A Day At The Field Museum

Last Saturday, we packed up the stroller and took a little trip to the Field Museum in downtown Chicago. It’s been a while since we’ve been there — not since before Lillian was born — and now that she’s walking we thought it would be fun to revisit this place. Here’s a fancy shot of Sue the T-Rex that I posted on Instagram the day we were there:

Sue The T-Rex (Instagram)

Lillian was toddling around everywhere, and she actually seemed to kind of enjoy looking at some of the displays (for two seconds, at least, before getting distracted by something else!) Here she is looking at a glass case with some fishes:

Toddler At The Museum

The above display was in a long carpeted hallway with not much foot traffic due to being on the lower level, and I think Lillian would have been content to just toddle up and down that hallway all day long, even if there were no displays in it at all. (Based on my own hazy memories of childhood, big expansive carpeted places are the awesomest thing ever when you’re little.)

She actually seemed pretty interested in the exhibits involving animals though. The Field Museum has a lot of taxidermy birds and animals in various realistic poses, and Lillian would get excited and point at them as we went by. Here’s a shot of Joe lifting her up to let her get a better look at the groundhog display:

Pointing At Groundhogs

Other displays were already at just the right hight for a toddler. Here she is saying hi to a coyote:

Toddler and Coyote

Another thing that seemed pretty toddler-friendly was the hall of birds. In addition to a huge variety of birds on display with all kinds of bird-related information, they also had these buttons at about knee height that when you press them, a recording of the bird’s call would play.

Toddler In Bird Exhibit

Lillian could easily reach them from the stroller (since by then she had probably toddled the equivalent of several blocks and needed a break), and she seemed to really enjoy pressing these buttons and hearing the bird sounds.

Toddler Pressing Buttons

And while we were at the museum, we wanted to get a photo of all three of us with Sue the T-Rex, just to continue the little tradition Joe and I started way back when we were dating (you can see the first two installments here). This is the first one where Lillian makes an appearance, though unfortunately Sue’s head got mostly chopped off:

Whole Family With T-Rex

Anyway, that’s the story of our trip to the Field Museum as told in pictures!

What about you guys — anyone gone to any interesting museums lately? Are there any museum attractions you’ve seen that seem particularly interesting or well suited to toddlers?


  1. Looks like a lot of fun! Hopefully, we’ll get to go there when we come visit. She really seems to have a love of animals. The next time you all come down, we should take you to the T. T. Wentworth museum. They have a play area for children there that she would probably enjoy. There’s also the Exploreum in Mobile for when she gets a bit older. It’s a hands-on science museum. Sometimes, they have dinosaur and other such exhibits. There is also a Pensacola Children’s Museum she would probably enjoy. I think it’s awesome that you take her to such cool places! Love you all!

    • It would be awesome if you guys could come up here and check out the Field Museum, and many of the other great points of interest this city has to offer while we’re at it! The Exploreum sounds really neat, and we’ll have to check out the T. T. Wentworth museum or the Pensacola Children’s Museum the next time we’re down there. Thanks for reading, and lots of love to everyone in Florida!

  2. You should take her to check out the Crown Children’s Lab at the field the next time you go. It’s a lot of fun for the littles. Especially the music room. We gave up our field membership this year in exchange for the Museum of Science and Industry….our boy has moved into a train and car phase!

    • Thanks for the suggestion Kathie, we’ll definitely have to check out the Crown Children’s Lab the next time we’re there! And we’ll have to go back to the Museum of Science and Industry one of these days too — it’s been ages since I last visited that one, but I remember it being really cool, and imagine it’s the perfect place for a little boy interested in trains and cars. Thanks for reading & commenting!

  3. Lillian’s face is so expressive! I love the way she’s taking it all in, and interacting with what she sees. You’re doing such a great job, taking Lillian to so many wonderful places, but more importantly, teaching her to “look, and learn.”

    We visited the Field Museum when we came to Chicago for Joe’s graduation. I put some pictures up on my Facebook of all of us with Tyro Rex. I remember the grandchildren enjoying each new exhibit. Me, I was just looking for the next bench!

    • Aww, thanks! :) She really does seem to be taking it all in, and even though they probably won’t remember any of it at this age, I’m really glad we’ve been able to get out there with her and seek out these kinds of experiences.

      I enjoyed checking out those photos of you guys with Sue the T-Rex on Facebook (and it’s kinda funny to be reminded of how Joe is so tall compared to the rest of his family!) The Field Museum is so huge and can definitely get tiring, though — so I guess not much changes whether you’re chasing a toddler or a bunch of teenagers / college grads! :)

  4. Haven’t been to any of our museums in recent years, but we do have lots of them. In addition to the ones Julie mentioned, there’s also the transportation museum, the Christ Church museum, the PMA and of course, the NAS Aerospace museum in Pensacola. I think the PMA does some Saturday “art experiences” for kids, not sure what age they are geared to though. If you get a chance to come down when they are having a Gallery Night, those are fun. All the art galleries (and a few stores) stay open late and have free nibbles and punch, with several blocks closed to car traffic, so you can wander from place to place. They used to have free wine at some of the places, but I guess that got too expensive when the events got noticed, so now there’s just sidewalk vendors outside one or 2 restaurants. It’s cheaper than going inside would be, but not by much. The last one I attended, there was a “graffiti wall” where passersby could spraypaint designs, and I think there were face-painters too. They happen 4-5 times a year.

    • Wow, I don’t think I realized just how many museums and art galleries you guys have down there in Pensacola! A graffiti wall sounds like it would be fun, and I really like the sound of Gallery Night overall — we’ll have to check out some of these things the next time we’re in town!

  5. I’ve actually been looking at the PMA for Amy. She’d like to take some art classes. It seems like the ages are 5-13 on that, so it won’t be too many more years for that! :)

    • An art class sounds like fun for Amy, and good luck making the most of them while she’s still in the age range — they grow up way too fast! :)

  6. Your post and the accompanying pictures warmed my heart. I hope Lillian enjoys The Field Museum with deepening understanding and enduring fun.

    • We’ll definitely be looking forward to returning over the years as she grows! Keep up the great work with the museum, and thanks for taking the time to visit my humble little blog! :)

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