Go beyond ordinary in the city

No need to range far with many nearby repositories that bring the world to us


Last updated 3/25/2022 at 8:50am | View PDF

Sticking close to home for spring break? Take advantage of the chance to indulge in Chicago's renowned museums. So close and housing a treasure trove of fascinating collections and exhibits, here are few options for your itinerary.

Adler Planetarium

Launch a stomp rocket, race against the clock to save the crew of Apollo 13, look inside the Gemini 12 spacecraft and take a very personal journey into space with NASA Capt. James Lovell Jr. at the Adler Planetarium's Mission Moon exhibit.

Visitors will experience America's first steps into space through the eyes of Capt. Lovell and his family. Learn how the U.S. became the first nation to put a man on the moon, what it's really like to be an astronaut and why it takes a team to explore uncharted worlds. There are plenty of twists and turns in this story of a kid from Wisconsin who became a national hero.

Admission is $35, $24 for ages 3-11. Parking is $25.

The planetarium, 1300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day but Wednesdays, when it's open from 4 to 10 p.m. and is free for Illinois residents with proof of residency.

Visit https://www.adlerplanetarium.org.

Art Institute of Chicago

Experience more than 3,000 years of arts from ancient Egypt in the Art Institute of Chicago's dynamic new Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt Gallery.

Striking artifacts provide insight into the beliefs and practices of this illustrious North African culture. The transformed space explores aspects of life and the afterlife in the Nile Valley with the first new installation of works from the museum's historic collection of ancient Egyptian art in a quarter-century. Visitors can consider the impact of Egypt's natural environment on its visual culture, learn about the processes of ancient Egyptian artists, and explore the centrality of gods and goddesses to life (and death) through arresting sculptures and funerary works.

Admission is $22, $16 for seniors and students, free for age 13 and younger.

The art institute, 111 S. Michigan Ave., is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays to Sundays.

Visit https://www.artic.edu.

Field Museum

While dinosaurs ruled on land, reptiles reigned over the oceans.

In the Field Museum's Jurassic Oceans: Monsters of the Deep exhibition, visitors can dive into the prehistoric seas that were home to enormous marine reptiles, crocodiles and sharks that lived 200 million years ago and experience what it's like to stand - or swim - next to these top predators. Compare creatures' "fierce factors" and see more than 100 specimens including skeletons up to 22 feet long and the skull of a mosasaur, the "T. rex of the sea." Delve into the latest scientific research to learn how these giants evolved and how they measure up to marine animals today.

Admission is $27-$40 depending on the level of access, with discounts for seniors, students w/ID and kids ages 3-11.

The museum, 1400 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit https://www.fieldmuseum.org.

Museum of Science and Industry

Discover more than 1 million Lego bricks transformed into over 100 sculptures by artist Nathan Sawaya at The Museum of Science and Industry's The Art of the Brick exhibit.

This collection, the world's largest display of Lego art, includes Sawaya's original sculptures as well as re-imagined versions of some of the world's most famous art masterpieces, such as Michelangelo's David, Van Gogh's "Starry Night" and Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa."

Other highlights include a 20-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton and an innovative, multimedia collection of LEGO brick-infused photography produced in tandem with award-winning photographer Dean West.

Admission including a timed-entry ticket for The Art of the Brick is $35.95, $23.95 for ages 3-11.

The museum, 5700 S. DuSable Lake Shore Drive, is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through April 16.

Visit https://www.msichicago.org.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

The Peggy Notebaert Museum offers several spring break programs on March 28 & 31 and April 1-3.

At Critter Connection from 11:30 a.m. to noon, learn where the museum's turtles, snakes and other animals live, what they eat, and what they do to survive life in the wild through this interactive program.

From noon to 12:30 p.m., Animal Feeding will reveal how animals find food and how a museum diet compares to what they would eat in the wild.

First Flight Butterfly Release from 2 to 2:30 p.m. allows visitors to watch swallowtails, longwings and others take their first flight while learning about their journey to the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven.

Admission is $9, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for children and free for ages under 3. Spring break programs require advance registration.

The museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays to Mondays.

Visit https://www.naturemuseum.org.


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