The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the largest art museums in
the United States, containing more than 260,000 works. The
collection includes paintings, sculptures and artifacts representing a world of
cultures, from: Asia, Africa, Europe and America, from ancient times
to the present.
The Art Institute boasts an extensive collection of
French Impressionist paintings, by Monet, Renoir, van Gogh, Seurat
and others. Its American Collection features such artists as: Homer,
O’Keefe, Sargent, and Hopper.
In addition to its plethora of beautiful paintings and sculpture,
the Art Institute’s also houses ancient artifacts, medieval and
renaissance armor, tapestries, and other unique furnishings. The
Thorne Miniature Rooms, for example, depicts life in Europe and
America from the 13th century to the 1930s, on a scale of one inch
to one foot. Little girls and big girls, alike, will enjoy these
dollhouse-like rooms, with working lights, tiny paintings and
perfectly replicated furnishings.
The Art Institute is located at 111 S. Michigan Avenue and is open
seven days a week. Go to the
of the Art Institute for details on special exhibitions, hours of
operation and cost
The Field Museum of Natural History was
built in 1893 to house the biological and anthropological
collections for the World’s Columbian Exposition. Today, it contains
more than 20 million specimens and a library with more than 250,000
The Field Museum’s most famous permanent resident is 67
million-year old Sue, the
largest and most well-preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton in existence
today. Visitors can learn all about Sue in the 3-D film "Waking
the T.Rex: The Story of Sue."
However, Sue is just the beginning of the many adventures you will
have during your visit, as the
Field Museum houses a variety of other exhibits that explore
the history and sciences of the world around us. Among those
exhibits are: the DNA Discovery Center, which shows how DNA is
changing how we look at the world; Inside Ancient Egypt, where you
can explore an Egyptian tomb that has a resident mummy; and
the Underground Adventure, where you go beneath the earth to explore
what life is like for bugs and their neighbors.
A recorded audio tour is available which
tells you about these and other exhibits. The tour takes
approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. If you’re traveling with little
ones, the Field Museum also has a special place just for them – the
Crown Family Play Lab. In the Play Lab, younger visitors can dress
up like animals, dig for hidden treasure and learn about the world
in a hands-on environment.
The Field Museum is located at 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive.
For more information on hours of operation and
cost of admission and exhibitions, go to the
website of the Field Museum.
By the way, the Field Museum,
Planetarium are located near each other in a compact area known
as the Museum Campus.
Lincoln Park is Chicago’s largest public park at 1,208 Acres,
running seven miles along Lake Michigan from Ohio Street on the south to
Ardmore Street on the north. The park provides a peaceful oasis amid
the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lincoln Park is home to Lincoln Park Zoo, the Lincoln
Park Conservatory, the Chicago History Museum, The Peggy Notebaert
Nature Museum, and the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. The Park also
features: beaches, harbors, a bird sanctuary, manicured gardens and
a nature preserve. With more than 2 million visitors a year, Lincoln
Park is the second most visited park in America.
Lincoln Park Zoo was opened in 1868 and is one of the oldest zoos in
America. It’s a pleasant way to spend the afternoon for animal
lovers of any age. The Zoo is sited over 35 acres, crisscrossed by tree-lined paths that meander
among the habitats of more than 1,200 animals. The Pritzker Family
Zoo area gives the little ones a close encounter with the animal
world and a chance to ride on a pint-sized train, or the endangered
Lincoln Park Zoo is located off the
Fullerton Avenue exit of Lake Shore Drive. It is opens everyday at
10 a.m., and admission is always free (although there are modest
fees to ride the Carousel and Children's Train Ride). For more
details on the Lincoln Park Zoo, visit its
If you are a fan of zoos, then you might be interested in seeing
the suburban Brookfield Zoo, a mere twelve miles from the Loop (but
it could be very heavy traffic, depending on the time of your
visit.) See the website of the
Brookfield Zoo for more details on visiting.
The Magnificent Mile was appropriately named by real estate
developer Arthur Rubloff in 1947, as it is where the wealthiest
Chicagoans live, shop and play. However, the phrase is most commonly
used to refer to
the high-end shopping district on Michigan Avenue between the
Chicago River to the south and Lake Shore Drive to the north.
Along Michigan Avenue you will find Armani, Chanel, Cartier
and a number of relatively exclusive stores. There are
enchanting, one-of-a -kind boutiques here, as well as department stores,
such as Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Be sure to
Tower Place, a luxurious, high-rise, mall at the
intersection of Chestnut and Michigan Avenue, as it has some
great stores, an inviting food court, and it is home to
American Girl Place Chicago .
Magnificent Mile is a great area to spend the day, even if shopping
isn’t top on your list of things to do. You could stop at the
elegant Palm Court restaurant at the world-famous
Drake Hotel for traditional English afternoon tea
(finger sandwiches, fruit breads, scones, French pastries and a wide
selection of teas), relax in the sun on Oak Street Beach, or take in
the spectacular architecture of Chicago as you wander down Michigan
Avenue towards the Chicago River. If you are interested
in architecture, you might want to take one of the Chicago River
Another interesting sight in this area is the old Water Tower
building located at 806 North Michigan Avenue on a
little island in the center of a forest of high rise buildings. The
historic Water Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Chicago. It
was built in 1869 and is the only building, still standing, to have survived the Great Chicago Fire
of 1871 that leveled the business district of Chicago. Today
it houses a Chicago
Visitor’s Information Center office and the City Gallery. The gallery
features photographs of Chicago taken by local photographers.
Next section of our Chicago Guide -
Best Places to Visit in Chicago -
Or, choose another section of our Chicago Guide using the
link table on the right-hand edge of this page.