Chicago History Museum

Chicago, IL

Capacity: 251-300 | WEBSITE | PHONE

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Amenities + Details

  • Handicap Accessible

  • Indoor

  • Outdoor - Not Covered

  • Reception Area

For more details about amenities, please message the Venue.

Price Range

$$$ – Moderate

Guest Capacity



Museum, Historic Venue


Contact Info

1601 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL

TL; DR – beautiful spaces, easy parking, FANTASTIC staff!

Reviewed on 10/21/2015 Esther W

My husband and I got married here in July 2015. If I had to plan another wedding (which I hope doesn't happen anytime soon!), I’d come back to CHM. Yes, they have gorgeous indoor and outdoor spaces, but it’s more than that. The staff was professional in every sense, and the... Read More whole process—from the initial paperwork to the very end of the reception—went smoothly. Communication was easy peasy; I usually got a reply the same day of sending my e-mail. I don’t know if every event place does this, but I really liked that once you sign the contract, they send you a detailed timeline for milestones, such as payment due dates, when your beverage order should be finalized, when you should have your rehearsal, etc. Another great thing is that since CHM has been hosting events/weddings for years, they know a lot of vendors and a lot of vendors know how to work with them. My then-fiancé and I had no idea where to start with flowers, and the list of suggested florists that came with our registration packet was very helpful – it had florists for a range of budgets, and we eventually chose one from that list. There are certain rules for the space since it’s a museum (conservation first!), so our florist already knew when he could deliver them to the museum and to not bring feathers or loose dirt. A big reason why we chose CHM is because we wanted a one-stop wedding in order to make things easier for our guests, especially the elderly and the out-of-towners. The museum has a parking garage, so your guests don’t have to hunt for parking in this notoriously spot-scarce area. They pick up a validation ticket at the reception, a CHM staff member tallies the total amount taken by your guests, and then you pay for that amount. One more thing of note – we started the process with Jessie P., and Jessica T. took over when she left. The transition was pretty much seamless with Sarah N. answering questions in the interim; there were no delays with wedding planning.

Perfect in Every Way

Reviewed on 9/25/2014 Krista H

We had such a lovely time planning and hosting our wedding with Chicago History Museum. The process ran smoothly from the moment we first scheduled our viewing (which was scheduled for the afternoon after I made my first phone call) to the last minutes of our wedding reception... Read More (when CHM staff packed up the entire room, leaving my parents only responsible for driving up to the loading dock to accept the boxes of our belongings.) No detail was overlooked, and as we reflect on the evening, we can say that our evening was simply -- perfect. Our wedding coordinator, Sarah N., is a professional who knows how to oversee a flawless event while simultaneously keeping a calm (and fun!) demeanor. Through the planning process, she outlined all deadlines for payment, etc. up front, but was considerate enough to send reminders in the days leading up to those deadlines, to ensure I hadn't forgotten them in the midst of all other details. A month prior to the wedding day, CHM hosted an 'event walk-through' where all vendors could gather together to play out the evening and ensure that every piece was considered, and that we had a voice into it all. This part was crucial for me, as I got to witness how well CHM works with its caterers (they have four from which you can select) and I knew our guests were in good hands. On the actual wedding day, our ceremony + cocktail hour plans were changed as it was pouring outside, and we would not be enjoying the outdoor plaza. But again, the staff was gracious and accommodating in ensuring Plan B was just as desirable. They even allowed us to take over the indoor space for family pictures / lingering until the ceremony began, while they somehow managed to set everything up in the background - without us even noticing they were there. Lastly, the kindness of the staff is something worth noting. The bartenders and front desk staff members were welcoming, professional and attentive, and even complimented us on having such nice friends and family. It was humbling to hear that we were represented well, and that all parties enjoyed the evening. I highly recommend using CHM to host a wedding. Nothing was overlooked by Sarah and the CHM staff, and it's my pleasure to say that outside of the weather (which unfortunately CHM does not control) I did not worry about a thing the entire day. The only thoughts claiming my attention were centered around celebrating with my friends, family and new husband - and that alone was worth spending the extra money it took to host it here.

A Fairy Tale Wedding Venue!

