Guest Written by Susan Kramer (Meditation Editor at BellaOnline)
Do you want a wonderful family trip with a natural science focus? Then I think you'll enjoy the Field Museum in Chicago, located on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan.
I am Susan Kramer, the BellaOnline Meditation editor, and wish to share my fun and enriching experience with my family in the "Windy City" with you in this article.
First, let's talk about Chicago, which is one of my favorite cities to visit. It was founded in 1833 and though less than 200 years old has grown to a population of approximately 3 million. Originally, it was to be the gateway to the Mississippi River from Lake Michigan, specifically, and the Great Lakes in total. It soon grew to be a major connection to the Northwest Territories.
The Field Museum is located at 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2496, telephone (312) 922-9410. The opening times are 9am to 5pm everyday except Christmas, but do check with them first to see if there is an exception during your planned trip.
Originally called the Columbian Museum of Chicago at is founding in 1893, it was renamed in 1905 to honor Marshall Field, its first large benefactor. To date the museum houses more than 20 million specimens in its permanent collection.
In the photo you'll see us sitting on the long wall projecting from the south side of the museum pictured to the side of us. Parking is located right behind where we are sitting and access is easy to the museum by walking along this promenade and around to the front which opens to a large hall. Concessions stands and restroom facilities are to the east of the museum entrance next to the parking lot, set against an area of grass and trees for a park-like setting.
There are many steps to climb up to the majestic front entrance, so the East Entrance is for handicapped, stroller and wheelchair entrance. All exhibits in the museum are handicapped accessible by their system of elevators.
On our family visit, our youngest was in a stroller and we had no problems maneuvering the exhibit halls. The aisles are wide and rooms spacious.
I must say the museum is child and family friendly as well as being educational, because the exhibits go from floor up - not on tables or stands - so kids can get up close and observe.
I think a nice bonus is that you are allowed to take photos with hand-held cameras and if you obtain a permit from the Information Desk in the Main Hall you can use a tripod and standing lights.
All in all, from the youngest member of our family at 3 years old to the grandparents we enjoyed our visit and if we had more days to spend we would go back again.
Photo credit of Field Museum by Stan Schaap