The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is in Lincoln Park, it’s in the same area as the zoo. The museum is located at 2430 North Cannon Drive. It is reachable by different forms of public transportation, most require a short walk. The walk isn’t that bad, however I went in winter as you can tell from the above photo. Since I went after a lot of snow storms and while it was snowing the sidewalks to the museum weren’t cleared off. Also I headed towards the museum from the back and got a little confused as to where to find the entrance. The area around the museum still has plenty of birds and a couple rabbits enjoying the area, it looks, with all of it’s board walks and space like it would be a beautiful place to visit in spring or summer as well.
The museum has an admission price of $9 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and $6 for children 3-12. It is open everyday except for certain holidays and one friday in May until 5pm. The museum has free admission (suggested donation) for Illinois residents on every Thursday.
I went because I wanted to go to a butterfly house and the Nature museum or museum of Chicago Academy of Sciences hosts a butterfly haven on their second floor. So for 50 cents each a friend and I paid to have our coats checked and went to explore the museum, starting first with spending a couple hours in the butterfly haven.
The butterfly haven hosts mostly tropical butterflies from around the world. The space is heated and humid for the plants and butterflies. There are a couple workers about to happily discuss anything about the haven or its occupants with guests. It felt a bit small, but there were plenty of little surprises. To contain a safe space for the butterflies they’ve added a couple other creatures to help care for the environment. This includes about three other species of birds, some that are there to eat ants that come in with the plants, others are meant to eat the dead butterflies. There is also a koi pond and a turtle. I think my favorite animals were Button Quail that could be found amongst the plants and were essentially puffy balls of feathers that moved in a pack throughout the garden.
On most days starting at 2pm there is a larger influx of guests and workers as they release new butterflies into the haven.
The haven is a nice warm place to go to on a cold winter day. The haven and the rest of the museum host a large amount of other events, some of which are free with admission others are a bit extra like a yoga session in the butterfly haven.
The museum is always studying and teaching. The museum includes collections of reptiles, amphibians, birds, eggs, mammals, insects, mollusks, paleontology, geology, as well as an extensive archive.
While a lot of the museum includes taxidermy versions of what the sections are discussing there are several living creatures. In these cups below are growing mantis.
These turtles are all marked and are an endangered species.
There are also exhibits where you can listen to different bird calls, children can learn and play in many of the large and extensive exhibits, one being a water working station. In some exhibits there are snakes, frogs, turtles.
The museum seems kind of small but is packed with information and isn’t as busy as some of the larger museums in the city.