Illinois residents can enjoy free admission to the Chicago History Museum in 2018 during Illinois Resident Discount Days, when the Museum is free to Illinois residents every Tuesday from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m., as well as on Commemorative Days: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, March 4, and July 4. *Excludes January 2, January 9, December 18th & December 25th.
Take a stroll through time at the the Chicago History Museum in 2018, with historical artifacts that explore the city’s rich and colorful history. The 150-year-old Chicago History Museum features a mix of artifacts, hands-on exhibits and multi-media presentations that present a thorough overview of Chicago’s history. Stroll through the two floors and learn about everything from the Great Fire of 1871, to women’s suffrage, to the modern-day cultural scene. The bed Abraham Lincoln died on is here. You’ll also find ‘L’ Car No. 1, the first carriage from Chicago’s train system, built in 1892. This museum has been at the south end of Lincoln Park since 1932, after the previous location was destroyed by fire.
There are five permanent exhibitions and a rotating calendar of temporary collections.
The popular exhibition Chicago: Crossroads of America is where you’ll find the “L” Car No. 1, preserved in its original condition. Examine objects from people’s homes that were burnt during the Great Fire of 1871. The museum also has a wheel from the Eastland ship, which sunk in 1915 and killed more than 800 people, as well as a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright designed memorabilia. Every object has detailed explanations.
The hands-on Sensing Chicago exhibition is designed with families in mind. Try catching a fly ball at a mock baseball stadium and ride a penny-farthing. The Treasures exhibit showcases old-style cars and the bed Abraham Lincoln died in.
The Facing Freedom exhibition portrays the stories of various struggles for freedom throughout Chicago’s history through an interesting array of photographs and artifactsCheck the Museum website before visiting and leave plenty of time to explore any temporary exhibitions. If you want a more thorough overview, there are guided tours and audio tours, both free with admission.
It’s easy to reach the museum via car or public transport, and parking is readily available. The on-site café serves light lunch, such as salads and sandwiches, an all-day breakfast, and coffee and sweets. Pick up a Chicago-themed souvenir from the gift shop, including books and toys.
During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s pen was his most powerful weapon, reflecting his changing views on slavery. Discover how his words still challenge and inspire us today and leave a legacy of hope and the eternal pursuit of human equality. More
Discover beauty in the reality of everyday urban life through the lens of this enigmatic photographer whose story is as curious and compelling as the images she captured. More
Generations of Americans have grappled with the meaning of freedom defined by the nation’s founders. Discover how the quest for equality over the past 200 years has transformed what it means to be free. More
Climb aboard L car no. 1, visit a jazz club, picture yourself in the fashions of a Marshall Field’s store window, and learn what makes Chicago home sweet home. Explore the city’s history through a series of galleries that highlight artifacts from the Museum’s remarkable collection. More
Authors of fact and fiction, prose and poetry have shaped Chicago’s identity and helped us understand the complexity of our great city. Explore this multimedia experience with diverse and inspiring works by writers, past and present. More
Abraham Lincoln may have lived in Springfield, but Chicago was his second home and political headquarters during his rise to the White House. This gallery provides a glimpse of the city that Lincoln knew—a dynamic young metropolis on the verge of greatness. More
Pulled from the darkened shelves and hidden crates of the Museum’s collection storage rooms, these remarkable objects are finally getting their spotlight, and they have some pretty amazing stories to tell. More
Use your five senses to explore Chicago, uncover the past, and discover that history is all around you. More
If Chicago’s flag had a fifth star, what would it represent? Discover highlights from the city’s past, cast your vote, and see how your choice stacks up. While in the gallery, be sure to look beneath your feet and explore Chicagoland on our wall-to-wall floor map. More
Feel the intensity of the Great Chicago Fire and splendor of the World’s Columbian Exposition. Explore the sights of bustling Maxwell Street in the 1950s and peer down from an I-beam at the top of the Sears Tower in the 1970s. Relive Chicago sports victories and cheer on President Obama during his Grant Park victory speech in this compelling adventure film. More
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: (312) 642-4600
- Monday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Tuesday 9:30 am – 7:30 pm
- Wednesday – Saturday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm
- Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
HOLIDAY MUSEUM HOURS
- January 18
- Monday – Saturday
- 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm