Museums in Chicago

The Definitive List (2019)

Chicago museums are among the best in the world, and include The Art Institute of Chicago, The Chicago History Museum, and dozens more institutions.

Below, we've researched and compiled a list of museums in Chicago, plus categories like:

And everything in-between. How many museums are there in Chicago? As of 2019, our list includes 67 awesome museums.

Chicagomuseum

Museum Categories

All Museums in Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago

Art Museum

The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and biggest art museums in the United States with more than 300,000 works in its permanent collection. The AIC was founded in 1879; it has been in its present-day location since 1893. The museum is one of the most visited in the country, with an estimated 1.5 million people walking through its doors each year.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Art Institute of Chicago.

  • The lions
  • Pablo Picasso's The Old Guitarist
  • Grant Wood's American Gothic
The Art Institute of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $25 per person
  • πŸ“ 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

The Chicago History Museum

History Museum

Founded in 1856, The Chicago History Museum was originally named the Chicago Historical Society. Like so much of the city, the Chicago Historical Society's early collection was destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Some of the items lost in the fire included the final draft of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. In 2006, the museum was officially titled the Chicago History Museum.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Chicago History Museum.

  • The first passenger car to run on the 'L'
  • Chicago: Crossroads of America
  • Facing Freedom
The Chicago History Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $19 per person
  • πŸ“ 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

The Field Museum

Natural History Museum

The Field Museum of Natural History is one of the biggest natural history museums in the world. The Field Museum is considered a leader in its scientific and educational programming. The Field Museum's permanent collection includes more than 24 million different specimens, including fossils, meteorites, and gems. The Field Museum also houses an extensive library with more than 275,000 works. An estimated two million people visit Chicago's Field Museum annually.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Field Museum.

  • SUE the T. rex
  • Underground Adventure
  • McDonald’s Prep Lab
The Field Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $26 per person
  • πŸ“ 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Museum of Science and Industry

Science Museum

The Museum of Science and Industry is located in Chicago's Jackson Park in the former Palace of Fine Arts. MSI has more than 2,000 exhibits that are visited by an estimated 1.5 million annual guests. The museum's exhibits include the Henry Crown Space Center, FarmTech, a transportation gallery, a collection dedicated to alternative energy in Chicago, ToyMaker 3000, and Science Storms.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Museum of Science and Industry.

  • A German submarine captured during WWII
  • The command module of Apollo 8
  • The first diesel-powered stainless steel passenger train
Museum of Science and Industry
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $20 per person
  • πŸ“ 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Art Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is one of the biggest contemporary art museums in the world. The MCA's collection focuses on post World War II visual art; works in the collection include pieces by Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Jasper Johns, Kara Walker, and Alexander Calder. The MCA once held the United States debut of Frida Kahlo's exhibit.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

  • Chicago Works
  • Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans II
  • Jasper Johns' In Memory of My Feelings - Frank O'Hara
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 220 E Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Adler Planetarium

Science Museum

The Adler Planetarium in Chicago is the United States' first planetarium in history. It opened in 1930; within 50 years, the Adler had been designated a National Historic Landmark. The Adler Planetarium has dozens of cool exhibits, including one of the world's only public observatories that's still research active. The Adler Planetarium was originally supposed to be part of the Museum of Science and Industry, but was eventually opened as its own institution.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Adler Planetarium.

  • The Doane Observatory
  • John David Mooney's Spiral Galaxy
  • Our Solar System
Adler Planetarium
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $19 per person
  • πŸ“ 1300 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

Chicago Children's Museum

Children's Museum

The Chicago Children's Museum was founded in the 1980s in response to cuts in the Chicago public school system. The museum's first exhibits were kept in the Chicago Public Library; the exhibits underwent several moves before landing in their current home at Navy Pier in 1995. When the museum moved into its new home, it became the country's fourth largest children's museum with more than 650,000 members of the community served each year.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chicago Children's Museum.

  • Fossil of a Suchomimus dinosaur
  • Kovler Family Climbing Schooner
  • Treehouse Trails
Chicago Children's Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $19 per person
  • πŸ“ 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

DuSable Museum of African American History

History Museum

The DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago highlights African American history, culture, and art. Founded in 1961 as the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art, the DuSable Museum today has a collection comprised of more than 13,000 different objects to include works by Langston Hughes, St. Clair Drake, and W.E.B. Du Bois.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at DuSable Museum of African American History .

  • The Charles Dawson Papers
  • Ida B. Wells' desk
  • Captain Harry Dean's diaries
DuSable Museum of African American History
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 740 E 56th Pl, Chicago, IL 60637

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Natural History Museum

Chicago's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is operated by the Chicago Academy of Sciences. The museum highlights Chicago's natural history. It is best known for its live butterfly house, which is both an exhibit for visitors and a laboratory that studies how to best preserve the region's population of butterflies.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.

