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  • Tree Frogs

    Frogs: A Chorus of Colors

    Fiery oranges, brilliant purples, rich blues, and every color in-between—frogs come in an astonishing array of colors! These vibrant and vocal creatures are found in nearly every corner of the earth, from lush rainforests to parched deserts. Leap into their amazing world and encounter more than 70 frogs in this awe-inspiring ex-ribbit!

    Opens November 5

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  • Poison Dart Frog

    Small Guardians of the Ecosystem, Photography By Jim Rowan

    Whether in a tree, underground, on land, or in water, frogs play an important role in our ecosystem. Featuring images from local photographer Jim Rowan, this exhibit illustrates the various habitats where frogs dwell.

    Opens November 5
  • Girl admiring butterfly in haven

    Judy Istock Butterfly Haven

    The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is the museum's internationally renowned signature 2,700 square foot greenhouse. Home to more than 1,000 butterflies (75 species), the Haven is the perfect tropical retreat.

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  • Backyard Birds, Artwork by Catherine Game

    Catherine Game’s pieces celebrate local bird species using homemade paints from vegetables, spices, soils, and other sustainability sourced materials. Inspired by bird specimens from the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collections, live species around Chicago (including North Pond), and data from the citizen science website, she hopes to bring visibility to creatures often lost in the midst of urban distractions.
  • Broken Journey photo

    Broken Journey: Photography by Art Fox

    Local artist Art Fox uses photography to celebrate the beauty and mysteries hidden within nature. By documenting migratory birds whose journeys have been cut short, his work provokes the viewer to be drawn in through beauty and be led toward deeper meanings.
  • Beecher Lab

    Beecher Collections Laboratory

    Named after the legendary former director of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, William J. Beecher, this is a place to see scientists engaged in real taxidermy of bison, skunks, coyotes and more.

  • Lost Bbrd Project sculptures

    The Lost Bird Project

    Veteran sculptor Todd McGrain, an associate professor in the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing five North American birds that have been driven to extinction. The bronze memorials are dedicated to the Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk and the Heath Hen. The sculptures compel people to recognize the finality of the loss and remind us of our duty to prevent further extinction.

  • Child in Hands-on Habitat

    Hands-on Habitat

    Knee-high naturalists can explore the secret world of animal homes. Adventures include exploring an underground cave, a giant roped spider web and a busy beaver lodge.

  • Child learning

    Heritage of the Chicago Academy of Sciences

    Celebrate and be inspired by a snapshot of the Academy's more than 150 year legacy of scientific research of Chicago and the region. A mount of a porcupine, a Blanding's turtle skeleton and mammal skins are just a few of the samples on display.

  • student looking

    Istock Family Look-in Lab

    Watch as Museum scientists and volunteers care for and study the animals that comprise the Museum's Living Collection.

  • Birdwalk in afternoon

    Micole Birdwalk

    Look through binoculars to see the variety of birds that surround North Pond. Listen to bird calls at interactive kiosks while enjoying views of Chicago's gorgeous skyline.

  • Child looking into turtle tank

    Mysteries of the Marsh

    Learn about one of the most famous former marshes in the world - Chicago! Explore seven different types of wetland you can find near your home and animals that live there. Did you know that nearly two-thirds of the endangered species in Illinois are found in wetlands?

  • Child interacting with food exhibit

    Nature's LunchBox

    At Nature's LunchBox, discover how food and nature are connected. The fascinating life cycle of food - from the farm all the way to fork - is explained with panel displays and interactive components.

  • Children exploring trails

    Nature Trails

    The fun continues outside the Museum walls at our largest permanent exhibition! Nature Trails is a nearly 1/3 mile trail where you'll be inspired by the abundance of nature that surrounds us, even in this urban environment.

  • Children playing water exhibit


    Splash your way through this exhibit as you discover that only real lazy rivers are the ones you find at water parks. Rivers are nature's own flood controls and are filled with species of fish, herons, beavers and painted turtles. Interact with RiverWorks by reversing the flow of the river, turn the river into a lake, build your own dam and even control a water turbine.

  • Wilderness Walk diroama

    Wilderness Walk

    So many different environments are found in Chicago. Walk through a recreation of a prairie, savanna and dune, complete with authentic sounds and preserved animals.

  • Bluebirds in exhibit

    Birds of Chicago

    Get up close to the birds you see in your backyard and discover how to identify them by their sounds. More than 115 specimens, including the Midwest turkey, cardinal and endangered Prairie chicken are on display from the Chicago Academy of Sciences Collections. Choose which ones you want to hear by touching the screen on the interactive kiosk.

  • Green House

    Extreme Green House

    See the nature inside your house and the ecology within your walls. Take a tour with the Green family and discover the way the environment connects all of us.

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