The Chicago Vacation

While not exactly thought of as a tourist trap, if you are into science, art and wild life, then Chicago should be on your list of places to vist, especially if you live nearby!

Close to Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, parts of Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2003-2006 Donald W. Larson -

Chicago boasts the best Museum of Science and Industry located in a single structure in the entire world! Built long ago for the Chicago World’s Fair, this museum is spectacular. Believe us, as one of our writer/editors lived in the Windy city and practically lived at this museum!

Copyright 2003-2006 Donald W. Larson -

While there is a charge for admission ($11 for adults) to the main museum and several related events (such as the tour of the German World War II submarine the U-505 or either of the two Omnimax screenings) the museum does offer free admission days on select days of each year. Check their website to find out what days are free in the near future!

Current featured event is about Leonardo da Vinci.

Copyright 2003-2006 Donald W. Larson -

They also have a working coal mine exhibit that you can tour, “yesterday’s main street” a look back at the 19th century in Chicago, airplanes of all types and styles hanging from the rafters, a walk-through Boeing 727, actual American space craft including an Apollo command module and Mercury capsule, a chicken hatchery.... The list goes on and on.

You can spend days at this place an not see everything they have to offer.

Copyright 2003-2006 Donald W. Larson -

A lot of things are working via levers or push buttons so you can learn how science actually works by doing!

Located in downtown near the park, where you can go for a row in a rental boat or have a picnic or visit the nearby Zoo (one of two in the Chicago area, one of which was once affiliated with Marlon Perkins of “Wild Kingdom” TV fame – Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, both of which charge admission) or go to the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum next to Megs Field, a small plane airport, right on the lake front.

There is also the Shedd Aquarium, Hancock Observatory and Field Museum.

Finally there is the Art Institute of Chicago that boasts an incredible collection and is also one of the world’s leading academic institutions in the field of drawing, art, film, theater, animation, etc.

On hot summer days you can also splash in the water at several fresh water Lake Michigan beaches. There’s also lots of shopping and fine eateries throughout the entire Chicago area.

If you’re planning to stay longer than a weekend, consider buying the “City Pass” for about $50 (adult) and $40 (youth) that will get you into most of the museums over a 9 day period of time (you will still have to pay for special attraction items, such as the U-505 tour or Omnimax screenings).

They also have annual memberships priced between $90 and $175 for entire families that not only get you discounts and special privileges, but also gets you free admission to the museum, free parking and free admission to participating museums (more than 90 miles away from Chicago, under 90 miles you get a discount) elsewhere in the United States for the entire year! This is called the ATSC passport and you can get this at all participating museums in the United States or by mail and internet.

Special thanks to Donald W. Larson for the wonderful pictures that came from his site:


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