Quick Review: The Field Museum

My wife and I recently visited the Field Museum in Chicago. She had never been there and while I have been there a number of times, my most recent visit was about 10 years ago. We didn’t see everything but there was a lot of variety in our five hours. Some quick thoughts about one of the major museums in Chicago:

1. The museum has a range of exhibits, from ancient Egypt to modern Africa to animals to dinosaurs to gemstones to plants. There is a lot to take in and hold the interest of a variety of people.

2. We both agreed on the best exhibit: a temporary exhibit titled “Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age.” While the main attraction here was a recently discovered young mammoth named Lyuba, the whole exhibit was informative and interesting. We saw plenty of tusks, video presentations about different kinds of research involving these animals, bone and tooth casts we could touch, and more. This exhibit it well worth seeing.

3. We both felt some exhibits were much more interesting (and modern) than others. The exhibit “The Ancient Americas” was great from early peoples through Northwest and Arctic peoples. However, the displays for Native Americans was stuck in the 1960s (or perhaps earlier) and is lacking compared to the others. The gemstone exhibit had been updated since I last saw it and both the modern Africa and Pacific Spirits galleries were interesting. The stuffed animals on the first floor from Africa and Asia look dated plus a number of the animals are in local zoos. Overall, it looks like the museum has worked hard to update a number of exhibits but some still need some work.

4. The price seems to be getting out of hand. We paid $22 a person for the Discovery Pass, a ticket that allows you into one special exhibit (and we choose the Mammoths and Mastodons). Even the Basic Admission is $15. If one were taking the family of four to the museum, it would cost at $60 for tickets (up to $116 for four All Access tickets) plus $19 for parking in one of the museum’s lots. Add in a quick meal at the Corner Bakery or McDonald’s (both inside the museum) and this is an expensive day at the museum.

For those looking to learn more about other cultures, animals, and nature, the Field Museum is an enjoyable place to visit.

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