Chicago History Museum
Chicago History Museum
4.5
12:00 PM - 5:00 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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: North Side
How to get there
  • Sedgwick • 8 min walk
Reach out directly
See what other travellers are saying
  • David Diego Rodriguez
    Glendale Heights, Illinois6 contributions
    Chicago History in One Place!
    The Chicago History Museum provides an extensive history of Chicago from its earliest beginnings. You will learn many new facts about Chicago here. We ate at the museum cafeteria and we were pleasantly surprised at the many reasonably price menu items. Unlike many other Chicago tourist attractions, cafeteria does not try to gouge tourists with its high prices! If you go, I recommend you spend the day there so you may see most of the museum. And go to the cafeteria for the Chicago-style Hot Dog--mustard, not ketchup!
    Visited January 2020
    Written 27 January 2020
  • Taylor B
    Chicago, Illinois8,746 contributions
    So many interesting exhibits
    The Chicago History Museum has reopened. My wife and I are long-time members who live only a block away and we really missed our frequent visits. It doesn't matter whether there is a special exhibit to see. There are so many permanent exhibits, all focused on the history of Chicago. Located at 1601 North Clark Street, at North Avenue and Clark Street, in the Lincoln Park and Old Town neighborhoods, the museum features over 22 million artifacts, exhibits and interactive programming. Plus a book store and cafe. There is always something to see or something you want to see again. Like Lincoln Chicago, a glimpse of the city that Abraham Lincoln knew; Remembering Dr. King, 1929-1968, which depicts key moments in Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's work and the Civil Rights movement with special focus on his time in Chicago; Millions of Moments, the Chicago Sun-Times' photo collection of 150 images, highlights from 5 million negatives spanning the 1940s to the early 2000s; and Women's Activism in Chicago, tales of women and their struggle to earn the right to vote. More good news from the Chicago History Museum: Ground was broken in early March on a multifaceted park beautification project, construction of the Richard M. and Shirley H. Jaffee History Trail, an interpretative path through the park space to the north, east and south of the museum. And, yes, Lincoln's deathbed is still there.
    Visited March 2021
    Written 24 March 2021
  • JAB
    Chicago, Illinois167 contributions
    Colorful Chicago History Museum!
    Open Again! Went this morning with excitement to see Abraham Lincoln’s bed again. There are clear direction spots on the floors. The Museum looks spotless! So creative that you get a small stylus with a rubber end to activate exhibit screens! They really have thought this through! Amazing.. There is stained glass from multiple places around Chicago hanging. A Medina exhibit, facts on the Pullman strike, and create a living room from a bygone time. Chicago pictures that surely will have you smiling. 1893 WORLD’S FAIR which had the very first Ferris wheel! It was built right here in Chicago! A Cafe to have food and drink. A great place to see when you’re in town.
    Visited July 2020
    Travelled solo
    Written 10 July 2020
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.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,194 reviews
Excellent
656
Very good
396
Average
104
Poor
26
Terrible
12

Voyager
Chicago, IL1 contribution
Sep 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, UK115 contributions
Sep 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.

hrobinson1114
Nashville, TN2,766 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
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.
Written 20 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.

Dave C
Illinois1,523 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
2-story museum where a big majority is on the second floor. Sizable section with a walk-through of Chicago's main events and ways of life starting with the founding over 200 years ago to today. A separate section on Chicago retailers. A big exhibit on the Chicago fire of 1871. They have a kids' hands-on play area; not very big. Very informative; yet not a lot of hands on stuff. I say you'd spend about 2-3 hours learning about Chicago. When we went; there was a big temporary exhibit on Polish Chicago (there are more Polish people in Chicago than any other city outside of Poland).
Written 14 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.

The_Coach55
Ruislip, UK926 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 8 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.

Davanrn
South Bend, IN723 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
We stopped here on a visit to the city. It is a small facility with a few exhibits. Well done but not a lot of artifacts to bolster the stories told. Admission $19 for adults. Worth a few hours to see.
Written 24 July 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.

Pompeylad
Portsmouth, UK241 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
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.
Written 11 July 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.

William M
Vancouver, Canada72 contributions
Jun 2023
Every great city has a story and Chicago's story is like the script for a wide screen blockbuster movie. Displays at the Chicago History museum start with the city's tent and log home beginning, through growth, destruction by fire and it's rising again Phoenix like into the shinning high rise architecturally astonishing gem we see today. TIP: Start on the second floor and walk through the story of a place many thought they knew. Come out with a renewed appreciation of this metropolis at the tip of Lake Michigan. The first floor has interactive displays geared to delight and stimulate children. Don't miss the gift shop offering the expected array of interesting souvenirs but also a wide array of books that will give you even more detail on this city's remarkable history. Cheers
Written 29 June 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.

Travel246429
14 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
On last day I wanted to see museum but didn’t have time to pay & see exhibits. I was able to see in the entrance foyer all the newspaper pictures & stories which were very interesting. It was worth the stop & then from here you can explore the park which included the Lincoln statue.
Written 5 June 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)

Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Mon 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Tue - Tue 9:30 AM - 9:00 PM
  • Wed - Sat 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Chicago History Museum tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 6 Chicago History Museum tours on Tripadvisor