4 Chicago museum exhibits to get excited about

1. Field Museum of National History

What’s new: “Mammoths and Mastodons” is back by popular demand. The family-friendly exhibit explores the Ice Age beasts and also introduces visitors to some of their relatives, both from the past and today.

Why you should see it: If your kids loved Ice Age the movie, this is a no-brainer. They’ll come face to face with some of their favorite characters. There are interactive pieces throughout the exhibit that contribute to the learning experience. View mastodon bones collected by William Clark (of Lewis and Clark). Find out how much a mammoth ate in a day and how elephants “talk” to one another.

Details: Open May 30-Sept. 13. Tickets are included in the museum’s Discovery and All-Access ticket packages. Visit fieldmuseum.org for more information.

Tip: Don’t forget to take a peek at the magnificent new Vikings exhibit also at the Field. Read more about it here.

2. Chicago Children’s Museum

What’s new: “Boats,” an exhibit at which kids immerse themselves in a nautical experience of their own invention, complete with docks and an assortment of boats.

Why you should see it: Kids can pretend to be the captain of their own ship by steering the ship, kayaking, hoisting a sail or dropping a fishing line to catch ‘the big one.’

Details: Now open until November 2015. Included in museum general admission.

3. Chicago History Museum

What’s new: Visit the Robert R. McCormick Theater, newly equipped with state-of-the-art 4K digital projection, surround-sound speakers and comfortable, fully accessible seating. The theater features a dynamic new film presentation, The Great Chicago Adventure, that transports visitors through major events in Chicago’s history. In the new Guild Gallery, discover the meaning of city’s flag, and help select a fifth star inspired by highlights of Chicago’s past through a vibrant, touch-screen, interactive experience.

Why you should see it: You get to peer down from an I-beam of the Sears Tower in the 1970s. Plus, who wouldn’t want a chance to relive our famous Chicago sports victories? Walk the city in the Guild Gallery on a wall-to-wall floor map of Chicagoland featuring historical sites, notable people and significant events in our city’s history.

Details: Opens July 4. Free with museum admission.

4. National Hellenic Museum

Why you should see it: It’s made for kids with their hands-on exhibits that encourage learning through play. Kids can construct their own Acropolis using blocks and stones, and can even superimpose their face onto the body of Athena, Poseidon or Apollo.

Details: Monumental on exhibit until October 2015

What’s new: Adults interested in art will enjoy “Street Art,” a beautiful colorful exhibit about the street art in Athens and the political and social reasons behind it. While kids would enjoy the images, the themes are best suited for adults. Another option is the “Monumental” exhibit, a children’s exhibit about the magnificent masterpieces of ancient Greek culture. Children explore the building styles, construction techniques, decorative elements and cultural attributes of Greek monuments and learn about the fundamental principles that helped shape modern architecture.

Why you should see it: “Monumental” is made for kids with its hands-on exhibit that encourage learning through play. Kids can construct their own Acropolis using blocks and stones and can even superimpose their face onto the body of Athena, Poseidon or Apollo.

Details: “Monumental” is open until October 2015.

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