  • The live butterfly house
  • Wilderness Walk
  • Water Lab
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $9 per person
  • πŸ“ 2430 N Cannon Dr, Chicago, IL 60614

Oriental Institute Museum

Archaeological Museum

The Oriental Institute Museum is part of the University of Chicago and serves as the school's research center for ancient Near Eastern studies. The archaeology museum was founded by James Henry Breasted, a professor at the University of Chicago, after John D. Rockefeller, Jr. donated funds for the cause. The OI's purpose is to lead research on Near East civilizations. The museum houses a large collection of ancient artifacts and is thought to have one of the best collections of Near East objects in the world. Museum admission is free, thought donations are appreciated.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Oriental Institute Museum.

  • Megiddo Ivories
  • The 40-ton human-headed winged bull called Lamassu
  • King Tutankhamun statue
Oriental Institute Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1155 E 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637

American Writers Museum

Specialty Museum

The American Writers Museum opened its doors in Chicago during the spring of 2017. The museum was founded by Malcolm E. O'Hagan and was inspired by the Dublin version of their own writers museum. The American Writers Museum has a multifaceted mission to educate about American writers, engage visitors with the written word, encourage guests to find a love for reading and writing, and foster connections with young writers.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at American Writers Museum.

  • Word Waterfall
  • American Voices
  • Writers Hall
American Writers Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $12 per person
  • πŸ“ 180 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601

Money Museum

Specialty Museum

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum is located inside the city's Federal Reserve Bank on LaSalle Street in downtown Chicago. The museum has cool things to do, like take a picture with a million dollars, stand in a money pit, or hunt the collection for a coin that used to be hidden inside the walls. Admission to the Money Museum in Chicago is free.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Money Museum.

  • Hamilton the Exhibit
  • Find the coin that was once hidden in the walls
  • Stand on the money pit
Money Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 230 S LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60604

Smart Museum of Art

Art Museum

The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art is part of the University of Chicago's campus. The Smart Museum has a permanent collection with more than 15,000 objects, ranging from modern art to Asian art to contemporary art to European art. The galleries are rehung each year. The Smart Museum's collection is often used in teachings at the University. Admission is free, and the general public is welcome to visit.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Smart Museum of Art.

  • Cecco Bravo's Angelica y Ruggiero
  • Jean Metzinger's Soldat jouant aux Γ©checs
  • Master of the Apollo and Daphne Legend's Daphne Fleeing from Apollo
Smart Museum of Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 5550 S. Greenwood Ave. Chicago, Illinois 60637

International Museum of Surgical Science

Science Museum

The International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago opened in 1954. The museum's collections and exhibits house information on both Eastern and Western medicines. The items on display include skeletons, medical equipment, specimens, paintings and drawings, sculptures, and photos. There are also more than 5,000 rare medical books in the museum's library.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at International Museum of Surgical Science.

  • Nineteenth Century Apothecary
  • Diagnostic Detectives: Pathology in Modern Medical Practice
  • Spanish Mural Gallery
International Museum of Surgical Science
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $17 per person
  • πŸ“ 1524 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60610

Richard H. Driehaus Museum

Art Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago is dedicated to displaying the art, architecture, and style of Gilded Age America. The museum is ornately decorated with onyx, marble, exotic woods, stained glass, and tiles. The permanent collection in the Driehaus Museum came directly from the private Driehaus Collection of Fine and Decorative Arts.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

  • Oscar Spalmach's Cupid and Psyche
  • The Louis Comfort Tiffany Collection
  • The rare Chickering and Sons grand piano
Richard H. Driehaus Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $20 per person
  • πŸ“ 40 E Erie St, Chicago, IL 60611

Museum of Broadcast Communications

Specialty Museum

The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago houses the history of broadcast radio and television in the United States. The MBC was founded in 1982 by broadcaster Bruce DuMont; it opened to the public five years later in 1987. The museum is one of just three museums whose primary focus is on broadcast history in the United States.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Museum of Broadcast Communications .

  • Original stage designs from The Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan
  • The original animation cels from A-ha’s β€œTake on Me” music video.
  • CeeLo Green’s jacket from The Voice
Museum of Broadcast Communications
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $18 per person
  • πŸ“ 360 North State Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Art Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Photography, or MoCP, is Chicago's premier photography museum. The museum's permanent collection has an estimated 15,000 items crafted by more than 1,500 different photographers and artists. The American Alliance of Museums-accredited museum is also home to the Midwest Photographers Project, which highlights work by photographers local to the region. Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Photography is free.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Museum of Contemporary Photography.

