A couple weeks ago, we headed to the Chicago Field Museum’s 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit. We love Chicago and go whenever we can. At about three hours away, it’s a great destination for us when we feel the need to get out of rural Iowa and take on the sights of a big, metropolitan area. The Field Museum is one of our favorite museums in Chicago. The kids love the hands on interactive displays, and the stuffed (taxidermy) animals are always a huge hit.
Isn’t Chicago a beautiful city? We picked an absolutely gorgeous weekend and walked the mile and half from our hotel in downtown Chicago to the Field Museum. Our country kids had a great time chasing geese and pigeons on the walk. You can take the kids out of the country… but you can’t take the country out of the kids. 😉 We took in the sights of the city and enjoyed the gorgeous weather. It was really a glorious weekend.
We’ve been to the Chicago Field Museum before and were excited to head back to check out the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit. The exhibit contains fair memorabilia, tickets and ledgers, and over 200 displays of artifacts including mummies, weapons, and musical instruments from the original fair 120 years ago. My husband and I were interested to learn that the Field Museum was born out of the World’s Fair. If not for the 1893 World’s Fair – there would be no Field Museum. We also learned that Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Gum and the Ferris Wheel made their debut there too.
But the most interesting part to me was the cultural aspect of the fair. It’s pretty easy today to learn about different cultures and people. If we can’t get to the people themselves, a quick google search shows us most everything we need to know. I can’t image life without the internet, but it sure wasn’t around in 1893. I was really interested to learn that the 1893 World’s Fair actually brought people from different cultures in and set up indigenous villages for them to continue their daily lives as living displays! I imagine the World’s Fair was sort of like the World Wide Web. Sadly, the people weren’t really portrayed in a very positive way at the fair in 1893, but it must have been a very interesting to learn about the different people, nonetheless.
Beyond being interesting to Dan & I though, the World’s Fair Exhibit was interesting to the kids, too. They loved the interactive computer displays and the hands-on, touchy feely exhibits. They were thrilled to be able to digitally play some of the wonderful instruments that were displayed behind glass in the exhibit. They were also enthralled with an exhibit that let them see inside a mummy!
To really showcase the difference in technology available in 1893 and in 2013, we also downloaded the Field Museum Tours mobile app. The app can be used all throughout the museum, and not just in the World’s Fair Exhibit, so if you download it, but on the lookout all throughout the museum. All you have to do is find the QR codes, scan them, and see what happens! We watched a video of the dad and son team that created this bizarre glass sea cucumber and learned a bit about the mystery behind this work of art. No one knows how these men were able to make this glass sea cucumber over 120 years ago as their secrets died with them and haven’t been replicated even today! Amazing, honestly! I didn’t give that glass sea cucumber a second glance in the exhibit until I noticed the QR code by it! The app really made us do a double take.
All in all, we had a great day at the Chicago Field Museum and the World’s Fair Exhibit. My kids are already asking when we can go back so we can finish our tour. There is so much to see at the Field Museum that we’re never able to take it all in.
Have you been to the Field Museum recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I hope you will have a chance to visit and see some of the amazing sights at the Wonders of the 1893 World’s Fair Exhibit!
I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.