Chicago Museums Overview

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - Museum in Chicago

Like any big city, Chicago has many tucked-away specialty museums like the Museum of Surgical Science! The world-class museums in Chicago, however, are the Art Institute of Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, and Museum of Contemporary Art.

Of all these Chicago museums, the best known is the Art Institute, with its sprawling maze of artwork from different periods. Its new showcase, the stunning Modern Wing, is a piece of art in itself. Like many of the other biggies, the Art Institute has regular evening events for young professionals and art lovers. Its After Dark events let revelers drink cocktails while looking at pieces by Picasso and Lichtenstein.

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s First Fridays have become a tradition in this town, and singles mingle over abstract pieces and debate the question “What exactly is this supposed to be?” Similarly, the three museums of the lakefront Museum Campus – the Field, the Shedd, and the Alder – give visitors the choice of wholesome family viewing during the day or flirty cocktails at night. Either way, you will get to see the famous T-Rex known as Sue at the Field, and the Shedd allows you to actually jump in and swim with the dolphins.

Smaller museums away from downtown also have benefits, events, and quality restaurants. The Chicago History Museum and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, both in Lincoln Park, provide solitude and enlightenment without the downtown crowds. At Notebaert, you might even find yourself walking among butterflies in their indoor haven.

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