If you are planning a visit to Chicago and are interested in history, then the Chicago History Museum is a must-visit attraction. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, this museum offers a fascinating look into the history of the city and its surrounding areas. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about visiting the Chicago History Museum. From its exhibits and collections to its opening hours and ticket prices, we’ve got you covered. So let’s dive in and explore the rich history of Chicago together!
About the Chicago History Museum
The Chicago History Museum, formerly known as the Chicago Historical Society, is the city’s oldest cultural institution. It was founded in 1856 and is dedicated to collecting, interpreting, and preserving Chicago’s history. The museum features a vast collection of artifacts, documents, photographs, and other historical materials that tell the story of Chicago from its early days as a small trading settlement to its present-day status as a global city.
Located at 1601 North Clark Street in Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum is housed in a beautiful building designed by the architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White. The building itself is an architectural gem and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features a Beaux-Arts style facade and offers stunning views of Lincoln Park and Lake Michigan.
Exhibits and Collections
The Chicago History Museum boasts a wide range of exhibits and collections that cover various aspects of the city’s history. Visitors can explore galleries dedicated to topics such as immigration, industry, sports, fashion, and much more. Here are some of the highlights:
1. “Chicago: Crossroads of America”
This permanent exhibit showcases the city’s pivotal role in American history. It covers topics such as the Great Chicago Fire, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, and the city’s role as a transportation hub. Visitors can view artifacts, interactive displays, and multimedia presentations that bring to life the history of Chicago.
2. “Sensing Chicago”
This engaging exhibit is designed specifically for children and families. It allows visitors to explore the five senses and how they relate to the city of Chicago. From smelling the city’s famous deep-dish pizza to touching the bricks of iconic Chicago buildings, this exhibit provides a sensory experience like no other.
3. Special Exhibitions
In addition to its permanent exhibits, the Chicago History Museum also showcases temporary exhibitions that delve deeper into specific topics. These exhibitions cover a wide range of subjects, from art and culture to social issues and current events. Be sure to check the museum’s website to see what special exhibitions are currently on display during your visit.
Planning Your Visit
Now that you know a bit about the Chicago History Museum’s history and exhibits, let’s go over the practical details of planning your visit.
1. Opening Hours
The Chicago History Museum is open every day of the week except for major holidays, such as Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The museum’s regular opening hours are as follows:
2. Ticket Prices
The admission prices for the Chicago History Museum are as follows:
3. Guided Tours
If you want to make the most out of your visit to the Chicago History Museum, consider joining a guided tour. The museum offers various types of tours that cater to different interests and preferences. These tours provide a deeper understanding of the exhibits and allow you to ask questions along the way. It’s a great way to enhance your overall museum experience.
The Chicago History Museum is committed to making its exhibits and facilities accessible to all visitors. The museum is wheelchair accessible, and it offers amenities such as accessible restrooms and elevators. Additionally, the museum provides sensory maps and offers sensory-friendly resources for individuals with sensory sensitivities. If you have any specific accessibility needs, be sure to contact the museum in advance, and they will be happy to assist you.
Getting to the Museum
The Chicago History Museum is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, making it easily accessible by various modes of transportation.
1. Public Transportation
If you prefer to use public transportation, you can take the CTA bus or train to reach the museum. The closest CTA train station is the Sedgwick station, which is served by the Brown Line. From there, you can either walk or take a short bus ride to the museum. The CTA bus routes that pass by the museum include the 22, 36, and 73.
If you plan to drive to the museum, the Chicago History Museum offers parking facilities for visitors. The entrance to the parking lot is on Stockton Drive, just south of Fullerton Avenue. Parking rates apply, so be sure to check the museum’s website for the most up-to-date information.
While you’re in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, why not explore some of the other attractions and activities nearby? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park Zoo is located just a short walk away from the Chicago History Museum. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country and is home to a wide variety of animals. Admission to the zoo is free, making it a great option for families and animal lovers.
2. Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is situated within Lincoln Park and focuses on the nature and wildlife of the Midwest region. It features interactive exhibits, a butterfly haven, and a rooftop garden. This museum is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts of all ages.
3. North Avenue Beach
If you’re visiting during the summer months, be sure to check out North Avenue Beach. It offers a sandy shoreline, swimming areas, and stunning views of the Chicago skyline. Relax on the beach, take a dip in Lake Michigan, or enjoy various water sports and recreational activities.
A visit to the Chicago History Museum is not just a journey through time; it’s an opportunity to connect with the rich history and culture of this vibrant city. Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Chicago’s past, the museum’s exhibits will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the city’s heritage. From its permanent galleries to its temporary exhibitions, there’s always something new to discover at the Chicago History Museum. So plan your visit, immerse yourself in history, and create lasting memories!