Chicago History Museum in Chicago, IL

1601 N. Clark StreetChicago, IL 60614
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Overview

Located near North Avenue Beach, The Second City and more, Chicago History Museum offers a fun and interactive attraction for families, groups and couples alike to learn about The Windy City’s rich history. Visitors can visit exciting exhibits like “Sensing Chicago”, which allows guests to ride a high-wheel bicycle, catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park, learn about Great Chicago Fire and more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Chicago Travel Experts
  • Features a 22 million-piece collection of historical artifacts, documents, photographs, and more.
  • Admission includes an audio tour.
  • Children ages 12 and younger are free.
  • Museum parking is $9 with validation.

Description

from Chicago History Museum
Located at the intersection of Clark Street & North Avenue in Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum has an impressive 22 million-piece collection of historical artifacts, documents, and photographs, as well as a world-renowned costume collection.

Admission includes access to all exhibitions in the Museum, including audio tours, and The Secret Lives of Objects, a special exhibition that features over 40 objects and artifacts that have emerged from the museum’s protected vaults, and offer hints of their mysterious pasts: they may be as decadent as diamonds, as revealing as crime evidence, or as perplexing as outdated modes of transportation.

The Kid’s Gallery exhibition, Sensing Chicago, enables young visitors to explore Chicago’s history through their five senses. The Museum’s newest exhibition, Lincoln’s Undying Words explores the powerful story of Abraham Lincoln’s transformation through five key speeches made between 1858 and 1865. Rare treasures, including Lincoln’s family carriage and the bed in which he died, are on display supplemented by an audio program of selected excerpts from the speeches.

Reserve Chicago Customer Reviews

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Lavarcham
Poulton Le Fylde, United Kingdom
"Good way to connect with the city"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed January 15, 2019 NEW
There were several permanent exhibitions about the history and development of the city. In the section on blues and jazz, I had a nice conversation with John who was a volunteer/intern. He took the trouble to give me a close up perspective of the roots of blues and jazz and the conditions that the majority of those who came here to Chicago from the south. It brought to mind the series of 60 paintings on the migration by Jacob Lawrence that we saw in Washington at the Phillips Collection.
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Tim G
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
"It’s very proud of Chicago"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 12, 2019 NEW
Two floors of galleries, most interesting though a bit too gloomy on the lighting levels for my eyes, making captions rather difficult to read. The content is good, and the pride in their city and people comes across in bucketsful. As a railway enthusiast I was astonished to find the old Baldwin loco Pioneer, but there is so little information provided. I had to read Wikipedia afterwards! I was museumed-out after an hour and half, but there’s enough to see for a couple of hours. Don’t miss it.
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DinahGO
Ilkeston, United Kingdom
"Truly terrible lighting"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed January 12, 2019 NEW
Firstly we found the staff friendly and helpful on arrival. This is an interesting museum with a lot of hard facts on the life and times of Chicago and her inhabitants. Very interesting but..... We found the lighting for many of,the exhibits atrocious. Fully aware that many exhibits have to be protected but, leaving that aside, with lighting coming from behind and there being no way of preventing yourself casting a shadow over the reading matter it became impossible to grasp most of the facts. Sadly I have to say that the above really spoilt our visit and I couldn’t recommend without warning
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um1986
Rochester, New York
"Gem of a museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 11, 2019 NEW
This is a terrific museum with well presented exhibits about key points in Chicago history. The guides are so knowledgeable and passionate about the city and its contributions. We joined guided tours about the museum in general (covered key points in establishment of the city, the world fairs, the Pullman car company, the 1968 Democratic convention, among other things) and about how the blues came to and evolved in Chicago. The children's programs, which we overheard as we wandered through the museum, were highly interactive and again with excellent guides. A real must-visit.
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Richard L
"Yes!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 08, 2019 NEW
You must make this place a priority, to get a good idea of old Chicago. Excellent museum with lots of interactive items for kids.
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Chicago History Museum is located at 1601 N. Clark StreetChicago, IL 60614
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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago History Museum

How much is parking?
Public parking is conveniently located one block north of the Museum at Clark and LaSalle Streets; enter on Stockton Drive. The cost is $9 with Museum validation; Visa, Mastercard, and Discover credit cards are accepted.

Is the museum wheelchair accessible?
Yes, the Chicago History Museum welcomes all visitors and is committed to making its programs and services accessible to everyone.

Do you offer wheelchair rentals?
They do offer wheelchairs for your use free of charge; please inquire at the Ticket Desk. Supply is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Does my admission include an audio tour?
Yes, you can stop by the Visitor Center for iPods preloaded with our five tours, two of which are available in Spanish, as well as rotating selections for temporary exhibitions. To take the Museum’s tours home, purchase the Chicago History Museum app for your Apple or Android device. It’s only $1.99.

Is my child under 12 years old need an admission ticket?
Children 12 and younger are free.

Does the museum offer a place to eat?
They have the North and Clark Café which features a diverse menu of soups, salads, sandwiches, items from the grill and more.Enjoy all-day breakfast, an assortment of snacks and delicious Intelligentsia coffee and tea. The Café also has a kids’ menu.

Is there a gift shop?
Yes, in the Museum Store, you’ll find books, DVDs, children’s toys, and more—all relating to Chicago and its history.