cool places for science

Cool Places to Go for STEM Fun!

The Most Famous Places, First...

Museum of Science and Industry

One of the largest science museums in the world, with many cool, hands-on exhibits.

The Field Museum of Natural History

Inspiring curiosity about life on Earth while exploring how the world came to be as it is, since 1893. And, how can we make it a better place?

Shedd Aquarium

Here you can observe aquatic animals from all over the world, surrounded by "eye-popping" architecture. Make sure to visit the Oceanarium while you're there.

Adler Planetarium

Like astronomy? Enjoy interactive exhibits and the sky shows at America's first planetarium.

Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory

LPZ is a free, family, wildlife experience. While you're there visit the Farm-in-the-Zoo, and the Conservatory, right next door. Sign up for ZooMail, too.

Brookfield Zoo

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And penguins and puffins and wallabies and more!

Chicago Botanic Garden

Enjoy 385 acres of beautiful gardens and natural environments. Take part in educational and inspirational programs.

Morton Arboretum

Walk the grounds, enjoy the Children's Garden or take part in their special programming for kids and families. You can hike, bike or take a tram ride.

Lesser Known, Great Places to Go in Chicago...

The International Museum of Surgical Science

Interested in a health career or just want to learn about history and developments in surgical science? Find exhibits on both, here.

Chicago Architecture Foundation

Learn about Chicago's distinctive architecture on a guided walk or a river cruise.

Chicago Maritime Museum

Chicago’s location on the shores of Lake Michigan was an important contributor to the growth and development of the city. Visit this new museum to learn how waterways have impacted Chicago’s history.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Visit this family friendly nature museum with indoor and outdoor exhibits. Don't miss the butterfly haven.

The Garfield Park Conservatory

Walk through huge greenhouses and be transported to a tropical jungle, a desert garden and a beautiful oasis. Visit indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Great Places for STEM in the Burbs and Beyond...

Bartlett Nature Center

Located in Bartlett - A variety of programs to explore nature through activities, hands-on projects, and games.

Cantigny Park

Located in Wheaton - Walk through their gardens and visit a museum of military history. They host special family events, too.

Creek Bend Nature Center

Located in St. Charles - Interpretive displays and hands-on exhibits for visitors of all ages.

Dinosaur Discovery Museum

Located in Kenosha - The only museum to focus on the link between meat-eating dinosaurs and birds.

Discovery Center Museum

Located in Rockford - over 250 exciting hands-on exhibits spread over a two-floor area.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

Located in Batavia - Sign up for tours, visit the observation area, or the Lederman Science Center at this world famous site. Science Adventures are offered for youth and families.

Fox River Trolley Museum

Located in South Elgin - If you like trains and trolleys, this outdoor museum is a must for you and your family.

Fullersburg Nature Center

Located in Oak Brook - Hike the trails; see displays at the visitor's center or sign up for cool nature programs.

Geneva Park District Nature Classes & Programs

Learn and play outside at Peck Farm Park. Have fun, and be healthy! Activities in environmental education foster sensitivity, appreciation, and respect for the environment.

Hal Tyrell Trailside Museum

Located in River Forest - Offers a wide variety of public nature programs and guided hikes every month.

Hickory Knolls Discovery Center

Located in St. Charles - Exhibits and displays showcase the Fox Valley area's many natural treasures. Register for fun family programs.

Hidden Oaks Conservation Area

Located in Bolingbrook - Hit the trails, take part in a nature program or buy honey produced on site.

Illinois Aviation Museum

Located in Bolingbrook - A 6,000 square foot facility with a growing collection of restored and replica aircraft.

Jurica-Suchy Nature Museum

Located in Lisle - A nature museum at Benedictine University, with a collection of over 10,000 specimens.

Lake View Nature Center

Located in Oakbrook Terrace - Promotes awareness of the natural world with fun, hands-on education.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

Located in Schaumburg - Over 3 million LEGO bricks and unique activity workshops with their Master Model Builder.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Located in Elmhurst - Displays gemstone treasures, with a blending of earth science exhibits.

Lyman Woods Nature Center

Located in Downers Grove - With various activities, it's the starting off point for your exploration of Lyman Woods.

McDonald Farm

Located in Naperville - Take a self-guided tour or check their schedule to attend a special event.

Oak Park Conservatory

Located in Oak Park - Visit the greenhouses to see the tropical, fern and desert rooms. Tours are available.

Red Oak Nature Center

Located in Batavia - Nature displays include the new Wildlife Room, then follow the trails to Devil's Cave – the only cave in our area!

Sci-Tech Museum

Located in Aurora - More than 200 hands-on exhibits will intrigue and excite the whole family.

Springbrook Nature Center

Located in Itasca - Stop at the visitor's center then hike two miles to discover meadows, woods, prairies and marshes.

Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Located in Glen Ellyn - Rehabilitation facility that provides care and treatment for injured and orphaned animals.

For Younger Brothers and Sisters...

Blackberry Farm

Located in Aurora - Pioneer life is re-created through educational demonstrations and hands-on fun.

Chicago Children's Museum

Located in Chicago - Connect play and learning in fun spaces such as WaterWays, Tinkering Lab, Dinosaur Expedition and Treehouse Trails.

Cosley Zoo

Located in Wheaton - Nationally recognized zoo with a large variety of domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife.

DuPage Children's Museum

Located in Naperville - The many play areas stimulate curiosity, creativity, thinking and problem solving in young children.

Kohl Children's Museum

Located in Glenview - Interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to eight.

Philips Park Zoo

Located in Aurora - Drop in to see about 100 animals in this zoo-in-a park.

Search for Science Museums Worldwide...

Association of Science-Technology Centers

Traveling? Search around the world for science museums.