Experience history, together.
Stories are always better when shared. Bring your group to the Chicago History Museum and walk in the footsteps of the city’s past together. Groups of ten or more receive a discount when reserving at least two weeks in advance.
Whether you are a professional tour operator, group planner, or you simply have a lot of friends and family, we have an experience for you. Customized itineraries, Museum tours, city tours, and a variety of lunch options are just some of the ways in which we can specialize your group’s visit.
Our expert Group Sales team has carefully crafted tours that tell Chicago’s story both inside the Museum and out in the city.
- Guided Exhibition ToursLearn More
Learn the backstory and see Chicago’s past and present from a historian’s perspective with guided or self-guided tours.
Lincoln’s Undying Words | Through February 20, 2017
Discover how Abraham Lincoln’s changing views toward slavery transformed America. The exhibition explores this powerful story through five key speeches made by Lincoln between 1858–65. Rare treasures, including Lincoln’s family carriage and the bed in which he died, will be on view, supplemented by an audio program of selected excerpts from the speeches.
Lincoln’s Undying Words is presented in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois. This exhibition includes artifacts from the Chicago History Museum’s renowned John and Jeanne Rowe Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln Collection.
Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 45 people for this special exhibition
Chicago-born Mainbocher established a fashion house serving royalty, Hollywood, and the social elite. Featuring thirty garments, fashion illustrations, and photography, this exhibition explores the life and legacy of a remarkable man and his journey to become the first American couturier.
Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 50 people for this special exhibition
Highlights of Chicago
Discover the city’s vast history in Chicago: Crossroads of America. Whether you want to explore the grandeur of the world fairs of 1893 and 1933, or Chicago innovations that changed the world like skyscrapers and modern retail, or the diverse neighborhoods and lively cultural scene, this exhibition is a must see!
This is Chicago
City that Works, Second City, City of Big Shoulders–all are names the city has proudly earned. Meet the diverse people who have called Chicago home and imagined the city it is today.
From tallgrass to tall buildings, frontier town to metropolis of the Midwest, tenacity, vision, and hard work built Chicago. Explore the innovations and ideas behind the city that is second to none.
Duration: 50–60 minutes
Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 50 people for permanent exhibitions, maximum varies for special exhibitions
Cost: $16 for adults; $14 for seniors (65+) and college students
Curators Guided Tour
Get a first-hand account from one of our curators about his or her vision of a current exhibition’s scope and its development.
Group size: Minimum 10, maximum 25 people
Duration: 60 minutes
- Behind-the-Scenes Tour Learn More
Chicago’s Early Film Industry
CHM’s vast research collections document Chicago’s early film industry and movie culture. Learn more about the different production studios, movie palaces, film stars, and plot lines.
Costume Collection Tour
The Museum houses the second largest costume collection in the world. Get an inside look at upcoming exhibitions, the storage vault and rarely-seen artifacts.
Lincoln in Words
The Museum’s archives hold a rich collection of Lincoln documents and writings. While many of us know Lincoln’s more famous speeches, this behind-the-scenes tour will look at how Lincoln’s lesser-known words inspired, educated, and even angered his public.
The Secret Lives of Archives
Every collection item has a story to tell, not just about its origins, but also its life here at the Museum. Learn the “secret history” of select pieces from our collections, their colorful pasts, how they are acquired, transported, preserved, and cared for.
- Self-guided TourLearn More
Learn all about Chicago history as you stroll through the galleries at your own pace. Audio tours of Chicago: Crossroads of America are available for $2 per personGroup size: Minimum 10, maximum 100 people
Duration: 2–4 hours
- History Scavenger HuntLearn More
How much do you know about Chicago? Test your knowledge with a scavenger hunt in the Museum. This tour is ideal for team-building or for a fun way to experience history.Cost: $2 per person in addition to the self-guided tour fee.
- Guided Exhibition ToursLearn More
- Step on ToursLearn More
Explore the city with your very own guide. Groups must supply motor coach transportation.
Best of Chicago
Experience iconic Chicago including our breathtaking skyline, architectural treasures, the Magnificent Mile, theater and financial districts, and Millennium Park.
Lincoln in Chicago
Although Lincoln never lived in Chicago, the city played a crucial role in developing his political career and reputation. Explore the Lincoln family’s Chicago connection.
Chicago’s Ethnic Neighborhoods
Discover the city of neighborhoods and get a flavor for the richness of other cultures from Bronzeville to Hyde Park, Chinatown to Greektown, and Little Italy to Pullman.
