Chicago for Museums – CityPASS Is the Way to Go

Chicago is an excellent destination for many things. One of the things that Chicago is renowned for is its collection of world class museums available for you to experience. If your time in Chicago will involve multiple museums, then rejoice! For I have something exciting to share with you about this. There is a thing called the CityPASS. The CityPASS is your ticket to Chicago for museums.

In addition to visiting multiple museums, you can visit at least one tower observation deck with CityPASS. By buying the CityPASS, you can earn a saving of around 50 percent for these attractions. The CityPASS will also grant you express access to the attractions, which would allow you to avoid potentially long lines upon your arrival. There are a total of five attractions that you can go to using the CityPASS.

(Photo courtesy of CBS Chicago)

Shedd Aquarium

The Shedd Aquarium offers breathtaking encounters with all kind of animals from aquatic environments. These animals range from sea otters to penguins to alligators to monkeys. The permanent exhibits here include Waters of the World, Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising, Wild Reef, and the Abbott Oceanarium.

With the CityPass, you get access to all the permanent exhibits, animal presentations, special exhibit, stingray touching (seasonal) and a 4-D experience. The Shedd Aquarium is located east of Lake Shore Drive directly to the northeast of the Field Museum of Natural History in a beautiful, landscaped area known as the Museum Campus.

Skydeck Chicago

(Photo courtesy of Ken Lund via Wikimedia)

Skydeck Chicago is a tower observation deck located at the top of the Willis Tower which was formerly known as the Sears Tower. The Willis Tower is currently the second tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. When you are at Skydeck Chicago, you will be treated to a sweeping 360 degree views of not only the immediate surroundings of The Loop, but also as far as four states.

You will be standing on a floor made of glass, known as The Ledge, which offers heart pounding but amazing views far down below your feet. The Willis Tower is located in The Loop on Wacker Drive.

Field Museum of Natural History

(Photo courtesy of unknown via Wikimedia)

The Field Museum of Natural History offers a massive amount of displays showcasing all the amazing wonders of nature. The Field Museum’s signature display is SUE, which is the largest, most completed, and best preserved T-Rex ever discovered.

The permanent exhibits here at the museum are Animal Halls, Evolving Planet, Inside Ancient Egypt, The Ancient Americas, Cultural Halls, Geology Halls, Underground Adventure, Working Laboratories, and SUE, the T-Rex. With the CityPASS, you get the All Access Pass which will grant you access to all the permanent and regular priced ticketed exhibits along with your choice of one 3-D movie screening.

As is the case with the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum is located in the Museum Campus just east of Lake Shore Drive. The Field Museum is the first museum that you encounter when entering the Museum Campus from Lake Shore Drive.

Choose One: Adler Planetarium or Art Institute of Chicago

Option 1 – Adler Planetarium

Here, you have two options to choose from for this attraction slot. The first option is the Adler Planetarium while the second is the Art Institute of Chicago. The first option, the Adler Planetarium, offers exciting hands on experiences and displays showcasing the amazing science behind the space and planets.

The list of permanent exhibits here are Mission Moon, Our Solar System, Community Design Lab, Planet Explorers, Telescopes: Through the Looking Glass, Clark Family Welcome Gallery, and Astronomy in Culture. With the CityPASS, you get admission to all the permanent exhibits, the Atwood Sphere, and your choice of two sky shows.

As with the other two museums previously mentioned here, The Adler Planetarium is located in the Museum Campus just east of Lake Shore Drive. The Adler Planetarium is the museum located to the furthest right in the Museum Campus.

Option 2 – Art Institute of Chicago

The second option, the Art Institute of Chicago, is home to the greatest impressionist collection of art outside of Paris. This museum houses the galleries of art from ancient Greece, Japan, Africa, and the Americas. With the CityPASS, you will get access to all the permanent collection of art, non-ticketed special exhibits, and an audio tour. The museum is located off of Michigan Avenue inside of Grant Park.

Choose One: Museum of Science and Industry or 360 Chicago Observation Deck

(Photo courtesy of Knarfol via Wikimedia)

Option 1 – Museum of Science and Industry

For this attraction slot, you also have two choices. The first choice is the Museum of Science and Industry and the second choice is the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. The Museum of Science and Industry houses a massive collection of showcases in the field of science and technology. This is the largest museum of this kind in the United States.

There are a ton of immersive permanent exhibits housed here. Science Storms, Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze, and YOU The Experience are just a few of the many permanent exhibits here.

With the CityPASS, you get access to all the permanent exhibits along with one timed entry experience. The Museum of Science and Industry is located in Chicago’s Jackson Park overlooking a lagoon which is about 6.2 miles south of the Museum Campus on Lake Shore Drive.

Option 2 – 360 Chicago Observation Deck

The 360 Chicago Observation Deck is a tower observation deck in a tower that was once known as the John Hancock Center, high above the famed Magnificent Mile shopping district. It offers breathtaking 360 degree views of the area stretching as far as four states.

In addition to taking in the jaw-dropping views, there is a restaurant and bar along with an enclosed moving platform called TILT. The tower is located at the northern end of the Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.

All of these attractions are packed into one package with the CityPASS. The price for the CityPASS is about $108 per adult and about $89 per child. You can buy the CityPASS by going here. This ticket is valid for up to nine days. So, there is no need to rush. Just take as much time as you want.

So, what are your thoughts? Have you visited any of these museums and/or observation decks before? Feel free to leave a comment here.

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