Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum For over 160 years, we have connected the people of Chicago to nature and science.

The Museum provides award-winning exhibitions and programs to 70,000 students annually and trains and provides resources for more than 2,000 Chicago teachers. The Nature Museum is one of the city’s best examples of eco-friendly building technology, including a green roof, solar panels, natural light sources and native landscaping. The Academy and its Museum are engaged in important conservation an

d research work, such as its Butterfly Restoration Project. Admission
Adults: $9
Students: $7
Seniors: $7
Children: $6 (Age 3 and under are free!)
Our members always get in FREE!

Founders Day January 13 | 10am - 2pm🌿✨ Join our celebration of 167 years of nature and science! Meet our collections tea...
01/08/2024

Founders Day January 13 | 10am - 2pm

🌿✨ Join our celebration of 167 years of nature and science! Meet our collections team, see rare specimens up close, and see how the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collections serve as a library of nature from the 1830s to the present! Plus, craft your own nature journal to take home! ✏️

Members can enjoy free admission to this event! Reserve tickets here https://bit.ly/3tuw336 🦋

Chicago's Holiday Tree Recycling events return from Saturday, January 6th through the 20th at 27 parks across the city! ...
01/05/2024

Chicago's Holiday Tree Recycling events return from Saturday, January 6th through the 20th at 27 parks across the city! This includes a drop-off location on the east side of Cannon Drive at Fullerton Avenue, right across the street from the Nature Museum🌲

Check out this article by Block Club Chicago to learn more!

You can drop off your tree to be recycled into mulch at any of 27 locations Jan. 6-22.

Want to unlock the wonders of the natural world? Start your year off right with a Nature Museum membership! 🌿Through Jan...
01/01/2024

Want to unlock the wonders of the natural world? Start your year off right with a Nature Museum membership! 🌿

Through January 7, receive a $25 museum store gift card with the purchase of a Family or Premier level membership. Offer valid in-museum only.

☃️ Winter break means winter programs!Thursday, December 28 | 10:30am + 12pm 🐛SOLD OUT! Join our friends from The Insect...
12/23/2023

☃️ Winter break means winter programs!

Thursday, December 28 | 10:30am + 12pm 🐛
SOLD OUT! Join our friends from The Insect Asylum to meet and learn about a variety of animals that showcase the diversity of the animal kingdom. Learn a little about each critter before having an opportunity to interact with the animals which will include birds, reptiles, mammals and insects.

January 2 + 3 | 10:30am-12pm 🐢
Discover the variety of strategies used by animals to disappear in plain sight. We will explore the museum, play games, and go on a short hike to learn how animals use camouflage to survive and thrive in their environments.

Thursday, January 4 | 10:45-11:30am 🎸
Get ready to move and groove with Little Miss Ann! She'll highlight a variety of traditional and original songs from her five children’s albums, allowing kids to participate throughout the show. Little Miss Ann performances combine movement, music, and positive messages to inspire both kids and adults to shine!

🦋 The end of the year is quickly approaching and we need your help! A donation to the Nature Museum (https://bit.ly/3mvH...
12/17/2023

🦋 The end of the year is quickly approaching and we need your help! A donation to the Nature Museum (https://bit.ly/3mvH7UH) helps us advance our mission to foster positive relationships between people and nature through education, community engagement, and immersive experiences.

Contributions from our community are essential to keep our animals fed, to offer science and nature educational programs, and to lead conservation and sustainability efforts throughout our region. Your gift would also provide direct support to museum educators who are working throughout the museum and with schools across Chicago, expanding teachers’ knowledge and abilities in leading science instruction for their students. 🔎

We are so grateful for your support and belief in our mission. Please consider donating so that we can continue our work and expand our impact! 🐢

The winter air is blowing in, and with it the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But there are plenty of ways you can sl...
12/11/2023

The winter air is blowing in, and with it the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But there are plenty of ways you can slow down and make time for sustainability this season!

Reduce ⬇️
Decorating for the season is something that brings many of us joy this time of year. But often, the decorations we spend money on each year eventually end up in landfills. To reduce this waste, try using natural items to spruce up your home instead - like dried orange garlands, or crochet ornaments.

Shop small 🛍️
Gifts that you order online may have to travel long distances to get to you, not to mention the excessive packaging that they may be shipped in. Consider shopping at local small businesses - it could be the most sustainable option!

