5 Chicago Museums to Try

The sun isn’t shining, and there’s a chorus of “I’m bored!” coming from the family room.

Time to head to the museum. We’ve got five great Chicago-area suggestions that you may not have tried:

National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th St., Chicago
312-738-1503

First opened in 1987 as the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, this Pilsen destination is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets and an excellent cultural institution. Home to some of the best Mexican art and cultural artifacts in the country, the museum offers Family Sundays programming, along with permanent and traveling exhibitions, theater, dance and music productions.

 

Museum of Broadcast Communications
360 N. State St., Chicago
312-245-8200

It’s one of just three museums in the country dedicated to the television arts and is in a brand new space in the heart of downtown. Check out artifacts like “Oprah’s door” from Harpo Studios, the original Charlie McCarthy digital archives and more.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago
312-280-2660

When people think art in Chicago, it’s usually the Art Institute that comes to mind—that’s cool. But the MCA shouldn’t be overlooked. Great family programming every second Saturday of the month, including scavenger hunts and hands-on art fun, along with one of the coolest museum shops in the country, make this a great place to visit.

 

Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows
600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
312-595-7437

This is a great place to visit if just for the location—put the kiddos in the car and head to Navy Pier, but this time, make a point to actually walk through this fantastic exhibit of stained glass at the eastern edge of the pier complex.  It’s a great slice of our local history, as most of the windows come from the Chicago area. And really—can you call yourself a Bulls fan until you’ve visited the stained glass tribute to Michael Jordan?

 

Driehaus Museum
40 E. Erie St., Chicago
312-482-8933

Want to escape into the past for a few hours? Try the Driehaus—situated in a 19th century residence just steps away from the hustle and bustle of the Mag Mile. Originally the mansion of a Chicago banker, it’s been restored with artistic integrity and features some of the best examples of historically appropriate artifacts and interior design. The best part of this museum, however, lies in its innovative programming, including music and theatrical readings.