The Museum Campus ready for summer fun with new exhibits

| July 6, 2015 | Comments (0)
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Chicago’s Museum Campus is always a great place to take the family for an afternoon or a full day. This summer, all three museums have new exhibits ready to keep your children and their friends busy throughout the summer.

Adler Planetarium
There are so many amazing things to see inside the Adler Planetarium, but this summer the newest exhibit will be outside. Planets on the Path is a collaboration between the Adler Planetarium and the Chicago Park District. Spanning Chicago’s entire lakefront, visitors can walk from planet to planet while they explore Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront. “Beginning with the ‘Sun’ station at the Adler, you can travel to the inner rocky planets— Mars, Mercury, Venus, and Earth—which are all located on the Museum Campus. From there, you can follow the ‘planets,’ including the Asteroid Belt and dwarf planet Pluto, south to Calumet Park at the state line or north to Juneway Terrace Park. If you walk at a leisurely pace, it will take you about the same amount of time to reach each planet, as it would take a beam of light to reach the real one.”

To make the entire exhibit interactive, the Adler staff will take to social media throughout the summer. “Trivia questions pertaining to a particular planet will be posted on our social channels; the first fan to arrive at the right planet and mention the post will win two All-Access Passes to the Adler Planetarium.” To find the Planets on the Path map, visit

Field Museum
The Cyrus Tang Hall of China, “the only major, permanent exhibition in the United States to examine Chinese culture and history from an anthropological viewpoint,” is the newest permanent exhibit at the Field Museum. As you walk through the exhibit, visitors explore China’s rich culture and layered history from before Neolithic times to the present.

What’s cool about this exhibit is that guests use interactive elements to create their own experience. Each object on display has touchscreen labels which allow visitors to choose topics of interest. Each person visiting the exhibit chooses from an array of stories about that object. Visual media also bring the objects to life. The Field’s media release notes that “one highlight is a video presentation of a Chinese shadow puppet performance. Filmed from both the viewer and the backstage perspectives, visitors can appreciate the artistry from either side of the screen.”

Gary Feinman, PhD, the Museum’s East Asian Anthropology curator, explains, “While art museums typically highlight the aesthetic and contextual qualities of specific objects, the Cyrus Tang Hall of China will tell the stories of the people who used them, the traditions they forged, and the legacies of that history that underlie and help us understand the present.”

Shedd Aquarium
Amphibians is a “new special exhibit showcasing the amazing world of amphibians—featuring 40 species of salamanders, frogs and rarely-seen caecilians—highlighting their amazing diversity, unique adaptations and the serious challenges they face.  Amphibians, sponsored by Walgreens, will immerse guests in the changing lives of salamanders, sirens, frogs, toads, newts, and more –  transforming from metamorphosis and beyond in today’s world. Throughout the new temporary exhibit, guests will be able to explore more than 30 habitats to find tiny frogs not much bigger than a quarter to a nearly 4-foot-long giant Japanese salamander, the second largest species of amphibian in the world.” Kids of all ages like frogs, and this exhibit will keep them engaged in an immersive experience with visual, audio and hands-on opportunities.

Mark Schick, special exhibits collections manager at Shedd, explained, “As one of the first land vertebrates, they have existed for millions of years. We’re excited to be able to bring our guests face-to-face with amphibians from across the globe such as a salamander the size of a kindergartner, while also bringing to light the interesting animals that live in our own backyards. We are privileged to be able to care for them in order to offer the public the opportunity to learn more about them.” 

For more information about the Shedd Aquarium, visit

Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun. Images courtesy of the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.

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Category: Chicago

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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