My dinosaur is better than yours
Rockford’s Burpee Museum challenges Field for dino supremacy
Sunday, September 25, 2005
The exposure has led to the inevitable comparisons between the juvenile Jane and her full-grown counterpart, Sue. So, we at Chicago Parent thought we would take a look as well. The chart on this page compares the family friendliness of the two exhibits and the museums.
JaneKid appeal The $1.3 million Jane display includes several interactive options for kids, including touch-screen computers, a movie about the excavation and matching games. Cost Burpee: $5 adults, $4 kids 3-17, free on Wednesdays. Other things for kids to do there Burpee is a small and manageable museum with "Jane: Diary of a Dinosaur" on the first floor, rocks and geoscience on the second and interactive environmental and Native American exhibits on the third. It is connected to the terrific Discovery Center Museum for children. When the fossil lab is open, kids can touch Jane’s 66 million-year-old jawbone. Food Vending machines and a microwave oven are the only options. Bring a lunch and eat outside at one of the picnic tables along the banks of the Rock River on nice days, or pick up a copy of the map to area restaurants to buy your lunch. Getting there The big problem with the Burpee is that it’s in Rockford. That may not be a problem for northwest suburban residents—who may find it easier to drive to Rockford than the lakefront—but it is 90 miles from the Loop. Once you get there, though, parking is free. Particulars: 737 N. Main St., (815) 965-3433, www.burpee.org. Bottom line Burpee is better for younger kids who can spend only a couple of hours in a museum. Sue Kid appeal Sue sits on the first floor in Stanley Field Hall. The interactive exhibits, including casts of Sue’s bones, are upstairs with her skull, but there’s no sign near Sue telling you that. Cost Field: $12 adults, $7 kids 4-11, students and seniors. Free Mondays and Tuesdays through February. Other things for kids to do there The Field is huge, with hundreds of exhibits to keep kids busy, but the regular dinosaur exhibit is closed for renovation until March 2006. There’s a temporary exhibit on Chinese dinosaurs which has some great bones but not nearly enough buttons for kids to push. That exhibit costs an extra $7 per person and closes April 26, 2006. Food Vending machines, McDonald’s and a Corner Bakery, or bring your own lunch and eat in the cafeteria area or outside on the museum campus lawn. Getting there The Field is an easy walk from the Roosevelt Road stop on the CTA train. You can also take a bus or cab from the Metra stations. Driving will cost you: Museum Campus parking is $13, but $35 on Sundays when the Chicago Bears are playing. Particulars: 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr., (312) 922-9410, www.fieldmuseum.org.
Bottom line Field is better is for older kids who have the patience to read displays.