The Field Museum of Natural History combines an impressive collection of more than 26 million biological specimens and cultural artifacts with a mission founded on research that translates into action for conservation efforts and greater cultural understanding.
As one of the largest natural history museums in the world, The Field Museum of Natural History—most often referred to as The Field Museum—attracts up to two million visitors each year. The museum is part of Chicago’s lakefront Museum Campus, which makes it easy to tack on a visit to the nearby John G. Shedd Aquarium or the Adler Planetarium.
The roots of The Field Museum date back to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. Businessman and literary enthusiast Edward Ayer wanted the exhibits and the collections to far outlast the Chicago World’s Fair, so he convinced merchant Marshall Field to fund a new museum. Originally named the Columbian Museum of Chicago, the museum’s name was changed in 1905 to honor Field and better reflect the focus of the museum.
More than a hundred years later, visitors can still enjoy diverse exhibits focused on the early fossils, world cultures and today’s conservation needs. When planning your visit, don’t miss these permanent exhibits:
SUE is the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, which makes this exhibit a must-see and a perfect photo-op. You’ll be surprised to learn that a replica skull actually exists in Stanley Field Hall, while the 600-pound original skull can be found within an exhibit on the museum’s balcony.
As a core component of The Field Museum’s commitment to conservation, the Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth shows how Field Museum scientists and volunteers are working to restore the Chicago region’s native habitats. Don’t miss your chance to virtually travel with scientists to remote locations as they protect at-risk wilderness around the world.
Inside Ancient Egypt
You can transport yourself 5,000 years back in history through the museum’s re-creation of two authentic rooms from the tomb of pharaoh’s son Unis-Ankh. Through hieroglyphs, mummies and more, you will learn about the elaborate preparations that ancient Egyptians made for the afterlife and see what they may have in common with people today.
The Field Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Christmas, and visitors can easily access Chicago’s Museum Campus via car, bike or public transit. Be sure to download The Field Museum app to access exclusive content, experiences and tours to enrich your visit.