Nature museum in ideal Lincoln Park setting

The location of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, along Lincoln Park’s North Pond, is ideal. Its $31-million, 73,000sq ft (6,600sq m) building is grand. And the fanfare that greeted its opening in 1999 was enormous.

Still, the Notebaert Nature Museum is a bit of a disappointment, due chiefly to the fact that few of its exhibits are as exciting as they should be. Highlights include the Extreme Green House, a mock bungalow that aims to teach kids domestic science; and the Hands-On Habitat, which aims to teach kids about how animals live. The temporary exhibitions also occasionally hit the mark. But the museum’s main selling point is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, a glass topped space populated by over 50 species of butterfly.

The most attractive parts of the museum are the outdoor pond and walkway; these can be enjoyed for free, leaving the admission fee to be invested in a good lunch instead. For a few dollars more, it’s well worth heading to North Pond, one of Chicago’s premier eateries.

Profile Image of Heather Kendall

Looking to be one with nature? Head to Chicago's own luscious getaway in the exhibit "Judy Istock Butterfly Haven" where exotic butterflies roam or head to the "Hands-on Habitat" to go underground as a worm or chew through wood as a beaver. Find live Chicago area turtles, fish, and snakes in "Mysteries of the Marsh," join the nature museum staff as they release the butterflies, or meet one of those resident turtles or snakes in a Creature Connection. These kinds of programs occur daily.

Heather Kendall Founder of Chicago Museum Blog

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N Cannon Drive, Chicago

Phone: 1-773 755 5100


Open Hours: 9am- 4.30pm Mon-Fri; 10am-5pm Sat, Sun.

Categories: Specialty museum, Science museum

Price: Cost money

+Add to my Guide

Nearby Museums

Updating results...
Chicago History Museum
1.75 km away
Lincoln Park museum hosting a Chicago cultural institution
International Museum of Surgical Science
2.10 km away
A museum of surgical interest
Museum of Contemporary Art, courtesy Robert Maihofer
3.46 km away
Modern and futuristic ideas abound
View of Polish Museum of America.
3.74 km away
Commemoration of Polish-American culture

Click “Add to my Guide” on any place to get started!