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Museum of Science and Industry
A world of discovery awaits at the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere. Explore more than 800 exhibits, including the legendary U-505, a German submarine captured on the high seas during World War II; take off on a Boeing 727 airplane for a simulated cross-country flight; descend down a mineshaft for a tour of a realistic coal mine; and witness robots at work in a toy factory. Take a seat at the museum’s Omnimax Theater and watch awesome 3D flicks on a giant screen.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Strap a mask and flippers onto your imagination and chart a course to the Shedd Aquarium. Have you ever seen eye-to-eye with a dolphin? Said hello to a penguin on a stroll to the South Pole? Immersed yourself in a flooded Amazon forest? Or met a friendly beluga whale? You can do it all at the Shedd! Photo courtesy of the John G. Shedd Aquarium
The Field Museum
Discover Sue, the largest and most complete T. rex ever found! At the Field Museum you can also get a bug's-eye view in the Underground Adventure, descend into an Egyptian tomb, be dazzled in the Hall of Gems, come nose to nose with the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo, and walk among dinosaurs in Evolving Planet.
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
Illinois' only United Nations World Heritage Site. This 2,200-acre site preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico. An Interpretive Center presents a coherent account of this sophisticated prehistoric culture. Climb Monk's Mound, see the film and life-size village. Don't miss annual events that focus on Native American culture.
Burpee Museum of Natural History
The award-winning "Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur" exhibit explores the history of the museum's young T. rex skeleton on display that has been called one of the 10 most important dinosaur discoveries of the past 100 years. Visitors can also view the skull of Homer, a juvenile Triceratops, and see Burpee staff members working on his bones in the lab. Other exhibits include a coal forest with simulated thunderstorms, a Native American exhibit with a full-size wigwam, and rotating traveling exhibits in the new Woodward Hall. Don't miss Burpee's annual PaleoFest in March.
Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier
Hands-on exhibits and daily-changing activities make every visit unique for young children and adults, too. Dig deep into the Dinosaur Expedition, try to stay dry in WaterWays, make a masterpiece in the KraftArtabounds Studio, and climb up to the crow's nest on the Kovler Family Climbing Schooner. Toddlers can have fun in Kids Town and Treehouse Trails.
William M. Staerkel Planetarium
Do some star gazing at the second-largest planetarium in Illinois, located at Parkland College. More than 7,000 stars are projected onto the planetarium’s 50-foot dome. The Planetarium also features special children’s presentations and rock-and-roll light shows.
National Great Rivers Museum
Located adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam, this museum is dedicated to telling the story of the Mississippi River, from its colorful history to its modern-day role as a major transportation corridor. The museum features kid-friendly, interactive and computer animated exhibits. Steer a towboat through the locks and dam via simulator, measure your water consumption or come face-to-face with river fish in the aquarium.
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
This center was designed for children ages 3-13 and their families. The science museum features several interactive hands-on exhibits dealing with a variety of basic concepts of science, as well as special events and programs.
Discovery Center Museum
Named one of the top 12 children's museums in the nation by Forbes in 2012, here kids can explore more than 250 hands-on art and science exhibits, a planetarium, TV studio, robotics lab and the Tot Spot for toddlers. Discovery Center also boasts the nation's first community-built outdoor science park, the Rock River Discovery Park, featuring a two-story maze, water play area and dinosaur fossil dig.
Wild Reef: Sharks at Shedd Aquarium
See sharks glide through underwater gardens of iridescent corals and garden eels. Wander through a lagoon and mangrove forest, and visit a fishing village where residents saved their reef from destruction.
Kohl Children's Museum
Open your imagination at KCM! Children up to 8 years of age can touch and explore exhibits in addition to participating in planned daily activities. These exhibits encourage the building of strong social skills.
DuPage Children's Museum, Inc.
Where children and adults learn to play together. Enjoy exhibits, workshops and materials that stretch the imagination and stimulate creativity. A fun environment for exploration and discovery.
