Best Exhibits To Visit This Summer In Chicago

May 6, 2013 7:00 AM


By Megan Horst-Hatch

While summers in Chicago can be relentlessly hot, you can beat the heat by heading indoors and taking in a museum exhibit. After all, wouldn’t you rather soak up some culture instead of soak up some heat? From cave paintings to an inside look at animals, museums in the Chicagoland area are offering a wide range of temporary exhibits this summer. To get started, check out the following exhibits.



Animal Inside Out, A Body Worlds Production
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Date: Now through Sept. 2, 2013

The exhibit “Animal Inside Out, A Body Worlds Production” gives you a literal inside look at animals. Created by anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens, who also created the Body Worlds exhibit previously displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry, the exhibit shows the muscles, bones and more inside animals. Animals such as giraffes, camels and a squid are among the animals on display, allowing visitors to get a new look at how animals function. Admission to the exhibit is not included with general admission, and visitors will receive a timed-entry ticket.

Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-9410

Date: Now through Sept. 8, 2013

If you consider yourself an art history geek, then you should definitely consider seeing The Field Museum’s exhibit “Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux.” Discovered in southern France more than 70 years ago, the paintings are more than 20,000 years old and are making their debut in North America. The exhibit features a replica of the cave so visitors can feel as though they are discovering the paintings for the first time. An extra charge applies to this exhibit.

Related: See What’s New At The Shedd



Spin: The Science Of Rotation
Kohl Children’s Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd.
Glenview, IL 60026
(847) 832-6600

Date: May 28 through Sept. 1, 2013

Read to get spun around? With the Kohl Children’s Museum exhibit “Spin: The Science of Rotation,” you and your child can learn all about how things turn. The exhibit includes a human centrifuge, giving visitors a chance to spin around and experience inertia first-hand. Visitors can also roll objects down a track in a bid to see which will finish first. A laser show, spinning toys and more will be on display so visitors can get a hands-on experience. The museum is also open to field trips, making it a must-see for any school groups or summer camps with children up to eight years of age. Regular admission applies to the exhibit.

Play, Pretend, And Dream: Caldecott Medal Of Honor Books, 2010-2013
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60603
(312) 443-3600

Date: June 1 through Dec. 1, 2013

If you’re a fan of children’s literature, then you should include the upcoming exhibit “Play, Pretend and Dream” on your must-see list this summer. The family-friendly exhibit features illustrations from each of the children’s books that received the Caldecott Medal in the last four years, which is awarded by the American Library Association to the artists of children’s picture books. The exhibit features illustrations from books such as “Extra Yarn,” “This is Not My Hat” and “Creepy Carrots!” The exhibit will be held in the Picture Book Gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Ryan Education Center, and regular admission applies.



Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years Of Ebony Fashion Fair
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 642-4600

Dates: Now through January 5, 2014

Calling all fashionistas! The Chicago History Museum’s exhibit “Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years Of Ebony Fashion Fair” lets visitors see garments from a number of designers, including Valentino, Oscar de la Renta and Bob Mackie, ranging from day suits to cocktail dresses. The exhibit features highlights from the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling show that brought fashion to more than 180 cities worldwide for 50 years and played an important role in African-American culture. It also tells the story of Eunice Johnson, who produced and directed the fair. Admission to the exhibit is included with general admission to the museum.

Related: Best Places To Entertain Grandparents On A Budget In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a mother, runner, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She loves nothing more than a great cupcake, and writes at I’m a Trader Joe’s Fan. Her work can be found at

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