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Exhibits

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close-up of butterfly emerging from chrysalis

From live native animals to nature-inspired art, from toddler-friendly play spaces to dozens of exotic butterfly species, our exhibits are sure to entertain, educate, and excite guests of all ages.

All exhibits are included with admission.

Scroll down for a list of temporary and permanent exhibits currently on display.

  • Child on zipline

    Amazing Amphibians

    Zip through the air like a tree frog, hop back in time to discover incredible pre-historic amphibians, compete against friends to catch your next "meal," and test your amphibian knowledge as you traverse through this a-maze-ing hands-on exhibit!

    Learn More
  • Child holding puzzle pieces

    Nature's Puzzles

    Nature's Puzzles invites our littlest visitors get hands-on and discover the math, patterns, and puzzles found in nature — from the pattern of spots on a dog, to the delicate symmetry of butterfly wings, to the shape of crystals in salt.

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  • 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 (40 species), the Haven is the perfect tropical retreat.

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  • Close-up of toad

    The Animal House: Amphibians

    Meet more than a dozen unique species of amphibians — from mudpuppies and salamanders to toads and frogs! Get an up-close look at one of these unique animals in a daily critter connection at 11:30am.

  • Painting by Renee Robbins

    Hidden Worlds:
    Paintings and Etchings by Renee Robbins

    Renee Robbins' dynamic images draw viewers in with bright colors and sinuous organic forms. Her artwork recombines natural elements from the microscopic to the cosmic, producing patterns that are both unusual and tantalizingly familiar.

    Click here to learn more about her work.

  • Reveal the True Self by Jeri Love

    The Beauty and Wonder of Trees

    Featuring photography by Jeri Love, The Beauty and Wonder of Trees explores the expansive and expressive nature of our planet’s largest and most important plant.

    Click here to learn more about this project.

  • 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.

  • Parent and child interacting with turtle shell specimen

    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.

  • child and mom looking into enclosure

    Istock Family Look-in Lab

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

  • Child playing in water exhibit

    RiverWorks

    Splash your way through this exhibit as you discover that the 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.

  • 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 in 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.

  • 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.

  • Woman looking at specimens

    Heritage of the Chicago Academy of Sciences

    Celebrate and be inspired by a snapshot of the Academy's 160-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.

  • Children looking at goose behind glass

    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.

  • 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 the fork  is explained with panel displays and interactive components.

  • Visitors 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.

  • 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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