We’re coming up on what might be the best 48 hours in our toddlin’ town: Open House Chicago! This year’s event will take place October 14-15, 2017. Open House Chicago provides behind-the-scenes glimpses and tours of many of Chicago’s architectural gems for free. Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CFA), Open House is not just for architecture buffs. Curiosity rules the day here. Did you ever wonder what it would be like to view the city from a skyscraper that’s not normally open to the public? Are you curious about the insides of a building that you drive by each day? You can also explore new neighborhoods and learn about buildings that you didn’t even know existed. (The Maritime Museum, anyone?)
Open House Chicago
No need to run yourself ragged. You’ve got two days to explore. My family finds it best to focus one area so that we can park and walk from there. Open House is a Chicago tradition, so there’s always next year, right?
If you’re a fan of Makers, check out places like mHUB (my coworking spot) and the Chicago Print Collaborative, which will be doing etching and screen printing demos throughout the weekend.
Looking for family-friendly spots? The CAF recommends these sites.
Other themes might include houses of worship or distilleries and breweries. There’s something for everyone! Note that some sites do require advanced registration and others are only accessible to CAF members. And at several popular sites, mostly downtown, CAF membership may provide access to the front of the line, a sort of architectural fast pass.
CAF provides a useful selection tool that lets you choose a site based on neighborhood or category such as family friendly, skyscraper, sacred space, accessibility, etc.
Feeling spontaneous? Great! No reservations are needed. Just show up at one of the 200 venues around the city and look around. To be clear, though, I find it helpful to have a plan, not to mention a juice box and snack or two tucked into my bag.
Follow along on Twitter via the hashtag #OHC2017.