Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Museum in Chicago, Illinois

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Museum in Chicago, Illinois

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Photo © Zulema (zoblue)

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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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Butterfly Habitat at The Peggy
	Notebaert Nature Museum 129 - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Butterfly Habitat at The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 129 - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Photo by Michael Kappel
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is a popular tourist attraction located in Lincoln Park in Chicago. It features a variety of educational exhibits related to the natural history of the Chicago area. One of its most famous attractions is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, an internationally renowned greenhouse exhibit that allows visitors to walk through a tropical paradise filled with over a thousand beautiful butterflies. Its hands-on exhibits are interesting and informative for visitors of all ages, which explains why it’s one of the most visited attractions in Lincoln Park.


Back in 1857, the Chicago Academy of Sciences was founded by a group of local nature lovers so that they could study specimens together. By 1870, they had amassed one of the finest museum collections in the entire United States, but it was, unfortunately, lost in the Great Chicago Fire (Wikipedia Article) in 1871. Over the years, the academy rebuilt its collection, and in 1999 they opened the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, which has since become one of the city’s most popular nature attractions due to its great exhibits, programs, and nature trails.


Whether you’re interested in butterflies, birds, diverse habitats, or fuzzy creatures, there’s plenty to see and do at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

Judy Istock Butterfly Haven

The museum’s most popular exhibit is undoubtedly the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, an immense greenhouse filled with tropical flowers and plants, water features, and over a thousand butterflies representing over 70 different species.

Beecher Collections Laboratory

If you’ve ever wondered how animal displays are created for a natural history museums, stop by this working laboratory to see scientists working on taxidermy projects involving animals like skunks, coyotes, and bison.

Hands-on Habitat

This children’s exhibit invites little ones to explore animal homes such as an underground cave, a beaver lodge, and a huge spider web that they can climb.

Heritage of the Chicago Academy of Sciences

This fascinating exhibit focuses on the long history of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the scientific research it has done over the past several decades. Displays feature artifacts like animal skins and skeletons, as well as mounted animals.

Istock Family Look-in Lab

Peek into this laboratory to learn about nature while you watch scientists and volunteers study and care for the museum’s live animals.

Micole Birdwalk

This beautiful outdoor walk allows visitors to enjoy views of the Chicago skyline, look at the birds by North Pond using binoculars, and listen to native bird calls at various interactive displays.

Mysteries of the Marsh

Here you can learn all about Chicago’s natural history, including the fact that it was once a marsh that was home to dozens of different animal species.

Nature Trails

Step outside and enjoy some fresh air while exploring the museum’s largest exhibition, an outdoor nature trail.


This interactive exhibit is all about rivers and the animals that call them home. Visitors can learn how rivers turn into lakes, do interactive activities like building a dam, and see the birds and fish that call nearby rivers home.

Wilderness Walk

The Wilderness Walk allows you to immerse yourself in prairie, savanna, and dune environments while viewing animals and hearing the sounds they make.

Birds of Chicago

One of the museum’s finest exhibits is Birds of Chicago, which features over 100 bird specimens from the Chicago Academy of Sciences’ collections, including the endangered prairie chicken. You can also listen to the different sounds the various birds make using an interactive display.

Practical Information

Here’s everything you need to know in order to plan your visit to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

By bus: CTA bus routes 76, 151, and 156 all stop outside of the museum.

By train: The nearest ‘L’ train station is Fullerton, which is approximately a mile away from the museum on foot. It is accessible via Brown, Purple, and Red Line trains.

By bike: If you’d like to get some exercise while you explore Chicago, consider using Divvy, Chicago’s bike-sharing system, which has hundreds of stations throughout the city. There is a Divvy station located in front of the museum at Cannon Drive and Fullerton Avenue.

Address: 2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614

Parking: Free parking is available on Cannon Drive and on Stockton Drive.

Hours: The museum is open daily, Monday through Friday from 9:00 until 17:00, and on weekends from 10:00 until 17:00.

Prices: Admission costs approximately $ 9.00 USD for adults, $ 7.00 USD for seniors and students, $ 6.00 USD for children (ages 3 to 12), and is free for children under the age of 3.

Services: The museum has a gift shop full of nature-themed educational items, artwork by local artists, and honey from the museum’s bees. If you get hungry, they also have a cafe that provides a variety of snacks and drinks.

Similar Landmarks

Chicago is home to several other notable nature attractions, namely the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Brookfield Zoo.

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Author: ehuttner. Last updated: May 14, 2015

Pictures of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 116 - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 116 - Photo by Michael Kappel

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 120 - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum 120 - Photo by Michael Kappel

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - Photo by Zulema (zoblue)


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