Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History

Field Museum of Natural History

Field Museum of Natural History

Well, it’s Day 4 of my 31 days of writing, and I’m already behind. But I had a good reason! My cousins were in town for our third annual “Cousins Weekend,” and we were busy exploring the city.

While they were here, I had one requirement: We must visit the Field Museum of Natural History. I’ve been there a dozen times, but I just can’t get enough. Here are my favorite parts of the museum:

Sue the T. rex

Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex

The first thing you have to do is stop to say, “Hello,” to Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex. She’s right inside the entrance in the Stanley Field Hall, so you can’t miss the largest and most complete T. rex ever found. Sue was found in South Dakota and is named for Sue Hendrickson, the paleontologist who discovered her. After an intense custody battle over her rightful owner, Sue was sold at auction for a sweet $7.6 million.

Sue's skull

Sue’s skull

Sue’s head is actually too heavy for the skeleton on the main level, so make sure you go upstairs to see her skull and impressive dental work.

Hall of Gems

While you’re upstairs, stop in the Grainger Hall of Gems to add a little sparkle to your life. (Diamonds and turquoise and gold… oh my!) First on display at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition, the rare jewels know how to make an impression. I’m continually fascinated by the rainbow of colors in the gemstones. You’ll find yellow diamonds, red sapphires, and opals that shimmer like the summer sun reflecting on Lake Michigan.

Inside Ancient Egypt

Inside Ancient Egypt

Inside Ancient Egypt

The Egyptian exhibit begins on the main floor with a mock tomb of Unis-ankh. Within the walls of the tomb, the museum feels weirdly quiet, and you’ll feel the urge to whisper to your companions as you explore the hieroglyphics. Mummies are just wrapped with mystery, but this exhibit does a good job unwrapping the culture.

Special Exhibits

The special exhibits are what continue to pull me back into the museum, so be sure to check them out when you visit. The Vikings exhibit ended this weekend, and I enjoyed learning about the Scandinavian people from A.D. 800 to 1000. The word ‘viking’ is actually just an Old Norse word for a commercial trip or raid. The people we know as Vikings were farmers and traders who would sometimes go out on ‘a viking.’

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