Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tips for Visiting Chicago's Museum Campus

I mentioned last week that I'm Expedia's Kids in the City Chicago representative. You can read my write-up on some of Chicago's highlights here. You'll notice that I lead with Chicago's world-class museums. Chicago's museums rival any you'll find around the world. And three of the best are clustered within the Museum Campus.

At this lakeside area of downtown Chicago, you'll find the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium. While each of these museums could easily fill a day in their own right, you can also take advantage of their close proximity and hit a couple in one day. Here are some more tips for visiting Chicago's Museum Campus:

  • Make time to explore the park land surrounding the campus. The grounds are really breathtaking, beautifully landscaped, and truly an attraction themselves. You'll be right along the lake with the towering skyscrapers of the Chicago skyline as your backdrop. It's a great spot for pictures!

  • Pack a picnic. The best way to enjoy this area would be to dine outside. Sure, each of the museums has a cafeteria, and that's a great option if the weather is lousy. But I'd recommend picking up some food at the Trader Joe's along Roosevelt, or in a town known for its hot dogs, order this Chicago specialty at any of the many carts around the campus.
  • Go to Shedd Aquarium first. If this great aquarium is on your must-see list, then make that your first stop. The entrance lines can get extremely long as the day progresses, particularly on the weekends.
By 11 a.m., the entrance line to Shedd was already stretched outside the building.
  • Get a Chicago CityPASS.* Speaking of lines, you can avoid ticket lines altogether by getting a CityPASS. Plus, you'll save considerably on admission to all three Museum Campus attractions. It's valid for 9 days so you can spread out your museum visits. 
  • Take public transportation. There's an 'L' station two blocks from the Museum Campus on Roosevelt, and the red, orange and green lines all stop here. (There are parking lots throughout the campus, with the bulk of parking available at Soldier Field. But the 'L' is much cheaper.) By taking the train, you'll also get to see Agora, a famous and whimsical sculpture that you'll pass as you walk from the station to the Museum Campus.
Agora near the Museum Campus

Want to hear more of my thoughts on Chicago? Watch the video below, where I chat about my top 5 things to do in Chicago with kids. You can bet the Museum Campus made the list!

Be sure to check out the other cities profiled in Expedia's Kids in the City campaign. In addition to their general write-ups and videos on Expedia's page, each blogger is also offering up more specific info on their city at their own blog. So far, the following cities have been featured, with more to come in the next few days. (I'll continue to update this post with additional links.)

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in Expedia's Kids in the City campaign.

*Affiliate link.


  1. Great suggestions! The parks and lakeshore are beautiful around campus. It's a great place to hang out. I just started a Facebook page for it and when the time is right, will share your post: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumCampusChicago