Museums in Frankfort

Admission for Two, Four, or Six to National Hellenic Museum (Up to 53% Off)

National Hellenic Museum

West Town

Explore Greek culture and history inside a gorgeous 40,000 sq.-ft. limestone building filled with Greek-themed artwork and exhibits

$20 $10

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One-Year Family or Individual Membership to The Oriental Institute (Up to 53% Off)

The Oriental Institute

University of Chicago

Exhibit-opening invitations, free audio tours, research-library privileges, and program discounts at a museum of Middle East archaeology

$75 $35

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One-Year Membership to DuSable Museum of African American History (50% Off). Four Options Available.

DuSable Museum of African American History

Washington Park

Examine tales and artifacts of African American history with studies of African nations, murals, and even an animatronic Harold Washington

$60 $30

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Admission for Two or 1-Year Individual or Family Membership at International Museum of Surgical Science (56% Off)

International Museum of Surgical Science

Near North Side

More than 600 art pieces and 7,000 medical artifacts—including a working iron lung—trace the advancement of surgery throughout history

$30 $14

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Visit for One, Two, or Four to the Chicago History Museum (Up to 48% Off)

Chicago History Museum

Lincoln Park

Chicago museum brings history to life with 22 million artifacts & topical exhibits, including a look at railroad workers during WWI

$14 $8

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General, Family, or Friend Sponsor Annual Membership to the APR Pullman Porter Museum (50% Off)

APR Pullman Porter Museum

Far South Chicago

Museum celebrates the victories of the nation’s first African-American labor unions and the history of African-American railroad workers

$50 $25

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Visit for Two or Four, or Individual or Family Membership to Museum of Broadcast Communications (Up to 50% Off)

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Near North Side

Artifacts and digitized recordings detail the history of radio and television; interactive station lets visitors anchor their own newscasts

$24 $12

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Admission for 2 or 4, or One- or Two-Year Family Membership to Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (Up to 55% Off)

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Lincoln Park

Nature museum hosts living and educational exhibits on the natural world including a butterfly haven and a native prairie.

$18 $10

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Across two floors and 6,700 square feet, KidsWork Children's Museum's prompts hands-on play with scores of new exhibits. A table-top interactive computer, or SMART table, stimulates kids' brains with interactive puzzles and games. A weekly music class on Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. invite kids to make some noise with instruments made from recycled materials. Interlocking wooden builder boards encourage open-ended play; there's also a floor piano, an interactive ATM, and story time at 10 a.m. on Tuesday mornings. The museum welcomes field-trip groups and birthday parties to explore its innards as well as special-needs families, members, and walk-in visitors.

While large groups are welcome, each child is celebrated through hands-on play. Just look at the gigantic, three-dimensional Pinscreen exhibit, a jumbo version of the classic toy that uses sliding pins to create a 3-D impression of whatever you press into them—in this case, your entire body. Along with the Lincoln-Way North Key Club, the Frankfort Fire Department helped construct the three walls by painstakingly inserting nearly 200,000 pins by hand. Their effort resulted in one of the museum's most popular interactive displays. More than that, it reflects the sense of community, curiosity, and creativity that the museum strives to engender in its patrons.

11 S White St
Frankfort,
IL
US

By highlighting the goings-on in the community of Joliet, The Joliet Area Historical Museum scans the entirety of American history from the perspective of the town's inhabitants. Housed inside the former Ottawa Street Methodist Church, multimedia exhibits artfully assembled from audio-visual displays, touch screens, and life-size models illustrate the stories plucked from the eventful timelines of the town and its people. Occupying two full stories, permanent exhibit The Soaring Achievements of John C. Houbolt honors the life and work of former resident Dr. Houbolt, who had a primary role in NASA's race to the moon. The exhibit's life-size Lunar Lander even allows guests to step inside and glimpse the accommodations and controls, revealing a control panel more complicated than a single button labeled "Go to Moon." In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also keeps an active calendar full of special events; check the schedule for a complete list of programming.

204 N Ottawa St
Joliet,
IL
US

After health, the most important thing parents want for their children is a good education, and that means learning inside the classroom and out. But if learning becomes simply memorizing facts in a textbook, it quickly turns into a chore, leading kids to lives of mindless entertainment and ignoring the last 12 mystery ingredients on junk-food labels.

