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The Windy City!

Chicago

Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world. With its beautiful lakefront, incredible architecture and cosmopolitan culture, Chicago attracts millions from around the globe every year.

Chicago has something for everyone with its beautiful lakefront, incredible architecture, world-renowned museums and much more.  Chicago has been called America's Best City for Dining. It's 5,500 restaurants feature everything from prime steakhouses to famous deep-dish pizza and every imaginable ethnic cuisine.

From the Magnificent Mile to the Navy Pier, from Broadway musicals to hilarious improvisational comedy, Chicago offers something for everyone!

Chicago, LIVE IT, LEARN IT, LOVE IT.

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Up Close & Personal!

Shedd Aquarium

Strap a mask and flippers onto your imagination and chart a course to Shedd, the World's Aquarium. Have you ever sailed the Pacific Northwest on a whale-watching cruise? Gotten eye-to-eye with a shark? Or followed a sea turtle as she soared through the Caribbean? At Shedd, it's all possible.

The marine mammal pavilion features beluga whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Alaska sea otters and harbor seals in a dramatic re-creation of a Pacific Northwest coastal environment.  Oceanarium guests can watch the dolphins’ natural behaviors such as dives, breaches, porpoising and spyhopping during educational presentations scheduled daily.

Large windows in the underwater viewing gallery of the Oceanarium offer guests face-to-face encounters with the whales and dolphins. A series of hands-on exhibits explain how marine mammals and birds are adapted to survive in their watery environment. In a separate exhibit area, a colony of penguins live in a naturalistic Falkland Islands habitat.

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S U E - yikes!

Field Museum

See 100,000 year old rocks in one room and $100,000 jewels in the next. Stare down a 40 foot dinosaur one minute and then have a giant bug 40 times your size staring down at you. With ever-changing exhibits that capture every detail, and permanent displays that seem fresher with each visit, the Field Museum will squash all your ideas of a stuffy, old-fashioned museum.

Just after you pass the colossal Roman pillars guarding the entrance and glide into the grand hallway with its vaulted ceilings…far off in the distance you’ll see the Field Museum’s most noticeable inhabitant. It’s Sue, and standing 13 feet tall and 42 feet long, she’s the largest assembled Tyrannosaurus Rex in existence.

After you’ve finished examining Sue from top to bottom, head upstairs and learn why the discovery of Sue has left scientists searching for answers about Sue’s life 67 million years ago.

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Adler - fun for all ages!

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium offers something for everyone, from future space explorers to art-lovers, history buffs, and astronomy enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels. Adler educators, scientists, and respected guest lecturers lead courses designed especially for students.

The Adler Planetarium & Astronomy museum seeks to inspire the next generation of explorers and scientists. The Adler’s array of educational offerings are designed to equip students with the skills and desire to learn more about our Universe.

Students visiting Adler may encounter hands-on learning opportunities throughout the museum. Experience the night sky through a telescope for the first time on the Adler’s telescope terrace or in the Doane Observatory. Act out astronomy stories, do science experiments or find constellations in a sky show. Interactive games in the CyberSpace Classroom engage students of all ages.

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ToyMaker ~ My Favorite!

Museum of Science and Industry

At the Museum of Science & Industry (MSI) life-size machines make industry burst to life, while the many hands-on exhibits make understanding the how’s and why’s of science more interesting. Put on your walking shoes and get ready to tread new ground at the Museum of Science and Industry.

The Museum of Science and Industry, opened to the public in 1933, is the oldest science museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. It features over 800 exhibits and over 2,000 interactive units located in over 350,000 square feet of exhibit space. Just a few of the many interesting items students will see include: a WWII captured German submarine; a 3,000-square-foot model railroad; baby-chick hatchery; nearly 20-foot walk-through human heart model; the Apollo 8 Spacecraft and more!

