All nature & natural history museums and attractions to visit in Illinois

Illinois (United States) has a lot to offer for people that like animals, plants and anything else related to nature and its history. Below we list all 27 nature and natural history museums that are located in Illinois.

Is nature and the natural world something that interests you and are you looking for the best nature museums to visit in Illinois? These are the ones:

  1. Shedd Aquarium1

    Shedd Aquarium

    Chicago, IL
    Shedd Aquarium is a public aquarium situated in Chicago. It forms part of a museum campus located just south of Grant Park, which also houses a natural science museum and a planetarium. This campus is one of the major tourist attractions in Chicago, offering a variety of experiences for visitors.
  2. Field Museum2

    Field Museum

    Chicago, IL
    The Field Museum of Natural History, also known as FMNH, is a renowned natural history museum located in Chicago. It is recognized as one of the most frequently visited cultural institutions in the United States, attracting a large number of visitors each year due to its extensive collections and exhibits.
  3. Lincoln Park Conservatory3

    Lincoln Park Conservatory

    Chicago, IL
  4. Lincoln Park Zoo4

    Lincoln Park Zoo

    Chicago, IL
    The Lincoln Park Zoo is situated in the Lincoln Park sector of Chicago, in the northeastern state of Illinois, USA. It is nestled within Lincoln Park, the largest public urban park in the city of Chicago and one of the most significant in the United States. The zoo is one of four in the metropolitan region of Chicago, with the other three being Brookfield Zoo, Phillips Park Zoo, and Indian Boundary Park Zoo. However, Lincoln Park Zoo is the only zoo located within the city of Chicago itself.
  5. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum5

    The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

    Chicago, IL
    The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a natural history museum operated by the Chicago Academy of Sciences. The museum is named after its benefactor, Peggy Notebaert, and was opened in 1999. It is situated at the intersection of Fullerton Parkway and Cannon Drive in Lincoln Park.
  6. Chicago Botanic Gardens6

    Chicago Botanic Gardens

    Glencoe, IL
    The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre (156 ha) living plant museum situated on nine islands in the Cook County Forest Preserves. It features 27 display gardens in four natural habitats: McDonald Woods, Dixon Prairie, Skokie River Corridor, and Lakes and Shores. The garden is open every day of the
  7. Chicago Botanic Gardens7

    Chicago Botanic Gardens

    Glencoe, IL
    The Chicago Botanic Garden is a vast botanical garden and arboretum spanning 156 hectares (385 acres). It is nestled within the Cook County Forest Preserve District, a green belt that encompasses over 68,000 acres (275 km²) of open spaces. This green belt encircles the city of Chicago, Illinois, providing a serene and natural escape from the bustling city life.
  8. Brookfield Zoo8

    Brookfield Zoo

    Brookfield, IL
    Brookfield Zoo, situated in the suburb of Chicago, Brookfield, spans across an impressive area of 57.4 hectares. This expansive space is home to a diverse range of animals and offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore and learn about different species in a spacious and natural environment.
  9. Henson Robinson Zoo9

    Henson Robinson Zoo

    Springfield, IL
    The Henson Robinson Zoo, located on the eastern shore of Lake Springfield, is a private nonprofit zoo that is owned and operated by the Springfield Park District. The zoo was constructed between 1968 and 1970 and officially opened its doors to the public in 1970.
  10. Oak Park Conservatory10

    Oak Park Conservatory

    Oak Park, IL
    The Oak Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden situated at 615 Garfield Street in the suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, United States. It is a place where visitors can explore a variety of plant species in a serene environment. The conservatory is easily accessible and offers a unique opportunity to learn about different types of plants and their habitats.
  11. Burpee Museum of Natural History11

    Burpee Museum of Natural History

    Rockford, IL
    The Burpee Museum of Natural History is situated in the heart of downtown Rockford, Illinois, at 737 North Main Street. This location makes it easily accessible for tourists visiting the city. The museum's central location is ideal for those who want to explore the city's rich history and culture.
  12. Phillips Park Zoo12

    Phillips Park Zoo

    Aurora, IL
    Phillips Park Zoo, situated in Aurora, Illinois, United States, has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1915. The zoo is open year-round and does not charge an admission fee, making it an accessible destination for all visitors. Over the years, the zoo has evolved from housing exotic animals to focusing on native species, reflecting the changing trends in animal conservation and public interest.
  13. 13

    Peoria Zoo At Glen Oak Park

    Peoria, IL
    The Peoria Zoo, situated in Peoria, Illinois, is a well-known attraction managed by the Peoria Park District. This location offers a unique opportunity for visitors to explore a variety of animal species in a well-maintained environment.
  14. Miller Park Zoo14

    Miller Park Zoo

    Bloomington, IL
    Miller Park Zoo is situated in the heart of Bloomington, Illinois, within the confines of Miller Park. The zoo is managed by the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of Bloomington, ensuring that it is well-maintained and safe for all visitors. It's a great place for families and individuals who are interested in wildlife and nature.
  15. Cosley Zoo15

    Cosley Zoo

    Wheaton, IL
    Cosley Zoo, located in Wheaton, Illinois, is an AZA-accredited facility that is part of the Wheaton Park District. This accreditation ensures that the zoo meets the highest standards of animal care and welfare. The zoo is open year-round, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore and learn about a variety of animals in all seasons.
  16. Belvedere Mansion and Gardens16

    Belvedere Mansion and Gardens

    Galena, IL
    A 22-room residence and Italianate mansion that guides you back to the Civil War times.
  17. Quad City Botanical Center17

    Quad City Botanical Center

    Rock Island, IL
    The Quad City Botanical Center is a botanical garden and a 599 m² greenhouse located near the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Illinois. This location offers a unique opportunity to explore a variety of plant species in a controlled environment, while also enjoying the scenic views of the nearby river. The center is easily accessible and provides a tranquil setting for visitors to enjoy.
  18. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens18

    Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens

    Rockford, IL
    The Tinker Swiss Cottage is a historic house museum and park located in Rockford, Illinois, United States. This unique destination was originally built as a personal residence by Robert Hall Tinker between the years 1865 and 1870. Today, it stands as a testament to the architectural and historical significance of the period.
  19. 19

    Washington Park Botanical Garden

    Springfield, IL
  20. 20

    Scovill Zoo

    Decatur, IL
    Scovill Zoo, located in Decatur, Illinois, is a globally recognized institution, being one of the 210 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo is home to approximately 500 animals, representing 96 different species from six continents. This diversity of species provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience and learn about wildlife from all over the world in one place.
  21. 21

    Lords Park Zoo

    Elgin, IL
  22. 22

    Elgin Public Museum

    Elgin, IL
    The Elgin Public Museum of Natural History and Anthropology is situated in the beautiful Lords Park in Elgin, Illinois. The museum is nestled within a vast 108-acre park, offering visitors not only a rich educational experience but also a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. The museum's location within the park adds to its charm and appeal, making it a unique destination for tourists.
  23. 23

    Ecology Action Center

    Normal, IL
  24. 24

    Fon du Lac Farm Park

    East Peoria, IL
  25. 25

    Stillman Nature Center

    Barrington Hills, IL
  26. 26

    Hawthorne Hills Nature Center

    Elgin, IL
  27. 27

    Summerfield Farm and Zoo

    Belvidere, IL

All museums in Illinois