Chicago Museums’ Plans To Deal With NASCAR Race Range From ‘We’re Closed’ to ‘What Race?’

With a NASCAR street race set to take place outside their front doors, Chicago’s lakefront museums have had to shift gears and adjust operations in advance of the big event on July 1-2.

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Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium have developed plans — including closings and altered hours — for the days leading up to, during and directly after the race. Some are standing their ground and some are taking evasive action. 

Shedd Aquarium:

— Closed July 1 and July 2.
— On June 29-30 and July 3, opening an hour later than normal at 10 a.m. and closing two hours earlier at 4 p.m. (last entry will be at 2 p.m.).
— Normal hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. will resume July 4.

Field Museum:

— July 1-2, opening late at 10 a.m. and closing early at 4 p.m. (last entry at 3 p.m.). Admission is free on these days for Illinois residents.

Adler Planetarium: No changes to daily operations.

When it comes to getting to and from the Museum Campus, race closures on DuSable Lake Shore Drive are likely to have the biggest impact, particularly for visitors driving from the north. On race day, motorists won’t be allowed on southbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive past Randolph Street.

Here’s how to navigate:

— Driving from the south? Exit DuSable Lake Shore Drive at 18th Street, Walden Drive or McFetridge Drive.

— From the north? This gets a bit convoluted, but the museums recommend getting on I-55 between 24th and 25th and State Street and following signs for northbound DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Exit at 18th Street, Walden Drive or McFetridge Drive.

— Taking transit? CTA will run shuttle buses every 15 minutes between its Roosevelt rail station and the Museum Campus. Metra riders can catch CTA bus #130, operating between Union/Ogilvie stations and the Museum Campus.                          

— Walking? The Columbus Drive underpass will remain open to pedestrians. Biking? The lakefront path is a good bet, but be prepared for congestion.

Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 |  [email protected]

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