8 Museums to Visit in Chicago


{Grant Wood – American Gothic, 1930}

I love going to museums. Sometimes just to visit favorite permanent exhibits and other times to check out new ones. Funny story — when J and I went to Italy, we found out there was a Caravaggio special exhibit happening at one of the museums. Truth is, neither of us were really fans of Caravaggio, but we were eager to see it. From there, we were told of another one, which we also went off to see. It so happened all of the museums seemed to have a special Caravaggio exhibit and we sought out each one. By the end of the week, we had od’d on Caravaggio and could.not.look.at.one.more.painting. Seriously, I don’t know what came over us.

Chicago has tons of great museums. Unfortunately, I haven’t really made the time to visit as often as I’d like despite living a stone’s throw away from most of them. I’d like to change that. Like everything else, things (usually) don’t happen if you don’t plan for them, so I’m adding these museums to my calendar.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago  – This is my favorite and holds so many memories for me. My absolute favorite is the miniature rooms exhibit (that is saying a lot because there are SO many wonderful exhibits here). TripAdvisor voted it the #1 traveler’s choice museum in the world!


2. The Museum of Science and Industry – Prepare to spend an entire day here because there is tons to see and do.


3. John G. Shedd Aquarium – This is a great place to go if you are into all things aquatic.


4. Museum of Contemporary Art – They always have exciting new exhibits and feature some top up-and-coming artists.


5. Chicago History Museum – Your one-stop shop for learning about Chicago’s past, present and future.


6. Adler Planetarium –  This was the first modern planetarium in the Western Hemisphere and houses one of the world’s finest collections of antique astronomical instruments including sundials, telescopes, astrolabes and more.


7. The Field Museum – This museum inspires curiosity about life on Earth while exploring how the world came to be and how we can make it a better place.


8. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum – A museum where nature and science come alive.


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