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Seeing Downtown Chicago Museums
By Norma Berry

Deep dish pizza, Wrigley's Field and Magnificent Mile shopping immediately say "Chicago" to most people. But while the Windy City is certainly known for those delights, there's also an incredible world of museums to discover in Chicago.

Traditional art museums and galleries dot all the common tourist areas, making it easy to access culture even while in the city a short time. It's the very unique museums, however, that really offer Chicago the opportunity to make a mark. After all, it's not every city that offers an International Museum of Surgery Science!

In fact, Chicago is home to so many museums that visitors will have to plan wisely; there's simply never enough time in a trip to see them all! The following museums would be considered worthy stops on any itinerary.

Museum of Broadcast Communications: Conveniently located near many downtown Chicago hotels, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is an ideal stop for the traveler that usually vegs out watching TV in his room. At the MBC, visitors will be able to see the artifacts that were integral parts of a growing television and radio industry, as well as listen to choice t.v. and radio selections from among the museum's 85,000 hours of programming. Take a peek at the classic costumes and puppets from old shows, or learn something historic by listening to the 125 Top Political Moments. The options certainly beat watching today's reality t.v. in your luxury Chicago hotel!

Museum of Contemporary Art: A visitor staying at a downtown Chicago luxury hotel might be more interested in visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art, actually the country's biggest contemporary museum. Exhibitions, whether in the format of painting, sculpture, video, film, photography or performance, are chosen for their thought-provoking element. Those staying in downtown Chicago hotels on the first Friday of any month have the opportunity to easily enjoy the museums First Friday Happy Hour, complete with music, food and new artist introductions.

Children's Museum: For families the Children's Museum is not to be missed! Playtime and learning are inter-weaved to create an incredibly fun, stimulating educational experience. There's no need to keep the kids cooped up in a downtown Chicago, IL hotel when they could be having the time of their lives (while learning) here. Visitors throughout the summer will be able to enjoy the newest exhibition, Block Party, which offers a child-size model of various Chicago neighborhood festivals up for the children's review. Permanent exhibits include Play it Safe to teach about home safety and BIG Backyard, which is set in a garden, along with many other fun and educational interactive displays.

International Museum of Surgical Science: Any doctors or medical enthusiasts who have traveled to a downtown Chicago will be drawn to the International Museum of Surgical Science, where they'll find artifacts and exhibits that detail medicine and healing practices from primitive times forward. Exhibits are chock full of detail, and focus on such areas as Pain Management, Nursing Care over time, Medical Imaging Milestones and Polio. In the Polio exhibit, visitors will actually be able to witness the workings of an iron lung.

Chicago History Museum: History buffs with a wider focus will appreciate the Chicago History Museum's varied exhibits, with emphasis on Catholicism, music, painting, fashion and more, as it specifically relates to the city. The Sensing Chicago exhibit alone will introduce visitors to the city far better than a guidebook would be able to!

With the variety of museums available in Chicago, there's one tailored to almost any interest, making it a sure bet that a Chicago visitor should leave having learned something new.

Norma Berry has an interest in the downtown Chicago luxury boutique hotel industry. Her passion extends along the downtown Chicago, IL hotel and the Magnificent Mile shopping hotel district.

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