Frequently Asked Questions

Plan Your Visit

Can I take photographs?

Unless otherwise posted, you are welcome to take pictures of Museum exhibitions for personal use with hand-held cameras. To use a tripod or standing lights, please obtain a permit from the Information Desk in the Museum’s main hall.  No photography for commercial purposes is permitted without the express, written permission of The Field Museum.

Is the Museum wheelchair accessible?

Yes. Visitors using wheelchairs or strollers may be dropped off at the East Entrance. Handicapped parking is available in the adjacent east lot on a first-come, first-serve basis. Wheelchairs are available, also on a first-come, first-served basis, at the East Entrance or at the Check rooms.

Do you have children's strollers?

Yes. Strollers may be rented on a first-come, first-served basis. Ask at the Check rooms when you arrive at the Museum.

How can I get to The Field Museum by public transport?

The CTA publishes information and directions which have you dropped on our doorstep.

Where Are We?
Visit our Planning Your Visit section for detailed instructions on how to get here and a map of the Museum Campus.
How do I get tickets for special exhibitions?

To ensure entry at the time and date of your choice, we encourage you to purchase tickets for the special exhibitions in advance online. Members may also reserve their tickets in advance at the Membership Desk at the Museum’s south entrance. Tickets can be purchased at the door when you arrive at the Museum, while supplies last. See ticket price information.

When are your free days?

Read about our free day schedule. Please note that admission fees for specially-ticketed exhibitions still apply. This includes Underground Adventure.

What are your hours?

The Field Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except Christmas. Museum hours are subject to change. Please see our admissions and hours page for the most up-to date information.


I have Membership, where can I park?

All visitors to the Museum, members and non-members alike, park in the Soldier Field lot and are subject to parking rates established by the management of the Solider Field Garage. Unfortunately, the Museum cannot validate parking for members. Click here for driving directions, and parking information.

How often may I visit as a Member?

Members may visit The Field Museum for an unlimited number of times each year free of general admission fees. We are open every day from 9am to 5pm, except Christmas Day.  Last entry for the day is at 4pm.  Please note, your Membership also entitles you to reciprocal Membership and entry to over 200 National Museums.  Click here for a list or Membership Benefits and discounts.

What special shopping benefits do I receive for becoming a Field Museum member?

As a Field Museum member you will receive a variety of benefits as detailed in our membership benefits chart. As it relates to The Field Museum Stores, you will receive a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased.

What special benefits do I receive for becoming a Field Museum member?

As a Field Museum member you will receive a variety of benefits as detailed in our membership benefits chart. As it relates to The Field Museum Stores, you will receive a 10% discount on all merchandise purchased.

Membership Questions?

For general membership questions (renewals, replacement Membership cards), please call (312) 665-7700. You may contact the Membership department by phone, email or mail. The Membership Department is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. For more Membership FAQs, click on the "VIEW ALL" link at the bottom right of the page.

Can I request specific exhibition tickets?

To place a request for special exhibition tickets, please call (312) 665-7705 or send an email to Once your ticket request is placed, you will receive a confirmation call or email from a Membership Services representative. Due to the high volume of ticket requests, please allow 2-3 business days for your request to be processed.

What is the Membership Department mailing address?

Our mailing address is Membership Department, The Field Museum, 1400 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605.

What are the benefits of Family Membership?

A Family membership provides benefits for free general admission and discounts for two adults and all the children under age 18 who live in your household. If you are a grandparent, the membership covers two adults and all of your grandchildren under age 18. Memberships are annualized from the date you join.

Can I transfer my Membership?

Please note that Field Museum membership may not be transferred or shared. Benefits may only be used by persons indicated in the membership description.

Do Members pay for Special Exhibitions?

Members are entitled to a limited amount of free or discounted tickets to special exhibitions. Underground Adventure, Evolving Planet and The Ancient Americas are always free to members. In addition, members have the opportunity to attend free exhibition previews and viewing events throughout the year.

Group Sales

How and when do I purchase tickets for groups of 15 or more?

Please fill out a Group Sales reservation formand fax or mail it to us or visit our web-site to fill out an on-line reservation request form. Due to the availability of certain exhibitions, we urge you to book your group as far in advance as possible. Although we can take your booking up until the week prior to your visit, we appreciate at least a month’s notice. We cannot arrange docent tours or food service without at least two weeks notice. All tickets and services are subject to availability.

Will I receive confirmation of my group order?

