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Why Take a Field Trip to the Nature Museum?

Class and chaperones visiting the Nature Museum

From Pre-K to High School, the Nature Museum is the perfect field trip destination. As Chicago's gateway to nature and science, our educators, scientists, and staff provide a fun and educational experience like no other.

We've got 8 great reasons to take a field trip to the Nature Museum!

  • Students on a Museum field trip circa 1960

    1. We've been at this for
    160 years

    As Chicago’s oldest museum, we know a thing or two about science education! Our staff are experts at developing education programs and exhibitions that stimulate and excite young minds. Book a field trip and you’ll see!
  • Scientist holding a small Painted Turtle hatchling

    2. Discover the nature that
    surrounds us

    We are Chicago’s urban gateway to nature and science. Our exhibits, specimens, live animals, and conservation initiatives all focus on our region’s unique ecosystems. Inspire your students to seek out, observe and discover the nature all around us.
  • Museum educator dressing student in a butterfly costume

    3. We teach!

    Take your field trip to the next level by scheduling a hands-on workshop led by an experienced Museum Educator. With 14 different indoor and outdoor workshops developed for a diverse range of learners, you can choose the unique workshop perfect for your class.
  • Students touching a live snake

    4. It's ALIVE!

    With more than 40 living animal species, the Nature Museum is one of the only museums where your class can get up close and hands-on with turtles, snakes, insects, and more! In addition to our living collections, we have thousands of preserved specimens—from rare extinct species to common plants and animals.
  • Students exploring Nature Trails

    5. Learning inside and out

    From interpretive nature trails outside the Museum and around North Pond, to more than 30,000 square feet of exhibitions within the Museum, your students will truly be immersed in the nature all around us! In addition to our signature exhibitions, we feature rotating exhibits throughout the year that always keep our museum experience fresh.
  • Scientist measuring a Blanding's turtle

    6. Real conservation,
    real science

    Our scientists are hard at work saving turtles, butterflies, snakes, and bees! Learn about our research and conservation efforts with endangered species like the Blanding’s turtle, and see the little hatchlings we are rearing for release in local habitats.
  • Child looking at a butterfly


    Experience the whirling wonder of the renowned Judy Istock Butterfly Haven! More than 40 species of exotic high-flying butterflies and stunning birds from around the world await your class in our 2,700 square foot greenhouse. Complete with serene pools of water, flowers, tropical trees, and thousands of fluttering butterflies, the Butterfly Haven is an experience your students will not forget!

  • Student walking with Museum Educator

    8. A price that can't
    be beat

    All Illinois school groups receive free admission to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum—no catch! Your group will have the opportunity and time to see everything we have to offer, without any special exhibit fees. Plus, we’ll outfit your class with a self-guided tour card with an option to customize based on your grade and interests.

  • Students walking into museum

    Ready to start planning?

    Head over to our Take a Field Trip page to choose your group and select the trip that's right for you. Or check out our Field Trip Guide for inspiration, exhibit descriptions, themed field trip ideas, and more!

    Field Trip Guide

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