Museums in Chicago IL
70 Chicago Museums
If you’re looking for someplace new to explore or just want to add a few more museums to your list of favorites, the Windy City is one of the best.
With world-renowned museums like The Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago and tons of smaller gems, there’s something for everyone. Here are our picks for three of the best museums in Chicago. But, hey, there are so many more. So, set off on an adventure. We’ve got a list of 70 museums in Chicago to keep you busy for months!
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Let’s Start With Three of the Best Chicago Museums
Art Institute of Chicago
It should go without saying that the first museum on our list is among the most iconic and recognizable museums in America due to its entrance being guarded on each side by a pair of bronze lions. We are, of course, talking about The Art Institute of Chicago. Just south of Millennium Park and across the street from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the museum is open Thursday through Monday from 11 am to 5 pm.
Founded in 1879, it is also one of the oldest and largest art museums in the world. The Art Institute boasts an extensive collection including ancient, classical, early-modern, and contemporary art from every corner of the globe.
Exhibitions and Films
Among various exhibitions, currently the most interesting and exciting include ‘Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt,’ ‘The Golden Age of Kabuki Prints’, and ‘Subscribe: Artists and Alternative Magazines, 1970-1995’. The Art Institute of Chicago is also well-known for its extensive Modern Art collection, including several pieces by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.
Film nerds may also enjoy visiting this museum to see Georges Seurat’s neo-impressionist A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, which was featured prominently in the cult classic 80s film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
General admission tickets start at $14 for residents of Chicago and $25 for those from out-of-state. Children aged 13 and under are admitted free of charge.
Not far away and just east of Chicago’s Central Station is The Field Museum, one of the most significant natural history and science museums globally. The Field attracts an incredible 2 million visitors each year. Its collection includes hundreds of fossils, including ‘Sue,’ the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex ever found.
Open every day from 9 am to 5 pm, general admission tickets cost $27 for non-local adults, while tickets are cheaper for residents of Illinois.
One of The Field’s most popular exhibits is ‘Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep.’ Visitors can see fossils and models of giant aquatic reptiles like the Plesiosaur and over 100 other specimens. The Field Museum also includes cultural exhibitions with sections displaying the traditional artwork of Tibet, the Pacific Islands, and the Potawatomi people (a local Native American tribe).
Families with young children could consider visiting the Grainger Hall of Gems. It boasts an extensive collection of various gems, crystals, and stones, or the ‘Underground Adventure’ exhibit of underground life, such as ants, moles, and spiders.
Museum of Science and Industry
Every visitor (or indeed resident) of Chicago needs to check out the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI).
Open every day from 930 am to 530 pm this museum is located in the Hyde Park area between Lake Michigan and the University of Chicago. It provides quite a large number of exciting and unique all-age experiences. Some include ‘The Art of the Brick’ exhibit of the world’s largest display of LEGO creations, the ‘Dark Universe’ astronomy show in the Giant Dome Theater, and the Hands-on Lab Experience of dissecting a cow eyeball. (Yes, you read that right!)
Admission to the U-505 Submarine
MSI also has the German submarine U-505 captured by the US Navy in WWII and the Apollo 8 spacecraft on permanent exhibit.
Wednesday through Sunday, guests of all ages may enjoy the ‘Genetics and the Baby Chick Hatchery’ interactive exhibit. It teaches how genetics affect development. There’s also a chick hatchery with an incubator that shows baby chicks being born and a pen for those recently hatched.
Tickets to MSI are 12.95 for those under 12 years and $21.95 for those 12 and up.
Museums in Chicago
|A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum||10406 S Maryland Ave||http://nationalpullmanportermuseum.com|
|Adler Planetarium||300 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.adlerplanetarium.org|
|American Writers Museum||180 N Michigan Ave||https://americanwritersmuseum.org|
|Arc Gallery||1463 W Chicago Ave||https://arcgallery.org|
|Art Institute of Chicago||111 S Michigan Ave||https://www.artic.edu/|
|Bronzeville Children's Museum||9301 S Stony Island Ave||http://www.bronzevillechildrensmuseum.com|
|Carrie Secrist Gallery||835 W Washington Blvd||https://www.secristgallery.com|
|Charnley-Persky House Tour||1365 N Astor St||https://www.sah.org/about-sah/charnley-persky-house|
|Chicago Academy Of Sciences||2060 N Clark St||http://braunrx.com|
|Chi-Am Museum Chicago||601 W 31St St||http://www.ccamuseum.org|
|Chicago Academy Of Sciences||2707 N Francisco Ave||https://naturemuseum.org|
|Chicago Baseball Museum||1611 W Harrison St||https://www.clearbuck.com|
|Chicago Blues Museum||25 E Washington St||https://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org|
|Chicago Childrens Museum Store||700 E Grand Ave||https://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org|
|Chicago Cultural Center||78 E Washington St||https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenter.html|
|Chicago History Museum||1601 N Clark St||https://www.chicagohistory.org|
|Chicago Maritime Museum||1200 W 35th St||http://www.chicagomaritimemuseum.org|
|Chinese American Museum Of Chicago||238 W 23rd St||https://ccamuseum.org|
|Clarke House Museum||1827 S Indiana Ave||https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/clarke_house_museum.html|
|Coal Mine||5700 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/coal-mine|
|David And Alfred Smart Museum Of Art||5550 S Greenwood Ave||https://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu|
|Dawson Douglas Gallery||224 S Michigan Ave Ste 266||http://www.douglasdawson.com|
|Depaul University Art Museum||935 W Fullerton Ave||https://resources.depaul.edu/art-museum/pages/default.aspx|
|Design Museum Of Chicago||108 N State St||https://www.designchicago.org|
|Driehaus Museum||40 E Erie St||https://driehausmuseum.org|
|Dusable Museum Of African American History||740 E 56th Pl||https://www.dusablemuseum.org|
|Ed Paschke Art Center||5415 W Higgins Ave||http://www.edpaschkeartcenter.org|
|Field Museum||1400 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.fieldmuseum.org/|
|Gallery Guichard||436 E 47th St||https://www.galleryguichard.com|
|Glessner House Museum||1800 S Prairie Ave||https://www.glessnerhouse.org|
|Haitian American Museum Of Chicago||4654 N Racine Ave||https://hamoc.org|
|Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center||801 W Adams St||https://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org|
|Henry B. Clarke House||1827 S Indiana Ave||https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/clarke_house_museum.html|
|Henry Crown Space Center||5700 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/henry-crown-space-center|
|Heritage Museum Of Asian Art||218 W 26th St||https://heritageasianart.org|
|High Museum Of Art||303 W Madison St||https://high.org/art-conservation|
|Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor Center||11141 S Cottage Grove Ave||https://www.pullmanil.org|
|Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery||100 W Randolph St||http://www.illinoisstatemuseum.org/content/welcome-ism-springfield|
|Indo-American Heritage Museum||6328 N California Ave||https://www.niam.org|
|International Museum Of Surgical Science||1524 N Lake Shore Dr||https://imss.org|
|Jennifer Norback Fine Art||217 W Huron St||http://jnfaprojects.org|
|Jewish Baseball Museum||853 N Elston Ave||http://jewishbaseballmuseum.com|
|John H Vanderpoel Art Association||9625 S Longwood Dr||https://vanderpoelartmuseum.org|
|Johnny Twist Blues Museum||6455 S Cottage Grove Ave||https://johnny-twist-blues-museum.business.site|
|Legends In Wax||4833 S Prairie Ave||http://www.legendsinwax.com/index.php|
|Lithuanian Museum||5620 S Claremont Ave||https://www.lithuanianresearch.org|
|Loyola University Museum Of Art||820 N Michigan Ave||https://www.luc.edu/luma|
|Mccormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum||376 N Michigan Ave||https://www.bridgehousemuseum.org|
|Medieval Torture Museum||177 N State St||https://tixpls.com/medieval-torture-museum|
|Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank||230 S La Salle St||https://www.chicagofed.org/education/money-museum/index|
|Montrose Studio Art||1070 W Berwyn Ave||http://www.montrosestudio.com|
|Musee d'art Contemporain De Chicago||220 E Chicago Ave||https://mcachicago.org|
|Musee De La Photographie Contemporaine||600 S Michigan Ave||https://www.mocp.org|
|Musee National D'art Mexicain||1852 W 19th St||https://nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org|
|Musee Polonais D'amerique||984 N Milwaukee Ave||https://www.polishmuseumofamerica.org|
|Museum Of Broadcast Communications||360 N State St||https://www.museum.tv|
|Museum Of Illusions Chicago||25 E Washington St||https://moichicago.com|
|Museum Of Science & Industry - South Lot||1800 Columbia Dr||https://www.msichicago.org/|
|National Hellenic Museum||333 S Halsted St||https://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org|
|National Italian American Sports Hall Of Fame||1431 W Taylor St||https://www.niashf.org|
|National Public Housing Museum||925 S Ada St||https://www.nphm.org|
|Oriental Institute Museum||1155 E 58Th St||https://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits|
|Peace Museum||100 N Central Park Ave||http://www.peacemuseum.org|
|Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum||2430 N Cannon Dr||https://naturemuseum.org|
|Robert Paul Galleries||3400 W 111Th St||https://robertpaulgalleries.com|
|Serbian American Museum||448 W Barry Ave||https://serbianamericanmuseum.org|
|Society For Contemporary Art||111 S Michigan Ave||https://scaaic.org/contact|
|Special Events At The Field Museum||1400 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.fieldmuseum.org/venue-rentals|
|Spertus Institute Of Jewish Studies||610 S Michigan Ave||http://www.spertus.edu|
|The Driehaus Museum Store||600 E Grand Ave||https://driehausmuseum.org|
|U.S. Pizza Museum||1146 S Delano Ct E||https://uspizzamuseum.com/2019/02/10/welcome|
|Wndr Museum||1130 W Monroe St||https://www.wndrmuseum.com/chicago/visit|
|Woman Made Gallery||2150 S Canalport Ave||https://womanmade.org|
|Zoology Field Museum||1201 S Lake Shore Dr||https://www.fieldmuseum.org|
Did we leave your theater off the list? Send us the info and we’ll be sure to add it.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The list of Chicago museums is long – in fact, we have a guide with 70! But some of the most prominent include the Chicago History Museum, Art Institute, High Museum of Art, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and the Chicago Cultural Center.
Yes. Of course, there’s the Chicago Children’s Museum. Additionally, families will enjoy the dinosaurs at the Field Museum and the U-505 submarine and Apollo 8 space capture at the Museum of Science and Industry.
Chicago doesn’t just have dozens of museums, but some that are Windy City exclusives. Unique Chicago museums include the U.S. Pizza Museum, Jewish Baseball Museum, Coal Mine, Chicago Blues Museum, and Legends in Wax.