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Fall Family Day

Saturday, October 8

Join us for a day of activities celebrating the first-year anniversary of the City on Fire: Chicago 1871 exhibition, which explores the social, political, and economic dynamics of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

This day will offer several family-friendly activities, including a musical performance, dollmaking activities, and character-led tours of City on Fire. All events are designed to appeal to both younger and older audiences. Bring the family along for a day of fun and learning!

All events are FREE with general admission; RSVP not required


11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Hands-On History | Dollmaking with Lori Bibbs
On the 2nd floor in Chicago: Crossroads of America, behind the L Car

Join us in welcoming Lori Bibbs as she guides visitors in making dolls using easy-to-find craft materials. All materials will be provided by the Museum for free. Come learn some fun new skills you can take home with you, along with your own hand-crafted doll!

1:00–2:00 p.m.
Musical Performance | ”Fire in Boomtown”
On the 2nd floor in the Morse Genius Chicago Room

Join musicians and storytellers Amy Lowe and Megan Wells for a musical mix of commentary, theater, and history as they recount the story of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Hear about the resiliency of Chicagoans as they rebuilt and recovered following the losses from the tragic fire.

See times below
Character-Led Tours of City on Fire: Chicago 1871

All tours begin on the 2nd floor at the entrance to City on Fire

  • 10:00–10:15 a.m. – Justin Butterfield
  • 11:30–11:45 a.m. – Catherine O’Leary
  • 2:30–2:45 p.m. – Claire Innis


Harriet Jessie Peabody's doll, "Bessie," saved in the Great Fire, 1871. CHM, ICHi-064649
Letter drawing by Justin Butterfield (with his goat) of his Great Fire experiences, 1871. ICHi-063792
View of the 1871 Chicago Fire at night under full moon. Lithograph by F. Sala & Co., c. 1871. CHM, ICHi-063773
Front view of a Chicago Fire Department fire marshall helmet used during the Chicago Fire of 1871. CHM, ICHi-064110
"Memories of the Chicago Fire of 1871" by Julia Lemos, 1912. CHM, ICHi-062293
Broadside regarding aid after the Great Chicago Fire, 1871. CHM, ICHi-020590

The Details



8 th

10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60614

purchase tickets for Oct. 8
Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago Stories