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Lesser Known Chicago Attractions

16 Jan

Take a trip off the beaten path of familiar Chicago travel sites and discover these wonderful lesser known Chicago attractions. For this installment, we’ll focus on the wonderful, eclectic museums that are not on the ordinary tourist’s itinerary…

Museum of Surgical Science

lesser known Chicago attractions surgical science

prosthetic limb display at Museum of Surgical Science.

You don’t have to be a part of the medical field to visit this marvelous display of interesting artifacts from antique medical tools to an  old apothecary shop that you can walk through.  Take a trip to the Museum of Surgical Science to learn about all sorts of medical oddities, strange illnesses, and unique exhibits.  This place truly stimulates the intellect.  Located at 1524 N. Lake Shore Dr. Admission is $15.

National Museum of Mexican Art

lesser known Chicago attractions Central American

Central American sculptures, paintings, & more.

A smaller museum that definitely packs a memorable punch of culturally exquisite arts, The National Museum of Mexican Art provides majestic color to the already colorful neighborhood of Pilsen.  We recommend checking out the beautiful  Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead) display and then head to one of Pilsen’s many local taquerias for a handmade taco. 1852 W 19th St. Admission is FREE.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

lesser known Chicago attractions nature

Butterfly Sanctuary at The Nature Museum.

 Tucked among our neighborhood’s quieter places (check out the Lincoln Park Zoo and the pond), The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is worthwhile for its butterfly sanctuary in itself.  In addition, the museum offers great facts and exhibits highlighting Midwestern geography and its wildlife.  Take a trip east to 2430 N. canon Dr.  Admission is $9

Museum of Contemporary Art

lesser known Chicago museums MCA

spiral stairway at the MCA.

You’ve probably heard of Chicago’s massive Art Institute, but the Museum of Contemporary Art can “wow” any casual attendee let alone art enthusiast with their modern perspective.  If tremendous examples of visual art from 1945 to the present with a strong focus on surrealism, minimalism, conceptual photography, and work by Chicago-based artists is something that may interest you, the MCA is a worthwhile stop. Located at 220 E. Chicago Ave.  Admission is $12.

Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows

lesser known Chicago museums Smith

vivid stained glass at the Smith.

Looking for a really different experience? Look no further than the Smith Museum of Stained Glass.  There are beautiful mosaics with themes that are religious to nature pieces which demonstrate an incredible mastery and artistic talent. Also attached is a gallery dedicated to pieces by Louis Comfort Tiffany and even Frank Lloyd Wright.  Located inside the infamous Navy Pier, this may be the best attraction the pier has to offer.  800 E Grand Ave.  Admission is FREE.

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