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Close-up of frog in Mysteries of the Marsh

From live native animals to nature-inspired art, from toddler-friendly play spaces to dozens of exotic butterfly species, our exhibits are sure to entertain, educate, and excite guests of all ages. All exhibits are included with admission.

Scroll down for a list of temporary and permanent exhibits currently on display.

  • Photo by Tim Laman

    Birds of Paradise

    Journey to the remote rainforests of New Guinea, land of the exotic birds-of-paradise in our new exhibit Birds of Paradise: Amazing Avian EvolutionBirds of Paradise takes visitors deep into the New Guinea rainforest and brings these extravagant birds to life through engaging games and fun, hands-on activities.

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  • Ivory-Billed Aracari

    The Bird House

    See and meet gorgeous exotic birds without leaving the city!

    The Bird House features live, loud, and beautiful macaws, stunning aracari, exotic serama chickens, and native bobwhite quails. Learn about where these exotic birds live, what they eat, and some of the amazing adaptations that help them survive in their native habitats.

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  • Girl admiring butterfly in haven

    Judy Istock Butterfly Haven

    The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is the Museum's internationally renowned signature 2,700-square-foot greenhouse. Home to more than 1,000 butterflies (40 species), the Haven is the perfect tropical retreat.

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  • Swamp Metalmark Butterfly by Carol Freeman

    Endangered Beauty

    Photographer Carol Freeman reveals stunning photographs of Illinois' endangered and threatened species, from delicate quarter-inch insects to powerful predators.

  • Reveal the True Self by Jeri Love

    The Beauty and Wonder of Trees

    Featuring photography by Jeri Love, The Beauty and Wonder of Trees explores the expansive and expressive nature of our planet’s largest and most important plant.

    Click here to learn more about this project.

  • Child in Hands-on Habitat

    Hands-on Habitat

    Knee-high naturalists can explore the secret world of animal homes. Adventures include exploring an underground cave, a giant roped spider web and a busy beaver lodge.

  • Green House

    Extreme Green House

    See the nature inside your house and the ecology within your walls. Take a tour with the Green family and discover the way the environment connects all of us.

  • Beecher Lab

    Beecher Collections Laboratory

    Named after the legendary former director of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, William J. Beecher, this is a place to see scientists engaged in real taxidermy of bison, skunks, coyotes and more.

  • student looking

    Istock Family Look-in Lab

    Watch as Museum scientists and volunteers care for and study the animals that comprise the Museum's Living Collection.

  • Children playing water exhibit


    Splash your way through this exhibit as you discover that only real lazy rivers are the ones you find at water parks. Rivers are nature's own flood controls and are filled with species of fish, herons, beavers and painted turtles. Interact with RiverWorks by reversing the flow of the river, turn the river into a lake, build your own dam and even control a water turbine.

  • Child looking into turtle tank

    Mysteries of the Marsh

    Learn about one of the most famous former marshes in the world — Chicago! Explore seven different types of wetland you can find near your home and animals that live there. Did you know that nearly two-thirds of the endangered species in Illinois are found in wetlands?

  • Wilderness Walk diroama

    Wilderness Walk

    So many different environments are found in Chicago. Walk through a recreation of a prairie, savanna and dune, complete with authentic sounds and preserved animals.

  • Birdwalk in afternoon

    Micole Birdwalk

    Look through binoculars to see the variety of birds that surround North Pond. Listen to bird calls at interactive kiosks while enjoying views of Chicago's gorgeous skyline.

  • Child learning

    Heritage of the Chicago Academy of Sciences

    Celebrate and be inspired by a snapshot of the Academy's 160-year legacy of scientific research of Chicago and the region. A mount of a porcupine, a Blanding's turtle skeleton and mammal skins are just a few of the samples on display.

  • Bluebirds in exhibit

    Birds of Chicago

    Get up close to the birds you see in your backyard and discover how to identify them by their sounds. More than 115 specimens, including the Midwest turkey, cardinal and endangered Prairie chicken are on display from the Chicago Academy of Sciences Collections. Choose which ones you want to hear by touching the screen on the interactive kiosk.

  • Child interacting with food exhibit

    Nature's LunchBox

    At Nature's LunchBox, discover how food and nature are connected. The fascinating life cycle of food  from the farm all the way to the fork  is explained with panel displays and interactive components.

  • Children exploring trails

    Nature Trails

    The fun continues outside the Museum walls at our largest permanent exhibition! Nature Trails is a nearly 1/3 mile trail where you'll be inspired by the abundance of nature that surrounds us, even in this urban environment.

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