How to use transit to explore museums in the Chicago region

April 4, 2022

Dusable museum 1000x545 1 The Chicago region is home to countless accessible cultural and educational amenities including 150 museums across several counties. The most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to get to many of these sites is by making use of the regional public transit system on CTA, Metra, and Pace.

City museums and sites

Museum Campus A picturesque 57-acre park comprises three of the city’s leading cultural institutions, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium, along Lake Michigan. Easily accessible via public transit, all three sites often boast free and reduced rates and traveling exhibitions.   Where: Grant Park, 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601  How to get there: CTA Orange, Red and Green Lines (Roosevelt Stop) and walk for 12 to 15 minutes (0.6 miles) or catch the CTA Bus #146 (Museum Campus Stop)  Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line (Museum Campus/ 11th Street Station) and walk for 8 to 10 minutes (0.4 miles)   DuSable Museum of African American History The nation's oldest independent African American museum, the DuSable Museum, is the first non-profit museum dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation, study, and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. With more than 100,000 visitors a year, the museum continuously explores the African American experience that aims to educate the public and write a more inclusive history. Every Wednesday, the museum is free. Every day, free admission is offered to military personnel and to first responders i.e., Police, Fire, EMTs (with a valid ID). Where: 740 East 56th Place Chicago, IL 60637  How to get there: CTA Green Line (Cottage Grove Stop) and connect to CTA Bus #4  CTA Green Line (Garfield Stop) and connect to CTA Bus #55  Metra Electric Line trains to and from downtown Chicago stop at the 55th/56th/57th Street Station and transfer to CTA Bus #55 Metra Electric Line at the Univ. of Chicago/59th Street Station and transfer to CTA Bus #171 and walk 10 to 12 minutes (0.5 miles) Learn more National Museum of Mexican Art Free every day, the National Museum of Mexican Art represents the Mexican community from its own point of view and in its own voice. Home to one of the country’s largest Mexican art collections, including more than 18,000 seminal pieces from ancient Mexico to the present, the museum not only offers curated collections, but also hosts performing arts programs, high-quality arts education programs, and resources for students, aspiring artists, and the general public.  Where: 1852 W 19th Street Chicago, IL 60608  How to get there: CTA Pink Line (Damen Stop) or CTA Pink Line (18th Street Stop) CTA Bus #50 to 19th Street or CTA Bus #9 to 18th Street   Pace Bus #302 to CTA Pink Line (54th and Cermak)  Metra BNSF, MD-W, and MD-N Lines (Western Ave Station) and transfer to CTA Bus #18 Learn more Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago Support the 100,000 Ukrainian Americans that live in Chicagoland, including 10,000 Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Americans living in Ukrainian Village alone, by visiting the Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago. The museum is the hub of the historical, cultural, and civic contributions Ukrainians have made to Chicago. Located centrally in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood, you can also find restaurants, stores, and other businesses near the museum that speak to Ukrainian life and immigration over the past century. Where: 2249 W. Superior St. Chicago, IL 60612  How to get there: CTA Blue Line (Chicago Stop) and connect to CTA Bus #66   CTA Bus #66, CTA Bus #9 or #9x and connect to #66   CTA Bus #49 or #49x Metra BNSF, MD-N and MD-W Lines (Western Ave Station) and transfer to CTA Bus #49  Learn more Pullman National Monument  Located in what is now the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago, the Pullman National Monument is a former planned industrial community. Famed for its urban design and architecture and for its ignition of the labor rights movement, this historic housing settlement is an integral part of Chicago’s history. Where: 610 E 111th St, Chicago, IL 60628  How to get there: CTA Bus #34 (Michigan & 111th Street) and walk 8 to 10 minutes (0.4 miles) to CTA Bus #4 at (King Drive & 111th Street) to Cottage Grove & 111th Street  CTA Bus #119 (Michigan & 111th Street) and walk 8 to 10 minutes (0.4 miles) to CTA Bus #4 at (King Drive & 111th Street) to Cottage Grove & 111th Street   CTA Red Line (95th/Dan Ryan Stop) and connect to CTA Bus #115 (Cottage Grove and 111th Stop)  Metra Electric (111th Station/Pullman) and walk for 4 to 5 minutes (0.2 miles) Learn more 

