Planning a school trip to Chicago?
Get Up Close to Sculpture
- Stroll through 24.5-acre Millennium Park and see the reflected and distorted skyline in the Cloud Gate, also called the Bean. This park is also home to the Crown Fountain, an interactive video sculpture made up of 50-foot glass-block towers bookending a shallow reflecting pool. You can also see the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and the
- The Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park presents a free water display every hour from mid-April to mid-October. Between dusk and 10 p.m., music and a light display accompany the fountain’s 133 spouting jets.
- Take the 2-mile walkway at the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park to consider contemporary sculpture up close. Located 40 minutes north of downtown, this sculpture park houses an apple rocket, huge painted horses, a night butterfly, and more.
- The urban Lincoln Park Zoo is a nature oasis in a sea of skyscrapers. See snow leopards, zebra, monkeys, and more.
- Escape the urban landscape at the Chicago Botanic Gardens (Admission free, paid parking). Stroll through gardens, view over 200 birds, and check out the sculpture collection.
- There are more than 26 miles of lakefront Chicago Beaches to enjoy and explore!
- Garfield Park Conservatory boasts 8 multifaceted greenhouses, stunning outdoor gardens, and huge sculptures.
Explore Art and Culture
- Voted “The Best Museum in the World,” the Chicago Art Institute (Free for students under 14) exhibits photography, architecture, textiles, and more.
- View art and photography by local artists at the City Gallery , housed in the historic water tower.
- Peruse one of the largest collections dedicated to Latino art at the National Museum of Mexican Art.
- The Museum of Contemporary Photography exhibits works both by emerging and established photographers.
- A visit to the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago will bring you up close to 10,000 objects ranging from ancient Chinese artifacts to works by Francisco Goya and Henri Matisse.
- View artifacts from Egyptian, Persian, and Mesopotamian societies at the Oriental Institute Museum.
- The Jane Addams Hull-House Museum is the first social settlement and a memorial to social reformer Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The museum explores the work of Jane Addams and her colleagues whose work changed the lives of their immigrant neighbors as well as national and international public policy.
- See a model of the city as well as showcases of the latest in modern design at the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
- Stroll the historic Navy Pier for 50 acres of fun! Several attractions, such as the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, offer free admission.
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