The Field Museum
While most museums have a firm “do not touch” policy, the Field is hands-on and kid-friendly. Originally founded in 1893 to house the Columbian Exposition’s natural science and anthropology collections, the museum now owns 23 million artifacts and specimens. Pay attention to the “please touch” signs that urge visitors to feel actual lava or put their hand in the indentation of an ape’s handprint. Other highlights include a reconstructed Egyptian tomb, the world’s largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex, and a fossil lab, where you can watch actual conservators at work.
Tip: Buy a CityPass and save 50 percent off Field Museum admission, as well as other attractions; plus, you can skip the long weekend ticket line.
Admission: $14 adults; $11 students and seniors; $9 children (ages 4-11)
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.