Saturday, January 8, 2011

Midwest Attractions: Chicago's Field Museum

Does she (or he) look familiar? This is Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton at the Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. It isn't her real skull attached to the body; that is displayed separately. This is a cast of Sue's skull. Perhaps she looks familiar because there is a T-rex skeleton in front of the Dinosaur ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which was created from casts of bones from Sue.

I didn't make it to New York City's Museum of Natural History, but we like Chicago's version. Named after the founder of Marshall Field's, the iconic department store that was absorbed into and renamed Macy's a few years back, it is a massive building that has tons of interesting displays. Of note is the Plains Indians' massive shelter built in the middle of their Native Americans displays. Also they have a really interesting permanent exhibit of Egyptian mummies and artifacts.

We didn't make it to see Sue's skull or the rest of the dinosaur bones exhibits, but we spent a bit of time in their temporary exhibit featuring GOLD, that beautiful, valuable metal. And we spent a bit of time looking at the gemstones and at the geology exhibits. They also have a permanent exhibit called UNDERGROUND, which "shrinks" visitors to the size of a bug and walks you through the world located 12 inches below our feet, complete with animatronic bugs. It's a cool if a bit creepy exhibit.

We have underutilized this attraction in our own backyard, and we hope to get to it and the other museums of Chicago's museum campus (the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium) more often in the next year.


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