Art Institute of Chicago
Located in Grant Park, the Art Institute of Chicago is the second largest art museum in the United States. Established in 1879, the Art Institute houses one of the most extensive permanent art collections in the world and includes modern, contemporary, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, in addition to many decorative art pieces.
Commissioned in 2004, Cloud Gate is a 110-ton stainless steel sculpture that was designed to reflect the city of Chicago. Created by the world-renowned artist Anish Kapoor, the sculpture resembles a bean-shaped drop of mercury and is suspended 12 feet in the air, so visitors are able to walk below it. Serving as an entrance to Chicago's Millennium Park, the sculpture offers a distorted view of the city's skyline and surrounding clouds.
Museum of Science and Industry
Established in 1933, the Museum of Science and Industry is in Chicago's Jackson Park and was designated a Chicago landmark in 1995. One of the largest science centers in North America, the museum has 75 halls and showcases more than 2,000 exhibits, including a bituminous coal mine replica, a U-505 World War II German submarine, an American Airlines Boeing 727, the Pioneer Zephyr stainless steel passenger train and a 3,500-square-foot model railroad.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Founded in 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States and is the largest zoo in Chicago. Lincoln Park houses more than 1,249 animals, including polar bears, lions, gorillas, penguins, red wolves and beavers. In addition, the zoo hosts a Farm-in-the-Zoo program that enables visitors to view a vegetable garden and pet farm animals.
Field Museum of Natural History
Established in 1921, the Field Museum of Natural History was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Housing more than 21 million artifacts, the museum rotates many of them and features several as permanent exhibits, including a Lions of Tsavo diorama, an authentic Egyptian tomb, a rare gem and jade display and one of the world's most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons.
Opened in 1976, the Skydeck is an observation area on the 103rd floor of Chicago's Willis Tower. At a height of more than 1,352 feet, the observation area offers amazing views of Chicago, Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Renovated in 2009, the structure now includes a solid glass ledge that allows an unobstructed vertical view.