For 160 years, the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has connected Chicagoans with the natural world that surrounds us. Experience the awe-inspiring wonder of thousands of fluttering butterflies, get hands-on with an animal critter, and learn about our region’s unique ecology all at the urban gateway to nature and science.
Visit us during Museum Week and learn to perform bizarre bird courtship dances in our new exhibit, Birds of Paradise, get a rare glimpse at Academy specimens as we “open the vault”, and learn all about our favorite animal friends at the Wild Winter Animal Showcase!
20% off adult admission for Illinois residents during Museum Week
Free for children under 3, all year
Thursdays are always suggested donation admission days for Illinois residents
As a Blue Star Museum, active duty service members and their families can enjoy free admission
$1 tickets for up to six individuals when visitors present their LINK (EBT) Card as part of Museums for All
Birds of Paradise Exhibit Opening - Thursday, January 18
Journey to the remote rainforests of New Guinea, land of the exotic birds-of-paradise! An elegant example of extreme evolution, birds-of-paradise show off their feathery flair during elaborate mating rituals. Behold the birds’ cinematic courtship dances, puffed-out plumage, wild calls, and wacky behaviors through video, photography, soundscapes, and displays on research and conservation.
The Bird House
Don’t miss our special exhibit, The Bird House, featuring live, loud, and beautiful macaws, stunning aracari, exotic serama chickens, and native bobwhite quails.
Opening the Vault – Thursday, January 18, 11:00 AM
View rarely seen specimens from our historic collection in celebration of our 161st anniversary.
Wild Winter Animal Showcase – Saturday, January 20, 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM
What do animals do in the winter? Join us for a Nature Museum original animal show and learn how local critters survive Chicago’s long winters. Practice your hibernation skills at activity stations and get a chance to meet some of our featured creatures up close. Warm winter fun for the whole family!
I Spy Animals in the Winter – Sunday, January 21, 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Stay warm and dry inside the museum while you peer outside at North Pond through binoculars. See how many different animals you can observe, and find out what they’re up to out there in the cold.
Birding Without Boarders – January 24, 6:30 PM
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the Chicago Ornithological Society co-host Noah Strycker, who became the first human to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single, year-long, round-the-world birding trip. He was scourged by blood-sucking leeches, suffered fevers and sleep deprivation, survived airline snafus and car breakdowns and mudslides and torrential floods, skirted war zones, and had the time of his life. This humorous and inspiring presentation about Strycker’s epic journey will leave you with a new appreciation for the birds and birders of the world.
For more detailed information, visit
Monday to Friday
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday and Sunday
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM