This is part 2 in my series, Parenting Alone In Chicago. Whether you’re divorced, separated, or just have the kids for the weekend. I hope that I can help you plan some quality time that your kids and you will always remember as you learn to parent alone.
Doing stuff with the kids in Chicago during the summer is easy. Just walk out your front door and there will be a street festival down the block and a million events all over the city.
During the winter time, it’s a different story. You need to find a big indoor space on a cold winter’s day where you and the kids can stretch your legs.
Thankfully, Chicago has the world famous Field Museum. The Field Museum was built for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition. It was later named after the benefactor, Marshall Field, who (if you’re old enough to remember) had department stores all over Chicago.
Right on the lake, just north of Soldier Field, the Field Museum looks close to the Roosevelt or Adams/Wabash stops on the CTA but it’s really too far to walk with kids.
Parking is available at Soldier Field but the price is roughly $ 25 for the four hours likely to spend at the Field Museum.
There is, however, street parking in front of the Adler Planetarium right nearby. It’s cheap meter prices but you have to get there early (which isn’t too hard in the wintertime).
Admission is $ 38 for adults and $ 27 for children if you want to see all the exhibits (some exhibits are restricted). If you get this package, you will be busy ALL day at the museum.
If you and the kids are only up for a half day at the museum, get the basic admission package at $ 24 for adults and $ 17 for children. This package doesn’t include the special rotating exhibits.
If museums are your family’s thing, consider buying a membership for $ 175 a year. You’ll get free admission, discounts on ticketed exhibitions and 3D films, behind-the-scenes access during Members’ Nights, the magazine, In the Field, and more. Museum memberships almost always have reciprocal memberships with other museums in other cities, by the way.
While the Field Museum can be expensive, there is a nice picnic area in the basement where you can eat a lunch you brought yourself. There are also dining options inside the Field Museum.
The Field Museum is a natural history museum. This means that it holds current and historical records of animals, plants, ecosystems, climatology, ecology, paleontology and human history. This place has a million things to look at if your child is inquisitive and actively involved in learning.
Most of all, the Field Museum is famous for the massive dinosaur skeletons. These are truly impressive and there are dozens of them. Additionally, there are hundreds of stuffed animals from all eras, pre-historic, Ice Age and today.
If your children are a little younger, there is the Crown Family Lab with lots of hands on activities designed for young children.
The Field Museum has amazing special events and if you’re looking for a real special memory with your kids, do “Dozin’ With The Dinos” where you sleep overnight at the Field Museum. This is something that is perfect for a six-year old (I’ve done it with my kids).
Finally, if your kids are a little older you can watch the movie “The Relic” after your trip to the field museum. “The Relic” is a monster movie where an old relic comes to life inside the Field Museum.
I’m not just a lawyer, I’m also a dad.
The Field Museum is located 1400 S. Lakeshore Drive. Just two miles from my law office. A map is attached below.