Compost 🥕
The City of Chicago recently launched its first-ever citywide Food Scrap Drop-Off Program. Set up in 15 different locations across the city, this free resource can directly work to combat all the extra food waste that is produced this time of year. Check it out! https://bit.ly/47Feig6

Reuse ♻️
Rather than leaning into the holiday spending spree, think about the possessions and assets you already have at your disposal. Maybe you can repurpose brown paper bags for wrapping paper, or yarn to tie up your gift!

🍺🌙  NATURE ON TAP Dec. 7 @ 6pmExcitement is brewing for the comeback of our exclusive 21+ after-hours event! 🐍🍸 Meet the...
12/03/2023

🍺🌙 NATURE ON TAP Dec. 7 @ 6pm

Excitement is brewing for the comeback of our exclusive 21+ after-hours event! 🐍🍸 Meet the Museum's snakes, turtles, and other critters! 🦋 Immerse in the enchanting Judy Istock Butterfly Haven and check out our freshest exhibit, The Art of Ezra Tucker. 🎨 Dissect owl pellets, unleash your creativity at the craft table, uncover the Sustainability Center, and explore historic specimens. 🌿

Ticket perks? One drink and access to ALL exhibits! 🎟️🥂 Extra bites and sips are available for purchase. Tap in! https://bit.ly/3T1bw0c 🌟

Looks like our   results are in! 👀
11/30/2023

Looks like our results are in! 👀

"Impacts of a Changing Natural World in Communities of Color" 🌎On November 9, a group of prominent local environmental j...
11/28/2023

"Impacts of a Changing Natural World in Communities of Color" 🌎

On November 9, a group of prominent local environmental justice leaders gathered here at the Nature Museum to share their insights on how traditionally marginalized groups and low-income neighborhoods are working toward a more equitable and sustainable future for all. The panel discussed the progress of the city’s environmental justice efforts and the pathway toward addressing the inequities created and exacerbated by climate change.

Among the speakers were Naomi Davis, founder and president of Blacks in Green; Juanita Garcia, senior project manager at Pepper Construction; Juan Reyes, co-program director of Great Lakes Chapter of Latinos Outdoors; Tim Swanson, founder, president and CEO of Inherent Homes; and Angela Tovar, chief sustainability officer of the City of Chicago. The panel was moderated by Crain’s Chicago Business group publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk.

We are honored to have hosted such a critical discussion. Read what the experts had to say about the impacts of a changing natural world in communities of color here: https://bit.ly/40XYK4D ♻️

🦃 Did you know? The Eastern wild turkey, native to Illinois, is a symbol of resilience and conservation success!🌿🍂 Havin...
11/23/2023

🦃 Did you know? The Eastern wild turkey, native to Illinois, is a symbol of resilience and conservation success!🌿🍂 Having been extirpated from Illinois after facing habitat loss and overhunting, these magnificent birds made a remarkable comeback thanks to dedicated conservation efforts carried out in the 1950s through early 2000s.✨ Today, they are found in every county in Illinois, including the Chicago region! They roam through woodlands, forests, and agricultural landscapes, contributing to the state's rich biodiversity. 🏞️

🎉 Unleash your wild side with birthdays at the Nature Museum! 🦋 From captivating critters to eco-adventures, celebrate y...
11/18/2023

🎉 Unleash your wild side with birthdays at the Nature Museum! 🦋 From captivating critters to eco-adventures, celebrate your special day surrounded by the wonders of nature. 🎂🌿✨ Book your birthday bash now and let the excitement begin! https://bit.ly/479KHv3

Special delivery! 📫These are postcards of dioramas at the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ previous museum, the Matthew Lafl...
11/14/2023

Special delivery! 📫

These are postcards of dioramas at the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ previous museum, the Matthew Laflin Memorial Building, where our institution resided for 102 years prior to 1995. The Academy’s dioramas showcased habitats from actual places around Illinois. The specimens shown in these postcards are still in the Academy’s collections today and many are on exhibit here at the Nature Museum! 🍃

Image description:
1) Six sandhill cranes, mounted specimens, in a scene with tall grasses in front and trees in the background.
2) A fox snake curled into a figure eight, with dried leaves in the background.
3) A prehistoric forest scene with giant tree trunks and fern leaves throughout; the words “Chicago 300 Million Years Ago” at the bottom of the image.
4) A beach scene with sandy ground on the left, water in the background and middle foreground, and tall grasses on the right. Different mounted bird specimens are in the scene, including a red-winged blackbird, several plovers, Great Blue Heron, an American Bittern, and a hawk.

