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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, Chicago museums, Art Institute Chciago IL

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.

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Field Museum Chicago, Chicago Field Museum

Field Museum

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.

Museum Favorites

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, Chicago museums

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

Chicago MuseumsAddressWebsite
A Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum10406 S Maryland Avehttp://nationalpullmanportermuseum.com
Adler Planetarium300 S Lake Shore Drhttps://www.adlerplanetarium.org
American Writers Museum180 N Michigan Avehttps://americanwritersmuseum.org
Arc Gallery1463 W Chicago Avehttps://arcgallery.org
Art Institute of Chicago111 S Michigan Avehttps://www.artic.edu/
Bronzeville Children's Museum9301 S Stony Island Avehttp://www.bronzevillechildrensmuseum.com
Carrie Secrist Gallery835 W Washington Blvdhttps://www.secristgallery.com
Charnley-Persky House Tour1365 N Astor Sthttps://www.sah.org/about-sah/charnley-persky-house
Chicago Academy Of Sciences2060 N Clark Sthttp://braunrx.com
Chi-Am Museum Chicago601 W 31St Sthttp://www.ccamuseum.org
Chicago Academy Of Sciences2707 N Francisco Avehttps://naturemuseum.org
Chicago Baseball Museum1611 W Harrison Sthttps://www.clearbuck.com
Chicago Blues Museum25 E Washington Sthttps://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org
Chicago Childrens Museum Store700 E Grand Avehttps://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org
Chicago Cultural Center78 E Washington Sthttps://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/chicago_culturalcenter.html
Chicago History Museum1601 N Clark Sthttps://www.chicagohistory.org
Chicago Maritime Museum1200 W 35th Sthttp://www.chicagomaritimemuseum.org
Chinese American Museum Of Chicago238 W 23rd Sthttps://ccamuseum.org
Clarke House Museum1827 S Indiana Avehttps://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/clarke_house_museum.html
Coal Mine5700 S Lake Shore Drhttps://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/coal-mine
David And Alfred Smart Museum Of Art5550 S Greenwood Avehttps://smartmuseum.uchicago.edu
Dawson Douglas Gallery224 S Michigan Ave Ste 266http://www.douglasdawson.com
Depaul University Art Museum935 W Fullerton Avehttps://resources.depaul.edu/art-museum/pages/default.aspx
Design Museum Of Chicago108 N State Sthttps://www.designchicago.org
Driehaus Museum40 E Erie Sthttps://driehausmuseum.org
Dusable Museum Of African American History740 E 56th Plhttps://www.dusablemuseum.org
Ed Paschke Art Center5415 W Higgins Avehttp://www.edpaschkeartcenter.org
Field Museum1400 S Lake Shore Drhttps://www.fieldmuseum.org/
Gallery Guichard436 E 47th Sthttps://www.galleryguichard.com
Glessner House Museum1800 S Prairie Avehttps://www.glessnerhouse.org
Haitian American Museum Of Chicago4654 N Racine Avehttps://hamoc.org
Hellenic Museum & Cultural Center801 W Adams Sthttps://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org
Henry B. Clarke House1827 S Indiana Avehttps://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/clarke_house_museum.html
Henry Crown Space Center5700 S Lake Shore Drhttps://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/henry-crown-space-center
Heritage Museum Of Asian Art218 W 26th Sthttps://heritageasianart.org
High Museum Of Art303 W Madison Sthttps://high.org/art-conservation
Historic Pullman Foundation Visitor Center11141 S Cottage Grove Avehttps://www.pullmanil.org
Illinois State Museum Chicago Gallery100 W Randolph Sthttp://www.illinoisstatemuseum.org/content/welcome-ism-springfield
Indo-American Heritage Museum6328 N California Avehttps://www.niam.org
International Museum Of Surgical Science1524 N Lake Shore Drhttps://imss.org
Jennifer Norback Fine Art217 W Huron Sthttp://jnfaprojects.org
Jewish Baseball Museum853 N Elston Avehttp://jewishbaseballmuseum.com
John H Vanderpoel Art Association9625 S Longwood Drhttps://vanderpoelartmuseum.org
Johnny Twist Blues Museum6455 S Cottage Grove Avehttps://johnny-twist-blues-museum.business.site
Legends In Wax4833 S Prairie Avehttp://www.legendsinwax.com/index.php
Lithuanian Museum5620 S Claremont Avehttps://www.lithuanianresearch.org
Loyola University Museum Of Art820 N Michigan Avehttps://www.luc.edu/luma
Mccormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum376 N Michigan Avehttps://www.bridgehousemuseum.org
Medieval Torture Museum177 N State Sthttps://tixpls.com/medieval-torture-museum
Money Museum At The Federal Reserve Bank230 S La Salle Sthttps://www.chicagofed.org/education/money-museum/index
Montrose Studio Art1070 W Berwyn Avehttp://www.montrosestudio.com
Musee d'art Contemporain De Chicago220 E Chicago Avehttps://mcachicago.org
Musee De La Photographie Contemporaine600 S Michigan Avehttps://www.mocp.org
Musee National D'art Mexicain1852 W 19th Sthttps://nationalmuseumofmexicanart.org
Musee Polonais D'amerique984 N Milwaukee Avehttps://www.polishmuseumofamerica.org
Museum Of Broadcast Communications360 N State Sthttps://www.museum.tv
Museum Of Illusions Chicago25 E Washington Sthttps://moichicago.com
Museum Of Science & Industry - South Lot1800 Columbia Drhttps://www.msichicago.org/
National Hellenic Museum333 S Halsted Sthttps://www.nationalhellenicmuseum.org
National Italian American Sports Hall Of Fame1431 W Taylor Sthttps://www.niashf.org
National Public Housing Museum925 S Ada Sthttps://www.nphm.org
Oriental Institute Museum1155 E 58Th Sthttps://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits
Peace Museum100 N Central Park Avehttp://www.peacemuseum.org
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum2430 N Cannon Drhttps://naturemuseum.org
Robert Paul Galleries3400 W 111Th Sthttps://robertpaulgalleries.com
Serbian American Museum448 W Barry Avehttps://serbianamericanmuseum.org
Society For Contemporary Art111 S Michigan Avehttps://scaaic.org/contact
Special Events At The Field Museum1400 S Lake Shore Drhttps://www.fieldmuseum.org/venue-rentals
Spertus Institute Of Jewish Studies610 S Michigan Avehttp://www.spertus.edu
The Driehaus Museum Store600 E Grand Avehttps://driehausmuseum.org
U.S. Pizza Museum1146 S Delano Ct Ehttps://uspizzamuseum.com/2019/02/10/welcome
Wndr Museum1130 W Monroe Sthttps://www.wndrmuseum.com/chicago/visit
Woman Made Gallery2150 S Canalport Avehttps://womanmade.org
Zoology Field Museum1201 S Lake Shore Drhttps://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

What are some of Chicago’s best museums?

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.

Are there Chicago museums that are ideal for families?

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.

What are some of the more unusual museums in Chicago?

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.