Illinois: Chicago, CityPASS Family Vacation Ideas – Sea Otters, NASA Missions, and a Submarine.
With a CityPASS booklet it is easy to create your own urban adventure. Just add deep dish pizza, a trip to Navy Pier, and a Chicago Shakespeare Theater show and let the memories happen.
Here's the deal.
The Hancock Observatory delivers a view of the region, as does the Skydeck which join a lineup of Chicago’s most treasured museums: Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum for a peek beyond the Milky Way; the Museum of Science of Industry, full of the gusto of scientific inventions and explanations; The Field Museum, an unforgettable trove of modern and ancient discoveries; The Shedd Aquarium, displaying the world’s aquatic creatures and the shifting greens and blues of Lake Michigan’s vistas, and the Art Institute of Chicago. What’s included?
The John Hancock Observatory, Skydeck, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum, Museum of Science of Industry, the Field Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Shedd Aquarium. Valid nine days from first use, ticket holders breeze past most main entrance ticket lines. Whales, sea otters and dolphins, oh my!
Perched on the shoreline a dramatically beautiful Lake Michigan, Shedd Aquarium is one of the world's largest indoor aquariums. The Shedd VIP ticket offers encounters with amazing whales, frolicking sea otters and lively penguins, streamlined sharks, exotic eels and thousands of amazing animals representing hundreds of species. Talk to one of the divers while they are underwater feeding more than 300 reef animals. A sea turtle, rays, sharks and a rainbow of schooling fishes all call the Caribbean Reef home. Bonus points:
Your VIP ticket is valid for aquarium galleries as well as Amazon Rising, Oceanarium, Wild Reef and special exhibits. Not to be missed:
Follow the call of the whales through a spruce and cedar rain forest to the water’s edge where dolphins leap and splash, colorful sea stars cling to rocks and beluga whale chip in Shedd Aquarium’s Oceanarium. Just for families:
Every Tuesday the Shedd offers activities created especially for the preschool set. Activities include:
Story times, crafts, animal touch programs, videos, costumed characters, dancing and singing. On Saturdays during the year there are new programs designed to encourage learning together as a family. Activities are geared for children ages 5 to 10 years, but all are welcome. Participants will create make-and-takes, engage in hands-on activities and take a sneak peek behind the scenes. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Telescopes, starry skies, and NASA missions.
Visit the Adler Planetarium, the most advanced planetarium on Earth! The Adler lets you explore the outer reaches of space without leaving Chicago. Follow astronauts into orbit and experience the beauty of starry night skies. Learn about current NASA missions, discover the Milky Way and investigate what lies beyond our world. Enjoy Galileo's Cafe' which overlooks Lake Michigan and is annually voted "Best View of Chicago." Bonus:
It's a multi- theatre facility with tons of show times and a variety of shows. Plus, you get one 3-D show complimentory with your CityPASS. Not to be missed:
The“Shoot for the Moon” interactive exhibit explores the different facets of a journey to the moon. This interactive children's exhibit includes mission control and lunar exploration and will keep your kids occupied for hours.. Just for families:
Astrovernights include telescope viewing (weather permitting), unique demonstrations, hands-on activities and shows in the Sky Theater. Participants will partake of a late-night snack before sleeping in the galleries, and then wake up to a continental breakfast in Galileo's Café. A submarine, a 727 jet and Newton’s Laws.
Entertaining, interesting and educational, at the Museum of Science and Industry there is always something to see and do with you kids. Activities offer snippets of real life. Report to work in a coal mine; tour a real WWII submarine; take off on a 727 jet; or visit a real toy-making factory. Museum of Science & Industry has been voted one of the country's top 50 family attractions by Zagat Survey's, US Family Travel Guide and dubbed one of the "7 Wonders of Chicago" by Chicago Tribune readers. Bonus points:
When your family needs a little down time check out a film on the five-story Omnimax® screen. Not to be missed:
BODY WORLDS 2: the Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies is a new exhibit offering everyone a chance to see and understand our own physiology and health and to gain new appreciation and respect for what it means to be human. Just for families:
Check out the live demonstrations of biology, physics and chemistry – something for everyone, even in the most diverse family. Demonstrations include: See Your Own DNA, Spin City: Newton’s Laws, Super Sonic Showcase and more. T. rex, an Egyptian tomb and a bug's life.
The world-renowned Chicago Field Museum is an unforgettable experience for all ages. Meet Sue, the largest, most complete T. rex ever found, explore an ancient Egyptian tomb, or feel what it would be like to be the size of a bug. You'll discover the astonishing diversity of life on earth and connect with cultures from every corner of the globe and also enjoy an unbeatable view of Lake Michigan and Chicago's downtown skyline. Bonus:
The museum’s has great signage and very friendly personnel.You also get a discount in the gift shop with your CityPASS. Not to be missed:
The “Create a Play in One Day!” program is a phenomenal experience. Participating children (ages 5-11) write a short dinosaur play under the tutelage of professional actors, cast it with their new friends from the workshop, and perform for the general public at the Museum that same day. Just for families:
The Field Museum’s “Dozin’ with the Dinos” overnight program is a night of family workshops, tours and performances. Come explore ancient Egypt by flashlight, prowl an African savannah with man-eating lions. Need to know:
If you want to avoid crowds get there before 12pm.
Enjoy Art Chicago Style.
The Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing, a 264,000-square-foot (24,526 square meters) addition that opened in May 2009, houses new galleries for the museum's renowned collection of modern European paintings and sculpture, as well as its collection of contemporary art, including film, video and new media. A complimentary audio tour, provided with CityPASS admission, helps visitors expertly navigate the galleries. The institute's recent expansion also incorporates a number of new visitor amenities: an interior garden, an open-air sculpture terrace, a pedestrian bridge to Millennium Park, a mezzanine café, and much more.
The pocket sized pass booklet includes: The Hancock Observatory or Museum of Science of Industry, Skydeck, Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum or The Art Institute of Chicago, The Field Museum, and The Shedd Aquarium. Call toll-free 1-888-330-5008 or CityPASS Chicago Details Shedd Aquarium.
1200 South Lake Shore Drive, on Museum Campus. (312) 939-2438 or www.sheddaquarium.org The Field Museum & Underground Archive.
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, on Museum Campus. (312) 922-9410 or www.fieldmuseum.org Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum.
1300 South Lake Shore Drive, on Museum Campus. (312) 922-STAR or www.adlerplanetarium.org Museum of Science and Industry.
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive. (773) 684-1414 or www.msichicago.org The Hancock Observatory.
John Hancock Center, 875 North Michigan Ave. (312) 751-3681 or www.hancockobservatory.com