The Field Museum has various free days for Illinois residents throughout the year. Entry was free the entire month of February for Illinois residents, so we took advantage. Additional free days for 2017 will be introduced -- so stay tuned! The entry gives you general admission but not admission to special exhibits. However, the general admission provides entry to many, many exhibits and certainly provides the family with a fantastic day of learning and exploration.
The Field Museum's most famous exhibit, Sue, is the most complete T. Rex skeleton ever discovered. Sue lives front and center in the museum, so you will easily find her. Taking a photo may prove to be a challenge as she has many admirers! Her skull is actually displayed upstairs. The skull exhibit allows a better perspective for seeing the skull. Plus, T. Rex skulls are pretty heavy and would be difficult to display with the skeleton.
One of the first exhibits we ventured through included galleries of taxidermy specimens. Normally, I am not a fan of taxidermy. However, the quality of the Field Museum's specimens make impressive lifelike scenes. We spent quite a bit of time wandering these galleries.
After, we headed over to the minerals. I loved that the exhibit explained crystal structure and formation. However, I was a but underwhelmed and would like to see more specimens.
Separate exhibits highlight jade and gems. Jewels always wow!
The Field Museum also takes visitors to the Pacific Islands where we learned about how people live with the island environment including living with volcanoes. In this section, we discovered an anthropological lab that you can peek inside.
The Evolving Planet is one of the museum's largest exhibits and takes visitors through evolution using the fossil record. The hall of dinosaurs is particularly popular and we found many a visitor snapping photos of the amazing creatures.
The exhibit also displays excellent fossil specimens from Illinois' famous Mazon Creek Formation.
Another widely popular exhibit is the Egypt exhibit. The exhibit is quite extensive with many artifacts from Egyptian tombs. Yes, there are mummies and sarcophagi! The museum even has two authentic rooms from a tomb dating from about 5,000 years ago. This exhibit is expansive and takes awhile to go through but is interesting for kids and adults alike!
The Field Museum was built for the 1893 World's Fair, so the structural elements are quite beautiful. Every time I left an exhibit to enter a new one, I paused at the elegance of the building. Two majestic totems poles from British Columbia used for the World's Fair provide another lovely aesthetic. Breathtaking!
More adventures await at The Field Museum! There are several other exhibits on the Ancient Americas, Africa, Meteorites and a DNA lab. There are also special and ticketed exhibits. Tons to do and probably more than you can do in one visit!
Hands-on elements are threaded throughout the exhibits. There is also an activity area for kids. there are two food options. We ate at the grill on the main level and discovered a range of food options. We also explored the gift shop which had some fairly traded items and a few items made in the USA including handcrafted totem poles made in Alaska. I hope they expand their made in USA selection!
All in all, a wonderful day of exploration!