Top 5 Chicago Museums to Explore in Winter

Winter seems to be not going away pretty soon, still it was not a bad weather today compared to weather forecast. I like our joke, if you do not like Chicago weather then wait for one hour and it will change! Indeed!

But, We still have 6 to 8 weeks before we start to experience better weather, so I thought of writing a post on the best Chicago museums to explore in winter.

It will be perfect to plan an indoor outing with friends or family by making a visit to one of these best Chicago museums. Every year, these best museums in Chicago tends to keep on changing their collection, so there is always something new to explore during your visit.

Top 5 Chicago Museums to Explore

Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

If you love art then you would never get tired exploring unique collections at the Art Institute of Chicago. It is one of the oldest and largest art museums in United States of America.

I was surprised to know that every year, the Art Institute of Chicago is visited by over 1.5 million visitors. Amazing, isn’t it? The Art Institute of Chicago is world famous because of the collections that spans centuries and the globe.

Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago will cost you somewhere from $20 to $35 based on your place of resident. Unless you are planning to purchase one of the attraction passes.

Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is included with Chicago CityPass. You can save up to 51%, plus admission to other four attractions for one price when you purchase Chicago CityPass.

Art Institute of Chicago is located at 111 S Michigan Ave in downtown Chicago.

T-Rex Sue The Field Museum of Natural History Chicago

Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History is known as the home of the largest T-Rex, Sue. The Field Museum of History host so many collections and exhibits that can eat up your entire day.

Admission to the Field Museum of History is not free, they have three different kinds of admission tickets: general admission with all ticketed exhibits and one 3D movie, general admission with one 3D move, and general admission.

I recommend you to watch T-Rex 3D movie during your visit. It is fun! So at least go for the second option.

Yes, your full day will go in the blink exploring different kinds of exhibits and collection. Keep your camera with you, do not forget to take pictures by giant African elephants and our favorite Sue, the T-Rex skeleton.

Admission to the Field Museum of Natural History is included with the purchase of Chicago CityPass. With Chicago CityPass purchase, you get the Field Museum All-Access Pass and VIP entry—plus admission to four other Chicago attractions.

Also, Go Chicago Card, all-inclusive pass, holder get free admission to the Field Museum of Natural History.

Overal, the Field Museum of Natural history is one of the top 5 Chicago museums to explore anytime of the year.

Field Museum of Natural History is located at 1400 S Lake Shore Dr.

Shedd Aquarium Chicago

John G. Shedd Aquarium

Plan a day at Shedd Aquarium, one of the oldest indoor aquarium in United States, built in 1930. Today, the Shedd Aquarium contains over 32,000 aquatic life.

The Shedd Aquarium is known for the combined total of 5,000,000 US gallons of water tanks. The aquarium features animals from ocean, rivers and reefs, including award-winning exhibits to explore the aquatic life in-depth.

There many activities that can give you an opportunity to get close to ocean life.

Chicago CityPass includes admission to John G. Shedd Aquarium and other four more top Chicago attractions from Skydeck Chicago, the Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry OR 360 CHICAGO, and Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago.

John G. Shedd Aquarium is located at 1200 S Lake Shore Dr.

Museum of Science and Industry

I also recommend you to plan a visit to Museum of Science and Industry. At the museums, my favorite exhibits are coal mine and German submarine U-505 captured during World War II. US 505 is the only German submarine in the United States.

Kids will have fun taking a ride on the rail and learn how coal mining works. There are also other exhibits full of knowledge and learning new things.

Chicago CityPass includes the admission to Museum of Science and Industry. Museum entry doesn’t include entry to special exhibitions such as US 505 on board tour, Giant Dome Theater films, or the Coal Mine. Visitors can purchase admission to those special exhibits for additional charge.

Overall, visit to the Museum of Science and Industry is one of the best things to do with kids in Chicago.

Museum of Science and Industry is located at 5700 South Lake Shore Drive.

Adler Planetarium

Named after astrologer Max Adler in 1930, the Adler Planetarium is Chicago’s public museum to study astronomy and astrophysics. One of the best things to do in Chicago with kids.

Adler Planetarium is one of the best science education for kids to have in Chicago while having fun. I also recommend you their special events called Adler After Dark and Astro-Overnights.

Overall, family with kids will have lot of fun exploring theater programs and exhibits at the Adler Planetarium. It will be kind of science education field trip filled with fun.

Admission to Adler Planetarium is free with Chicago CityPass. With Chicago CityPass you save 51% off VIP admission to the 5 top Chicago attractions including Adler Planetarium.

In my opinion, visitors can save money on admission to attractions using either Go City Cards or Chicago CityPass.

Adler Planetarium is also located at 1300 S Lake Shore Dr in Museum Campus close to the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.

Hope this list of top 5 Chicago museums will help help you plan one of your weekends in Chicago.

Are you planning to visit Chicago for the first time? I have created How to plan a visit to Chicago guide that will help you plan your trip to Chicago easily. Plan early to book Chicago Hotels in advance to save more money compared to last minute booking.



Chicago CityPASS Review Save 50% on admission to Chicago's top attractions. Perfect Chicago sightseeing pass for someone planning to visit at least 3 and not more than 5 attractions.

Chicago CityPASS Includes admission to following attractions:

Shedd Aquarium
Skydeck Chicago
Field Museum
Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, OR 360 CHICAGO Observation Deck

Chicago CityPASS attraction pass cost $108 per adults and $89 per child ages 3-11.

Chicago CityPASS is valid for 9 consecutive days. Buy online at or at any CityPASS attraction.

Buy Chicago CityPASS Online


All-Inclusive Go Chicago Card Explore more than 5 attractions and save up to 45% with Go Chicago Card on admission to 28 of Chicago's top attractions.
You can choose Go Chicago Card for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days in a row.
Explore top attractions like the Shedd Aquarium, Shoreline Architecture River Cruise, 360 Chicago and more.

Buy Go Chicago Card Online

Both Chicago sightseeing passes, Chicago CityPASS and Go Chicago Card, must be used within a year from the purchase date. Both cards get activated upon visiting first attraction.

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Help me out! When visiting local businesses or attractions, be sure to say you found them on Go Visit Chicago!

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Hi, I'm Victor Sevale - My goal is to share information on everything I see, do, eat and drink in Chicago. Let me inspire you to explore Chicago more with reviews, photographs, and useful tips from my personal experience.

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