To combat this, The Children?s Museum in Oak Lawn introduces children to the arts, sciences, and industry with a series of engaging exhibits that uphold the standards set by the Illinois State Board of Education. These exhibits occupy every inch of their two-story facility, giving kids hands-on experience with concepts such as cause and effect, gravity, and motion. Painting and dress-up theaters cultivate healthy imaginations, and the infant tummy-time zone allows even the tiniest guests to flex their neck muscles and reach stuffed-animal friends. In addition to daily visitors, The Children?s Museum in Oak Lawn welcomes school field trips and family birthday parties.

5100 Museum Dr
Oak Lawn,
IL
US

In 1987, Louise Beem and Dorothy Carpenter were early-childhood-education specialists. Based on their combined experience—gained from teaching preschool, founding the College of DuPage's early-childhood-education program, and being grandmothers—the two friends felt that traditional methods of teaching youngsters were less than optimal at the time. Their brainchild, the DuPage Children's Museum, began that same year. The pair designed the museum's colorful exhibits to incorporate interactive and open-ended elements, which they believed more closely matched the way kids learn and naturally process information, a discovery they say has now been corroborated by findings in neuroscience research.

In that vein, the three-story museum engages young neurons with interactive art, math, and science-themed attractions. Giving little hands the chance to explore, the AWEsome Electricity exhibit bridges the gap between the electric-powered gadgets and lights families use every day to where all that nonbreakfast-based energy comes from. Kids learn how electricity gets from one place to another and what its basic units are while at play in the museum's signature hands-on spaces. Elsewhere, the Young Explorers exhibit is designed for children aged 2 and under, who develop math skills by learning concepts such as sorting and patterning and express their creativity by experimenting with color and light.

301 N Washington St.
Naperville,
IL
US

In 1969, a group of history lovers saved the Civil War-era St. John's Episcopal Church from demolition, and in so doing gave birth to Naper Settlement, an outdoor history museum that preserves a slice of 19th-century life. Over the decades, more and more buildings have been restored and moved to the settlement grounds, building up a massive testament to times past and earning dozens of awards in the process.

  • Size: 30 historic buildings spread across 12 acres
  • Eye Catchers: the staff, who don costumes and take on personas from the 19th century
  • Permanent Mainstay: Brushstrokes of the Past?3,500 sq. ft. of art, artifacts, photos, and other relics that chart Naperville's history
  • Crown Jewel:Martin Mitchell Mansion, a 12-room celebration of 19th-century luxury and one of the settlement's original buildings
  • Hands-On Activities: try on clothes from the past or build a cabin with Lincoln logs
  • Pro Tip: use Naper Settlement's app to explore the grounds and baffle those who've forgot what century they're in
523 S Webster St.
Naperville,
IL
US

Historic spacecraft, fragments of far away worlds, and maps of the galaxy make outer space seem completely within reach. That's the magic of the Adler Planetarium. From the moment visitors pass through the Clark Family Welcome Gallery?a portal of aluminum tubing, fabric, and video projections?they embark on a journey through space, time, and imagination.

  • Eye Catcher: Earth's neighbors and one massive yellow Sun hang overhead in Our Solar System, which also includes a fragment of a meteorite and a replica of the Mars rover. The Adler is the only place where visitors can touch a piece of the Moon, Mars, and three different asteroids under one roof.
  • Permanent Mainstay: The Historic Atwood Sphere, Chicago's oldest planetarium, where guests can step under a steel dome to view the night sky as it appeared in 1913 thanks to 692 drilled holes.
  • Hands-On Experiments: In The Universe: A Walk Through Space and Time, you can send yourself digital postcards from across the Universe; it'll only take four hours for one to arrive from Neptune, but be prepared to wait 2.5 million years for one to arrive from the Andromeda galaxy.
  • Hidden Gem: The Space Visualization Lab introduces guests to cutting-edge research that astronomers discuss with visitors one-on-one to convey the vastness of space or the size of the castle they want to build on the Moon.
  • Don't Miss: The live planetarium show, Destination Solar System, blends a sci-fi plot with real science as it journeys to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn's moon Titan.
  • Special Programs: Every third Thursday of the month, Adler After Dark lets amateur astronomers 21 and older spend the evening gazing at the stars with cocktails in hand.

Groupon Guide

Stargazing Tips from an Adler Astronomer

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How an Adler Planetarium scientist and "Lalaloopsy" TV writer propelled their audience across the solar system.
1300 S Lake Shore Dr.
Chicago,
IL
US

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