West Suburban Museums and Sites

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio Starting with the world-renowned Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, head to the easily accessible Chicago suburb of Oak Park, which holds more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings than anywhere else in the world. His home and studio are a testament to his genre of American architecture, but you can also tour Unity Temple and the Prairie School Historic District to learn more about the evolution of Wright’s architectural design philosophy in the neighborhood where the architect lived and worked. Where: 951 Chicago Ave, Oak Park, IL 60302 How to get there: CTA Blue or Green Lines (Oak Park Stops) and connect to Pace Bus #311   Metra UP-W Line (Oak Park Station) and transfer to CTA Bus #90 (North Blvd and Harlem) or walk 10 to 12 minutes (0.6) miles Learn more  DuPage Children’s Museum Located just across the street from the Naperville Metra station, the DuPage Children’s Museum has been inspiring children and connecting families for 30 years. Through exhibits, programs, and special events, every experience is designed to help children develop a strong foundation of creativity, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and confidence. Where: 301 N Washington St. Naperville, IL 60540  How to get there: Metra BNSF Line (Naperville Station) and walk 4 to 5 minutes (0.2 miles)  Multiple Pace Bus Lines #530, #711, #714, #722, #834 and walk from Metra Naperville Station  Learn more Elmhurst Art Museum  Adjacent to the Elmhurst Public Library and one block South of the Union Pacific West Metra stop, the Elmhurst Art Museum is dedicated to the development of rotating contemporary art exhibitions by regional artists. The museum provides access to world-class exhibitions, the unique McCormick home by Mies van der Rohe, and an Education Center that serves the residents of Elmhurst and the surrounding communities with ongoing educational programs that are freely available to the public.  Where: 150 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126  How to get there: Metra UP-W Line (Elmhurst Station) and walk 4 to 5 minutes (0.2 miles)  CTA Green Line (Oak Park) and connect to Metra or Pace services  Pace Bus Lines #309 (1st St & York Street Stop) and walk 4 to 5 minutes (0.2 miles) or Pace Bus #313 (St. Charles/Cottage Hill Stop) and walk 10 to 12 minutes (0.6 miles)  Learn more 

North Suburban Museums and Sites

Bahá'í House of Worship One of nine Bahá'í temples in the world, the Bahá'í House of Worship is a sanctuary for visitors and residents alike. The site, also known as the Temple of Light, is open to the public and used as a devotional space for people of any faith or a place to unwind. It’s common to find visitors walking the campus in awe of the building’s intricate design and history, as well as its prime location next to Wilmette Harbor.

Where: 100 Linden Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091  How to get there: CTA Purple, Red, Brown Lines (Linden Stop) and walk 5 to 7 minutes (0.3 miles)   Pace Bus Lines #421, #422 and #423 and walk 4 to 5 minutes (0.2 miles)  Learn more 

Kohl Children’s Museum With 330,000 visitors every year, the Kohl Children’s Museum offers 17 interactive, hands-on exhibits for children ages birth to 8. With live animals, water play, hands-on learning sets, and year-round exhibitions and programming, families are sure to enjoy the special programs (all included with admission).  

Where: 2100 Patriot Blvd, Glenview, IL 60026  How to get there: Metra MD-N Line (Glen/ North Glenview Station) and walk 14 to 16 minutes (0.7 miles)  CTA Blue Line (Harlem Stop) and connect to Pace Bus Line #423 and walk 2 to 4 minutes (0.3 miles)  Learn more  Bess Bower Dunn Museum of Lake County Locally known as the Dunn Museum, the museum is charged with documenting and telling the stories of Lake County. The museum includes a life-sized replica of a 20-foot-long Dryptosaurus, fossils dating back hundreds of millions of years, and information and artifacts of the region’s original stewards, the local Native Americans. As well, the museum hosts educational programming and ample outreach/ volunteer opportunities for the community to become more involved.   Where: 1899 W Winchester Rd, Libertyville, IL 60048  How to get there: Metra MD-N Line (Libertyville Station) and connect to Pace Bus Line #574 and walk about 9 to 11 minutes (0.5 miles)  Learn more 

South Suburban Museums and Sites

The Lockport Gallery, an Illinois State Museum Featuring alternating exhibitions of art created by past and contemporary Illinois artists and artisans, this museum located along the Des Plaines River is one site of many art and history institutions in Lockport.  

Where: 201 W 10th St, Lockport, IL 60441  How to get there: Metra Rock Island Line (Joliet Station) and connect to Pace Bus Line #834 (State Street & 10th St) and walk 2 to 4 minutes (0.3 miles)  Learn more 

Homewood Science Center  A nonprofit community science center, Homewood Science Center was founded to promote STEM education, exploration, and development for children, families, and schools. The center hosts daily programming as well as student internships, STEM Saturdays, guest speakers, and after-school classes

Where: 18022 Dixie Hwy, Homewood, IL 60430  How to get there: Metra Electric Line (Homewood Station) and walk 1 to 3 minutes (0.1 miles)  Pace Bus Line #356 to (Dixie Hwy & Ridge Road) and walk less than 1 minute   Pace Bus #359 and walk from Metra Homewood Station  Learn more  Robbins Illinois History Museum Renowned for having the first all-Black airport in the U.S., the Robbins History Museum aims to educate, document, and preserve the legacy of the people of Robbins, including many of the original Tuskegee Airmen.   Where: 3644 139th St, Robbins, IL 60472  How to get there: Pace Bus Line #349 (Western Ave & Vermont Street Stop) to Pace Bus Line #359 (Central Park Ave & 139th Street Stop) and walk 2 to 4 minutes (0.1 miles)  Pace Bus Line #SWS (Chicago Union Station Stop) to Pace Bus Line #385 (Central Park Ave & 139th Street Stop) and walk 2 to 4 minutes (0.1 miles)  Learn more   There’s is no better time to explore the museums and amenities Chicago and the suburbs have to offer. We encourage residents and visitors to take public transit because it adds to the experience of exploring a new place and prioritizes the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play. Remember to mask up on transit and to check each location’s individual COVID-19 requirements before embarking on your journey.

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