The Best History Museums in Chicago

The Best History Museums in Chicago

Chicago has some of the best history museum collections in America, and many of the larger museums are all located near each other in the city's downtown area. The museums in Chicago are must-see attractions, and there's always a day or weekend here when you can visit a museum or two if you're looking to get away from some bad weather or need somewhere amazing to take the kids.
The Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum of Natural History
The Field Museum is one of the largest national history museums in the world. It has impressive exhibits and educational programs as well as a large collection of specimen and artifacts. The exhibits are diverse and show fossils, cultures, and interactive programming that the whole family can enjoy.
1400 South Lake Shore Drive, South Loop, Chicago, Illinois, 60605
The Oriental Institute Museum
The Oriental Institute Museum
This small museum is run by the University of Chicago and has archaeological artifacts from up to 6,000 years ago. Pieces are from around the globe including ancient civilizations such as Assyria, Anatolia, Israel, Egypt, Persia and in the Mesopotamian.
1155 E 58th St, Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, 60637
Planning a trip to Chicago? You might also be interested in The Best Gardens in Chicago and The Best Local Museums in Chicago.
American Writers Museum
American Writers Museum
Located near Millennium Park, this unique writers museum is the first of its kind in the United States. It offers an overview on the history of American writing including a variety of genres such as fiction, poetry, journalism, and more. It highlights several specific authors and has a number of relics from the history of writing.
180 North Michigan Ave, Loop, Chicago, IL, 60601
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Money Museum
This free museum will teach you all about money. You can keep your hard earned cash while you learn all about historical currencies, how the Federal Reserve works, and more. It's a fascinating and unique museum for anybody with or without money.
230 S LaSalle St., Loop, Chicago, IL, 60604
Pritzker Military Museum & Library
This museum houses a number of artifacts, books, photographs, maps, and other items relating to the history of the American military. The museum fee includes a military themed tour and a number of exhibits on the history of American wars.
104 S Michigan Ave, Loop, Chicago, IL, 60603
Chicago History Museum
This fascinating museum has exhibits that educate visitors on the history of the city and it's unique personality. With information on everything from Abraham Lincoln to Chicago-style hot dogs, this museum offers a bit of insight into how Chicago became Chicago. There are old photographs, vintage vehicles, and plenty to explore.
1601 N Clark St., Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL, 60614
DuSable Museum of African American History
Opened in 1961, this African American history museum is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. It has a collection of artifacts that highlight the lives of important historical figures such as Ida B. Wells and Langston Hughes. There's a growing collection of pieces that range from African American art to Chance the Rapper's Grammy award.
740 E 56th Pl, Hyde Park, Chicago, IL, 60637
Museum of Contemporary Photography
This small museum is a unique place to visit. It has interesting vintage photos as well as modern works. There is an impressive collection by Dorothea Lange who photographed the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. There is also a featured exhibit that highlights Midwest photographers and their work with social issues from around the world.
600 S Michigan Ave, South Loop, Chicago, IL, 60605
Chicago has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: Where to Take your Dog in Chicago and Christmas in Chicago.
Richard H. Driehaus Museum
This grand museum offers an impressive setting with its marble floors, ornate staircases, and elegant fireplaces. It's decorated with antique furnishings and opulent art. This museum is located in the former Nickerson Mansion, often called the Marble Palace and it hosts a number of rotating exhibits and activities throughout the year.
40 E Erie St, Near North Side, Chicago, IL, 60611
How much does it cost?

Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $26 to $330. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $95. A few of the best options are below.

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