  • Midwest Photographers Project
  • The Ansel Adams Collection
  • The Dorothea Lange Collection
Museum of Contemporary Photography
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Chicago Sports Museum

Specialty Museum

Located in Chicago's Water Tower Place, the Chicago Sports Museum celebrates the local Chicago sports scene. The museum opened in 2014 and features sports memorabilia from the Chicago Bulls, Bears, Blackhawks, Cubs, and White Sox, including game-worn or used items like Addison Russell’s Game 6 Grand Slam Ball from the 2016 World Series. The museum is also interactive and has several skill challenges for guests to participate in.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chicago Sports Museum.

  • 2016 World Series Exhibit
  • Forensic Sports
  • Hall of Legends
Chicago Sports Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

National Veterans Art Museum

Art Museum

The National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago is dedicated to displaying the art of veterans of the United States. The museum got its start as a traveling exhibit until Chicago's then-mayor Richard M. Daley demanded the city find a home for the art. Visiting the National Veterans Art Museum has been described as being an extremely powerful moment; 58,226 dog tags hang from the museum's ceilings to represent the soldiers who were killed during the Vietnam War.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Veterans Art Museum.

  • The dog tag ceiling
  • Maurice Costello: Back to "The Nam"
  • The Things They Carried
National Veterans Art Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 4041 N Milwaukee Ave 2nd floor, Chicago, IL 60641

Glessner House

Archaeological Museum

The John J. Glessner House is a Chicago house of architectural significance. It was noted as a Chicago Landmark in 1970; six years later, Glessner House was named a National Historic Landmark. Glessner House was designed by famed architect Henry Hobson Richardson, who is known for creating the Richardsonian Romanesque style of architecture. Glessner House offers free admission on Wednesdays.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Glessner House.

  • William Morris furniture
  • Γ‰mile GallΓ© furniture
  • The John J. β€œJack” Simmerling Gallery of Prairie Avenue History
Glessner House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 1800 S Prairie Ave, Chicago, IL 60616

Swedish American Museum

Cultural Center

Kurt Mathisson founded the Swedish American Museum in 1976 in Chicago, Illinois. The museum was considered to be such a big deal that King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden attended both the museum's founding and its move to its current home on Clark Street. The Swedish American Museum owns about 12,000 different artifacts and serves as a key part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, a group of cultural centers and ethnic museums in the Windy City.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Swedish American Museum.

  • Brunk Children's Museum
  • The Dream of America
  • Genealogy Research
Swedish American Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $6 per person
  • πŸ“ 5211 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Bronzeville Children's Museum

Children's Museum

Bronzeville Children's Museum is the first and only African American children's museum in America. The museum was founded on Chicago's South Side and is sponsored by regional grocery store giant Jewel-Osco. The Bronzeville Children's Museum's interactive exhibits are best suited for children between the ages of three and nine.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Bronzeville Children's Museum .

  • Provident Hospital
  • You Are What You Eat
  • Jewel Store
Bronzeville Children's Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 9301 S Stony Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60617

National Museum of Mexican Art

Art Museum

The National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago is home to more than 5,000 pieces by Mexican, Latino, and Chicano artists. It is considered the largest Latino cultural institution in the United States and the only Latino museum to have received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums. The National Museum of Mexican Art is perhaps best known for its annual DΓ­a de los Muertos exhibit.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of Mexican Art.

  • Mexicanidad: Our Past is Present
  • Manuel Álvarez Bravo photographs
  • Nuestras Historias
National Museum of Mexican Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608

DePaul Art Museum

Art Museum

The DePaul Art Museum is located on DePaul University's campus in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The DPAM has a permanent collection of more than 3,500 different objects with a heavy focus on international contemporary and modern art. The museum is open to the general public and admission is free.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at DePaul Art Museum.

  • Polish film posters
  • Original Burnham Brothers architectural drawings
  • The Chicago Imagists
DePaul Art Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 935 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Design Museum of Chicago

Art Museum

The Design Museum of Chicago got its start as a pop-up museum in 2012. Two years later, after a Kickstart campaign to crowdfund a permanent physical location, the museum opened its doors to the public. Formerly known as the Chicago Design Museum, the Design Museum of Chicago gained notoriety for its Design Pack, a set of cards created to be played alongside the popular game Cards Against Humanity. Proceeds from the sale of the cards went to funding the museum's operations. In just a few days, the campaign raised more than $130,000.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Design Museum of Chicago.

