Chicago definitely has some big museums. A good portion of our trip was spent visiting these grand institutions and viewing the wonders stored inside.
7. Museum of Science and Industry
This is a big museum that is very well set up. The place has interactive exhibits on tornadoes, tsunamis, avalanches, and fire. They have a massive tesla coil which you cannot mistake when it goes off with a zap! A 5 story high tornado simulator is very cool. The space exploration exhibits has an actual Apollo capsule, space suits, etc. The transportation area has a massive train diorama with full sized Stuka dive bomber, a Spitfire and an old Jet suspended in the air. There is a lot to see here.
8 . The Art Institute of Chicago
This is a wonderful art museum with a wide collection. They even had some pottery on display from the Jomun period (I wrote about Haniwas and Dogus here) there along with some amazing Tang Dynasty ceramics. One of the rooms there was designed by Tando Mori the famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando and it is quiet meditative space with these pillars.
Seurat's big painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte was a star attraction. A giant Warhol of Mao was another nice thing that I saw. The famous Nighthawks painting by Edward Hopper was pretty nice too.
A special exhibit of Roy Lichtenstein comic book style artwork was the big highlight of the visit. His artwork is just wonderful in how it blends the simplified style of the comic book with something deeper. I particularly like his work that has comic book panels with text.
The restaurants in the museum are pretty nice too and we made a long day of it here as there is so much art.
9. The Field Museum
A big old natural history museum with anthropological, geological, and paleontological exhibits. Star attractions here include Sue the most complete T-Rex Skeleton in the world along with a very nice Egyptian artifacts exhibit and a huge exhibit on the development of life on the earth from the earliest organisms, through the dinosaurs to the recent past. The Americas native cultural exhibits were also very informative and includes a massive Aztec Sunstone replica. Lots to do for kids too and you can spend a long time in here as it is sooo big.