Open today 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Celebrate Chicago’s 180th Birthday


Family-friendly day includes live music, a special ceremony and complimentary Eli’s Cheesecake

On March 4, 1837 Chicago was incorporated as a city. Join the Chicago History Museum and The City of Chicago for a day of four-star fun, family activities and performances in celebration of Chicago’s 180th Birthday.

The celebration takes place at the Chicago History Museum on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum admission is FREE for Illinois residents on this day. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

The official birthday ceremony program begins at 11 a.m. with guest speakers.

Attendees are invited to celebrate the winners of the annual essay contest that honors Chicago’s first permanent resident, Jean Baptist Pointe DuSable. One lucky student will step up to the microphone to read their winning essay.

Following the commemorative ceremony, Eli’s Cheesecake will be served with lemonade and special certificates will be available for individuals born on March 4 (while supplies last).

Carl Sandburg’s iconic poem “Chicago,” will be on display to coincide with the city’s 180th birthday. Visitors to the Museum can see the poem, handwritten by Sandburg in 1959 nearly 50 years after its first publication, on display in the exhibition, “The Secret Lives of Objects,” throughout its duration.

The Museum is offering a 20 percent discount on all levels of membership as a special birthday promotion to visitors who sign up on-site.

Event details are subject to change. To find a regularly updated schedule visit

Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


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’s 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

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