  • Setting the Stage: Objects of Chicago Theatre
  • Great Ideas of Humanity
  • Chicago Design Market
Design Museum of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ Expo 72, 72 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Pritzker Military Museum & Library

War Museum

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago is dedicated to highlighting and studying military history. Founded in 2003, the museum now has more than 115,000 objects, 67,000 books, and 9,000 photos. The collection includes rare military memorabilia, glass negatives, posters, artwork, and videos. The museum earned the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, which highlights institutions who are making outstanding contributions.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Pritzker Military Museum & Library.

  • Sam Gevirtz's World War II diaries
  • Winston Churchill's medals of honor
  • The rare book room
Pritzker Military Museum & Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 104 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Chicago Maritime Museum

Specialty Museum

The Chicago Maritime Museum opened in the summer of 2016 to commemorate Chicago's maritime history. The museum pays special attention to Lake Michigan and the Chicago River as major factors in turning Chicago into the city it is today. The museum has more than 6,000 items in its permanent collection.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chicago Maritime Museum.

  • Model watercraft
  • Peter Power's The Mary Rose and Henry Grace a Dieu Leaving Portsmouth Harbor, 1545
  • A World War II sextant on permanent loan from the United States Navy
Chicago Maritime Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 1200 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609

wndr museum

Specialty Museum

Chicago's new wndr museum is all about providing an alternative museum experience that goes against the grain of the traditional museum visit. The museum's highlight is Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room, in which guests are permitted to spend no more than one minute (guidelines from Yayoi Kusama herself). wndr is considered to be a new type of Instagrammable museum.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at wndr museum.

  • Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirror Room
  • Richard Prince
  • Barbara Kruger
wndr museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $32 per person
  • πŸ“ 1130 W Monroe St, Chicago, IL 60607

Chicago Architecture Center

Specialty Museum

The Chicago Architecture Center is famous for leading boat tours on the Chicago River that focuses on the city's famous architecture. The CAC was first founded in 1966 and, in addition to the boat tours and 85 other city tours, houses a center with a cool scale model of downtown Chicago. The CAC is well known for its free annual architecture event, Open House Chicago.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chicago Architecture Center.

  • Scale model of downtown Chicago
  • ArcelorMittal Design Studio
  • Architecture boat tours
Chicago Architecture Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $12 per person
  • πŸ“ 111 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

American Toby Jug Museum

Specialty Museum

The American Toby Jug Museum located in Evanston, a Chicago suburb, has more than 8,000 mugs in its impressive collection. It is the largest toby jug collection known in the world. The Toby Jug Museum is a popular tourist destination for people from all over the globe. The museum was founded by Steve Mullins, who, along with David Fastenau penned the book Toby and Character Jugs of the 20th Century and A Century of Royal Doulton Character and Toby Jugs. The museum is considered to be the world's leading authority on Toby Jugs.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at American Toby Jug Museum.

  • The world's largest Toby
  • The world's smallest Toby
  • A Toby from 1760
American Toby Jug Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 910 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Clarke House Museum

Historic Site

The Henry B. Clarke House is a Greek Revival style house in Chicago. It is thought to be one of the oldest surviving houses in all of Chicago and is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited institution. In 1970, the Clarke house was named a Chicago Landmark. The following year, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The House has survived at least two different moves, including one that had it hanging in the air for weeks at a time.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Clarke House Museum.

  • Free one-hour guided tours
  • Hear why the house was once hanging in the air for two weeks
Clarke House Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 1827 S. Indiana Ave. Chicago, IL 60616

Loyola University Museum of Art

Art Museum

The Loyola University Museum of Art, or LUMA, is an art museum on the campus of Loyola University Chicago. The museum's permanent collection has an estimated 300 pieces, with the main focal point being the Martin D'Arcy Collection of Renaissance, Baroque, and medieval art. Some pieces of the collection are thought to date back to 1150.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Loyola University Museum of Art.

  • The Martin D'Arcy Collection
Loyola University Museum of Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 820 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611

Block Museum of Art

Art Museum

Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art rests on the school's Evanston campus outside downtown Chicago. The museum first began as a home for temporary rotating exhibits, but soon began to put together a permanent collection of more than 5,000 pieces and earned accreditation with the American Alliance of Museums. The Block Museum of Art works closely with Northwestern University's curriculum to put together programming that vibes with the school's mission.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Block Museum of Art.

  • Carrie Mae Weems' Ritual and Revolution
  • Max Beckmann, On the Streetcar
  • Jasper Johns' Decoy
Block Museum of Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 40 Arts Cir Dr, Evanston, IL 60208

Polish Museum of America

Cultural Center

The Polish Museum of America is located in Chicago's West Town, where Polish history in the city has been rich. The museum is considered one of the oldest ethnic museums in the country. It is part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance. The Polish Museum of America houses a huge collection of Polish artifacts with an emphasis on celebrating Polish culture through art.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Polish Museum of America.