The Nature Museum's impact goes far beyond our four walls! From March 2022 to October 2023, we held 16 original workshop...
11/08/2023

The Nature Museum's impact goes far beyond our four walls! From March 2022 to October 2023, we held 16 original workshops developed especially for Terra Vista Memory Care facility residents. 🦋

In the first year, we focused on butterflies, other pollinators, and plants since our horticulturist was in the process of redesigning their garden to become a pollinator garden! The second year of workshops expanded into other parts of the Museum's collections. Residents got to meet turtles and hissing cockroaches, explore bird migration, and learn about amphibian life cycles. We even had the pleasure of joining Terra Vista for their family day and got to meet the residents' loved ones to share what we had been up to!

A huge thank you goes out to everyone who was involved. This partnership was so meaningful and we are grateful for the opportunity to experience the wonder of nature with friends of all ages!🪴

Let's talk about biodiversity!What is biodiversity? Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. It encompasses ...
11/04/2023

Let's talk about biodiversity!

What is biodiversity? Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on Earth. It encompasses the rich tapestry of all life, from the tiniest microorganisms to the largest species, and includes the diverse ecosystems they inhabit. Biodiversity matters profoundly because it supports the health of our planet and sustains all life forms, including humans! Biodiversity provides essential ecosystem services, such as pollination, clean air, and water purification, while also aiding agriculture, medicine, and overall resilience in the face of environmental changes.

Biodiversity is crucial for the persistence of ecosystems, the composition and breadth of food webs, and the adaptability of species to evolving conditions. Additionally, it holds immeasurable cultural and aesthetic value, enriching our lives in countless ways. Protecting and preserving biodiversity is not only an ethical imperative, but is essential for the long-term well-being of our planet and future generations!

The Art of Ezra Tucker: Opening November 4, 2023Ezra Tucker is an artist who established his career as a painter by pain...
11/01/2023

The Art of Ezra Tucker: Opening November 4, 2023

Ezra Tucker is an artist who established his career as a painter by painting wildlife, most notably large mammals. More recently, he has focused on the historic Black experience in The American West. This exhibition consists of 40 paintings produced by the artist from 1985 through 2023.

Tucker’s wildlife art is characterized by its dynamic composition, unexpected color, lighting, and scale. Its large scale gives a sense of dignity and presence to each creature. His subjects seem alive and animated, ready to step out of two dimensions into a three-dimensional world.

Come experience the beauty of this work starting Saturday!

Ezra Tucker. Defending the Legend. 2021. Acrylic on Board. 30"x40".
Bison Herd & Wolf Pack in Yellowstone Scene
The Art of Ezra Tucker
Produced by David J. Wagner, L.L.C.
David J. Wagner, Ph.D., Curator/Tour Director

Life at the Nature Museum 🌱
10/24/2023

Life at the Nature Museum 🌱

👻 Hey Boo! L👀kin' for a family-friendly Halloween activity? Check out our annual BOO-seum Bash on Saturday, October 28 f...
10/19/2023

👻 Hey Boo! L👀kin' for a family-friendly Halloween activity? Check out our annual BOO-seum Bash on Saturday, October 28 from 1-4pm!

🍭 Trick or Treat your way through a day filled with crafts and animal encounters 🦉🌙

Your ticket includes access to all of our fascinating museum exhibits. Fun for all ages, our BOO-seum Bash is designed with families in mind. There's nothing to fear this Halloween season at the Nature Museum!🕷️🐍

🧙‍♀️ Don't forget to don your most spooktacular costumes! Grab tickets here https://tickets.naturemuseum.org/events/018a18fb-ea42-1869-16ff-7c3d036cc842 🎃

Did you know that the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collection was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871? The Acade...
10/10/2023

Did you know that the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collection was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871? The Academy’s first museum building – Chicago’s first museum open to the public – was located in downtown Chicago on the corner of Wabash and Van Buren. It hit the Academy’s building on October 10, the third day of the fire.

The building was designed to be fireproof, constructed of iron beams, brick, and two-foot thick masonry walls and equipped with a fireproof vault. As the fire – one of the hottest on record – steadily approached, staff stored everything of importance in the vault, expecting the building to be damaged but their valuable scientific collections and research notes to be saved. The heat from the fire, however, was so great that it melted the supports of the ornamental limestone cornice at the top of the building, causing it to fall and crash through the roof of the vault. This structural failure allowed the fire to sweep inside and destroy the vault’s contents, along with the exhibits and most of the rest of the collections.

