Chicago Attractions & Educational Resources

Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the western hemisphere. Among its diverse and expansive exhibits, the MSI features a working coal mine, a German submarine captured during World War II, a 3,500-square-foot model railroad, the first diesel-powered streamlined stainless-steel passenger train, and a NASA spacecraft used on the Apollo 8 mission.  Educator Resources

The Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest indoor aquariums in the United States and contains 1,500 species including fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians, and insects.


Fantasea Exhibit- Dolphins soar, belugas dance, and penguin’s parade in Fantasea, the new aquatic show at the Oceanarium’s amphitheater. 


Wild Reef Exhibit - Get as close as you want to sharks. Explore underwater gardens of iridescent corals and — yes — garden eels. Wander through a lagoon and mangrove forest and visit a fishing village where residents saved their reef from destruction — all in this award-winning exhibit.  Educator Resources
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum was the first planetarium built in the Western Hemisphere and is the oldest in existence today. Since the museum's opening in 1930, visitors view representations of the night sky in the historic Sky Theater planetarium, the outer protective dome of which is visible from the exterior of the building. Educator Resources

Chicago History Museum contains over 22 million artifacts on the history of Chicago. Featured areas are architecture, costumes and textiles, decorative and industrial arts, and the fine arts.  Educator Resources

Willis Tower Skydeck  (Formerly the Sears Tower) is the tallest building in the United States and the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the world. Skydeck is located on the 103rd floor of the tower and is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago. Students can experience how the building sways on a windy day. They can see far over the plains of Illinois and across Lake Michigan to Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin on a clear day.  Scavenger Hunt

National Museum of Mexican Art  Located in Little Village, the National Museum of Mexican Art features a rich variety of visual and performing arts in the Mexican culture.  Educator Resources


Chicago Botanical Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum situated on nine islands featuring 23 display gardens surrounded by lakes, as well as a prairie and woodlands.  Educator Resources

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  Exhibits include displays about the ecological history of the Illinois region, a live butterfly house, and a green home demonstration. The butterfly house features more than 200 species of exotic butterflies.  Educator Resources

The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum inspires a greater understanding of the real impact of war with a focus on Vietnam. The museum collects preserves and exhibits art inspired by combat and created by Vietnam veterans. Educator Resources

The Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio served as Wright's private residence and workplace from 1889 to 1909—the first 20 years of his career. Wright used his home as an architectural laboratory, experimenting with design concepts that contain the seeds of his architectural philosophy. The site has been restored as it appeared in 1909. Educator Resources

DuSable Museum of African American History  is the first and oldest institution of its kind in the country. It has been dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent for more than 46 years.  Educator Resources

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is a world-renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The museum displays objects recovered by Oriental Institute excavations in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo, as well as rotating special exhibits. Educator Resources

Lincoln Park Conservatory  The Lincoln Park Conservatory is home to tropical palms and ancient ferns, right in the heart of Lincoln Park, Chicago. With its four display houses: the Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, this is a haven in the city.

Latin Street Dancing is Chicago’s premiere Latin dance company. Your students will learn the Salsa, Tango, Cha Cha, and Meringue from professional instructors in a private studio.

Buckingham Memorial Fountain is located in Grant Park and is one of the largest fountains in the world. Edward H. Bennett designed the Fountain to represent Lake Michigan with four sea horses, built by Marcel Loyau, to symbolize the four states that touch the lake: Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan.

Osaka Garden is located in Jackson Park to honor the Chicago-Osaka sister city relationship. Today, visitors continue to enjoy the peaceful lagoons, wildlife, lush trees and verdant plants throughout the year.

Graue Mill & Museum is an operating waterwheel grist mill and homestead. The Museum provides programs for school children that include milling, spinning and weaving and living history presentations, as well as artifacts which illustrate the way of life of area residents between 1850 and 1890.

Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the world's largest contemporary art venues featuring historical samples of 1940s–1970s late surrealism, pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art; the museum also features contemporary painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and related media.  Educator Resources

The Art Institute of Chicago has one of the world's most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection. Its diverse holdings also include significant Old Master works, American art, European and American decorative arts, Asian art and modern and contemporary art.  Educator Resources

Millennium Park is a portion of the larger Grant Park, the "front lawn" of downtown Chicago. It features the McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink, Peristyle at Wrigley Square, Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance, AT&T Plaza, Chase Promenade and Trees in Millennium Park. The park also has four major artistic highlights: Cloud Gate, Crown Fountain, Lurie Garden and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

John Hancock Observatory is a 100-story, 1,127-foot tall skyscraper on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It is currently the fourth tallest building in the United States. Visitors to the SkyWalk Observatory receive a full 360- degree view of the city, up to four states and over 80 miles.  Educator Resources


Navy Pier is Chicago’s play land. Visitors can ride the 15-story tall Ferris wheel; catch a movie at the IMAX® Theatre or tour three floors of hands-on fun at the Chicago Children's Museum inside the Family Pavilion. There are numerous restaurants and a food court at Navy Pier, and they also offer cruise boat rides departing from the South Dock.

Shoreline Sightseeing 
Shoreline’s Waterfront Adventure from Navy Pier combines an exciting 45-minute Lake Michigan boat tour with a professional narration on Chicago’s dramatic history. Your students will learn about milestones in Chicago’s growth including the reversing of the Chicago River and the construction of famous museums such as the Shedd Aquarium.Shoreline also specializes in Architecture Cruises on the Chicago River.  All of their touring vessels have been custom built or custom modified to offer passengers the highest standards of comfort and safety.

Brookfield Zoo covers an area of 216 acres and houses around 450 species of animals. It was the first zoo in America to exhibit giant pandas. In 1960, Brookfield Zoo built the nation's first fully-indoor dolphin exhibit, and in the 1980s the zoo introduced Tropic World, the first fully-indoor rain forest simulation and the then-largest indoor zoo exhibit in the world.  Educator Resources

Lincoln Park Zoo was founded in 1868, making it one of the oldest zoos in the nation.
Lincoln Park Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals including polar bears, penguins, gorillas, reptiles, monkeys, and other species equaling nearly 1,250 animals.  Educator Resources

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament  Inside the stone walls of an 11th century-style castle, Medieval Spain comes to life as six Knights joust in a tournament for the title of King’s Champion.

Blue Man Group Visit the Briar Street Theatre on Halstead Street in Chicago to be entertained by one of the most unique shows you will ever see. Blue Man Group is best known for its widely popular theatrical shows and concerts that combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics to produce a totally unique form of entertainment.

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