  • The Folk Costumes Exhibit
  • The Pope John Paul II collection
  • A Polish model train collection
Polish Museum of America
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 984 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Robie House

Historic Site

The Frederick C. Robie House in Chicago was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s. It is a U.S. National Historic Landmark that is considered the best example of the Prairie School architectural style. It was one of Wright's last pieces of work in the Prairie School. The Robie House offers a variety of different tours, including a guided interior tour and an audio walking tour.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Robie House.

  • 50-minute Guided Interior Tour
Robie House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $20 per person
  • πŸ“ 5757 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art

Cultural Center

The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art is a modern art museum in Chicago's Ukrainian village. The UIMA, founded in 1971, hosts exhibits, book readings, film screenings, recitals, and theater. The UIMA has been a fixture in its neighborhood for more than 40 years and is one of 25 members of the Chicago Cultural Alliance.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art.

  • Alexandra Kowerko's Ophelia at Play
  • Peter Blake's Red Power
  • John Kurtz's Bat Clown
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 2320 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Chicago Cultural Center

Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center is one of the country's most popular art exhibits. It was the first free municipal cultural center to exist in the United States and hosts hundreds of different programs and showcases annually. The Chicago Cultural Center is an architectural masterpiece that was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in the early 1970s.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chicago Cultural Center.

  • Edra Soto's Screenhouse
  • Grand Army of the Republic Memorial
  • Preston Bradley Hall
Chicago Cultural Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

Chinese American Museum of Chicago

Cultural Center

The Chinese American Museum of Chicago opened in 2005 in Chicago's Chinatown. Three years after its opening, the museum suffered a fire and lost a considerable amount of its collection. Today, the museum is a hotbed of cultural artifacts from the Chinese culture and hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration in the city each year.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Chinese American Museum of Chicago.

  • Great Wall to Great Lakes: Chinese Immigration to the Midwest
  • My Chinatown: Stories from Within
  • The annual Chinese New Year celebration
Chinese American Museum of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 238 W 23rd St, Chicago, IL 60616

Charnley-Persky House Museum

Historic Site

The Charnley-Persky House Museum is in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood. The location is famous for being one of the only surviving residential pieces designed by Louis Sullivan. Frank Lloyd Wright was also a contributor to the project; at the time of the house's construction, Wright worked for Sullivan. Today, the Charnley-Persky House is operated by The Society of Architectural Historians. In 1998, it earned designation as a National Historic Landmark.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Charnley-Persky House Museum.

  • Guided tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • The ornate balcony design
  • Curved archways
Charnley-Persky House Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0-$10 per person
  • πŸ“ 1365 N Astor St, Chicago, IL 60610

Edgewater Historical Society

History Museum

The Edgewater Historical Society, founded in 1988, was created to preserve the oral history and traditions of Edgewater. The museum's collection includes more than 5,000 different papers, photographs, and objects. Admission to the Edgewater Historical Society is always free, though you can opt to take paid guided tours while visiting the museum.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Edgewater Historical Society.

  • Joseph McManus' photograph of Edgewater’s first grocery store
  • The Edgewater Beach Hotel collection
Edgewater Historical Society
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 5358 N. Ashland Avenue Chicago, IL 60640

The Arts Club of Chicago

Art Museum

The Arts Club of Chicago is an art museum with public exhibitions and private tours. The club's first floors are open to the public at no admission cost; private tours of the permanent collection can be arranged. The Arts Club, which opened in 1916, was home to the first United States showing of Pablo Picasso's work. The club has an exclusive membership program despite being open to the public; to become a member, one must be invited by a current club member.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The Arts Club of Chicago.

  • Alexander Calder's Red Petals
  • Henri Matisse's Untitled
  • Pablo Picasso's Head of a Woman
The Arts Club of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 201 E Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

Historic Site

Chicago's Jane Addams Hull-House Museum was a settlement house founded in 1189 by Ellen Gates Starr and Janes Addams. The Hull House served as a place for European immigrants to call home after landing into the United States. Within 30 years of its opening, the house had expanded to include 13 buildings and a summer camp. Hull House set the national bar for what a settlement house should look like. Today, the museum includes more than 5,500 artifacts on display in its permanent collection.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum.

