What will my students see?
During field trips, teachers and chaperones lead their groups on self-guided experiences through the Museum’s exhibitions. We encourage groups to explore our galleries at their own pace and stop at student-friendly activities along the way.
The Exelon Wing
Chicago: Crossroads of America
Explore Chicago’s changing economy, challenging crises, diverse neighborhoods, groundbreaking innovations, and lively cultural scene in six galleries.
KPMG and Paul and Katherine Snyder Community Gallery
Vivian Maier's Chicago
Through summer 2013
Come witness the life work of a nanny turned photographer that wowed the world with breathtaking images of everyday life in Urban America. Discover Chicago faces and neighborhoods of the 1950s and 1960s from an entirely new vantage point.
Through January 6, 2013
Discover Chicago's place in American magic. Settle down in the object theater and meet Greta, a little girl who visits a wonderful store hoping to learn a magician's secrets. Next door, explore a collection of magical artifacts and activities for young magicians that will inspired amazement and delight.
Konen Family Children's Gallery
Did you know that history is beautiful, noisy, rough, stinky, and delicious? In this gallery, students can use their five senses to:
- Ride a high-wheel bicycle.
- Hear the Great Chicago Fire.
- Catch a fly ball at Old Comiskey Park.
- Smell the city's past.
- Be a Chicago-style hot dog.
Recommended for grades 3 and 4. Due to the popularity of this gallery, special reservations for a 30 minute time slot are required. Please indicate your interest on the field trip reservation form.
Tawani Foundation Diorama Hall
Imagining Chicago: The Dioramas
Visit our beloved dioramas to experience the first 100 years of Chicago’s history. Hands-on activities challenge students to look closely at the scenes, find specific details, and put history into a larger context.
The Naphtali ben Yakov Pritzker American History Wing
Inspired by the idea that the history of the Unites States has been shaped by conflicts over what it means to be free, the new permanent exhibition Facing Freedom, designed especially for middle and high school students, uses images, artifacts, and interactivity to explore familiar and not-so-familiar stories from the nation’s past. From a Civil War battle and the formation of labor unions to Japanese internment and a stand-off over American-Indian rights, the exhibition highlights some of the ways Americans have struggled to define the meaning of freedom.
Recommended for middle and high school students.
Sanger P. Robinson Gallery
Catch a glimpse of the city Lincoln knew through portraits of his contemporaries and lithographic view of 1860s Chicago.
This exhibition highlights Lincoln’s election in 1860, his leadership during the Civil War, and his tragic assassination in a series of dramatic windows and audio narration.
Kovler Family Lobby
What's the most surprising thing about a collection made up of millions of artifacts? A single artifact! This world-class collection holds the second largest costume collection in the world including clothing and accessories as well as thousands of linear feet of archives and manuscripts that make up the equivalent of forty-nine football fields or twelve Willis Towers. Unexpected Chicago is a way to reveal unexpected treasures of Chicago history a single artifact at a time.
Unexpected Chicago is supported by a gift from The Jacob and Rosaline Cohn Foundation.
Benjamin Green-Field Gallery
Opens October 21, 2012
Explore the Jewish community's rich history and contributions to the city's growth and development, through personal stories, rare artifacts, and engaging multimedia presentations.
Skyline Gallery, Bessie Green-Field Warshawsky Gallery, and Mazza Foundation Gallery
Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair
Opens March 16, 2013
Relive the experience of the Ebony Fashion Fair in this one-of-a-kind exhibition. Explore its fifty-year history, and discover how Eunice Johnson overcame adversity to bring high couture fashion to African American communities, while raising millions of dollars for charities along the way. More than sixty garments, including works by Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, Stephen Burrows, Yves Saint Laurent, and Patrick Kelly, help tell the story of this world-renowned fashion show and its redefinition of American beauty.
This series of installations promotes exploration throughout the Museum!
- Imagine riding low and slow in our custom-made, tricked-out 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
- Learn about Abraham Lincoln and see his deathbed.
- Play Street Smarts, a game that challenges students to match events with the intersections where they took place.