When the summer temperatures are too hot to bear, nothing keeps you cooler than a visit to a local Chicago museum. From interactive museums that will indulge your sweet tooth to historical institutions with exclusive paintings on view, this list of art exhibits and experiences will inspire you all summer long.
Like our short summer season in Chicago, these experiences may only be around for a brief time. Be sure to take advantage of tickets while they last!
Museum of Ice Cream
Opening July 16th
435 North Michigan Ave.
The Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC) opens its sweetest location yet in Chicago this summer to all ages and flavors. Reimagined for an audience in need of new ways to celebrate, MOIC Chicago has thoughtfully curated a Willy Wonka-esque adventure to delight every adult’s inner kid, and excite every kid through the universal joy of ice cream. Learn about the history of ice cream in a journey sprinkled with fun facts and unique interactive installations designed specifically for Chicago, along with dessert stations, cocktails, and more in this highly anticipated summer art experience.
Prince: The Immersive Experience
Now on View
540 North Michigan Ave.
Lose yourself on an interactive, multi-sensory experience through the music and life of Prince. Journey through ten multidimensional spaces and explore a purple universe where you will step inside the iconic Purple Rain album cover, play music producer and mix one of Prince’s greatest hits in Studio A, get down to an audiovisual dance party, and much more.
Now – September 5, 2022
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago will host the first major retrospective of Paul Cezanne’s work in the United States in more than 25 years. The large work featured spans across media and genres with 80 oil paintings, 40 watercolors and drawings, and two complete sketchbooks.
Now – March 2023
Visit The Morton Arboretum’s outdoor art exhibition, Human+Nature (pronounced: Human Nature) this summer in the Chicago suburbs. Take a walk around 1,700 acres and discover sculptures by internationally renowned artist Daniel Popper. The 15- to 26-foot-tall sculptures have been created exclusively for the Arboretum inspiring awe and wonder as it connects people and trees.
Nick Cave: Forothermore
Now Open – October 2, 2022
Museum of Contemporary
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) presents a career-spanning retrospective of the internationally renowned Chicago-based artist Nick Cave. The immersive exhibition highlights never-before-seen works, new floor-to-ceiling installations, impeccably crafted fashions, dynamic video performances, and more. Haute Tip: The MCA is free for Illinois residents on Tuesdays and is open until 9 p.m. Round your visit to the galleries with live music on Tuesdays on the Terrace in the evening throughout the summer.
Frida Kahlo, Her Photos
Now – August 7, 2022
National Museum of Mexican Art
Frida Kahlo, Her Photos come from the archive of photographs that belonged to her personally and which were largely unknown. This exhibition is now at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen and is grouped thematically into six sections by a renowned Mexican photographer, curator, and historian of photography in Mexico Pablo Ortiz Monasterio. The free exhibition reveals parts of the personal history of an artist, of a country, and a period. It is a photographic collage made up of significant historical images that allow us to discover new facets of this critical figure in the 20th century.
Museum of Illusions Chicago
Museum of Illusions
The Museum of Illusions Chicago is like no place you’ve been before. Guests will enjoy more than 80 visual and educational exhibits featuring holograms, stereograms, optical illusions, and immersive rooms designed to tease the senses and trick the mind. Visit the museum for an intriguing visual, sensory, and educational experience with illusions ranging from tried and true classics to the never-before-seen.
Now on View
Willis Tower – Lower Level
The Color Factory is an experiential art museum that offers the joy of color through interactive installations, immersive rooms, and carefully curated moments. Color Factory collaborates with local artists, art institutions, nonprofits, and brand partners to tell compelling stories that make life just a little more joyful.