Reviewed on 8/23/2014

Venue: CHM was my dream venue! It's a classic venue with immeasurable character, rooted in rich history and serviced by great people. Our guests raved about the venue all night and thanks to CHM, we have hundreds of timeless photos and memories that we will cherish for many... Read More decades to come. My favorite things about the venue have to be the plaza pillars, museum exhibit, checkered reception floor, Frank Lloyd Wright stain glass and the Robinson gallery! The great thing about CHM is that even if you're stuck inside due to the weather (as we partially were!), you're still surrounded by beauty and so many great photo opportunities. Service: CHM has incredible service. I'm not sure if Jessie, our venue coordinator, ever slept because whenever I emailed to ask her a question, she'd get back to me within the hour, day or night. My husband and I planned our Chicago wedding from London to make sure our hometown friends and family could attend. I didn't realise how important it'd be to have someone like Jessie help us along the way but given the added challenge of planning from afar, I don't know what we would have done without her! We had a day of coordinator as well but having someone who knows your event space inside and out on your wedding day was incredibly helpful. Price: Quick tip: There are a few things to keep in mind about the price with CHM. When you book with CHM, you are committing to pay the price to rent the venue and to buy your alcohol package through CHM. You're also committing to go with 1 of a few caterers approved by the venue and lastly, you are responsible for renting the furniture you need on your wedding day. (CHM can source the equipment you need, if you wish to rent furniture through them.) CHM makes this very clear before you sign anything. However, I'd just recommend that you estimate how much each of these things might cost as making the commitment to the venue will affect other decisions that you make.

Reviewed on 10/25/2016 Zhongying J

This venue is the best! We chose it for a few reasons: 1.) It has indoor and outdoor spaces, both of which are equally beautiful. Since weather in Chicago can be unpredictable, the team here really knows how to execute well for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies up until just a... Read More few hours before the actual wedding. It was important to us to have our guests transition easily from an indoor ceremony to an outdoor cocktail hour back to an indoor reception all in one spot, and this was ideal for that. 2.) You will have beautiful, versatile photo opportunities that incorporate both ends of the spectrum - the gorgeous greenery of the Lincoln Park and the classic architecture of the building itself. 3.) The details of the space - there are several chandeliers, a black and white marble dance floor, and stained glass windows displayed all around the room. We didn't have to invest a ton of time or $ into decor because the space was so beautiful on its own! There are also a few exhibits that our guests enjoyed viewing during the cocktail hour - an old train car, a few portraits, etc. The team here was excellent to work with and gifted us a membership to the museum so we can come re-live this day whenever we are feeling nostalgic! Can't recommend highly enough.

Reviewed on 10/17/2016 Dania S

We had an amazing experience for our Hindu wedding at CHM. Because fire is a key part of the ceremony, we had to have the ceremony outside, but we still wanted to have the comfort of an indoor reception. CHM had a perfect combination of outdoor and indoor spaces. Both were... Read More beautiful. My husband even got to do his baraat right there through the park. The staff at CHM were total professionals. If there were any problems, which I'm sure there were, I had no idea.

Reviewed on 10/17/2016 Michael A

We just had our wedding at the Museum. It was the perfect venue, the staff was amazing to work with, the setting, the food, the décor, everything was done right! Best thing, our Guests all loved the venue and were very complimentary. I would recommend to anyone looking for a... Read More classic Chicago wedding!

Reviewed on 10/17/2016 Michael M

My wife and I got married here on a Friday evening in June 2016. 95% of our guests were from out of state so to have our wedding here was absolutely spectacular! We had our ceremony outside on the plaza and the exhibit opened during cocktail hour - every aspect blow our guests... Read More away. Even weeks after, our guests were still talking about our wedding and the beautiful venue. The staff was great as well. They were so helpful from beginning to end and the day went by so smooth and easy.

Reviewed on 10/16/2016 Blythe D

The staff at the Chicago History Museum are great to work with and extremely organized! Not only is the space and venue beautiful but Jessica was so easy to work with. She is very timely on responding to calls or emails and is very helpful day-of in making sure things run... Read More smoothly. We did not have a wedding planner and didn't feel we needed one since Jessica was so helpful. We got many compliments on the breath-taking space and it was wonderful to have our cocktail hour outside on the patio. The space was also big enough to accommodate our 200 guest list! We are so glad that we were able to throw the biggest party we will ever have at the was truly the best day of our lives!

Reviewed on 10/12/2016 Aideen S

We got married back in August and the only way to describe the day was magical. The events space was a perfect space and was big enough to accommodate our guests (around 120), but still felt really intimate. Erica R and the entire events staff were superb. It was an... Read More unforgettable day at an unforgettable location. We had our first date at CHM and our proposal there so this space has so much meaning in our lives and we know we can always go back on anniversaries which is really comforting to us.