  • The Maxwell Street Market collection
  • Oral histories from Hull-House residents and neighbors
  • Jane Addams' personal furnishings
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 800 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60607

McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum

Specialty Museum

The McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum displays its exhibits along Chicago's famous river and bridges. The museum is all about the impact of the river and moveable bridges on the city. Museum guests are able to head down to the river level to check out the incredible gears on the bridge before they are taken through the river's story. After ascending the Bridgehouse, visitors will enjoy a stunning city view.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum.

  • The bridge's gears
  • Views from the top of the Bridgehouse
  • Bridge lift viewing (Spring only!)
McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $6 per person
  • πŸ“ 99 Chicago Riverwalk, Chicago, IL 60601

National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture

Cultural Center

The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture in Chicago is designed to highlight the culture and arts of Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican people living in the city. The museum focuses on exhibits, education, and hosts a variety of festivals for the city, including music shows and an annual Jazz extravaganza. The museum has enjoyed works from famed artists, including Osvaldo Budet, Lizette Cruz, and Antonio Martorell.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture.

  • Jen Jensen Room
  • Caras/Faces: Oscar Lopez Rivera
  • Guided tours of the museum
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 3015 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Specialty Museum

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a conservatory and botanical garden in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. The conservatory is best known for its horticultural collections, community work, and educational programming. It is also housed in a glass house from the Victorian Era that is stunning to view on its own. The Lincoln Park Conservatory has four different rooms with global exotic plants and one of the city's oldest public gardens, dating back to the 1870s, out front.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Lincoln Park Conservatory.

  • The Moth orchid
  • The Schiller Monument
  • The Conifer Garden
Lincoln Park Conservatory
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614

Irish American Heritage Center

Cultural Center

The Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago focuses on highlighting Irish culture and the contributions Irish Americans have made to the United States. The center is a member of the Chicago Cultural Alliance, a consortium of ethnic cultural centers that highlight contributions to the city. Three different Irish presidents have traveled to Chicago to visit celebrations held at the center.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Irish American Heritage Center.

  • The Fifth Province (An authentic Irish pub!)
  • The Mayfair Theatre
  • Live musical performances
Irish American Heritage Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 4626 N Knox Ave, Chicago, IL 60630

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art

Art Museum

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago is a non-profit with a mission to share the work of outsiders. The center defines an outsider in the art world as "the work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world, and who instead are motivated by their unique personal vision." Since its inception in 1991, Intuit has become a leader in the field of promoting outsider and intuitive art. The museum's permanent collection, which they began amassing in 2002, has come to include more than 1,1000 works of art.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art.

  • The Henry Darger Room Collection
  • William Hawkins's The Statue of Liberty
  • Thornton Dial Sr.'s Jungle Life
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 756 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

National Hellenic Museum

Cultural Center

The National Hellenic Museum is the second oldest Greek and Greek-American cultural center in the United States. Located in Chicago's Greektown, the National Hellenic Museum focuses on Greek culture, contributions to the United States, and immigration. The museum is well known for its Oral History Project, which has captured the stories of more than 300 people. The museum's collection dates back to 1200 BCE and contains thousands of artifacts.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at National Hellenic Museum.

  • The Oral History Project
  • The Greek Story in America
  • A coin dating back to 1255
National Hellenic Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 333 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

Gerbert/Hart Library

Library

The Gerber/Hart Library and Archives is the Midwest's biggest circulating library of LGBTQ titles. The library has more than 22,000 volumes, 700 newsletters, 600 periodicals, and 150 archival collections of gay and lesbian interest. In 1996, 15 years after its founding, the library was inducted into Chicago's Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Gerbert/Hart Library.

  • Lavender Women & Killer Dykes: Lesbians, Feminism, and Community in Chicago
  • LGBTQ Slogan and AIDS-Themed Pins
  • Queer Zines
Gerbert/Hart Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 6500 N Clark Street Chicago, IL 60626

Haitian American Museum of Chicago

Cultural Center

Founded in 2012, the Haitian American Museum of Chicago was created to honor the contributions of Haitian Americans in the city. HAMOC has been home to dozens of different programs and exhibits in its first decade that highlight the traditions of the Haitian culture. The museum was founded by Haitian native Elise Hernandez, who is extremely passionate about her home's culture.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Haitian American Museum of Chicago.

  • The art of Jean Yves Hector
  • The art of Franz Baltazar
  • The tattoo-inspired art of self-taught artist Alex Smith
Haitian American Museum of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 4654 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60640

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian

Cultural Center

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston is about showcasing the history, tradition, arts, and culture of the North American natives. The museum's collection of more than 9,000 pieces encompasses artifacts dating back to the Paleo-Indian era to more modern era objects. The Mitchell Museum also changes its temporary exhibit halls twice per year. The museum is part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Mitchell Museum of the American Indian.

