Chicago is a great place for educational tours. The city is filled with new things to do, and exciting places wait at every turn. Anyone who has ever been on a student tour or field trip knows that it just wouldn’t be a school trip without a visit to a museum or two. In the Chicago area, there are three museums that your group will want to consider. They are located on the shore of Lake Michigan on 57 acres of land. Together they form the Museum Campus Chicago, and your group will enjoy visiting all three museums, or just picking the one that interests them the most.
The Adler Planetarium offers various activities for those interested in astronomy. A visit to Sky Theater will show students the wonders of the night sky, both in our hemisphere and in others. There is also the StarRider Theater, which features high definition reality presentations on meteors, black holes, galaxies and other aspects of outer space. There are various special exhibits from time to time, and group programs and overnights are also offered.
The Field Museum of Natural History is also a part of this museum complex. It is dedicated to both biology/zoology areas and anthropology, so most of the exhibits feature information on an animal species, or a group of people. A giant T-Rex named Sue is probably the most popular display. Sue is the largest and most complete skeleton in the world and draws quite a crowd of visitors. The museum features other displays that focus on animals. There is a large display of taxidermy that will make visitors feel they’ve stepped onto an African savannah, or into the Ice Age. In addition to the animal displays, the Field Museum has done extensive research on various cultures and time periods and thus has information on the lifestyles of people from ancient times to the present, as well as various artifacts and artwork. A variety of temporary displays present social topics such as global warming, and various other topics such as mythological creatures. Group tours are available, and offer such activities as lectures, Q & A sessions and museums overnights.
Finally there is the Shedd Aquarium. This aquarium was once the largest in the world, and was the first inland collection to have a permanent salt water collection. Today it is one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations, and when your group visits you’ll see why! Over 2,000 species of water creatures call the Shedd Aquarium home. Students can view the giant shark tank, a poisonous frog display and a penguin habitat. There is an otter tank with two different views; above the tank, or below for a close-up look. Guests can watch a diver feed sharks, stingrays and a giant sea turtle and then have time to ask him questions. There is also a dolphin show several times a day, viewers will love watching these friendly animals jump, dive and do tricks. The show includes the trainers talking about the behavior of the dolphins, as well as what it takes to train them.
Here are a few museums to be sure and visit. Whether your group only has time for one, or wants to visit all of them, there is sure to be something for everyone at the Museum Campus Chicago.