This could have resulted in the demise of the institution. The scientific community and the public rallied around the Academy and urged the institution’s leaders to persevere. Letters of condolence for the great loss were sent from all over the world. Scientific institutions including the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, and the London Museum of Natural History, sent specimens collected by the Academy’s members as duplicates back to the institution to help rebuild the collections. This scrapbook and these specimens are in our collections today.

Image description:
“Academy of Science - Wabash Ave”. Stereograph of the ruins of the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ building, taken by W. E. Bowman, October 1871.

Scrapbook of condolence letters sent to the Academy from institutions and individuals around the world.

Newsprint article about the fire’s impact on buildings occupied by the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Chicago Historical Society. Date, publisher unknown.

🎥 Lights, camera, action! Last month, we shared we were awarded a Council of Library and Information Resources grant to ...
10/09/2023

🎥 Lights, camera, action! Last month, we shared we were awarded a Council of Library and Information Resources grant to help digitize 279 original motion picture films from our collection. The team at Chicago Film Archives has begun working on digitizing these incredible films and recently shared some fun finds and updates, including stills from two films--Mammals of Chicagoland and The Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary. Mammals of Chicagoland is an amateur sound film that was made by Chicago Academy of Sciences director emeritus (and Beecher Lab namesake) William Beecher. The Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary is an educational film that highlights footage of birds in Louisiana marshlands. Check out a few stills from these films. And stay tuned for more updates!

Nature peeps! Let excitement take flight with our upcoming events! 🌿🐦📅 Thursday, October 12: Environmental Justice for P...
10/05/2023

Nature peeps! Let excitement take flight with our upcoming events! 🌿🐦

📅 Thursday, October 12: Environmental Justice for Puffins
Are you in love with puffins? So are we! But did you know their destiny is connected to environmental justice? Join award-winning journalist Derrick Z. Jackson to explore the bond between these beautiful birds and the urgent need to curb fossil emissions.

📅 Thursday, October 19: The Joy and Empowerment of Birding
Join us virtually with Virginia Rose, a passionate birder of 20 years, as she shares the incredible world of birding! Discover how to be more inclusive and welcoming in the birding community. Birding is for EVERY body!

Don't miss out on these fantastic events presented in partnership with Chicago Ornithological Society, Chicago Audubon Society, Illinois Audubon Society, and Lake Cook Audubon.

Stay tuned for more in our Compelling Voices in Birding and Conservation series - where the world of birds comes alive! 🎤🐤 https://bit.ly/3Mrj8CG

🌿 CLOSING OCTOBER 1! It's your last chance to experience the beauty of Chicagoland nature like never before in this imme...
09/29/2023

🌿 CLOSING OCTOBER 1! It's your last chance to experience the beauty of Chicagoland nature like never before in this immersive exhibit. This audio and visual spectacle boasts expansive projections that span from floor to ceiling. You don't want to miss it!

All images are property of Mike MacDonald and Mike MacDonald Photography, Inc. Please visit ChicagoNature.com for more information. Many thanks to our exhibit sponsors Rose Pest Solutions and the U.S. Forest Service-International Programs.

It's here! Opening today, The Sustainability Center makes sustainability efforts approachable for Illinois residents and...
09/28/2023

It's here! Opening today, The Sustainability Center makes sustainability efforts approachable for Illinois residents and visitors of all ages through interactives and resources that encourage local action to build resilient and sustainable communities.

Engage with our interactive gallery and rotating displays, which highlight practical ways EVERYONE can make an impact at home or in their community. Get a look at how sustainability practices impact the whole world on the larger-than-life central globe. Then, go local and explore the four components of sustainable living—food, water, economy and culture, and energy.

Get inspired by real-life success stories of conservation impact on Chicago communities, learn how you can get involved in sustainability projects in your neighborhood, check out sustainability resources from the digital library, or explore in-house resources from our partners at the Lincoln Park Branch of the Chicago Public Library!

Happy National "Pancake" Day!Pancake is our spiny softshell turtle. His shell is softer than other turtles! It’s still m...
09/26/2023

Happy National "Pancake" Day!

