Chicago History Museum
Chicago History Museum
4.5
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
From Chicago's sports to politics, the Union Stockyards to the Great Chicago Fire - there's so much to explore at the Chicago History Museum. Dive right in with the Museum's exhibitions and programs or get out and explore the city through guided tours and events. Founded in 1856, the Chicago History Museum shares Chicago's stories, serving as a hub of scholarship and learning, inspiration and civic engagement. If you live in Chicago or visit here and are curious about the city's past, present and future, the museum should be your first stop.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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Top ways to experience Chicago History Museum and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: North Side
How to get there
  • Sedgwick • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • ekelleman88
    Hammond, Indiana171 contributions
    Great history lesson about the city
    Provides a great history of Chicago with all the highs and lows from the Great Fire to current day. You will learn about all the factors that led to the city's growth and expansion. Each display offers a description in English and Spanish. They have the bed that Abraham Lincoln died in, which I thought was really cool to see. And as a sports fan, I enjoyed the displays showing artifacts from each Chicago professional team. Overall I spent about 3 hours here. However, skip the video that plays in the McCormick Theater. It's very cheesy.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 5 March 2023
  • Barbara P
    32 contributions
    A Great Overview of Chicago’s Dynamic History
    We entered not knowing very much about the city and left feeling incredibly informed! Checked out a fascinating exhibit on the fire of 1871 as well as a bunch of smaller exhibits on the second floor. Loved the stately area with all the stained-glass windows — an unexpected surprise! Front desk and museum staff were very friendly.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 May 2023
  • robbinreads
    Bellefonte, Pennsylvania536 contributions
    Forst-Tike Visitors
    We spent a morning here on our first trip to Chicago and enjoyed it very much! The permanent exhibits are informative and the temporary exhibitions are well-done. I learned a lot during the visit and found that most of the interpretation was relevant and up-to-date, though they acknowledge that there are some things that they need to revise and invite feedback. My only complaint, if you could call it that, is that I would have liked a suggested walking route so as not to miss anything.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 4 June 2023
  • Pompeylad
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom247 contributions
    Excellent Museum
    Called in here to get out of the rain. Ended up staying 3.5 hours & enjoyed every minute. So much information & beautiful presented. Staff very friendly & helpful. A really great afternoon. Go have a look.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 11 July 2023
  • The_Coach55
    Ruislip, United Kingdom957 contributions
    Very Informative Museum
    Chicago History Museum is situated in the Near North Side region of the city close to Lincoln Park. From the Loop, we took the 22 bus from Dearborn & Randolph to Clark & North. There is a vast array of exhibits in the museum detailing Chicago’s importance as the crossroads of the USA. The city’s past industries are well documented. The railways, stockyards, the early days of cellphones (Motorola) and the advent of mail order shopping to name but a few. One of my favourite books, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, about a Lithuanian family’s struggle working in the city’s stockyards is nicely portrayed. Key historical events in the city receive much coverage. The fire of 1871, the sinking of SS Eastland in the Chicago River in 1915 with the loss of over 800 lives, the race riots of 1919 and the protests during the Democratic convention in 1968 are well covered. I also enjoyed the exhibits relating to Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln. We spent a couple of hours here and could easily have stayed longer. Admission fee is $19 and the museum is closed on Mondays.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 August 2023
  • hrobinson1114
    Nashville, Tennessee2,788 contributions
    The place to learn about Chicago
    Located in old village, a few miles out of the loop/tourist district, this is not the typical museum stop in Chicago. I wouldn’t call it a must see, but if you want to know more about Chicago, it’s history, neighborhoods, population, and how it became the city it is today, this would be a great start to your Chicago trip. The main reason I came here is to see the Lincoln death bed. There is also a section on Lincoln’s Chicago. There is a prominent, poignant section on the Chicago fire. It tells the history, the rebuilding, and the long term effects on the city, but most impressively the exhibit displays artifacts from the fire: knickknacks, decor, melted buckets of nails, a burned hymnal, even cookies that burned so hot and fast that they turned to charcoal cookies. There was also a section on polish Chicago, which was so large and detailed that you’d really have to have an interest in the subject. There were sections on advancement of transport (trains, rail) as well as business (Sears, Montgomery Ward, Oscar Mayer etc). They covered several historical disasters in Chicago. They had a small superficial exhibit on race and civil rights, though it was whitewashed and weak. The Chicago blues section was pitiful and put together as an afterthought. Some displays were oversimplified and almost geared toward kids. There is an actual interactive kids section. If you want to know more about Chicago, this is the place to start. Admission is 19 bucks.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 19 August 2023
  • Vanessa S
    27 contributions
    Great Museum
    We spent far longer than we anticipated at the museum. There are so many interesting exhibits, and lots to look at. We took a tour with one of the docents which was very interesting. This museum is well worth a visit.
    Visited August 2023
    Written 22 August 2023
  • MeryMeCo
    Galesburg, Illinois891 contributions
    Finally got to see the Lincoln bed!
    Living in Illinois and finally traveling to Washington DC and visiting Ford Theater and the Petersen House, I found out the actual bed where Lincoln died was in Chicago, Illinois. That trip was 8 years ago and we finally went to the Chicago History Museum today to see the bed. They have a great exhibit on the Chicago fire. Learned so much from everything there. We also liked the information about Fort Dearborn. We love history and we so happy we finally made it to the museum. It's definitely a great museum
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 October 2023
  • SUBZEROSKIDD10
    Thetford, Vermont1,012 contributions
    Chicago's Entire History In One Museum
    While it doesn’t always get the attention that is given to The Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, or the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago History Museum offers a wonderful collection of history and artifacts from hundreds of years of Chicago’s timeline. There’s something for everyone here. I particularly liked the exhibit on the Great Chicago Fire, including the maps that show how fast it ravaged the city. The dioramas were also so amazingly detailed. The museum is located right on the edge of Lincoln Park, so it is easily accessible from the Zoo. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to envision the future of Chicago by learning from its past.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
1,201 reviews
Excellent
660
Very good
397
Average
106
Poor
26
Terrible
12

VivJos
Auckland Central, New Zealand30 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
Loved this museum! Welcoming friendly staff right from the front desk, cloak room (Michael was super welcoming) through to the tour guide and the crossroads of Chicago tour. Great interactive and diverse exhibits and lots to see and learn. Great value and a Chicsho must do!
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wanda H
Mascoutah, IL270 contributions
Feb 2024 • Friends
Such a wide variety of different types of displays! The rooms are laid out extremely well. The folks at the front desk were SO helpful and courteous. Just can't say enough about this place. GO VISIT!!!
Written 6 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SUBZEROSKIDD10
Thetford, VT1,012 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
While it doesn’t always get the attention that is given to The Art Institute, the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, or the Adler Planetarium, the Chicago History Museum offers a wonderful collection of history and artifacts from hundreds of years of Chicago’s timeline. There’s something for everyone here. I particularly liked the exhibit on the Great Chicago Fire, including the maps that show how fast it ravaged the city. The dioramas were also so amazingly detailed. The museum is located right on the edge of Lincoln Park, so it is easily accessible from the Zoo. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to envision the future of Chicago by learning from its past.
Written 28 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tyshondra B
9 contributions
Jul 2023 • Business
I had hosted my first art show art event here last year in July 2023 and I paid them $300 dollars in any event , The manager of the program never got back int touch on me displaying my artwork .I feel they took my money and never heard back from them on getting connected to anyone in addition, That can me promote my artwork.
Written 13 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Christine F
Prospect Heights, IL3 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
Really interesting museum re the history of Chicago. Pleasant cafe.
Felt that the lighting could be improved overall, but especially in the first floor diorama area and in the Polish exhibit. Great place for a field trip for grammar school kids re fire prevention.
Worth a couple hour visit.
Written 3 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judy G
Huntington Woods, MI270 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
This is a thorough history of the city of Chicago and how global events and characters also shaped the region. The outside grounds are informative as well.
Written 18 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MeryMeCo
Galesburg, IL891 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Living in Illinois and finally traveling to Washington DC and visiting Ford Theater and the Petersen House, I found out the actual bed where Lincoln died was in Chicago, Illinois. That trip was 8 years ago and we finally went to the Chicago History Museum today to see the bed.

They have a great exhibit on the Chicago fire. Learned so much from everything there. We also liked the information about Fort Dearborn.

We love history and we so happy we finally made it to the museum. It's definitely a great museum
Written 12 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Voyager
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Sept 2023 • Family
Awesome! Informative and interesting for kids and the big kids! I really recommend a visit if you're on town.
Written 20 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M H
Lytham St Anne's, UK117 contributions
Sept 2023 • Solo
A fabulous museum with some incredible displays and stories. I learned so much about the history and development of Chicago. It really is a must for all visitors.
Written 14 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vanessa S
Tampa, Florida27 contributions
Aug 2023
We spent far longer than we anticipated at the museum. There are so many interesting exhibits, and lots to look at. We took a tour with one of the docents which was very interesting. This museum is well worth a visit.
Written 22 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Chicago History Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago History Museum

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