The Field Museum#8 in Best Things To Do in Chicago
This extensive natural history museum occupies half an acre of Grant Park's Museum Campus and houses extensive exhibits that showcase artifacts from multiple eras and destinations, making it a must-see for kids (as well as any fans of the "Indiana Jones" movies). Some of the most popular parts of the museum include the Inside Ancient Egypt exhibit, which features a reconstruction of a three-story Egyptian tomb and interactive representations of life on the Nile, and the Restoring Earth area in the Abbott Hall of Conservation, where visitors can learn more about sustainability through hands-on activities. But no visit to The Field Museum would be complete without some quality time with SUE, the facility's T. rex who just happens to be the largest, most complete T. rex ever discovered. Sue is 42 feet long from nose to tail and boasts 58 terrifying teeth.
Travelers say there's plenty to see in this museum, so allot at least a few hours here. Also, consider purchasing a Chicago CityPASS or a Go Chicago Card, which include admissions to the museum. The Chicago CityPASS also covers access to a 3-D film.
The Field Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but no visitors are admitted after 4 p.m. General admission is $24 for adults and $17 for children ages 3 to 11. Access to the museum's special exhibits and 3-D theater cost extra. Restrooms, two eateries and a gift shop are provided inside, and three main parking areas are offered on the Museum Campus. However, additional fees apply to park nearby, so taking the L to Roosevelt or using a Divvy bike and parking at the Museum Campus station is recommended. The Nos. 130 and 146 buses also drop nearby. Many of the city's top Segway tours also make a point to glide by the museum. Check out The Field Museum's website to learn more about the attraction's exhibits, facilities and policies.
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#1 Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain
Often referred to as "Chicago's front yard," Grant Park is a 319-acre swath of green space that starts at the eastern edge of the Loop and stretches down to the northern fringes of the Near South Side. First-time visitors should plan on spending a fair amount of time in Grant Park: This is where you'll find several of Chicago's most popular things to do, including The Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and Shedd Aquarium. (Millennium Park also rubs elbows with the northwest corner of Grant Park.) Baseball diamonds, flower gardens, walking paths and wide-open grassy terrain are available as well.
At the heart of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain. One of the largest fountains in the world, this tiered water feature boasts 133 jets that shoot water as high as 150 feet into the air during 20-minute choreographed displays (which take place every hour on the hour between 9 a.m. and 10:35 p.m. from April to October). At night, the fountain's performance is accompanied by lights and music.
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