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.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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 March 5, 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 May 4, 2023
  • robbinreads
    Bellefonte, Pennsylvania532 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 June 4, 2023
  • Pompeylad
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom242 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 July 11, 2023
  • The_Coach55
    Ruislip, United Kingdom938 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 August 8, 2023
  • hrobinson1114
    Nashville, Tennessee2,782 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 August 19, 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 August 22, 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 October 12, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,196 reviews
Excellent
658
Very good
396
Average
104
Poor
26
Terrible
12

Judy G
Huntington Woods, MI269 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 October 18, 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 October 12, 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
Sep. 2023 • Family
Awesome! Informative and interesting for kids and the big kids! I really recommend a visit if you're on town.
Written September 20, 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
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 September 14, 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 August 22, 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, TN2,782 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 August 20, 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
Illinois1,542 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 August 14, 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, UK938 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 August 8, 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, IN730 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 July 24, 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, UK242 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 July 11, 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 1,090
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

CHICAGO HISTORY MUSEUM - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Chicago History Museum

According to Tripadvisor travellers, these are the best ways to experience Chicago History Museum: