Chicago: The Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, & the Bean

12:00 AM

If only I knew how to describe my family at a museum or any other place where civilized people go to stare at old things. We have a tendency to be "those people" on both sides of the spectrum. On one side are the people who are impatient as hell and basically have the mentality of okay but why do I care? And the other side belongs to people who need to remember every freaking moment because everything is so freaking awesome. At the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium we were leaning more towards the omg everything is freaking awesome side. Located in beautiful Chicago on Lake Michigan, the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium are absolutely gorgeous and their surroundings are breathtaking. If you ever end up in the Chicago area, I recommend visiting both of these places. They're next door to each other and if you're really determined you can squish almost everything in in just one day. I'm a museum nerd and I'm a child when it comes to aquariums or zoos, so this is an ideal trip to me. I forgot my camera in NC, and I was kicking myself for it the entire time. Make sure you bring your camera if you visit!

Enter the Field Museum. Except we came in on the side of the building on the bottom floor  which lacked a line, but was slightly underwhelming. I think my reaction to the main floor went something like "oh hey there's SUE. She's so cool. And so are those totem poles. I wonder what my spirit animal is." And then we wondered aimlessly because as beautiful as Field is, we couldn't find a pattern to follow and quite honestly it wasn't easily-navigable. There were massive amounts of confusion as we somehow went into the hall of birds to end up face-to-face with a small herd of elk. Didn't really matter if you didn't care for a certain exhibit, you were somehow going to end up in it. I think I could have spent an entire day there, and I would certainly go back and explore it again. They had some amazing exhibits like Lucy, the earliest hominid, and the man-eating Tsavo lions. We didn't do any of the special exhibits, and I'm kind of glad since we barely saw all of the museum! It was relatively inexpensive for such a wonderful museum, and it was something I would do again. Bonus: there is a student discount here and at the aquarium!
Chicago, Field Museum, SUE, T-Rex, Museum

Chicago, Field Museum, SUE, T-Rex, Museum, Dinosaur, Fossil

Chicago, Field Museum, museum, totem poles

museum, Chicago, Field Museum, Lucy, hominid, fossil

museum, Chicago, Field Museum, lions, Tsavo lions

museum, Chicago, Field Museum, Maori meeting house

museum, Chicago, Field Museum, mummy, Egypt

museum, Chicago, Field Museum, peridot, gemstones, jewels, August birthstone
museum, Chicago, Field Museum, giraffe

The line for the Shedd Aquarium was ridiculous, and we refused to wait. So we purchased an aquarium membership as a bit of a cheat.  Kind of a good deal if you plan on going to the aquarium again during the year that the membership is valid. The aquarium was extremely crowded, and I think if I ever went again it would not be during the summer when everyone is on summer vacation. I would probably also skip the water show, which was like 10 minutes of animals and 20 minutes of "give us more money and animals are great." We ended up zipping through the aquarium because there were so many people pressed up against the tanks that we couldn't see probably over half the species. I was obsessed with the jellies, the beluga whales, and the penguins. Nickel, a turtle who was rescued after being caught in a boat engine, was beautiful and unique. I wish I had a picture of her so I could show you how she swims.
Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium

Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium, jellyfish, upside-down jellyfish

Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium, jellyfish
Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium, beluga whales

Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium, penguins

Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, aquarium, turtle
The aquarium, as well as the water show, ended at 6:00pm so our family walked along Lake Michigan to admire the water and the Chicago skyline. We were on a mission to she the Bean, and we really enjoyed the walk there which also included the Buckingham Fountain. When we got to the Bean I was blown away by the size of it.  It was a lot larger than I expected it to be, and the reflective surface was entrancing. I could have sat there and watched reflections pass by all night. I would love to go back during the night time to see how it looks with everything beautifully lit up. Of course I made my family take a selfie with me.
Chicago, Lake Michigan, Chicago skyline

Chicago, Buckingham fountain

Chicago, the Bean
Chicago, the Bean
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  1. Looks like so much fun!!!
    The Accidental Mama

  2. Sounds like lots of fun! I love your photos!

  3. Looks like a lot of fun! I go to Chicago every year with my parents, and I always love going to the Shedd. I LOVE the Field museum! I have a picture of the dinosaur just like yours, and it's so cool! The Bean is a classic. Great pictures!

    La Vie en Zoe

  4. Great photos! I definitely know where to go when we travel to Chicago! Cheers!!

  5. Chicago is such an amazing city! It looks like you had a lot of fun on your trip! Even though I live near Chicago, I'm still amazed by all the city has to offer!

  6. I love Chicago! It looks like you has a wonderful time!!

  7. Oh Chicago, I love that city of mine! Glad you had a great time <3

  8. I'm not really a huge fan of museums but maybe I've been going to the wrong ones? This pics look awesome!

  9. These are beautiful pictures. I just recently went to an aquarium and it was a blast. Unfortunately they didn't seem to have as many interesting animals as the one you went to (it only had animals local to NC). I'd love to see some dolphins and penguins close up.

    Looks like you had fun, and got some great pictures even if you did leave your camera.