Discover Leonardo da Vinci, Henry Crown Space Center, the U-505 submarine, Circus and Eye Spy chambers, “ The Farm ”, the Coal Mine, the Transportation Zone, 1900's Main Street - Back in Good Old Days, the Chick Hatchery, F-35 Navy Exhibit, Toymaker 3000, Brain and Heart exhibits…MSI has it all!

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Remarkable Place!

Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago was originally founded as the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts in 1879 amidst the rubble of the Chicago fire of 1871. As the city braced itself to host the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, it was evident that a larger structure was needed, establishing the current location at Michigan and Adams.

The Art Institute of Chicago presents a collection spanning 5,000 years of artistic expression. Paintings, prints and drawings, sculptures, photographs, video, textiles, and architectural drawings and fragments are complemented by a year-round schedule of exhibitions. And there's more.

The collection, which houses over 4,500 paintings, is staggered over three levels (Lower, First and Second) and has art from over 50 countries on 6 continents.

The Art Institute is nothing short of one of the most remarkable collections in the world. The museum presents programs-lectures, workshops, performances, symposia, travel, or courses, every day. From Mini Masters to Elderhostel, there is something for all students to do.

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Having fun on the Pier!

The Navy Pier

Navy Pier is the place where students from around the world have come together since 1995 to enjoy the beauty and the thrills of a day on Lake Michigan. There's so much to do in our 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, eateries and attractions.

Take a ride on our 15-story tall McDonald's® Ferris wheel. Catch a movie at the IMAX® Theatre. Visit three floors of hands-on fun at the Chicago Children's Museum inside the Family Pavilion. Experience any one of the cruise boat rides departing from Navy Pier's South Dock. Or just kick back and enjoy your favorite form of entertainment - dancers, acrobats, theater, blues, jazz, or rock 'n roll at the Pepsi Skyline Stage.

Dine at one of the fine restaurants or sample a variety of great tastes to be found at the food court in the Family Pavilion. You can find everything from bikes to books and from souvenirs to sunglasses at the retail shops in the Family Pavilion open year-round. Don't forget about the free entertainment on Dock Street during the summer and open-air ice skating during the winter.

From rides to restaurants, exhibitions to entertainment, shopping to dining cruises and tour boats Navy Pier has it all - in a location unlike any other!

Hancock Observatory

The new Hancock Observatory welcomes groups of all sizes. Located within the Magnificent Mile amidst the exhilarating array of shopping and entertainment venues, a visit to the new Hancock Observatory is convenient for a one-stop, all day Michigan Avenue excursion.

A self-guided tour on the 94th floor of world-renowned John Hancock Center includes, along with stunning lake and city views of up to 4 states and 80 miles, Skywalk-the city’s highest open-air viewing deck, walking audio tours, virtual tours on Windows on Chicago, photo- and fact-filled History Walls, Soundscope talking telescopes, and daring photo ops.

Your students will appreciate having the best of Chicago literally at their feet.

Sears Tower Skydeck

The view from the Sears Tower Skydeck is simply amazing! Students start the Sears Tower experience with a 1,353 foot (412 meter) ride to the top, taking only 45 seconds.

Imagine seeing Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin just by walking around the Skydeck, 40 – 50 miles (65 - 80 kilometers) on a clear day. The Skydeck is the highest observatory offering one of the best overviews of Chicago with high-tech, high-powered telescopes.

Students will see interactive, museum-quality exhibits on the inside of the Skydeck presenting Chicago’s past and present. Students can even experience how the building sways on a windy day. At every turn, you will see more of Chicago’s history and historic characters.

Big or little, every student gets the best view and overview of Chicago with this kid-level display that extends all the way around the Skydeck. Cool cut-out windows put kids eye-to-eye with Chicago history, sports and more.

Click here for a proposal request or call your travel counselor toll-free, 877.798.0435!

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Big Country Tours, LLC
Customized Student Tours
P.O. Box 607 · St. Ignace, MI 49781
Toll Free:(877) 798-0435
Local: (906) 643-0111 · Fax: (906) 643-0139