Masks required in Abakanowicz Research Center; optional for rest of Museum more

4.3 | Waterways

Chicago grew and prospered largely because of its waterways, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Both of them provided water, food, transportation, and fun for area residents. These waterways are represented on the city’s flag by two blue stripes.

The view from Lake Michigan looking west at the Chicago skyline during sunset, August 2019. Photograph by CHM Education Department

In today’s activity, discover how the Chicago River has changed over time. Then have fun creating and singing a song together about the river to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Share your song with us on social media! #CHMatHomeFamilies


The Chicago History Museum, a major museum and research center for Chicago and American history, is located at 1601 N. Clark Street. The Museum has dedicated more than a century to celebrating and sharing Chicago stories through dynamic exhibitions, tours, publications, special events and programming. The Museum collects and preserves millions of artifacts, documents and images to help audiences connect to the city and its history. The Chicago History Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the people of Chicago. The Chicago History Museum is a 2016 winner of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest award given to these institutions for their community engagement and having an impact on the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories