Chicago History Museum

The Chicago History Museum is a treasure trove of all things Chicago. With its collection of over 20 million items, including photographs, drawings, diaries, letters, costumes, textiles, sound recordings, films, books, newspapers, furniture and more, this museum will take your family back in time, from Chicago’s beginnings as a fur trading settlement to the bustling, modern city it is today. Here are seven reasons to visit the Chicago History Museum this upcoming fall.

You can learn more about Chicago’s rich musical past on a Super Saturday.

On Saturdays, September 14, October 12, and November 9, from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., families visiting the Chicago History Museum can find out more about the city’s musical past through hands-on activities, make-and-take crafts, and more with Musician and educator Lenny Marsh. This fun and education program is free with admission

You can still catch the Vivian Maier’s Chicago exhibit.

Chicago History Museum

Due to popular demand, the exhibit on photographer Vivian Maier, who captured everyday life during the 1960s and 1970s in Chicago, has been extended until January 2014. Ms. Maier was a Chicago nanny who dedicated her spare time to her love of photography.

You can take a family trolley tour back in time to the World’s Fair of 1893.

1893 World's Fair

Led by family guide Josh Eisenberg, the Chicago History Museum’s family trolley tours explore Chicago’s unique places and spaces. On Saturday, September 21, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., families are invited to follow the adventures of thirteen-year-old Rosie Beckett at the Chicago world’s fair of 1893, as told in the book Fair Weather by author Richard Peck. You’ll see the actual places she visited and discover new fair creations, from Cracker Jacks to brownies to Juicy Fruit gum.

You can celebrate Halloween with a guided Chicago history tour.

On Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., families are invited to don their costumes and celebrate Halloween with a trolley tour that delves into Chicago candy, costumes, and spooky city traditions.

You can become a Chicago Hot Dog.

At the Sensing Chicago exhibit, kids are invited to step inside a bun and experience life as a Chicago hot dog, catch a fly ball at Comiskey Park, discover history through a smell map, and more. This entirely hand-on exhibit brings Chicago history down to a kid’s level, helping them feel history through the senses.

You can build a Chicago-style bridge and trace the path of the Great Chicago Fire at the History a la Cart interactive gallery stations.

Chicago Fire

Get your hands on history with hands-on activities throughout the museum. The History a la Cart stations will give your family the opportunity to build a Chicago-style bridges, trace the path of the Great Chicago Fire, play with a hands-on model of the John Hancock building to learn the history of the city’s skyscrapers, and more. And since the stations are facilitated by Museum volunteers and staff, there will always be someone around to answer your questions and help you along.

Your kids can enter the museum for free! Museum admission is always free for kids 12 and under!

To learn more about the Chicago History Museum’s family programs or to reserve your spot in one of the upcoming family trolley tours, visit

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