John Hauberg Indian Museum
Discover the history of the Sauk and Meskwaki Native Americans in this intimate museum located in the Watch Tower Lodge situated in Black Hawk State Historic Site. This small museum tells the story of these tribes, the great warrior Black Hawk and the village of Saukenuk. After a visit to the museum, be sure to explore the wooded trails that wind throughout this beautiful park located on the Rock River. The Watch Tower Lodge was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 and features a special Civilian Conservation Corps exhibit that highlights the building of the lodge.
CITY: Rock Island
"Waking the T. Rex--The Story of Sue in 3-D" at The Field Museum
No dinosaur in the world compares to SUE—the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus Rex ever discovered. Get the inside scoop on SUE and the science behind the world's most famous T. Rex. Terror has a new appetite! Come celebrate the 10th anniversary of SUE and experience the T. Rex in a brand new way.
Located on over 325 acres, popular attractions include the Mastodon Gallery, the gorgeous Sunken Garden, an 18-hole golf course/driving range, the zoo, a 28-acre fishing lake with a one-mile multiple use trail, war memorials and the Winter Recreation Area. Phillips Park Visitors Center & Mastodon Gallery showcases the mastodon bones that were unearthed in the park during a 1934 Civil Works Administration Project. The skull being the largest of the artifacts, weighs 188 pounds.
Mastodon Gallery at Phillips Park
Get an up-close view of Ice Age mastodon bones unearthed in Phillips Park in the 1930s, while glimpsing into the rich history of one of the area's most beautiful parks.
The Spurlock Museum celebrates the people of the world with feature galleries on Africa, Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, Europe, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania, the Americas, and the Ancient Mediterranean. Special facilities include a focus gallery for temporary exhibits, learning center, auditorium, and educational resource center.
Science Storms at the Museum of Science & Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago presents Science Storms, an unprecedented and dramatic permanent exhibit in the Allstate Court that reveals the extraordinary science behind some of nature’s most powerful and compelling phenomena—tornadoes, lightning, fire, tsunamis, sunlight, avalanches and atoms in motion. Inside the 24,000-square-foot exhibit, you’ll investigate the basic scientific principles responsible for nature’s biggest wonders while you get a hands-on, up-close look at these wonders themselves. Science Storms puts you in the middle of the action and lets you search for answers as to how and why things happen in nature.
Downtown park on the banks of the Rock River. Site of several Native American "Effigy Mounds," which have been preserved, and home to Rockford Artists Fair.
Anita Purves Nature Center
Located at the north end of Crystal Lake, this nature center is an environmental education facility that provides a natural resource for people interested in learning more about the outdoors.
Midwest Museum of Natural History
The mission of the Midwest Museum of Natural History is to encourage an appreciation of the world's diverse natural environment and human culture through exhibits and interactive learning experiences for children and adults. Offering a kid's play area with hands-on learning fun, a gift shop, national traveling exhibits, and world-renowned celebrities Ruud Kleinpaste, Jack Hanna and Jeff Corwin.
Marie Olmstead Museum
Described as "a hidden gem" of local cultural, natural and prehistoric history for lower DeKalb and upper LaSalle Counties. Three rooms comprising some 5,000 square feet packed full of artifacts and antiques that could be featured on "Antiques Raodshow". One of the "must-sees" is a 32-round flitlock rifle reportedly presented to Chief Shabbona at the signing of the peace treaty at Prairie du Chien in 1829. A favorite of the youngsters to see while visiting the museum is a stuffed, two-headed calf.
Children's Museum of Edwardsville
Toddlers to 12-year-olds can enjoy the unique interactive exhibits and seasonal events at this fun children's museum.
Grayslake Heritage Center
A state of the art history museum dedicated to collecting and sharing the history of the greater Grayslake area. The Grayslake Heritage Center offers programs, exhibitions and special events all year round and includes two galleries, a community room and classroom.