5 Exhibits To Visit In Chicago Right Now

This year, it seems winter is closer than ever and the “fall” temperature has been steady around 40 degrees. Although it’s getting colder outside, Chicago has plenty of in-door activities (other than eating and drinking) to engage in. Getting your daily dose of culture, arts, and the humanities is easier than ever with Chicago’s wide array of museums. Many of the city’s museums are now hosting exhibits you can’t miss…below are a handful to check out this fall.

Art Institute Of Chicago

‘Thinking Of You, I Mean Me, I Mean You’ is the provocative title of the AIC’s newest exhibition; a large-sized retrospective and showing of new work by Barbara Kruger. Ms. Kruger is simply one of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. She’s known for her text and image pieces in a Pop Art/anti-consumerist vein, and the Art Institute filled up a couple of large exhibition areas with her stuff. Go see it. 

Neon + Light Museum

The rather-new Neon + Light Museum plays with our ideas about what a museum or an exhibition should be. Instead of viewing works behind railings or ropes, the NLM encourages visitors to (in their words) ‘stand in, under, and around sixty neon and light-based sculptures in a dazzling and dramatic immersive exhibition.’ 

The Museum is currently displaying works from feminist neon artist Zoelle Nagib, internationally renowned British artist Sarah Blood, and John Bannon’s incredible ‘Breathe’ sculpture among many more. It’s only open Thursday thru Sunday, but they make up for it by staying open until 10pm. Makes sense I guess, as neon is a nighttime affair!


Morton Arboretum

This exhibit isn’t inside a museum at all; it’s on the grounds of the Morton Arboretum. South African artist Daniel Popper creates large (10 to 50-foot) sculptures that reference life and the natural world, and they’ve been exhibited at places like the FIFA World Cup and the Boom psytrance festival in Portugal. Now they come to Chicagoland!

The exhibition is called ‘Human + Nature’ and it’s simply part of the timed admission schedule of the Arboretum. When you arrive, they’ll give you a map that explains the locations of all the sculptures. From there it’s up to you! A photo-worthy excursion if we do say so ourselves.


Chicago History Museum

It’s the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, and the CHM’s exhibit on the subject should be seen by any history buff. It was one of the wildest events to ever occur in the United States, and it displaced over 100,000 people. Indirectly, the Fire also affected the growth of Chicago, as wooden single-family dwellings were then replaced with brick multi-family units.

The linchpin of the exhibition is a reproduction of the giant cyclorama painting of the fire that was exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. See hundreds of artifacts, and learn about the fire’s integral part in the story of Chicago.


The Field Museum

How does a cheetah run so fast? How does a spider make a web that’s so strong? Enter ‘The Machine Inside,’ one of the most popular touring exhibitions in the history of the Field Museum. Now it’s finally home, and tells the story of biomechanics; how muscle moves and works together with organs and bone to create movement. 

Bodies move and work much like machines, and this interactive exhibit puts you right in the middle of things! Use a pump to see how a giraffe’s heart works, learn about the amazing power of fish jaws, and learn how certain animal ears act like air conditioners.


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