Free Admission on Thursdays at Notebaert Nature Museum

As we thaw out from winter and all the flowers and trees explode back into life, what better time to reconnect with nature at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The Nature Museum, offers free admission every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.! Nestled in the heart of Lincoln Park, awash with sunlight, the Museum offers stunning views of the lake, Chicago’s skyline, and North Pond.  exhibits, programs, discussions, and field trips let you experience nature firsthand.

As you walk in, you will feel the serenity of the site, as more than one thousand butterflies of every color are there to greet you.  Many informative exhibits, programs, discussions, and field trips let you experience nature firsthand.

notebaert-museumThere are lots of permanent exhibits available year-round, including a excellent greenhouse filled with more than 75 species of butterflies, a display that educates about almost 100 birds that are native to Illinois, a wilderness walk through how the Midwest once appeared, outdoor grounds that display a model of eco-friendly, energy-efficient technology, and so much more!

Special activities occur everyday at certain times, and upcoming exhibits are described on the museum’s website, so be sure to plan ahead! A gift shop and café are provided for your convenience. Don’t let city living stop you from appreciating worldwide nature.


notebaertJudy Istock Butterfly Exhibit Get up close to more than 75 species of butterflies in a 2,700 square-foot greenhouse filled with pools of water, flowers, tropical trees and 1,000 butterflies, including those never-before-seen in our region.

Did you know that butterflies are in the arthropod family, along with spiders, beetles, ants and other not-so-admired species? Chicago wildlife photographer Jim Rowan’s photos bring us into a miniature world that exists within our communal earth’s ecosystem.

Haven Birds of Chicago Learn about birds native to Illinois, with nearly 100 specimens on display that date back to the early 1900s. The birds range in age, size, color and rarity, showcasing everything from the large Midwest turkey and the common blue jay to the endangered prairie chicken. Touch screen kiosks provide visitors with additional information on the birds.

River Works Splash through this waterplay experience and learn about Chicago’s waterways and how they support plants, animals, and humans. Explore the dynamics of rivers by building dams, controlling water turbines, even changing the flow of a river itself.

Wilderness Walk Re-discover the Midwest region. Take a stroll through three meticulously re-created environments: a prairie, savanna, and dune, complete with true-to-life lighting, sounds and real live and preserved animals.

Hands-on Habitat This engaging, two-story learn-through-play exhibition takes budding naturalists (age 3 to 7) on an exploration of the secret world of animal homes.

Outdoor Exhibitions The Nature Museum building and grounds are a model of eco-friendly, energy-efficient technology in action: 17,000 square-feet of green roofs, Compost Corral, Rain Barrel Ranch the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Cliff Garden, Elizabeth Plotnick Prairie, and our largest exhibition – the restored native prairie.

HOURS: The Nature Museum is open every day except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and on Friday, May 1 for the annual Butterfly Ball. Museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please note, the last admission ticket is sold at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 4:30 p.m. on weekends.

LOCATION: The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is located at 2430 North Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park, just off Lake Shore Drive at Fullerton, Avenue, across from the Lincoln Park Zoo.


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