Skip to main content

Until further notice, all CAC walking tours are suspended and the Center at 111 E. Wacker Dr. is closed, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Illinois.

The Chicago Architecture Center welcomes visitors of all ages to take part in safe, family-friendly activities and marvel at our recently updated exhibits.

SUNDAY FAMILY FIELD TRIPS ABOARD CHICAGO’S FIRST LADY

On Sundays beginning September 13, book a “Sunday Family Field Trip” aboard select CAFC River Cruise departures!

“Sunday Family Field Trips” include:

  • One FREE ticket for students 14 years or younger with the purchase of each standard adult ticket at full price for the 10:30am or 1:00pm cruise departures—that’s two tickets for just $46.29 plus tax!
  • TWO special activities and challenges created by CAC Education staff to engage students during their cruise.*
    • Scavenger Hunt: Learning the story of Chicago doesn’t stop once you get off the boat! Complete the scavenger hunt to learn more about buildings you saw on your cruise, then draw your favorite and share your work with us using the tag #ChiArchitecture.
    • Build and Test a Bridge: Chicago is world-famous for its movable bridges, dozens of which are still used today. Think about the bridges you saw on your cruise to design and build a bridge of your own! Don’t forget to share your work with us using the tag #ChiArchitecture.
  • Experience The Northman Beer & Cider Garden before or after your cruise and receive one FREE kid’s meal with purchase of an adult meal of at least $10. Kid’s meal includes Chef Martin Hot Dog, chips and fountain soda or bottled water. Please show your Sunday Family Field Trip tickets when ordering to redeem this offer.**
  • One FREE student ticket to the CAC, with purchase of $5 adult admission ticket! Complement your river cruise experience with a visit to the Chicago Architecture Center’s spacious galleries, featuring hands-free exhibits. You’ll experience the world’s largest model of Chicago with more than 4,250 miniature buildings, discover world-famous skyscrapers with local roots, and explore Chicago’s unique neighborhoods.

To book your “Sunday Family Field Trip” aboard CAFC River Cruises, visit Ticketmaster.com, choose a Sunday date and select one of two applicable departure times (10:30am, 1:00pm). Students will be asked to show a valid ID during the boarding process. Cruise departures, activities, and meals are subject to availability.

*Student activities will be available upon arrival at the dock for Chicago’s First Lady Cruises.
**One free sandwich for kids with the purchase of one adult meal (minimum $10 purchase). Maximum two free sandwiches per family. Must show proof of CAFC River Cruise purchase to redeem.
***This special promotion may not be used in combination with other offers or discounts.


Family Walking Tours

Join CAC Education staff for a special walking tour for you and up to six total members of your family, for just $99!

Enjoy a special, safe walking tour experience from 45−60 minutes with one of the CAC’s expertly trained Education Guides, as they share secrets and stories behind some of the city’s most famous buildings—all just steps away from the Center at 111 East Wacker Drive.

With content curated specifically for youth ages 8 and up, the whole family will enjoy learning how Chicago grew and why it became a global capital for great architecture.

Tours are offered seven days a week, subject to availability. To book your tour of up to six people, please email groupsales@architecture.org. The CAC’s COVID-19 safety policies for walking tours apply to all private and custom tours as well, including the wearing of face coverings by all attendees.

  • Chicago: Chicago Architecture Basics
    This tour explores Chicago history through the lens of the city’s architecture. It includes visits to iconic structures that showcase why Chicago is the city of architectural innovation. Available beginning September 1, 2020.
  • Chicago: City on the Move
    Chicago’s location at a key transportation junction allowed it to grow at a rapid rate. Discover engineering breakthroughs that helped the city utilize water, rails and roads to move goods and people—from 1850 to today. Available beginning September 18, 2020.
  • 1893 World's Fair
    While the 1893 World’s Fair was held on the South Shore of Lake Michigan in mostly temporary buildings, there are sites downtown—still standing today—that date from the Fair and highlight its impact. Available beginning September 18, 2020.

Family Exploration Kits

Pick up a Family Exploration Kit when you visit with young ones, just $10 for CAC members and $15 for the general public. Each kit includes a CAC backpack filled with supplies for up to three kids: colored pencils, stickers, a guide for their scavenger hunt through the Center’s galleries and more. August 28-30, September 4-7, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27.