Explore 500 million years of Illinois' natural and cultural heritage. Discover the diverse Illinois landscapes from a shallow sea home to monstrous sea life; to a land of ice where Mammoths walked; to a lush prairie where Bison roamed and American Indians built vast cities; to a frontier full of promise. The Illinois State Museum is home to three floors of exhibitions that tell the story of Illinois' land, life, people, and art.
Visitors will learn about Illinois' natural past through interactive elements, thrilling audio and video effects, life-sized dioramas including the Mastodon and the giant Jefferson's Ground Sloth, and thousands of fossils and zoological specimens that tell the story of Illinois' changing landscapes. Other exhibitions tell the stories of Illinois' people including the American Indians who called the land home for over 10,000 years and the Europeans who came settle the prairies of Illinois. Changing exhibitions highlight the latest scientific research and share Illinois' rich artistic heritage with exhibits of fine and decorative art by Illinois artists.
Youth can visit the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum (currently closed until further notice) to experience working at a museum through play. Interactive activities include digging for Ice Age fossils, collecting and studying specimens under a microscope, creating art and history exhibits, and more. Play Museum hours are Monday-Saturday 10 am - 4 pm; Sunday 1 pm – 4:30 pm.
The Museum is also host to programs and events for all ages. Visit the Museum's calendar at bit.ly/ismevents for more information.