Founded in 1893 to display items from the World’s Columbian Exposition, and renamed in 1905 to honor its first major benefactor, Marshall Field, this vast museum offers fascinating insights into global cultures and environments past and present. Home to all sorts of cultural treasures, fossils, and artifacts, as well as to myriad interactive exhibits, make no bones about it: this natural history museum is one of the best in the country.

  • 1400 S Lake Shore Dr

  • 312 922 9410


  • Metra station: Roosevelt Road

  • Open 9am–5pm daily

  • Adm.: adults $12,children (4–11), seniors, and students with ID $7

  • DA

Museum Guide

The main entrance is located on the museum’s north side, though visitors typically enter on the south, where buses, trolleys, and cabs drop off. A third (ground level) west entrance is suitable for wheelchair access. If you visit on a weekday, it’s worth asking staff about the museum’s Free Highlights Tours, which take place twice daily. And don’t forget to look for information on the day’s special events, tours, and activities, posted throughout the building.

Museum façade

Grab a bite to eat under the watchful gaze of dinosaur Sue at the Corner Bakery on the main level.

Two free trolley services link the Field, the Shedd and the Art Institute  with the nearest Metra stations, CTA stations, and Downtown.

Have a museum-related question? Look out for attendants carrying a big “Ask Me” sign.

Top 10 Exhibits
  1. Sue

    A Tyrannosaurus rex, 13-ft (4-m) high by 42-ft (12.8-m) long – the largest, most complete, and best preserved ever found. Her real 600-lb (272-kg) skull, too heavy for the skeleton, is on view nearby.

  2. Pacific Spirits

    A real celebration of vibrant Pacific islander culture: visitors can see dramatic masks, listen to recorded sounds from the swamps of New Guinea, and bang on an impressive 9-ft (3-m) drum.

  3. Underground Adventure

    Enter this larger-than-life “subterranean” ecosystem to get a bug’s-eye view of life. Wander through a jungle of roots, and listen to the chatter of a busy ant colony. Extra admission charged.

  4. Lions of Tsavo

    In 1898, these two partners in crime killed and ate 140 men constructing a bridge in Kenya, before they in turn were hunted and killed. The skins were first used as rugs, before being mounted as you see today.

  5. Inside Ancient Egypt

    This part-original, part-replica Egyptian ruin leads you up and down stairs, into Egyptian bedrooms and tombs, and even through a marketplace. Discover how Cleopatra lived and how mummies were wrapped.

  6. Grainger Hall of Gems

    Fiber-optic lighting illuminates over 500 glittering gems, precious stones, and minerals. Even though it’s a replica, the star of the show is the breathtaking Hope Diamond.

  7. Hall of Jades

    This impressive collection of over 500 jade artifacts includes items from Neolithic burial sites, the Chinese Dynasties and the early 20th century. Tools used to create them are also on display.

  8. Africa

    Browse the wares of a Saharan market, experience life on a slave ship, and see a pair of fighting elephants: this exhibit offers an amazing journey through ancient and modern Africa.

  9. Pawnee Earth Lodge

    This replica Pawnee dwelling is an interactive exhibit that showcases the traditions of the 19th-century Pawnee Indians.

  10. Nature Walk

    Stroll through wetland, woodland, and other habitat dioramas complete with stuffed wildlife striking perfect poses. A deer management computer game lets you play God with the fate of the animals.

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