Within 2-3 days of sending in your reservation form, you will receive a group confirmation along with payment procedures and other group policies. A 50% deposit is due within 2 weeks. Final group numbers and final payment are due 2 weeks prior to visit date. Cancellation with full refund is available if made no later than 2 weeks prior to visit date.

How does our group check-in?

All groups should enter through EAST Entrance. This entrance provides barrier free access. Please send a group leader to the Group Sales desk to check-in. Tickets are not printed for groups. If you require printed tickets, you must make your request at least 10 days in advance of your visit. A convenience fee will be charged and the tickets will be mailed to you.

Is there a group discount for temporary exhibitions?

Groups of 10 or more receive discounted rates. 

Where can our bus park?

Free parking is available in designated areas west of the Museum at the intersection of Roosevelt and Canal. Parking is also available for a fee at the Adler Planetarium's lot. Motorcoaches cannot stage on Solidarity Drive or the Museum drop-off areas. There is a designated turnaround at the East Entrance. 


What is the difference between shopping by category or exhibit? Are they the same items?

Shopping by category includes all our products that are available online. Some of our products are also grouped by the museum exhibit they relate to, in the same way they are organized in our physical stores.

Why do I need to create an account with The Field Museum Online Store?

In order to purchase from The Field Museum Online Store you must create an account. The information you enter is used only for order tracking purposes. Your credit card number and expiration date is not stored in our database. It is used on a one-time only basis and must be re-entered each time you place an order. 

How much will it cost to ship my order?

Standard shipping rates are calculated based on the dollar amount of your order. Additional charges may be required for some items as noted on the product description pages. Express delivery and Next Day Air rates are also additional.

Can I have items shipped internationally?

Yes. We can ship orders for international customers, but delivery rates can vary. You can email us at

Is it safe for me to pay by credit card over the internet?

Yes. Our secure server software utilizes industry - standard SSL encryption technology. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypts or encodes your credit card number as well as all your personal information so this information is unavailable, but also unreadable if someone should attempt to intercept it during transmission. The Field Museum does not store your credit card number or expiration date.

Do I have to pay sales tax for online purchases?

The Field Museum Online Store can only charge sales tax for orders purchased by persons residing in Illinois or that have their credit card billing address in Illinois. The sales tax on items purchased in Illinois is 10.25%.

Can I send gifts to a different address than my own?

Yes. You may send an individual order to a different shipping address. We cannot ship individual items within one order to multiple addresses. It is best to place each order for each address separately when they need to be delivered to more than one address.

I saw an item in your store when I visited The Field Museum, but I cannot find it online. How can I find this item?

Some items from our physical store are not yet included online, but we are continually working to increase the number of products available for purchase online. If you have seen something in our stores that we have not yet included on our site, or if you would like to know if there is any other merchandise related to your interests, please email The Field Museum at with your inquiry.

I'm still not sure I want to purchase my items online with my credit card. What other order and payment options are available.

You may place orders by phone, fax, or mail, and you may pay by credit card or money order. 

How do I use your online store to make purchases?

The Field Museum Online Store offers a variety of items grouped by category and by exhibit. Browse through our selections by clicking on a category or exhibit topic. For a complete description of an item click on its underlined name and this will take you to the product's description page. If you would like to purchase the item, click on the "Add to Shopping Bag" button, just once. You will be taken to your shopping bag review page to verify that the item has been placed in your shopping bag. To shop for more items click on the "Continue Shopping" link. If you are finished shopping and would like to check out, click the "Proceed to Checkout" button and follow the instructions to complete your order process.

Do you have photographs or posters for purchase?

The Museum Store offers a selection of postcards featuring some of our most popular artifacts.

How do I delete an item from my Shopping Bag?

Go to your Shopping Bag Review page by clicking on the Shopping Bag link on the top navigation bar. To remove an item, simply click on "remove" in the item's row.

How can I purchase merchandise from the Museum store?

The Museum has four spectacular stores, so you'll want to save ample time to shop. A selection of unique merchandise can be seen on our web site, and you can also place orders by phone, fax or mail. Browse online now. Find out more about ordering.

How do I change the quantity of an item I want to purchase?

Once an item has been added to your shopping bag, you can change the quantity from the Shopping Bag Review page. Go to your Shopping Bag Review page by clicking on the Shopping Bag link on the top navigation bar. Change the quantity within the quantity column and click the "update cart" link below your list of items.