Reviewed on 10/12/2016 Diana T

Recently married at the Chicago History Museum in June. Finding a good outdoor venue in Chicago is rare and this was really important to me. It turned out perfectly and was literally my dream wedding. The staff was super helpful and were willing to do whatever it took to make my... Read More day perfect. My guests continued to talk about the venue and how unique it was. Would highly recommend it!

Reviewed on 9/27/2016 Sarah G

My wife and I were recently married at the CHM on their outdoor patio. CHM already had a reception booked for the evening of our wedding date, but offered up their venue in the afternoon for a ceremony. The outdoor patio offers a beautiful scene for the guests, we didn't feel... Read More the need to bring in additional flowers or decorations, which helped us keep within our budget. The CHM staff was AMAZING. They made us feel at ease and did a fantastic job of keeping my wife and I separated pre ceremony. We received multiple compliments from our guests regarding our choice in venue for the ceremony. We would highly recommend this venue for either a ceremony or reception, or both!

Reviewed on 9/24/2016 Evva H

The Perfect Wedding Venue The Chicago History Museum is really the perfect wedding venue. We had our daughter's wedding there in mid-September, with the ceremony outdoors on the adjacent Uhlein Plaza, surrounded by trees. After the cocktail hour in the elegant Robinson... Read More Gallery, we had dinner and dancing in the Chicago Room, with its stunning Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright stained-glass windows. CHM is an architectural gem, both inside and out. This venue is greatly enhanced by the outstanding professionalism and dedication of the staff. Jessica T. was a real pleasure to work with, and she patiently guided us through the decision-making process. She was readily responsive to our emails and phone calls for advice. There were excellent vendor recommendations for florists, etc, and they accommodated our need to use an outside caterer due to dietary needs. There was a delivery delay at the last minute due to one of our vendors, and Jessica responded in the most amazing way, to quickly remedy the problem. Although there are less expensive venues, CHM is certainly one of the best. You will feel comfortable with your experience every step of the way, with the peace of mind that you're in the best of hands. The outcome will be truly spectacular, and your family and guests will be delighted.

Reviewed on 8/05/2016 Kelly H

My husband and I had our reception at the Chicago History Museum in June 2016. While it was the most amazing day, it was really all the days leading up to it that made CHM such a great place to have our wedding. The staff, particularly Elliott, were patient, helpful, and very... Read More responsive to any and all requests. They were incredibly accommodating. It seemed like they had relationships with all the vendors so everyone was able to work together easily without me feeling like I had to coordinate everything. The space is beautiful and did not feel too full with our 225 guests. Our guests raved about this venue!

Reviewed on 3/14/2016 Jennifer S

The CHM, and especially Sarah, were just phenomenal. In and of itself the venue is just spectacular, from the glamorous Chicago Room with it's black and white checkerboard floor flanked by wood floors and stained glass on either side, to the Robinson Gallery and the Crossroads... Read More of America exhibit. Guests enjoyed the exhibit, and even those who chose to keep drinking and eating outside of it were able to to have plentiful space to talk and catchup up, or take in the artifacts. The center section of the Chicago Room was the perfect dance floor, and the bar in the Gallery was close enough to not break up the flow, but just outside the dance floor to give you a breather. In addition to the uniqueness and beauty of the space, the whole team was wonderful. Sarah made everything so easy in the leadup, and when one of the suppliers had an issue with the beer we chose, she threw in the second beer (now a replacement) for free without any inquiring. At the end of the night, the staff was incredibly efficient in packing up and helped carry everything to the car so as to let myself and parents just enjoy the night. It's certainly not the cheapest option, and despite unseasonably warm December weather, we really didn't get to utilize the outdoor area, but we wouldn't have changed a thing. Thank you CHM!

Reviewed on 11/16/2015 Katie

My husband and I got married at the Chicago History Museum in July 2015 and could not have asked for a better experience! We immediate fell in love with the classic, timeless space, stained glass, black and white checkered floor, and stunning terrace. Throughout the wedding... Read More planning process, I was impressed by Jessie P and Jessica T's knowledge of the industry, professionalism, genuine nature and dedication to helping us best optimize the space for our guest count. It rained just hours before guests were to arrive, causing us to move the ceremony and cocktails inside at the last minute and was blown away with the experience and professionalism the CHM staff exhibited in flipping the space seamlessly and thoughtfully! My guests had no idea that we were operating on "Plan B" and it was a completely stress free experience for me. The evening turned out better than I ever could have imagined and I cannot say enough good things about this venue and the staff. Thank you Jessica T and the whole CHM staff for creating such beautiful memories for us and our guests! I highly recommend this venue! We loved it!

