Chicago History Museum in Chicago, IL

1601 N. Clark StreetChicago, IL 60614
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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.


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of their mysterious pasts: they may be as decadent as diamonds, as revealing as crime evidence, or as perplexing as outdated modes of transportation.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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Danville, California
"Loved it"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 21, 2017 NEW
Its a bit bawdacious to have a museum focused only on the history of the city. In fact, its the only one of its sort I have visited. Even though its unique, I still think its a "10". It doesa superb job in presenting Chicago history from the very early days to recent high points. My husband thanked me for choosing an interesting museum today. He really enjoyed it, as did I.
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"Navy Pier"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 21, 2017 NEW
Great place for a walk and an ice cream, there are dancing classes in the evenings, there are great views from the big wheel
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
"Great place to pick up historical context"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 20, 2017 NEW
I knew a fair amount of Chicago history from previous visits and reading, but I still learned about plenty of new facets of the city's history at this museum. The Crossroads exhibit was easily the most interesting to me, although there were parts I skipped over due to lack of personal interest (e.g., meatpacking). I really wish the jazz exhibit had more information - it seemed pretty lacking, and mostly just had posters and video. Some of the other exhibits didn't seem related to Chicago at all. The exhibit on betrayal and treason, for instance, was kind of interesting, but covered events around the U.S. and not just in Chicago. Other people obviously might not care as much, but I was there pretty specifically to learn about Chicago. We tried to watch the museum's film but were so turned off by the terrible acting and script in the first minute that we walked out. Seemed kid-oriented from the look of it. Overall my friend and I definitely enjoyed the museum.
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Cincinnati, Ohio
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2017 NEW
This is a jewel for those who want to know more about Chicago history and the history of things like jazz, sports, gangsters, civil rights, etc. in Chicago. I could have easily spent a day here, but we only allowed 2 hours. The exhibits are visually interesting and informative. Much can be gleaned without reading lengthy cards of information. We will need to come back. Highly recommended! I'd advise dividing your day at the museum with lunch at the adjoining cafe, which is quite good and reasonably priced. The museum is easily accessible through public transportation. We took the "L" from downtown and returned on a bus.
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Margie Z
Fishers, Indiana
"amazing museum"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed August 16, 2017 NEW
We purchased a Groupon for $11 for 2 and this was such a deal! The museum was so much more than we had expected. The exhibits were well laid out and very informative. We have been in Chicago many times but learned so much more about the city.
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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.