In hindsight, I probably didn’t do Chicago the ‘right way’ on my first visit. However two of the things that I did do ended up laying the foundation for this here Chicks Be Trippin™. One was making sure that I purchased a CityPASS* for my daughter and me; and the other was using our passes at The Field Museum.
Just days before our visit, we heard about a dinosaur’s remains that had been discovered, then connected the dots that *gasp* said dinosaur would be at The Field and we would get to see it before it left on tour!!!
So my then 3rd grader and I got to see Sue – the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found – up really close (I wish I could find the pics from this trip; they were taken when you still had to go to have them printed lol). But there were so many other exhibits to see that we spent a good 4 hours in the museum soaking up different aspects of African marketplaces, mummies and Egyptian artifacts.
Fast forward a few years and my daughter came home from school and told me how Sue, the dinosaur was part of her Social Studies lesson. Because she had seen the exhibit up close and personal, there were things that weren’t in the classroom lesson that she learned about and was able to share with her class. It’s one thing to learn about a subject in the classroom; it adds a new level of interest and understanding when you can tie it to a live event.
When my daughter was 4 or 5 I resolved that each vacation one would include at least one cultural experience. But here’s the thing… you don’t have to “travel” to take advantage of these types of experiences. Most museums have free days for residents, and some may offer seriously reduced admission for residents who meet certain criteria.
So. If you’re in Chicago – as a resident or a visitor – make a point to stop by The Field Museum and take your time to browse the exhibits.