  • Woodlands Gallery
  • Plains Gallery
  • Great Lakes ice fishing decoys
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $5 per person
  • πŸ“ 3001 Central Street, Evanston, Illinois

Noble–Seymour–Crippen House

Historic Site

The Norwood Park Historical Society, located on Chicago's northwest side, is housed in the Noble-Seymour-Crippen House. The House and Norwood Park Historical Society have several exhibits, including Margaret Crippen's room, a historical tale of Norwood Park, and a collection of artifacts that have been dug up on the museum's front lawn.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Noble–Seymour–Crippen House.

  • The Margaret Crippen Room
  • The Battlefront and the Homefront
  • Can You Dig It?
Noble–Seymour–Crippen House
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 5624 N Newark Ave, Chicago, IL 60631

659 Wrightwood

Specialty Museum

659 Wrightwood is a museum space in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood designed to house rotating exhibits with a special emphasis on art that focuses on social engagement and the important social issues facing our country and our world. The space is also focused on architecture. The building itself was designed by architect Tadao Ando, who won the Pritzker Prize, which is an award to honor architects whose work shows a unique talent, vision and commitment. Ando specializes in the transformation of buildings from the 1920s. Reservations are required to visit the space.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at 659 Wrightwood.

  • The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China
  • Tetsuya Ishida: Self-Portrait of Other
  • Cinema Saturdays
659 Wrightwood
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $ per person
  • πŸ“ 659 W Wrightwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

Art Museum

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, founded in 1956, emphasizes sharing challenging and diverse ideas about architecture. The Foundation is best known for providing grants for projects to people and organizations who produce work that meets the Foundation's vision. The Foundation also displays exhibits throughout the year whose work stemmed from a grant provided by the organization.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

  • The Foundation's Bookstore
  • Nelly Agassi: Spirit of the Waves
  • Tatiana Bilbao Estudio: Unraveling Modern Living
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 4 W Burton Pl, Chicago, IL 60610

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

Cultural Center

The Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in Chicago is the United States' biggest museum dedicated to Lithuania. The Balzekas Museum highlights the country's culture, politics, history, language, and traditions, all with a special focus on Lithuanian Americans. In addition to its exhibits and collection, the museum will often showcase various workshops and events dedicated to Lithuanian culture. Chicago is the perfect home for the Balzekas Museum; the Windy City has the largest number of Lithuanian people living anywhere in the world outside of Lithuania.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture.

  • No Home To Go To: The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons
  • The Women's Guild Room
  • War After War
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $9 per person
  • πŸ“ Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center

Cultural Center

The DANK Haus German American Cultural Center in Chicago emphasizes and celebrates German and German American culture and traditions. The center has several different aspects, including the DANK Museum, the Koegel Bibliothek (library), German language classes, the Scharpenberg art gallery, and even an Olympic sized swimming pool. The DANK Haus Center is part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at DANK Haus German American Cultural Center.

  • The DANK Museum
  • Brewers, Bakers, and Bratwurst
  • The swimming pool
DANK Haus German American Cultural Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 4740 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum

History Museum

The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum was founded in 1995 by Dr. Lyn Hughes in Chicago. The museum got its name from Asa Philip Randolph and the Pullman Porters. Randolph co-founded the first African American labor union to win a CBA and helped pioneer the Pullman Porters, employees of the Pullman Rail Car Company, to fight for employment equality. In 2015, President Obama named the Pullman District a National Monument.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum.

  • Pullman Porters Music
The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 10406 S. Maryland Ave, Chicago, IL 60628

Garfield Park Conservatory

Specialty Museum

The Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago is one of the country's biggest greenhouse conservatories. The 4.5-acre conservatory has dozens of permanent plant exhibits from around the world and is perhaps best known for its cycads that are more than 200 years old. The Garfield Park Conservatory is often called "landscape art under glass."

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Garfield Park Conservatory.

  • Octopus of the desert
  • 200-year-old cycads
  • Garfield Park Conservatory Water Lily Pond
Garfield Park Conservatory
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624

Newberry Library

Library

The Newberry Library is an independent research library in Chicago's Washington Square. Since 1887, the library has welcomed members of the public for free. The Newberry Library's collection focuses on the humanities, with a special emphasis on topics like the history of Western Europe and the Americas, maps, travel, and music. The library's collection is noncirculating, yet the facility often hosts exhibits, programming, and education to guests.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Newberry Library.

  • What Is the Midwest?
  • The History of the Book
  • The postcard collection
Newberry Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 60 W Walton St, Chicago, IL 60610

Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago

Cultural Center

The Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago is housed in the city's Ukrainian Village neighborhood. Founded in 1952, the museum has a permanent collection containing a wide variety of objects, art, costumes, and instruments. The museum also has a library on site with more than 16,000 pieces in the collection to include rare and autographed books.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago.

