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Illinois State Museum

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Address: 502 South Spring Street, Springfield, IL
Phone Number: (217)782-7386
Website
Today
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Description: The Illinois State Museum is not just a learning experience - it's an...
The Illinois State Museum is not just a learning experience - it's an adventure. Travel through time, from the beginning of life on Earth to an era when mastodonts roamed the landscape to the days of the first European settlers. See the largest bear that ever lived, a dragonfly with a two-foot wingspan, and the skeleton of the largest American Mastodont ever found. Discover Illinois' diverse cultural heritage, see thousands of fossils and American Indian artifacts, and experience changing exhibitions showcasing historic and contemporary Illinois art. Dig for fossils, load a jeep, crawl through a cave, and play in the Play Museum, designed for children ages 3 - 10. Shop in the one-of-a kind Museum Store for educational toys, Illinois souvenirs and jewelry, glass, ceramics, and more handcrafted by Illinois' finest artisans. FREE ADMISSION.Hours: Mon. - Sat. 8:30 am - 5 pm Sun. Noon - 5 pm Play Museum Mon. - Sat. 9:30 am - 4 pm Sun. 1:00 - 5:00 pm.Closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 184 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 106
    Excellent
  • 57
    Very good
  • 15
    Average
  • 6
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Kids had fun

My family enjoyed this museum. I was glad they had an area just for kids so they could take a break from the "don't touch" stuff.

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 15, 2015
Karla B
,
Benld, Illinois
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184 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Benld, Illinois
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
13 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2015

My family enjoyed this museum. I was glad they had an area just for kids so they could take a break from the "don't touch" stuff.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
18 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

Pros: -No charge to get in -Not crowded -Open every day Cons: -Very small museum, went through it in less than 30 min. -Basement only had a paperweight exhibit and a children's area which looked like the only promising part of the museum (we don't have kids, so didn't go in this part.) -1st floor "Changes" exhibit was somewhat interesting,... More 

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Beecher,Il
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
34 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

Who knew? Lots to see and do in this museum. It was easy to get to and a great surprise to see ancient Illinois. I wish we would have left ourselves more time to enjoy this museum. It was a must see not to be forgotten in all the other locations nearby

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Milan, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2015

Nice for younger kids, but sorely needs major updates. Alot of the the exhibits are old or didnt work without a card that you had to pay for

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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2015

We're local, and I will often take my toddler son to play in the Play Zone in the basement. It is fun for all ages (I'd say under 10) with 4 areas of different things to do. My son and I were there for about an hour and a half today, and when we came home he was so tired... More 

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Peoria, IL
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
17 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

Trying to find parking was horrible. The website said there was a lot, but I never found it-everything required a permit. And most of the parking meters on the street didn't work. After finally getting in, it was small & quite basic. Maybe the mistake was visiting the fabulous Lincoln museum first? The gift shop was the most impressive part.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

I am so glad my husband and I went to this museum. I loved it. I will be sure to take my children this summer to view the museum, and to play in the children's area of the museum.

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Springfield, Illinois
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

We go to the museum for several reasons. Certainly their recent modernization of many permanent exhibits is to be hailed for its interactive and informative quality. But in addition to all that, there is a theater in the basement where we find interesting lectures and performances. This review is being written after a delightful afternoon with Walt Whitman while he... More 

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Chatham, Illinois
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
22 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

I've taken classes here, I've taken my students here, I've taken my children and grandchildren here and it just keeps getting better. There are plenty of exhibits for all ages. Lots of hands on for those who don't want to read or can't read. Each floor is unique. Bathrooms are clean. Gift shop is pricey but very nice. Parking is... More 

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New Berlin, IL
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

It has been about five years since my husband and I took our young grandson to the ISM. It was now time to take our granddaughter ~ who has reached the perfect age for a trip to the Discovery Room. Not only did the visit through the archeological-educational section provide new information for us, it also held the interest of... More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?