Field Museum


More than most other museums covered at Museum Dad, the Field Museum is better for older kids—middle and high schoolers interested in a topic will learn a lot from the exhibits at Field. That said, it still has plenty to entertain toddlers through elementary-aged kids. I mean, dinosaurs if nothing else, right? The Field Museum is probably best known for SUE, the most complete T. Rex ever discovered. SUE is outstanding, but don't go too quickly through the Evolving Planet exhibit just to get to her: the entire exhibit is great, especially the Hall of Dinosaurs.

The Field Museum can broadly be split into three main categories: people, current animals, and dinosaurs/extinct animals. All three categories have some outstanding exhibits. Among people, Inside Ancient Egypt is perhaps the best exhibit, and Africa is well done, particularly for older kids. The Maori Meeting House and Pawnee Earth Lodge are both great to visit as well. For animals, the three mammals sections are the best (Mammals of Asia, Mammals of Africa, and World of Mammals). I’ve already mentioned dinosaurs, but it bears repeating: go to Evolving Planet, and see the Hall of Dinosaurs and SUE along the way.

Top Tips

  • The Field Museum is best known for SUE, the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found, reached through the Evolving Planet exhibit. Dinosaur fans will also enjoy seeing Maximo, a cast of a huge titanosaur, in Stanley Field Hall as well as the excellent Hall of Dinosaurs that's also part of Evolving Planet.
  • I love the Field for doing an excellent job of teaching the process of science in small ways: the process of looking for patterns, creating definitions, struggling with strange cases and data that disagrees, and repeating that process again. The small videos in Dinosaur Hall are simple examples of this, as well as the exhibit What is an Animal?
  • Young kids may enjoy getting up and close to the wide array of animals on the West side of the Main level, particularly the Mammals of Africa, Mammals of Asia, and World of Mammals. The Lions of Tsavo, famous man-killers, may be a particular hit.
  • The Pawnee Earth Lodge is interesting to visit to learn about American Indians, along with The Ancient Americas and the Northwest Coast & Arctic Peoples
  • The Maori Meeting House, along with Pacific and Traveling the Pacific, are a great way to learn about the Pacific islands.


9am-5pm every day (except Christmas)


Basic admission:
Adults: $26
Kids (ages 3-11): $19
Kids (ages 2 and under): Free
Seniors (65+) or Students (with ID): $23

All-Access Pass (includes all ticketed exhibits and one 3-D movie):
Adults: $40
Kids (ages 3-11): $29
Kids (ages 2 and under): Free
Seniors (65+) or Students (with ID): $35

Illinois residents receive a $2 discount per ticket at all levels. Chicago residents receive a $7-8 discount per ticket.