Museums in Chicago

Chicago is known as The Windy City for a reason. It’s not always pleasant to be outside in Chicago but that doesn’t deter many people from visiting the area, even during the winter when the cold is harsh. If you find yourself spending a vacation in Chicago on a day that it’s just not nice to be outside, you might want to stop into one of the city’s many museums. Here, you can learn about Chicago while making new discoveries and you can find yourself a respite from the cold. Even if the weather happens to be nice, there is a lot to be seen inside of Chicago’s museums so you might want to put a few on your itinerary.

Here are some of the museums that you might want to visit in Chicago:

History museums

The type of museum many people want to visit on a vacation is a history museum. This allows them to learn more about the area that they’re visiting and the people that influenced that area. Cultural museums are also included in this category for people interested in learning more about the role of specific cultures in the community.

Those people who are interested in this type of experience inside of Chicago’s museums might enjoy the following places:

Chicago History Museum – There’s no better place to start checking out Chicago’s history than in a museum specifically devoted to celebrating it. This is where you can learn about the different events that were critical in shaping what Chicago has been in the past. You can also get a glimpse into the issues that are important in Chicago today by checking out the trends that are taking place in some of the changing exhibits at this museum.

Chicago Cultural Center – Likewise, this museum is devoted to celebrating the multi-cultural heritage of Chicago. Although there are exhibits here, what’s really great at this place is the lectures and events that happen regularly. This is the kind of museum that can give you immediate insight into the cultural challenges that Chicago has overcome and the issues in cultural diversity that the city faces today.

Swedish American Museum – If you’re really interested in exploring the history of specific cultures in Chicago, then you might want to see what there is to see at the Swedish American Museum. But that’s not all that’s here. There’s also a Children’s Museum of Immigration which is a really unique museum that is educational and fun for kids. This is something that you’re not going to get much chance to see elsewhere so it’s a must-stop place if you’re traveling to Chicago with kids.

Glessner House Museum – The museums that give us the best experience of history are often those museums which are housed within old homes. This museum is a historic home which explores the role of architecture and the urban experience in the developing history of Chicago. By spending time inside of a historic home, you can get a sense of what Chicago was once like for some of the people who lived there in the past.

Art museums

Despite the importance of history, many people prefer the type of museums that are most pleasing to the eye. Art museums are a favorite for many people and Chicago’s not lacking in what it provides. Here are some of the Chicago art museums that you might enjoy:

Museum of Contemporary Art – If you’re only going to one Chicago art museum, then this is probably the one that you’re going to take the time to check out. It’s got all of the basic art exhibits that you would expect to see in a modern art museum. It’s got a variety of different exhibits including some that are permanent.

DePaul University Art Museum – For the people who are interested in a diverse array of art, the best place to look is usually a local university. This museum showcases the collections of the DePaul University so that people from Chicago as well as travelers visiting the area can experience the art there.

Museum of Broadcast Communication – Radio and television communication are important to the history of America as well as to modern life. These are arts that are functional for us in our daily lives. This museum strives to preserve and highlight them for better understanding of the importance they’ve played over the years. Compared to other art museums, this is the kind of place that it’s perfectly acceptable to take kids and it’s a safe bet that they’ll be interested in what they’re seeing. This museum is also the home to the only National Radio Hall of Fame so if radio is something that intrigues you, it’s a good place to go on a windy Chicago day.

Museum of Contemporary Photography – There are people who simple are struck by the paintings and sculptures that are found in traditional are museums. These same people may find that the medium of photography is something that causes them to stop and appreciate art. If so, this museum (the only one of its kind in the entire Midwest) could be the place where hours get lost in the appreciation of art. Photography museums play an important role in the art history of this nation and this one is no exception.

Chicago - Adler Planetarium ReflectedCreative Commons License Photo credit: David Paul Ohmer

Chicago - Adler Planetarium

Science and technology museums

Chicago is a cutting-edge, forward-thinking place and that can be seen in the exhibits that are on display in its science and technology museums. These museums are a particular favorite of families because of their hands-on exhibits but can be enjoyed by any type of Chicago traveler. Here are some of Chicago’s bets science and technology museums:

Adler Planetarium – You can explore space from anywhere in the world including Chicago. This museum has a variety of different science and astronomy things for you to check out including movies and interactive exhibits. This one is great for the kids but can easily capture the attention of adults. You can learn something about the past as well as something about the future by studying what researchers know about the stars.

Museum of Science and Industry – OmniMax films, impressive submarines and genetic engineering are just a few of the things that can be explored in-depth at this cutting-edge museum. If you’ve got an interest in where science is going today and want to know what Chicago researchers are doing to be a part of that, this is the museum that will give you the inside scoop.

Field Museum – This is a science center that kids particularly love because of the dinosaur exhibits that can be discovered here. There are also lots of other science things to learn at this Chicago museum. If you’ve got any interest in science, or if you’ve got children that you’d like to engage in this area of study, a science museum is really a great way to get a basic education without investing a lot of effort in studying.

Chicago is a terrific city that provides a lot of different attractions to its visitors. However, the weather isn’t always friendly enough for people to enjoy those attractions which are primarily located outdoors. On such trips, it’s good to know about some of Chicago’s great museums so that you can still enjoy the city without having to venture out too much into the bad weather.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: DanJBailey