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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
8:30 am - 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 177 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 103
    Excellent
  • 56
    Very good
  • 14
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 0
    Terrible
Most recent review
Home in the Heartland

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed February 18, 2015
Douglas K
,
Springfield, Illinois
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177 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
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
55 reviews 55 reviews
16 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 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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Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
15 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

The museum has free admission and is perfect to spend 2-3 hours. The first floor has many interactive exhibits. Some were just as great as the Field Museam in Chicago. The second floor was all about the history of IL and had an amazing scene of Native American life. The basement was a play area for children, perfect for ages... More 

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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2015

We are so lucky to have such a great cultural and historical resource! Such variety, such quality whether you are interested in history, art or natural history. Be sure to visit the Store, too. What a treasure.

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Springfield, Illinois
Top Contributor
126 reviews 126 reviews
15 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

The sign out fromnt mentioned an art display that drew me in again. It was educational, interesting and gave me pause to understand how art is created. There was an area of set ups on how households looked over the decades from the late 1800's to the mid 1950's. There was an item from my youth that I have been... More 

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Springfield, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

We visited with two 7 year olds and it was great. The staff were helpful, knowledgable and very pleasant. The exhibits are very interactive and enjoyable. We'll be back!

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Peoria, Illinois
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
17 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2014

If you have kids or an out of town visitor, this is a great free spot (donations suggested). Close by the Capitol building. Pop by when you have an hour to check it out.

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Springfield, Illinois
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

Check out the Friday night music schedule. They usually have a food truck outside and drinks are sold indoors. The gift shop is open for business as well and they have beautiful art. Bad Wolf Pottery is made by a very talented local art professor. There are talented jewelry makers with pieces in there as well.

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Belleville
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

very interesting! and interactive for the kids! it had natural history , art and things about civilizations in the state from early Indians to the 1800's

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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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?