The scope and size of this museum is truly incredible. If you want to see everything, you would need two days. We started at 9 and went until just after 4 and covered about 50% of the exhibits. We were exhausted by the time we decided to stop but kind of sad we didn’t see more.
The Field museum is one of the largest in the world and has over 40 million items in its collection. What is on display is just a fraction of these items.
My advice is to go online the night before you go and make a plan on what you want to see. T-Rex Sue, dinosaurs, the hall of gems, and the jade exhibits are on the upper floor. Go to these exhibits first as the top floor is less crowded early in the morning.
We had the city pass, which gets you into all special ticketed exhibits, plus a 3d movie. The special ticketed exhibits we visited (Tang Hall of China, Jurassic Oceans, and Wild Color) were all good but none of them were can’t miss. If you get the basic admission, I don’t think you will feel like you missed out.
There are two entrances into the museum. If the main entrance (up the stairs) is too crowded, there is a lesser known East Entrance (on path towards Shedd Aquarium) that will usually have shorter lines. Either way, you still have to go through the ticket line if you have the city pass to get your tickets and choose the 3d movie.
The 3d movie we chose was about Sue the T Rex and was very good. Line was long for our ticketed show but the theater is huge, so don’t worry about getting a seat. Theater is in the basement along with a cafe.
Museum cafe wasn’t very good and was quite expensive. Only kids meals options were hot dogs and pizza and they cost around $10. When we were there, the soda machine was broken too.
They do allow you to bring in your own food and drink, and there are plenty of cafeteria style tables in the basement, so bringing your own food might be a better option. There are also many vending machines by the tables that have snacks and drinks and are reasonably priced.