If knowledge is power, then nature museums can provide humanity with the strength to subdue super volcanoes with one steely glance. Gain the upper hand against wily Mother Nature with today’s Groupon: for $30, you get a one-year family membership to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which is valid for two adults, any children under 18 in the same household, and caretakers (a $60 value).
Whether you love the outdoors or prefer to watch it on TV, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will change the way you see the midwestern prairie on your next camping trip and revolutionize your understanding of the Chicago waterways you pass on your commute. Add a flutter of color to Chicago winters at the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, one of the museum's most beloved permanent exhibitions. Housed in a 2,700-square-foot greenhouse, pools of water and tropical flora provide lush perches for more than 75 species of butterflies and birds, enough to perform musical numbers with more than a dozen Disney princesses simultaneously. Study 1,000 butterfly wings to inspire your latest art project, or let their delicate flight take your imagination to new heights, like World 5, where you get Kuribo's shoe.
Discover the mysteries of the marsh as you learn about its endangered species and spooky creatures, such as black widow spiders, water scorpions, and stick bugs. Let your ear for music and eye for design rove over the colorful plumage and melodic songs of Chicago's birds. The nature museum's visiting exhibitions track migrating images, such as Lost Panoramas, as they journey north to nest in photo preserves. When the weather warms up, head out to the museum's outdoor restored natural prairie and take a birdwalk to discover wildlife that flits across the city skyline.
A family membership provides a plethora of benefits, letting members partake in all the museum's natural glory. Membership includes unlimited admission for family members and caretakers, 10% off at the museum shop and café, subscription to Nature Museum News, free or discounted admission to hundreds of museums nationwide, and a foolproof butterfly disguise.
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- even jaded adults will be excited when bright yellow butterflies land on their shoulders. – Fodor's
- Perhaps the most popular spot among the post-puberty crowd is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, which is home to more than 250 species of butterflies and open year-round. In summer the 2,700-square-foot greenhouse is a relaxing retreat; in winter the splash of color offers a refreshing pick-me-up and a reminder that winter can't last forever. – Kate Rockwood, Centerstage Chicago
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
For 160 years, The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been connecting Chicagoans to nature and science. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a family-friendly experience filled with exhibits that let visitors explore the flora, fauna, and ecology of the Great Lakes region.
As visitors walk through the 6.35-acre campus, 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. At the RiverWorks exhibit, families can build dams, control water turbines, and change the flow of a river system. Another popular exhibit is Hands-on Habitat, where knee-high naturalists can explore the secret world of animal homes in this safe, toddlers-only exhibit. For a limited time only, guests can view more than 70 frogs in Frogs: A Chorus of Colors.
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.
Explore Lincoln Park
Groupon has partnered with the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce to curate a deal collection that embodies the spirit of this iconic Chicago neighborhood. From candlelit dinners at Geja’s to chasing butterflies at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, these are some of the city’s most essential destinations. Shop the full collection