The Oriental Institute
1155 E. 58th St., Chicago
Medici on 57th restaurant /Medici Bakery &
1327 E. 57th St., Chicago
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St., Chicago
A colossal statue of Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Giant stone walls from
the throne room of King Sargon II of Assyria. A massive bull's head
that once guarded the Hundred Columned Hall of Persepolis. These
are just some of the treasures at the Oriental Institute.
Founded in 1919 to promote research of ancient cultures and
housing the work of archeological digs sponsored by the University
of Chicago, the Oriental Institute is located in the heart of the
university's Hyde Park campus.
Park in an inexpensive campus garage and enjoy a walk through
the campus' Gothic architecture (gargoyle hunts!), taking in the
busy student life and charming neighborhood of Hyde Park.
Admission into the museum is free, but donations are accepted.
It's an ideal place to visit when you have school projects to
But the real reason to visit is that these are artifacts you
won't see anywhere else. Helpful attendants volunteer detailed
information about the collections, and kids also learn about modern
careers in archeology, using satellites to map out ancient city
sites and translating dead languages such as Hittite.
Later, head down 57th Street to Medici, a local favorite for
pizza, sandwiches or brunch. Kids and adults alike can join
generations of college students and sign their names on the walls
and tables. If you don't want a sit-down meal, visit Medici's
takeout deli/bakery next door and get snacks and drinks to go.
Up the block is 57th Street Books, one of the best independent
bookstores in the city. Filled with major publisher and small press
books, it features a wonderful selection for both older kids and
little ones. We had a hard time leaving without at least one book
for everyone and went home full of pizza, ideas for projects and
memories of a great day.
See more of Bronwyn's stories here.
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