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Illinois State Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 502 South Spring Street, Springfield, IL
Phone Number: (217)782-7386
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12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Sun 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Mon - Sat 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

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 232 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 133
  • 72
    Very good
  • 18
  • 9
  • 0
Illinois heritage

Museums have become a major source of science education as schools become more and more focused on "testing". The ISM provides sound science and ecology going back to pre-European... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed October 16, 2015
Springfield, Illinois
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232 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
107 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Because of the finically situation of the state the museum was closed. I have heard that this was one of the museums to visit while in Springfield and get a feel for the state's history. I am sure it is a fine museum and asking around its one of those things that it is closed until further notice. I am... More 

Thank roy1916
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2015

Museums have become a major source of science education as schools become more and more focused on "testing". The ISM provides sound science and ecology going back to pre-European settlement. Interpretive activities are geared to engage children and hold their attention. This is a top-notch facility that we have visited on many occasions and bring all of our guests for... More 

Thank trevans625
Level Contributor
130 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2015

We would've again visited this wonderful museum if the short-sighted boneheads running this state hadn't closed it a few days before we passed through town. I love this place!

2 Thank MsCheap1
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2015

Is a great free attraction for the family, however definitely more geared toward younger children and some parts are outdated. Has a lot of potential, still would recommend going!

Thank Audrey W
Bloomington-Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
121 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2015

We were pleasantly surprised at how chock full of information this museum was. From historical information to geological information it gave a lot of great insight to the State of Illinois. While small in size compared to big city museums you want to leave ample time to get through it all. I sure hope they find a way to fix... More 

1 Thank ColoradoJojo
Kent, Ohio
Level Contributor
117 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 30, 2015

excellent place to learn about state history. Staff is wonderfully helpful and friendly. Get there before it's closed!

Thank 2jbsdad
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2015

If you are in Springfield you must stop here! Best museum I've been to, great for children and adults. Too many things to write about. Hope they open back up and charge higher prices, people would pay more to come here.

Thank Holly K
Springfield, IL
Level Contributor
50 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2015

Both kids and adults will enjoy visiting this, but sadly, it's closing because of budget cuts in the poorly run state of Illinois. What a shame to lose this wonderful attraction!

Thank JaneAnnS
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2015

While the lower level has a wonderful, hands on experience for children, the top two floors are full of interesting information from the natural history of Illinois. From coal mining to mastodons, it is worth the trip. Learned several new things, including that Illinois was once south of the equator... what's up with that? Visit soon... the museum may be... More 

Thank Daniel O
Springfield, Illinois
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2015

My 6-year-old son and I just returned home from another great visit to the museum. We have been there dozens of times, and we always discover something new. I get a happy, nostalgic feeling, sharing the exhibits with my son that I enjoyed so much as a child. This museum is a real treasure for not only Springfield, but for... More 

Thank Rhysmom1026

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