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 19-20, 2019. Open House Chicago provides behind-the-scenes glimpses and tours of many of Chicago’s architectural gems for free.
Sponsored by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC), 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?
Looking for family-friendly spots? The CAC 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 CAC members. And at several popular sites, mostly downtown, CAC membership may provide access to the front of the line, a sort of architectural fast pass.
CAC 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 250 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 and Instagram via the hashtag #OHC2019.