Travels with Children

The adventures I embark upon with my four young children.

Field Museum of Natural History

1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL. 312-922-9410. www.fieldmuseum.org
$12 adults, $7 ages 4-11, students with ID, and 65+. Discount for Chicago residents.
Parking $15/day. Stroller accessible. Restrooms with changing tables.
Restaurants available (including McDonald’s).
ASTC reciprocity.

I knew that the Field Museum was one of the “big” Chicago museums, but I wasn’t sure how kid-oriented it would be. I shouldn’t have been worried. First of all, if one of the museum restaurants is McDonald’s, I should have guessed that kids would like it.

We had taken the Metra train into downtown Chicago and had walked almost three miles to get to the Field Museum, so when we arrived just before noon, the kids were all hungry. We flashed our ASTC reciprocity cards, which allowed free admission to everything but a few special exhibits, and promptly found one of the largest McDonalds I’ve ever been in. They were well set up for families with lots of high chairs and a “cave” area with additional seating, but a stroller parking area would have been nice so that we weren’t blocking so much of the aisle with our single and double strollers.

After lunch, we headed out into the exhibit areas, learning about different civilizations, seeing the big elephant and Sue, the t. rex. Volunteers were on hand to help the kids with a giant floor puzzle of North and South America and to show them how to find fossils in the floor, which was a big hit for my six-year-old.

All areas of the museum were easily accessible with our strollers, but sometimes we got just a little bit lost. The exhibit areas make a lot of twists and turns, and if a child gets ahead of you and around a corner, it can be hard to find him. There were also a few exhibits where we got so turned around that we couldn’t easily find the way out.

We spent nearly three hours at the Field Museum, which is a long time in one building with our little kids’ short attention spans.

I liked putting together the map puzzle of the world.

I really liked finding fossils in the floor.

View of the Field Museum from the Sears Tower Skydeck

Finding Fossils in the Floor of the Field Museum

A Fossil in the Floor of the Field Museum

Giant Map at Field Museum

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