Devil in the White City
Imagine the grandeur of the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 depicted in Erik Larson’s best-selling book as you tour sites from the Midway Plaisance to the Wooded Isle.
Hot Time in the City—The Great Chicago Fire
Blaze through town while visiting sites related to this amazing story of tragedy and triumph. Please leave all lanterns and cows at home.
Chicago Fashion & Lifestyle Adventures: Vintage Run Around
All that’s old is new in the hip “vintage” neighborhoods of Chicago. Whether you like vintage clothing or antiques there is a neighborhood and shops for you. Choose from Wicker Park, Bucktown, Andersonville, Michigan Avenue and Oak Street.
This is Chicago
- History Pub Crawls Learn More
Pour into the city’s famous drinking establishments for a unique perspective on Chicago history.
Chicago’s Greatest Dives
Visit the city’s celebrated dive bars and discover the history behind moonshine, bathtub gin, and other historic homemade concoctions.
Booze, Bars, and Bootlegging! Prohibition Era Chicago
Get a taste of the infamous speakeasies frequented by Chicago’s notorious gangsters. Learn how prohibition came to be and how it ultimately shaped the city and its image.
Drinkin’ With Lincoln
Lincoln, Lincoln, I’ve been thinkin’, what the heck have you been drinkin’? This three hour Abeventure includes visits to four taverns that lend themselves to discussing the life and legacy of one of our nation’s most important presidents. A historically great time is guaranteed, honestly.
- History LecturesLearn More
Working in Chicago
Learn how Chicago became known as the “City That Works” with CHM historian Peter Alter.
They Came to Chicago
CHM staff member and immigration historian Peter Alter will discuss how immigrants and refugees settling in Chicago have adapted to life in the United States while changing the city.
Chicagoans have re-imagined their city through journalism, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and a myriad of other forms. Peter Alter will talk about Chicago literature past and present while discussing prominent themes.
The Little Black Dress: A Fashion Icon
The “LBD” has origins dating back to the 1920’s designs of Coco Chanel and Jean Patou. Learn how this timeless and versatile piece has made its way into the wardrobes.
Chicago River Bridge
Discover the architectural and engineering significance of the bridges, past and present, mixed with the human dramas of bridge jumps, political battles, and destruction of bridges by flood, fire, and cattle.
City of Beer Shoulders
Tavern and beer historian, Liz Garibay, discusses the golden age of saloons and brewing and how beer and taverns yielded tremendous influence, wealth, and power over the city playing a pivotal role in social movements, labor activism, crime, politics, industry, and innovation.
Wet With Blood: The Investigation of Mary Todd Lincoln’s Cloak
Did this cloak truly belong to Mary Todd Lincoln? Is the stain on the cloak her husband’s blood? Travel back to the night of Lincoln‘s assassination with Executive Vice President and Chief Historian Russell Lewis as he uncovers the process of the investigation.
- Chicago Author Talks Learn More
WHAT THE LADY WANTS: A Novel of Marshall Fields and the Gilded Age
Visionary retail tycoon Marshall Field made his fortune wooing his customers with his motto: “Give the lady what she wants.” His legendary charm also won the heart of socialite Delia Spencer, leading to an infamous love affair.
Dollface: A Novel of the Roaring Twenties
America in the 1920s was a country alive with the wild fun of jazz, speakeasies, and a new kind of woman—the flapper.
- Walking ToursLearn More
Neighborhood Walking Tours
Tour the opulent mansions of the Gold Coast, or learn about Old Town’s colorful past.
Chicago Bridge Walking Tour
Stroll along Chicago’s Riverwalk with Patrick McBriarty the author of the book Chicago River Bridges to learn about the history of bridges in the Windy City from the first wood footbridge, built by a tavern owner in 1832, to the iconic steel and concrete structures crossing the Chicago River today.
Uncover old Chicago as you venture through one of the country’s most beautiful cemeteries.
History from the Lake
Cruise Lake Michigan and the Chicago River while you learn about the city. Presented in partnership with Chicago Line Cruises.
- Step on ToursLearn More
Groups of ten or more—social organizations, hobbyists, even huge families—can enjoy custom service and savings by booking at least two weeks in advance.
Your group will have access to a dedicated entrance, including access for motor coaches and buses. A CHM representative will meet your group, answer any questions you may have, and get your visit off to a great start.