Special Events

Can I hold my event at The Field Museum?

The Museum hosts all types of events including, but not limited to: dinners, receptions, meetings, performances, weddings, galas, award ceremonies, presentations, film shoots, product launches, shareholder meetings, webcasts, teleconferencing, etc. We're open to ideas and concepts, so please - contact us for more information.

What is your pricing structure?

Although we do have base fees, every single event is unique and thus we customize our usage fees based on the specific function space(s) being utilized and the amount of time needed. Please contact an Account Manager to discuss your needs. We do offer not-for-profit discounts on our usage fees.

Why do you have specific service providers and vendors for my event?

To ensure the success of your event, The Field Museum has partnered with exclusive caterers, floral/décor providers, a lighting and audiovisual provider and other service providers, who are all trained in the policies and procedures of the Museum. All of our partners are fully licensed by the city and state and have provided certificates of insurance. Each partner is completely invested in creating the best event for the client and Museum.

When can events begin?

The Museum is open to the public everyday from 9:00 am-5:00pm. Depending on the event space, we can begin evening events as early as 6:00 pm with set-up on the floor beginning at 3:00 pm. Some of our event spaces are available during the day including our meeting facilities like James Simpson Theatre. Please contact an Account Manager to discuss your specific needs.

Can my event be the only one on at The Field Museum?

Yes, we do offer full Museum usage based on needs and availability. You should talk to an Account Manager about this option. Please keep in mind that The Field Museum often has events occurring simultaneously on any given evening and takes all the necessary steps to keep each event private including separate entrances, security and support staff.

Can I bring my own entertainment to my event?

Yes, but The Field Museum does reserves the right to approve or disapprove any entertainment offered at a special event to ensure that the nature of the gathering is consistent with The Field Museum’s mission. We also require all entertainment to supply us with proof of liability insurance. The name and type of entertainment must be provided to the Special Events Account Manager two weeks in advance of the event. The Museum prohibits any form of gambling activity, firearms, live animals, fog and smoke.

Do you offer group discounts for package events?

Special Events customizes each event based on the client’s needs.  For clients looking for a more packaged option, our Group Sales department offers an After Hours experience that includes private viewing of an exhibition and cocktail reception.  This experience works well for groups of 50 or more guests. Menus have been created to specifically compliment the chosen exhibition.  Events can be enhanced with the addition of exhibition docents to interact with guests, audio-tours or premium bar upgrades.  For more information on the After Hours experience please contact the Group Sales department at (312) 665-7300. For information on group visits during regular Museum hours, please access the Groups Sales webpage.

Where does the money from my event go?

The Field Museum is a registered 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization. Each revenue dollar from a special event is used to continue the work of The Field Museum, including research, education and exhibition development. The Field Museum is active in 94 countries and is continually expanding the collections and bringing exciting exhibitions to the community. We are also housed in a beautiful neo-classical building that is over 85 years old and requires continuous maintenance and upgrades to better accommodate our guests, collections and staff.

Is The Field Museum a "green venue?"

Hosting your event at The Field Museum is a great way to be environmentally responsible! For more information on The Field's green practices and event planning options, visit our "A Greener Field" page.

Library and Archives

How do I use the Library?

The public may visit the Library Reading Room between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.  Please check our online catalog to begin your research and view the library's holdings.  Appointments are required for utilizing Library collections.  To make an appointment to use the Library's collections, please send an email to: or call the reference desk at 312-665-7887 between 1-4pm, Tuesday-Friday.

The Main Library is located in a non-public area on The Field Museum’s third floor.  As all collections are located in closed stacks, visitors must submit a request for material to the staff member on duty for retrieval and use in the Reading Room.  As the library's collections do circulate in the museum among staff, it is essential that you check our online catalog and submit a list of titles you wish to view before visiting the library.

Upon arrival at the museum, please inform the guest relations staff member or protection services officer that you wish to visit the library.  They will call and a staff member will come downstairs to greet you.  Having the reference desk extension (x7887) will expedite this process.  If you are only visiting the library, you do not have to pay admission to the museum.

Can The Field Museum provide appraisals of objects?

The Field Museum cannot appraise, evaluate or provide guidance regarding the sale of artifacts, specimens, photographs, printed works or original documents. 

Please refer to the websites of the following organizations. While they do not provide appraisals, they do maintain directories of  members and their appraisal specialties:

Appraisers Association of America

American Society of Appraisers

International Society of Appraisers

Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America


I have an object or photograph from the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, can the Library/Archives help me identify it?