Pancake is our spiny softshell turtle. His shell is softer than other turtles! It’s still made out of bone, like all turtle shells, but the bony plates underneath the shell don’t go out all the way to the edges, and there are no hard scutes (scales) on top of the shell to make it rigid, like a box turtle.

Check out Season 3 Episode 3 of our series, Curious By Nature, to learn more about Pancake! https://bit.ly/3oVXsTe

📣 HEAR YE, HEAR YE... The much anticipated Sustainability Center opens THIS Thursday! In honor of the grand opening, the...
09/24/2023

📣 HEAR YE, HEAR YE... The much anticipated Sustainability Center opens THIS Thursday! In honor of the grand opening, the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago have officially declared September 28, 2023 to be Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Sustainability Center Day. We are so grateful to Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Brandon Johnson for this honor.

We are proud to be a community hub where sustainability topics are approachable for Illinois residents of all ages. Thank you to all of our partners who have made this possible!

Seasons may change, but the   is still open every day 10a-4p! Come keep the summer vibes going at our outdoor Nature Tra...
09/22/2023

Seasons may change, but the is still open every day 10a-4p! Come keep the summer vibes going at our outdoor Nature Trails exhibit🌸🦋

Did you know that the   is FREE to Illinois residents EVERY Thursday?! With a suggested donation of $10 per family, you ...
09/14/2023

Did you know that the is FREE to Illinois residents EVERY Thursday?! With a suggested donation of $10 per family, you can experience interactive experiences like RiverWorks. Which exhibit are you heading to first?!

 ! Just like this image of   from 2006, there are endless treasures waiting to be reused and recycled! Making these “sus...
09/07/2023

! Just like this image of from 2006, there are endless treasures waiting to be reused and recycled! Making these “sustainable swaps” is a manageable way to incorporate eco-friendly choices into our daily lives. Some of our favorite swaps are:

👕 Shop and donate at second-hand stores
🎁 Reuse newspaper for gift wrapping
🥕 Compost organic waste to make fertilizer
🫧 Cut old shirts into cleaning rags
☕ Repurpose mason/pasta jars into cups

All of these actions reduce consumption and prevent landfill waste. Share a sustainable swap in the comments below!

We're thrilled to share our very own Allison Sacerdote-Velat has been honored as one of this year's Crain's Chicago Busi...
09/06/2023

We're thrilled to share our very own Allison Sacerdote-Velat has been honored as one of this year's Crain's Chicago Business Notable Women in STEM recipients! Congratulations, Allison!

Over the last 12 to 18 months, Allison Sacerdote-Velat helped secure grants for smooth greensnake population monitoring and recovery and forest amphibian conservation and response to drought. She is involved in a number of community science projects, assessments for smooth greensnake conservation an...

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven will be closed September 5-8 for maintenance. Due to the exhibit clo...
09/04/2023

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The Judy Istock Butterfly Haven will be closed September 5-8 for maintenance. Due to the exhibit closure, there will not be a First Flight Butterfly Release on those days. The Butterfly Haven will reopen on Saturday, September 9, as we celebrate Flutter into Fall.

We are proud to announce that we received a grant award from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to ...
09/01/2023

We are proud to announce that we received a grant award from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) to help digitize 279 original motion picture films from our collection! The selected films depict ecological habitats, plants, and animals seen during field work conducted by Chicago Academy of Science staff across Illinois and the Midwest, as well as highlights of field surveys conducted in other sensitive habitats across the United States.

Read our blog post about this project here https://bit.ly/45Ol2qx and stay tuned for updates on our project!

Address

2430 North Cannon Drive
Chicago, IL
60614

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 4pm
Tuesday 10am - 4pm
Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday 10am - 4pm
Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 4pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm

Telephone

(773) 755-5100

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Our Story

For 160 years, the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has worked to connect the citizens of Chicago to nature and science through immersive exhibits, family events, and in-depth education programs. Founded in 1857 to give scientists and nature aficionados a place to study and share the specimens they collected, the Chicago Academy of Sciences developed a national and international reputation for its leadership in conservation, its collection and citizen science. Dubbed the first Museum in the West, the Academy's collection has expanded to 390,000 artifacts and specimens, making it the definitive collection of our region's natural history and a valuable resource for researchers. Ongoing research, restoration, and conservation initiatives directly benefit local ecology. Admission Adults: $9 Students: $7 Seniors: $7 Children: $6 (Age 3 and under are free!) Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents. Our members always get in FREE!


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