Top 12 Chicago Museums to visit

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Chicago is an exciting place to visit and while there are many attractions to enjoy, one of the best ways to enjoy it is with a visit to one or more museums. Museums cover a huge variety of topics, from art and history, to science and industry. Here are 12 Chicago museums that you should definitely check out on your next trip!

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

Founded in 1879, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the finest museums in the country, with a staggering collection that includes over 300,000 pieces. The museum spans three buildings and features both American and European art collections. There are several exhibits on display every year as well as lectures, performances and educational programs for children. For more information Click Here!

Location: 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

2. The John G. Shedd Aquarium

This aquarium was founded in 1930 and has been a popular attraction for visitors to the area ever since. The aquarium contains 28 galleries that focus on aquatic life in the Midwest, Pacific and Caribbean regions. There are four main galleries as well as an outdoor exhibit area and a 4-D theatre. For more information Click Here!

Location: 1200 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605

 

3. The Adler Planetarium

The planetarium is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago. It opened to the public in 1930 and has become a highly-respected facility since then. The planetarium exhibits don’t just show time, but also focus on space, science, physics and astronomy. For more information Click Here!

Location: 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

 

4. The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI)

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago with people visiting each year from all over the country to check it out. It was founded in 1855 as a natural history museum that eventually merged with several other museums to become MSI today. For more information Click Here!

Location: 5700 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60632

 

5. The Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum tells the story of what makes Chicago so great and unique. They have over 8 million artifacts that span over 150 years, but there is also a great collection of art and artifacts from other parts of the world as well. The museum also has a comprehensive library that includes many publications by local historians and researchers. For more information Click Here!

Location: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

 

6. The Chicago Children’s Museum

This museum is a huge hit with the kids, but it is also a lot of fun for adults too! The museum promotes education for children and provides an opportunity for families to enjoy activities together. It is the perfect thing to check out if you want your child to learn early on about the world that he or she lives in. For more information Click Here!

Location: 700 E Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611

 

7. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Nature museums are usually only for young children, but the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a fun place for both kids and their parents to visit together. There are exhibits that focus on wildlife of the Chicago area as well as natural habitats around the world. There are always exciting new events and activities so there is always something to do here. For more information Click Here!

Location: 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

 

8. The Lincoln Park Zoo

Technically not a museum, this zoo was founded in 1868 and has remained a popular attraction ever since. There are a variety of exhibits at this zoo including an elephant house, a polar bear grotto and even live animal shows where you can see your favorite creatures up close! The Lincoln Park Zoo is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or even a whole day relaxing with the family. For more information Click Here!

Location: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

 

9. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Dating from 1967, the Museum of Contemporary Art is a great place to visit for both art lovers and history buffs. The museum features a collection of over 15,000 pieces with some original pieces dating back to the 1920s and 1930s. There are exhibits every year that showcase the latest pieces created by well-known artists and there is also an education center where you can look at famous art objects or look at works in progress from various artists. For more information Click Here!

Location: 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

 

10. The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH)

The Society of Architectural Historians is focused on preserving the history of architecture and making it as accessible to people as possible. There are various exhibits throughout the year so there is always something new to check out, but the real draw is the library. Here you can find books, brochures and other information that show architectural history in Chicago from a variety of angles. For more information Click Here!

Location: 1365 N Astor St, Chicago, IL 60610

 

11. The Museum of Contemporary Photography

This museum is one of the most popular attractions in the city with visitors coming from all over to see what there is to see. The permanent collection contains 240 pieces, but they are constantly rotating so you can always find something new to check out. There are also a variety of exhibits that rotate through different galleries throughout the year. For more information Click Here!

Location: 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

 

12. The Chicago Cultural Center

Opened in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center is a fun place for children and adults alike! It has over 10 museums and galleries spread across two buildings in downtown and hosts exhibitions from artists around the world. There are always fun activities going on at this cultural center and it is a great place to spend a day with the family. For more information Click Here!

Location: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

 

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many museums and attractions that Chicago has to offer for visitors and locals. There are many more large, fun-filled museums so even if you can only visit a few, you will find many options to entertain yourself.