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Top Rated Attractions in Chicago

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Art Institute of Chicago

From popular Rembrandt masterpieces to recent works by lesser-known artists, the Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the finest art collections in the world. Spanning centuries of human creativity, exhibits include a distinguished collection of prints and drawings, an internationally acclaimed collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures, photographs, Asian, African, and American arts, architectural drawings, textiles, and more. Many pieces are on loan from the famed Terra Foundation for American Art. Educational programs and guided museum tours are available. Artbooks, reproductions, postcards, and other items are available in the museum shop.

Field Museum of Natural History

Travel from ancient civilizations through modern times to view the remnants of bygone cultures and traditions at The Field Museum. Get the inside story on Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skeleton, or view preserved man-eating lions and other animals. For a truly subterranean experience, check out the Underground Adventure, an exhibit dedicated to soil and how it sustains life, or just relax at one of several places to eat. Admission to the museum is free for members, teachers, and military personnel. Moreover, Chicago residents receive a discount.

Chicago Cultural Center

Established in 1897, the Chicago Cultural Center is a prominent landmark that is operated by Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. Every year, the cultural center features several programs and exhibitions covering a wide range of arts, including literary and visual. The magnificent art-deco building is attractive in and of itself, its interiors being equally ornate and regal. A particular architectural highlight is the two stained-glass domes within the building, which never fail to mesmerize visitors who pass beneath its massive expanse. Be it for the cultural program roster or simply its artistic beauty, the Chicago Cultural Center continues to be a tourist hot spot.

Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures

Without leaving Chicago, you can see far-off and ancient civilizations thanks to the Oriental Institute Museum. The Institute Museum, a part of the University of Chicago campus in Hyde Park, houses top-notch anthropological and archaeological displays regarding the first human civilizations that emerged in the East. Visitors can reflect on man's accomplishments as they examine rare artifacts from historic nations including Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, and Palestine. Afterwards, browse the "Suq" (Arabic for "market") for Eastern finds and unusual gifts. Guided group tours and workshops are available to ease the trip for you.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry makes science fun with interactive, educational exhibits that stretch the imagination. Spend time in a 13-foot (4.0-meter) heart as you learn about how yours works. Find out how technology has influenced history by stepping back in time on "Yesterday's Main Street." Marvel at the life-size replica of the German submarine U-505 and also the command module of Apollo 8. Watch action-packed films in the museum's giant-screen Omnimax Theatre or take a ride down a coal mine. And don't leave without picking up some great souvenirs at The Big Idea museum shop.

Chicago Theatre

Amazing and beautiful! That will be your initial impression when you arrive at this breathtaking architectural structure where history, music, and drama echo. "The best of both worlds" is the phrase that best summarizes this classic Loop theater. It is opulent enough to appeal to the most discriminating of tastes, but refined enough to satisfy the most discerning theatergoer. The concerts are frequent, and an occasional movie is shown here on its giant screen. The lower level of this theater has only 281 seats, making it more intimate than other nearby theaters.

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