Like prescription glasses, nature museums give people the ability to better understand the world around them. Have an ecological epiphany with this Groupon.
$30 for a Family Nature-Museum Membership ($60 Value)
Membership includes unlimited general admission for two adults or caregivers and any children 18 and younger from the same household. Members also receive discounts for camps and parties, reciprocal admission to more than 250 museums worldwide.
The museum's newly opened Bikes! The Green Revolution exhibit spotlights Chicago's cycling culture, tying the city's tradition of two-wheeled transportation to modern-day advice on bike safety and maintenance. Visitors can see 13 historic bikes, including one dating back to the 1880s, and pedal a reproduction of that era's tall-wheeled transports. Children can create their own bike horn sounds and try their hand at assembling a wooden bicycle.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Chicago Academy of Sciences created a library and collection of flora and fauna specimens that burnt in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, just 14 years after its inception. By 1894, the academy had regrouped and rebuilt its collection in Lincoln Park, where it stood for more than 100 years. In 1999, the academy turned it into the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, a family-friendly museum filled with exhibits that let visitors explore the flora, fauna, and ecology of the Great Lakes region.
The 6.35-acre campus hosts more than 15,000 plants, 13,000 birds, and 22,000 amphibians and reptiles in its specimen collections. As visitors walk through Popular attractions include the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, where visitors can stand in a swirl of 1,000 exotic butterflies, and Mysteries of the Marsh and the Istock Family Look-in Lab, which feature dozens of living creatures, such as turtles, snakes, and giant bugs. The two-story Extreme Green House offers a hands-on look at the materials and technologies that surround us.
In addition to educating the public, the museum is a local leader in wildlife conservation. It's nestled in acres of restored prairie, where visitors can spot migratory birds and other native critters and plants. Outdoor exhibits include 17,000 square feet of green roofs, a restored-prairie nature trail, and a rooftop birdwalk.