Open today 9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Family Design Day at CHM

Saturday, November 10

Inspired by our newest exhibition Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America, join us for a day of creative expression that invites families to design, make, and share throughout the Museum. Explore the exhibition, go on an artifact hunt, and create your own mini Zephyr train. Test out and learn more about design principles at our maker cart.

This event is presented as part of Near North Design Day, an all-ages day of discovery and activities that draw on iconic Chicago design objects and interiors. Be sure to visit our partner sites, including the DePaul Art Museum, Edgar Miller Legacy, and Newberry Library.

Event Schedule

10:00 a.m.- Noon
Start your day with a family-friendly morning reception. Make your own diorama with a mini Zephyer train at our make-and-take craft station. Try out family yoga and movement set to live music from Latin-fusion band A Flor de PielAfterwards, join a design-inspired interactive drum circle together!

1:00-3:00 p.m.
Gallery Design Journey
Explore our Modern by Design exhibition and the rest of the museum through fun, self-guided, design-focused activities.

Maker Cart
Test out and learn more about design principles at our maker cart.

Design a Collage
Unleash your creativity and apply elements of design with graphic artist Mario Lucero, while crafting your very own 2-dimensional collage.

Balloon Art and Face Painting
Learn more about what it takes to be a balloon artist from the award winning Smarty Pants and see balloon twisting techniques inspired by modern design. The Lovely Miss Dena will be there for amazing kids face painting.

3:00 p.m. | Chicago by Design: Past, Present, and Future
Panel Discussion, McCormick Theater

Join us for an engaging conversation centered around the yesterdays and tomorrows of design in Chicago. Inspired by the Chicago History Museum’s newest exhibition Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America, this program explores themes of mass-production, innovation, and resilience through time.

This panel discussion will delve deeper into the critical role design has played (and continues) to play in consumer sales, urban spaces, and everyday life. Panelists include:

  • Carlos Herrera, senior store concept designer for Starbucks
  • Anijo Mathew, associate professor at IIT Institute of Design
  • Olivia Mahoney, senior curator at the Chicago History Museum
  • Craig Stevenson, visual designer, educator, and arts and culture advocate

Architect, educator, and advocate Alicia Ponce-Nuñez will moderate. Ponce-Nuñez is the founder and principal at APMonarch, an architecture and design firm specializing in sustainability.

All Day
Visit Modern by Design: Chicago Streamlines America  to find out more about Chicago’s important role in bringing modern design to the masses. See a Farmall tractor, Radio Flyer Wagon, and more!

Be sure to visit the Chicago Authored Lounge which will feature design-inspired activities and books.

Check out the Museum’s North and Clark Café which features a kids menu. Bringing your own lunch? The Crown Family Room has picnic-table seating and is conveniently located near restrooms and vending machines!

All activities are free and open to the public. General admission seating for talks and performances. First-come, first-served.

Near North Design Day is presented as part of Art Design Chicago, an exploration of Chicago’s art and design legacy, an initiative of the Terra Foundation with presenting partner The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

The Details



10 th

10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Event Location

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum Sharing Chicago's Stories