakefront in 1921.

The Field Museum's collection of biological, anthropological, natural and historical items is one of the largest and finest in the world with more than 20 million specimens. The museum also hosts excellent touring temporary exhibits.

The Field Museum is included with the purchase of a Go Chicago Card. (Buy Direct)

The Field Museum is included with the purchase of a Chicago City Pass. (Buy Direct)

What To See

Current Field Museum Exhibits:

  • Nature
  • Animals, Plants, Ecosystems
  • Rocks and Fossils
  • Dino Zone
  • Culture
  • Africa
  • The Americas
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Global Themes
  • Sue
  • Evolving Planet
  • Underground Adventure
  • Crown Family Play Lab

SUE - Sue is the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever discovered.

Evolving Planet - Evolving Planet spans four billion years of life on Earth, and contains videos, displays, fossils, land- and seascapes, and an expanded dinosaur hall.

Underground Adventure - Underground Adventure is a fun exhibit that teaches kids about life under the soil, as they are "transmogrified" to only a half-inch tall!

Inside Ancient Egypt - An extended display of Egyptian artifacts including tombs, mummies and more.

Pertinent Details

Address: 1400 South Lake Shore Drive

Phone: 312-922-9410

Field Museum Hours: The museum is open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; last admission is at 4 p.m. The Field Museum is open every day except Christmas.

Field Museum Tickets:

  • Basic Admission (includes museum entry, SUE, Evolving Planet, and Inside Ancient Egypt): adults, $22; seniors, $19 (ages 65+); students (with ID), $19; children (ages 4-11), $15
  • Discovery Pass (general + one special exhibit): adults, $31; seniors, students, $26; children, $22
  • All Access Pass (general + all special exhibits): adults, $38; seniors, students, $32; Children, $26

How To Get There

Getting to the Field Museum by Public Transportation:

Either the south-bound CTA bus line #146 (Marine-Michigan), or Red Line CTA train south to Roosevelt, then take a Museum Campus trolley or transfer to CTA bus #12.

Driving From Downtown:

Lake Shore Drive (US 41) south to 18th Street. Turn left onto Museum Campus Drive and follow it around Soldier Field. Look for signs that will point you to the visitor parking garage. The Field Museum is just north of the parking garage.

Parking at the Field Museum:

There are several lots on the Museum Campus, but most tend to fill up quickly and your best bet is in the main Soldier Field parking garage. Parking for all lots is $15 per day.

Top 5 Nearby Hotels

Chicago Athletic Association Hotel: The property originally opened in 1890 as an exclusive men's club, but in its new life it operates as a lifestyle hotel catering to well-heeled men and women.

It boasts 241 guest rooms, six dining and drinking establishments, an interactive game room, 17,000 square feet of event space, 24-hour fitness center, massive ballrooms and an indoor, full-size basketball court. Room rates start at $229.

Congress Plaza Hotel and Convention Center: The Michigan Avenue hotel opened in 1893, just in time for the World's Columbian Exposition. Much of the gilded interior has been left intact--with a few nips and tucks--from the ornate lobby to marble and chandeliers. There are 804 guest rooms and 35 suites. Room rates start at $98.

Essex Inn: The family-friendly property is one of the most affordable options downtown. Rooms are simply furnished with contemporary accents such as flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, work desks and mini-fridges. Many rooms overlook Grant Park.

Room rates start at $86.

Hilton Chicago: Located directly across the street from Grant Park and down the street from Millennium Park, Hilton Chicago is one of the Windy City's venerable hotel properties. It opened in 1927 and has played host to every president since its debut. It is also the third-largest hotel in Chicago. There are 1,544 guest rooms and suites. Room rates start at $199.

Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel: The historic luxury property is directly across the street from Grant Park. It's played host to a number of U.S. presidents, dignitaries, celebrities and other notables, including Katherine Hepburn and Al "Scarface" Capone. There are 328 guest rooms and four suites. Room rates start at $169.

--edited by Audarshia Townsend