Press Release

Be a Tourist In Your Own City

Released on Friday, May 23rd, 2008 | Print Release

For more information, contact:
Rebecca Schejbal 312-447-0460




Museum Exhibits Make It Fun – and Economical – to Spend Summer in the City

CHICAGO – Are sky-high gas prices threatening your family’s summer vacation plans? Lucky for you there are 10 world-class museums right here in Chicago – all of which offer fascinating, family-friendly exhibits and events all summer long. Keep your family entertained and your budget under control by taking your summer vacation in your own hometown. Visit these must-see summer exhibits:


Opening June 6

Cosmic Collisions is a breathtaking new space show narrated by award-winning actor, director and producer Robert Redford. A spectacular immersive theater experience, Cosmic Collisions launches visitors on a thrilling trip through space and time-well beyond the calm face of the night sky-to explore cosmic collisions, hypersonic impacts that drive the dynamic and continuing evolution of the Universe. Groundbreaking scientific simulations and visualizations based on cutting-edge research developed by astrophysicists, scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and other international colleagues-many seen for the first time-depict the dramatic and explosive encounters that shaped our Solar System, changed the course of life on Earth and continue to transform our galaxy. The new show explores the full range of space collisions, past, present and future.

The Adler Planetarium is free June 15-20.


Warm summer days and school vacation breaks are perfect partners for family fun at the Art Institute of Chicago! To begin your adventure, stop by the Kraft Education Center for art-making workshops, gallery tours, the Thorne Miniature Rooms, and the special exhibitions BIGsmall and Improvisations: Picture Books by Chris Raschka. Kids of all ages are also invited to explore the African continent this summer with the “Passport to Africa” series-which features a variety of eye-opening art, lively music, and dynamic performances from across sub-Saharan Africa. Included in this celebration is the major exhibition Benin-Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria, which begins July 10 and includes more than 220 royal sculptures and ancient artifacts from the Benin Kingdom of Nigeria. And don’t forget: Target Free Summer Evenings means more fun times for everyone! For a complete schedule of events and exhibitions, check out the Art Institute Web site:

Beginning May 29 and throughout June, July, and August, the Art Institute will offer extended hours – until 9:00 p.m. – on Thursdays and Fridays, with free admission after 5:00 p.m. on those evenings. Children under 12 always receive free admission to the museum.


Sensing Chicago

History is beautiful, noisy, rough, stinky, and delicious. In this gallery, children use their five senses to explore Chicago, uncover its past, and discover that history is all around them. The Konen Family Children’s Gallery invites families to ride a high-wheel bicycle, hear the Great Chicago Fire, catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park, smell the city’s past, and be a Chicago-style hot dog. The Chicago History Museum is free every Monday. Children under 12 admitted free every day.


Children’s Penny Cinema Series
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, July through August 2008
10:30 a.m.

Children ages 2 through 13 are invited to see a different educational and entertaining film each day. After each screening, children also receive a FREE BOOK so that they may keep themselves entertained after leaving the Museum. The more days the child attends, the more FREE books they receive. Adults must be accompanied by a child to attend. Admission is one penny per child. The DuSable Museum is free every Sunday. Children under 6 admitted free every day.

312. 922.9410

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids
Open through September 1, 2008

Since the dawn of time, creatures of the unknown have fascinated cultures the world over. From medieval fire-breathing dragons to the magical powers of the unicorn, mythic creatures have captured the imagination. Now, examine the legend and the science behind some of the most fascinating creatures ever
invented. Enter the fabled world of dragons, journey to the depths of the ocean and soar above the clouds to uncover the origins of the powerful, dangerous and magical beings that have been a part of the human experience for thousands of years. Preserved specimens, cultural artifacts and works of art highlight the surprising similarities and differences in the way people around the world have envisioned these myths. Today, mythic creatures continue to live on in the everyday lives of many cultures – and now they live at The Field Museum.

The Field Museum is free the second Monday of each month.


Family Fun on the Plaza
Tuesdays and Saturdays, July 1- August 26, 1-3 p.m.

Whether dropping by for 15 minutes or staying for two hours, families will enjoy these outdoor workshops on the MCA plaza. Drawing inspiration from the Museum’s summer exhibitions, children and adults of all ages experiment with different media and learn more about the MCA’s featured artists under the Chicago summer sun. Activities recommended for children 5 and up. No registration necessary.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is free every Tuesday. Children under 12 admitted free every day.


The Glass Experience
Through September 1

This exhibit reveals the stunning beauty and amazing craftsmanship that is the world of glass! In the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Show, watch as the nation’s finest master glass artists blow 2300-degree molten glass into works of art each day. Guests of all ages have the opportunity to submit their own sketches and watch as they become cool glass sculptures. Watch and interact with artisans from Botti Studios working on dazzling stained glass pieces. Along the way, view master works of glass from artists such as Dale Chihuly, Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright as you also learn how the art, science and technology of glass influence our culture, lifestyle and economy in a multitude of ways. The Glass Experience requires a timed-entry ticket and is open every day through September 1.

In honor of its 75th Anniversary, the Museum will be free June 17 – 22 with special celebrations and activities from June 19 – 22.


Family Sundays: Personal Journeys
July 27 and August 24, 2-4 p.m.

Share your family’s personal stories describing how you or your ancestors arrived to the United States by creating a three-dimensional project that will discuss migration.

Admission is FREE every day.


Lawn Nation: Art and Science of the American Lawn
May 23 – September 7

Explore America’s love-hate relationship with turf grass from three different perspectives: history, impact and alternatives. Examine the lawn through a variety of media and installations, including audio narratives, documentary video projects, flat shows, outdoor lawn art, and outdoor public events.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is free every Thursday.


Lizards and the Komodo King
Through September 2

During the hot summer days, chill out at Shedd with the cold-blooded reptiles of Lizards and the Komodo King. From snakelike glass lizards to stocky Gila monsters, geckos that can curl up on a quarter to monitor lizards as long as a canoe, lizards come in a wild variety of shapes and sizes. The exhibit even includes the world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon! Stop by to salute Shedd’s reigning lizard king – Faust, the 8-foot long, 180-pound Komodo dragon – and the rest of the scale-y stars as they prepare to say goodbye to the Windy City when the exhibit closes on Sept. 2.

Shedd Aquarium is offering free general admission from June 15-20 as part of its Community Discount Day program, sponsored by the Ford Motor Company.

Museums In the Park (MIP) is a coalition of Chicago museums located on Chicago Park District property. MIP members are Adler Planetarium, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago History Museum, DuSable Museum of African American History, The Field Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Science and Industry, National Museum of Mexican Art, The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and John G. Shedd Aquarium.

Media Relations at Museums in the Park