  • Easter Eggs, or "Pysanky"
  • Ukrainian Genocide-Holodomor of 1932-1933
  • The Works of Yuri Olishkevych and Anatoliy Khmara
Ukrainian National Museum of Chicago
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $ per person
  • πŸ“ 2249 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60612

Poetry Foundation

Cultural Center

Chicago's Poetry Foundation is all about the study of poetry. It was the first place in the city of Chicago to focus only on poetry as an art form, which was the dream of Poetry magazine's Harriet Monroe. The foundation's goal is to heighten public and cultural interest in poetry. Today, the Poetry Foundation has a collection of more than 30,000 poems, a gallery for exhibits, and a space for public events and performances.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Poetry Foundation.

  • U.S. Latinx Voices in Poetry
  • Fall Poems
  • Native American Poetry and Culture
Poetry Foundation
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 61 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60654

Ryerson & Burnham Libraries

Library

The Ryerson & Burnham Libraries in Chicago is the art and architecture arm of the Art Institute of Chicago. The libraries house work dating back to the 18th century. The libraries first came into existence in 1879; since then, they have added almost 10,000 works to the collection every year. The Ryerson & Burnham Libaries are non-circulating research libraries. Guests must first enter the Art Institute of Chicago to visit the libraries.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Ryerson & Burnham Libraries.

  • The Percier and Fontaine Collection of 17th- to 19th-century architectural books
  • The George R. Collins Archive of Catalan Art and Architecture
  • The Mrs. James Ward Thorne Collection of illustrated books.
Ryerson & Burnham Libraries
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $25 per person
  • πŸ“ 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603

Walt Disney's Birthplace

Specialty Museum

Walt Disney's birthplace is a Chicago home on the corner of Palmer Street and Tripp Avenue that is being restored and turned into a museum dedicated to the famed creator. The home was designed and built by Walt's parents. Walt lived in the home with his family until he was four years old. While the inside of the home is not available for public viewing, Disney fans are encouraged to stop by the outside and take photos at the icon's birthplace.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Walt Disney's Birthplace.

  • The home where Walt Disney was born
Walt Disney's Birthplace
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 2156 N Tripp Ave, Chicago, IL 60639

Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library

Library

The Harold Washington Library Center serves as the Chicago Public Library System's central library. The building is more than 756,000 square feet and has a rooftop garden penthouse. The building is an architectural masterpiece, both externally and internally, and though it is a fully functioning library for Chicago residents, it serves as a tourist attraction for its architectural prowess.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library.

  • The Maker Lab
  • The Thomas Hughes Children’s library
  • The Winter Garden
Harold Washington Library Center, Chicago Public Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 400 S State St, Chicago, IL 60605

John Crerar Library

Library

The John Crerar Library is a research library in Chicago that recently fell under ownership of the University of Chicago. The library houses an extensive collection in science, technology, and medicine with free public access. The library first opened to the public in 1897 and has amassed an impressive rare book collection of 27,000 works, which includes work by Newton, Descartes, Leonardo da Vinci, and Copernicus.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at John Crerar Library.

  • The rare book collection, to include works by Leonardo da Vinci and Copernicus
  • American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936
  • Frederick Starr Papers, 1868-1935
John Crerar Library
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $0 per person
  • πŸ“ 5730 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center

History Museum

The Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center is located just outside downtown Chicago in Skokie, Illinois. The museum is dedicated to honoring the victims of the Holocaust and keeping their legacy alive in order to combat indifference, hatred, and prejudice in our world. In 2017, the museum opened the first exhibit in the world that allows guests to interact with speaking holographic images. In the case of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, visitors are able to speak with holographic images of Holocaust victims.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.

  • Take A Stand Center
  • Karkomi Holocaust Exhibit
  • Ferro Fountain of the Righteous
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $15 per person
  • πŸ“ 9603 Woods Dr, Skokie, IL 60077

Leather Archives and Museum

Specialty Museum

The Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago is the first collection recognized in the country that focuses on the history of the leather community and subculture. The The Leather Archives & Museum chronicles the leather subculture and BDSM community through eight different exhibition galleries alongside a reading library and auditorium.

Highlights

Here are some of the "must see" items at Leather Archives and Museum.

  • The complete set of Drummer Magazine
  • The dungeon
  • The leatherbar
Leather Archives and Museum
  • 🌐 Website
  • 🎟️ $10 per person
  • πŸ“ 6418 N Greenview Ave, Chicago, IL 60626

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