Chicago is home to many fantastic museums with unique themes and exhibits, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood has some of the best this city has to offer. Whether you and your family are interested in learning more about history, art, or animals, you can enjoy a trip to a Lincoln Park museum that immerses you in these and many other subjects. Check out these six cool, educational destinations in and around the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Heliconius butterfly sitting on plant

Heliconius butterfly” licensed by CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by Wildcat Dunny

In the northern sector of Lincoln Park, you’ll find the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Here you and your family can view live animals like different insects, reptiles, and amphibians; nature-inspired art; and exhibits of different habitats, like prairies and savannas. You can even view real fossils, learn how to help the planet, and watch the life cycle of food, from farm to table to compost. The museum also hosts events for kids and adults of all ages so you can hear from conservation professionals, meet the animals up close, and have story time with other families.

This museum is located at 2430 N. Cannon Drive. You can visit every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Lincoln Park Conservatory

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is an indoor and outdoor nature experience. You can walk through the on-site gardens that feature beautiful flowers, monuments, fountains, and other amazing outdoor features. Then, you can view the exotic nature exhibits inside the four display houses: the Palm House featuring tropical palm plants, the Orchid House with its collection of beautiful orchids and other flowers, the Fern Room that showcases ancient ferns, and the Show House, which features a variety of plants. Plus, the Conservatory hosts seasonal flower shows, including poinsettias in the winter.

You can find the Lincoln Park Conservatory at 2391 N. Stockton Drive. Admission is free, and you can visit Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Come see the animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is near the center of Lincoln Park. The zoo features over 200 species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects, and arachnids. You can meet exotic animals like pythons, frogs, the unique axolotl, zebras, lions, polar bears, and ostriches. You also get to see common animals, like pigs, cows, beavers, ducks, chickens, bunnies, and many more. There are many chances to meet animals up close and even see veterinary professionals treat animals, too. Be sure to mark your calendar for seasonal events like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and other holiday-themed events.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is located at 2400 N. Cannon Drive, just off of Lake Shore Drive. It’s open every day for free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chicago History Museum

Learn about the city’s history at the Chicago History Museum, located in the southern sector of the Lincoln Park neighborhood. It’s home to thousands of unique artifacts and plenty of exhibits you can view or interact with. Explore Martin Luther King Jr.’s time in Chicago fighting for civil rights, learn about the meaning of Chicago’s flag, dive into Abraham Lincoln’s life and time as president, and check out many other interesting exhibits. Plus, they change out temporary exhibits every few months, so there’s always something new for your family to learn.

In addition to cool historical exhibits, the museum also hosts events and speakers series for both children and adults. Go on a historical bus tour of the city that starts at the museum, meet authors, or attend family and community workshops. This museum is located at 1601 N. Clark St., and it’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children who are also Illinois residents get in for free, and adult tickets cost $19.

DePaul Art Museum

The DePaul University Art Museum is this neighborhood’s go-to spot for exploring the art world. You can view over 3,000 works of art by Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and many other famous artists. This museum features a wide variety of works from different genres, movements, styles, and cultures. And while there are many permanent exhibits, the museum curates four to six new collections every year. Mark your calendars for unique adult and children’s events and programs, too. 

You can find the DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton Ave. This free museum is open Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

International Museum of Surgical Science

Just south of Lincoln Park is the International Museum of Surgical Science. Truly a unique educational destination, this museum is the only museum dedicated to surgery on the continent! Learn how this incredibly important science developed by viewing exhibits, artifacts, and artworks on the subject. Meet the early innovators in the medical field, see the evolution of medicine and surgical procedures, and gain a new appreciation for the nurses, physicians, technicians, and medical engineers from around the world who have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. 

This museum could be a great place to visit with children who are interested in pursuing medicine or science as a career. It’s also good to visit if you or your family are at all interested in science, technology, engineering, math, or medicine at all. And while you can book a guided tour, you can also complete a self-guided tour with the museum’s app.

The International Museum of Surgical Science is located at 1524 N. Lake Shore Drive. It’s open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are free for children ages 3 and under, $9 for kids ages 4 to 13, and $17 for adults. Lincoln Park is just one small area of Chicago with fantastic educational destinations, and you’re just a quick L ride away from other neighborhoods with educational centers like Shedd Aquarium, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite educational destinations in and around Lincoln Park? Let us know, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!