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History a la Cart

Engage with History

At History à la Cart stations, students to actively analyze and interpret the past. Facilitated by trained staff and volunteers, these 20-minute hands-on experiences are located throughout our galleries.

Great Chicago Fire Prairie artifactscart

Grades 3–5

CHMFTBActivityfire The Great Chicago Fire

Use an oversized map, icons, photographs and first-hand accounts to trace the events of October 8–10, 1871, and collaboratively tell the story of the fire.

CHMFTBActivityprairie Prairie Landscape

Measure and mark the height and root depth of native plants. Imagine the vastness of the prairie through images and settlers' accounts.

CHMFTBActivityskyline Skyscrapers

Discover how skyscrapers developed over time. Imagine living in the famous John Hancock Center. Explore Chicago's skyscrapers through improvisation and building activities.

CHMFTBActivityartifacts Artifacts

Discover objects through touch and discussion, then bring an adjective into the gallery and choose an artifact that matches it. Draw and write about your object, then share your opinion and find out what others think.

Bridges Maps floor mat with compass bridges

Grades 3–8

CHMFTBActivitybridge Bridges

Create, construct, and test bridges to discover how they work and why they are so important in Chicago’s history.

CHMFTBActivitymaps Maps

Map Chicago’s history on this one-of-a-kind gallery hunt. Use a compass and geography skills to connect artifacts to locations on a large, eye-catching map.

History à la Cart Schedule

For more flexibility during your visit, all stations are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis.


Generous support for the Chicago History Museum gallery activity stations has been provided by the Albert Pick, Jr. Fund. The Museum gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Carole and Gordon Segal and Bank of America, who made the maps activity station possible.

Bank of America logo

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