If you are looking for activities this summer that are both entertaining AND educational, Chicago is home to some of the country’s best museums that are just waiting to be explored! No matter how old your child is or what their interests are, Chicago has a museum for everybody. There are many museums to choose from, but we’ve put together a list of our top five just to get you started. Enjoy!

The Field Museum of Natural History
Hours: Open daily from 9am-5pm (last admission at 4pm)

1400 S Lakeshore Dr.

You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to explore this museum – it’s one of the largest natural history museums in the world. At the Field Museum, you can dive into an array of fascinating interests that include dinosaur fossils, mystical gemstones, and Egyptian mummies! If you are a resident of Illinois, admission is free on certain days throughout the year.

Interior of the Field Museum
Art Institute of Chicago
Hours: Open daily from 10:30am-5pm (open until 8pm on Thursdays)

111 S Michigan Ave.

If you want to encourage the inner-artist in your child, there aren’t many places in the world where you’ll find more inspiration than the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s one of the oldest art museums in the country and boasts nearly 300,000 pieces of artwork. And, you don’t have to break the bank to visit this cultural gem. Admission is free for Illinois residents on Thursdays from 5pm-8pm, free at all times for Chicago youth age 18 and under, and all children under the age of 14 are admitted free of charge.

Exterior of the Art Institute of Chicago
National Museum of Mexican Art
Hours: Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm

1852 W 19th St.

Located in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, the National Museum of Mexican Art is the only Latino museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Three thousand years worth of Mexican artwork can be found on display here and includes a 10,000-piece permanent collection. This museum is free to the public at all times!

Exterior of the National Museum of Mexican Art
Adler Planetarium
Hours: Open daily from 9am-4pm (summer hours 9am-6pm)

1300 S Lakeshore Dr.

For the child who aspires to become an astronaut and travel into space, what better place to get started than the Adler Planetarium! In 1930, the Adler became first planetarium to be built in the United States. Be sure to take in a breathtaking show on one of Adler’s three full-sized theatres. Illinois residents can take advantage of different free admission days throughout the year.

Adler Planetarium picture
Museum of Science and Industry
Hours: Open daily from 9:30am-4pm

5700 S Lakeshore Dr.

Last, and certainly not least, is the Museum of Science and Industry located in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. This museum is one of Chicago’s true cultural treasures, and is sure to inspire your child’s creativity, no matter where their interests lie. Here, you can explore the depths of a coal mine, tour the U-505 German submarine captured in World War II, and even step into a tornado!

Exterior of the Museum of Science and Industry
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