Enhance your visit to the Chicago History Museum with an audio experience. Our app includes five tours, two of which are available in Spanish, as well as rotating selections for temporary exhibitions. Devices preloaded with the tours are included with general admission and always free for members.
Choose from three tours of our permanent exhibition Chicago: Crossroads of America, a must-see for anyone interested in stories about Chicago’s rise as a modern global city.
• Crossroads narrated by the Second City
Join actor Antoine McKay for a journey through the city’s history and meet a range of characters—some famous, some fictional. Members of Chicago’s legendary comedy troupe worked with Museum staff to develop this lively, one-of-a-kind audio tour. 45 minutes, available in English and Spanish
• Crossroads Authored
Explore Chicago’s evolution as a city from its great literary traditions. Listen to works by a dozen beloved authors, including Theodore Dreiser, Lorraine Hansberry, and Studs Terkel. See the city’s history through their eyes on a journey to the lavish display windows at Marshall Field’s in 1889, the South Side of the 1950s, and a steel mill in the 1970s, among other places. This tour adds new perspectives to the stories presented in the Crossroads exhibition. 40 minutes
• In Our Own Words
Written and performed by Lake View High School students, In Our Own Words features original interviews, period music, dialog, and dramatic readings related to stories about the Great Fire, Gangland Chicago, jazz and blues, the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and the development of the atomic bomb. 40 minutes
Explore other Museum galleries with these audio experiences.
• Chicago Authored
Writers have rendered Chicago’s reputation—good and bad—and its self-image. Explore nineteen excerpts from contemporary authors and literary giants of the past. Consider the city from four perspectives: take in a bird’s-eye view, visit homes and communities, peek through a keyhole, and reflect on what it means to be a Chicagoan. This experience invites you to skip around, listening to tracks that catch your interest. Pause at any time to explore the gallery, browse through a book, or grab a cup of coffee in our café. 60 minutes
• Facing Freedom in America
How have Americans defined freedom, and what happens when rights are given, fought over, denied, or gained? This gallery examines how conflicts over freedom have shaped the United States. Explore eight familiar and not-so-familiar stories dating from the 1850s to the 1970s. Through artifacts, audio clips, videos, and activities, each conflict is presented from the perspectives of those who lived it. xx minutes, available in English and Spanish