The Field Museum Library does not maintain a significant collection of materials regarding the collectibles from the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The following bibliographies and collectible guides listed below are a good starting point for your research. Clicking on the titles below will show you a list of libraries that own each title. These titles are also available in the Field Museum's research Library if you are able to visit. Please see this web page if you are interested in making an appointment to visit the Library.

Bertuca, David J., Donald K. Hartman, and Susan M. Neumeister. 1996. The World's Columbian Exposition: a centennial bibliographic guide. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Rossen, Howard M., and John M. Kaduck. 1976.Columbian World's Fair collectibles, Chicago (1892-1893). Des Moines: Wallace-Homestead Book Co.

Dybwad, G. L., and Joy V. Bliss. 1992. Annotated bibliography, World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893: with illustrations and price guide. Albuquerque, N.M.: The Book Stops Here.

Dybwad, G. L., and Joy V. Bliss. 1999. Annotated bibliography World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893: supplement. Albuquerque, N.M.: The Book Stops Here.

The Field Museum Librarian also maintains a growing list of reference resources about the fair on WorldCat Local. Search it here, World's Columbian Exposition (1893) Resources.

How do I request an Interlibrary Loan?

Registered Library users can request an Interlibrary Loan. Please go here for details.

Do you have any information regarding the architecture and specifications of the current building?

We are currently working on a Museum History Resources guide to help answer this question. It is a work in progress that you can view here.


What are presolar grains and why do we study them?

Presolar grains are minerals that are older than anything else in our Solar System. They formed before the birth of our Solar System and a small fraction survived in primitive asteroids and comets. We extract presolar grains from fragments of these objects: unaltered meteorites, interplanetary dust particles and comet dust. We study the elemental and isotopic compositions of presolar grains to understand the presolar history of meteoritic matter. The interdisciplinary field of presolar grain research informally also called Astrophysics in the Laboratory is delivering a wealth of information on stars and our Galaxy that are not accessible through astronomical observations. One of our main motivations to study presolar grains, a surviving fraction of the source materials of our Solar System, is to improve our understanding of the history of our Galaxy.

Do I have a meteorite or is it just an ordinary rock?

The Robert A. Pritzker Center for Meteoritics and Polar Studies provides meteorite identifications as an educational service and public outreach activity to the general public. Meteorites are extremely rare and there are surprisingly many terrestrial rocks that look like meteorites - so-called "meteorwrongs". It is therefore important to critically evaluate your rock yourself before contacting us. We have prepared a meteorite identification checklist and an identification request form with frequently asked questions about meteorite identifications. This link will also provide you with further information on how to proceed with your request. 


What is a mammal?

A mammal is a vertebrate animal with hair and glands to produce milk for feeding its young.  Their middle ears include three bones--two of these were jaw bones in their reptilian ancestors.  Mammals  are also warm-blooded and have a four-chambered heart, but these traits are shared with unrelated animals (birds and theropods). The ancestors of modern mammals lived in the Triassic Period, in the early stages of the Age of Reptiles.

What should I do if I find a dead bird?

The Bird Division accepts salvaged specimens and turns them into scientific specimens for research purposes.  If you find a dead bird, pick it up (use gloves if that makes you feel more comfortable), place it in a ziplock bag, write a note with the following information on it and place it in the ziplock bag (very specific information on where was the bird found, the date you found the bird, and any other details you think we might need to know to maximize the value of the bird for scientific purposes), and put the bird in the freezer if you are not bringing it immediately into the museum.  Then give the Bird Division a call or send us an e-mail message to arrange a time for you to drop the specimen off at Field Museum.

Please note that native birds living within the State of Illinois are protected either by state, federal, or international laws, even when they are dead. It is illegal for private citizens to possess most native birds, either in whole or in part (including skulls, bones, and even feathers), except under terms of special permits or by exemptions under hunting laws and licenses. Therefore, collecting most bird specimens, either alive or dead, is illegal without proper permits and licenses. Fines and penalties for violating such regulations can amount to thousands of dollars and can include the possibility of jail time, depending on the severity of the infraction.

What's the plural of octopus?


Do snails come out of their shells?

No.  Parts of a snail's body can move outside of the shell, but the whole animal never leaves.

What is an invertebrate?

Any animal with no vertebral column (spine).