Free Days in 2013 at the Chicago History Museum

Are you visiting Chicago or looking for things to do in Chicago in 2013 and maybe check out one the great free Chicago attractions? Come check out the Chicago History Museum, which has some free days in 2013 (see red paragraph below for new free day schedule). Bring the the kids and family to see the excellent historical exhibits.   Don’t miss exciting exhibitions such as Shalom Chicago, Magic, Vivian Maier’s Chicago, and Chicago: Crossroads of America.


VIVIAN MAIER  – See Chicago through the eyes of Vivian Maier and witness the life work of a photographer who wowed the world with breathtaking images of everyday life in urban America. Maier’s Chicago collection will be presented at larger than life scale vividly documenting Chicago neighborhoods and faces of the 1960s and 70s.


SHALOM CHICAGONow open through September 2
Through personal stories, rare artifacts, and engaging media presentations, this exhibition will illustrate the Jewish community’s rich history and many contributions to Chicago’s growth and development. Discover a rich array of personal stories that represent and illuminate the larger community’s experience. Each story illustrates how Jewish immigrants and their descendants adapted to modern American society while retaining an age-old religious and cultural identity. The exhibition also makes direct connections to Chicago history, illustrating that Jews have been an integral part of the city’s history and made many significant contributions to its growth and development.

Shalom Chicago features more than three hundred artifacts and images, compelling A/V programs, and engaging interactive experiences organized into three main sections.

  1. The Early Community — Begin your journey by meeting several members of Chicago’s early German Jewish community who began arriving in the 1840s. Rare artifacts from pre-fire Chicago and first-person accounts help tell their inspiring stories to a new generation.
  2. At Home in Chicago — Explore the German and Eastern European Jewish communities through personal stories related to city neighborhoods, business and labor, art and culture, and religion. Special attractions include a compelling A/V program about the 1910 garment workers’ strike, a kosher food interactive, and a rich array of ritual objects.
  3. New Challenges and Opportunities — Meet Jewish Chicagoans who protested against Hitler and served in World War II. Encounter Polish freedom fighters and a more recent immigrant from Russia. Highlights include footage of a1933 anti-Nazi march and a concluding video that features members of today’s community.


MAGIC – We’re filling the Museum with mystery to celebrate Chicago’s place in American magic. Visit our object theater to discover the story of Greta, a little girl who visits a wonderful store looking for a magician’s secrets. Next door, explore a collection of magical artifacts from across the country that have returned home to Chicago for your amazement and delight. Curious how magic looks in action? Professional magicians roam our halls at set times all summer long, defying viewers with their tricks and tips.
LINCOLN’S CHICAGO – Lincoln was a frequent visitor to Chicago; The city became his second home and political headquarters during his rise to prominence. This gallery features portraits of Lincoln’s contemporaries with lithograph views of Chicago created in the 1860s. The pairings provide a glimpse of the city that Lincoln knew—a dynamic young metropolis on the verge of greatness.



Illinois Resident Discount Days –  The museum is no longer free every Monday, instead they offer a new schedule of days, which provide free admission to Illinois Residents only. Discount Days at the Museum are on:



  • Thursday, July 4
  • Tuesday, August 20–Thursday, August 22
  • Tuesday, August 27–Thursday, August 29







Other Monday Free Options:
View Millions of Dollars at the Free Chicago Fed Money Museum


Also take in the permanent exhibit about Lincoln Park Block by Block. Lincoln Park is a dynamic neighborhood and home of the Chicago History Museum. free-days-at-chicago-history-museumFor 150 years, Lincoln Park residents and visitors have experienced some of the city’s most historic events—from the opening of the Chicago’s first public beach in 1895 to the riots of the late 1960s. Set on an oversized map, the exhibition invites you to discover the history, culture, and making of Lincoln Park. Share your memories with other visitors, and explore Lincoln Park—a place that constantly remakes itself with a nod to the past and an eye toward the future. Read some great memories in Celebrating Lincoln Park History (11/5/09)

Or check out the Chicago: Crossroads of America exhibition. The exhibition Sensing Chicago invites children of all ages to explore the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Visit the Sensing Chicago gallery to:

  • Ride a high-wheel bicycle down a wood-paved street
  • Hear the Great Chicago Fire
  • Catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park
  • Discover history through your nose with our Smell Map
  • Become a Chicago-style hot dog
  • Create an oversized postcard of your favorite sights to post on the gallery wall or e-mail to a friend

Whether you are interested in Chicago’s changing economy, challenging crises, diverse neighborhoods, groundbreaking innovations, or lively cultural scene, this museum is a must see! The Chicago History Museum cares for, showcases, and interprets millions of authentic pieces of Chicago and U.S. history. The Museum aims to illuminate the past as a reminder of what really happened once upon a time and as a way to shed light on the present, and compellingly inform the future.


1601 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60614


9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


12:00 noon–5:00 p.m.


One Comment

  1. Please change the title of this article. The Chicago History Museum is no longer free on Mondays. The new schedule of discount days for Illinois Residents can be found at

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