Built in 1930, the Adler Planetarium boasts three full-size theaters and one of the most accurate projectors available. It was the first planetarium built in the United States and was established as a historical landmark in 1987, says ExploreChicago.org. In addition to its theaters, the Adler Planetarium is also home to a museum and observatory where visitors can learn more about the night sky. The Astronomy Museum features antique astronomical instruments and educational exhibits. Permanent exhibits at the Astronomy Museum include: Bringing the Heavens to Earth, CyberSpace, Milky Way Galaxy, Our Solar System, Universe in Your Hands and Shoot for the Moon. Visitors to the Doane Observatory will find the largest telescope with open viewing to the public in the Chicago area, according to AdlerPlanetarium.org.
The Shedd Aquarium is one of the world's largest aquariums and houses nearly 33,000 aquatic animals. The Shedd Aquarium rotates exhibits throughout the year and permanent exhibits include: Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Waters of the World, Wild Reef and the Oceanarium. The Oceanarium is home to dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters, penguins, sea lions and other ocean mammals and is a major draw of the Shedd Aquarium's 2 million yearly visitors. Sub-exhibits of the Oceanarium include the Grainger Beluga Encounter Habitat and the Polar Play Zone. According to SheddAquarium.org, nearly 1,500 species of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals from around the world are represented at the Shedd Aquarium.
Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum of Natural History is home to over 21 million specimens that are rotated throughout the year, says FieldMuseum.org. According to FieldMuseum.org, one of the most well-known museum attractions is a display of the most complete T-rex fossil ever discovered. This T-rex is known simply as "Sue" and is a permanent feature of the museum. Other permanent exhibits at the museum include: Mammals of Asia, Mammals of Africa, the Grainger Hall of Gems, Inside Ancient Egypt and The Ancient Americas. The Field Museum of Natural History also features the Crown Family PlayLab--a special area for children to play and explore natural history. FieldMuseum.org invites visitors to participate in public educational forums that are hosted throughout the year.