Reviewed on 10/31/2015 Courtney W

We had our October 3rd wedding here and everything was just perfect! Sarah and Melanie at the History museum kept in touch with us constantly and made sure every detail was taken care of! The venue is beyond beautiful. My now husband and I love Chicago and having our wedding... Read More here was the perfect way to incorporate our love of the city and Chicago history. The rooms are beautiful and showcase any sort of decor and floral you want. We also had our ceremony at the museum and the stained glass windows give it just enough "church" feel. I cannot express how wonderful everything was and how beautiful.

Expectations met and more

Reviewed on 10/30/2015 Rena L

From the beginning, my husband and I knew we wanted to have a city wedding since we met -and our relationship blossomed- in Wicker Park. Walking into the Chicago Room for our 1st appointment the space took our breath away and we immediately knew we'd take whatever day was open... Read More in the fall (which was 16 months away from our engagement and also happened to be the Chicago Marathon weekend). I started working with Jessie Pare (who unfortunately is no longer there) who was immediately there for every inquiry, no matter how mundane, and also gave me recommendations for vendors (floral/DJ/photographers/officiant/lighting/etc) which was beyond helpful during the initial planning stages. I like how CHM limits their catering options (we went with Jewell and have no regrets!) as I feel you'll get quality service no matter who you choose since they have that relationship with CHM and they meet their standard of excellence. Our only disappointments were with the bar and exhibit rental. It's mandatory to contract the bar through CHM as it seems to be pricey comparative to other city venues and we felt a little nickeled and dimed (i.e. we had pay for garnishes for specialty cocktails if we chose to have them). The exhibit rental was quite expensive if you look at it from a $500/hr perspective. If it was open for the duration of our event, and not just cocktail hour, or even better communicated by the staff that the exhibit was only open during cocktail hour it would have been a much better experience for our guests and a better investment on our part. However...back to service...later on in the process I worked with Melanie and it was amazing how quickly she picked up on months of past communications with Jessie prior to her departure and all the details that went into our wedding. It was as if I started working with her from the beginning. She also created a payment timetable that was extremely helpful since the venue, bar, and some of the rentals were all contracted through CHM. I also liked how CHM was able to hold our decor items in advance, meet handicap needs, have the capability to have either an indoor or outdoor ceremony and accommodate a week-prior walk-through (along with your definitely calms some pre-wedding nerves!) as well as a rehearsal (if there isn't an event scheduled that day). All the spaces were just exquisite. From the North End of the Chicago Room with its stained glass windows, where we had our ceremony, to the all-white Robinson Gallery where we held cocktail hour, to the Chicago Room fully opened with these beautiful chandeliers and classic checkerboard dance floor for the reception, to the Plaza (which I'm dying to see our portraits that were taken on those steps or surrounded by these massive columns) compliments all around for beautiful detail and a feeling of elegance throughout the entire event. I promise if you choose CHM for your venue, you will feel like you are the only person having a wedding there. The level of service from beginning to end (and even after!) is unmatched.

Reviewed on 10/29/2015 Rachel W

My husband and I celebrated our wedding at the Chicago History Museum this past June, and I cannot say enough how absolutely spectacular it was. From the moment we booked, the staff at the museum and our coordinator Sarah were so incredibly helpful. We had alot (and I mean alot)... Read More of questions throughout the planning process, and Sarah was always there, ready to get us the answer we needed. The venue itself was stunning -- I chose to go with a neutral color palette because I didn't want to take away from the beauty of the Chicago room, and it was such a good choice. The room was perfect for our 275 guests (didn't feel crowded at all), and the lighting, the stained glass, the checked floor in the center of the all added up to the wedding of my dreams. Our wedding was in early June, so the weather was nice but still a little chilly. Our ceremony and cocktail hour were scheduled to be outside, which from the beginning I had wanted. While we held the ceremony outside, my wedding planner and the team at CHM made the decision to pull cocktail hour inside because it was just too cold, and it turned out to be perfect. I was nervous about the change, but everything went so smoothly - there was plenty of room for guests to mingle in the foyer underneath the beautiful chandelier, and it was as if it was always supposed to be held inside. Other notes: the bar staff was fantastic, getting everyone their drinks in record time! I really can't say enough good things about CHM - I could not imagine getting married anywhere else, and am so glad we chose it for a venue. Last note: the day after our wedding we received a book about historical Chicago weddings and a bottle of champagne from the team at CHM...just another amazing touch.

Reviewed on 10/27/2015 Kinsley E

If Chicago ever elected a "grand dame" of event spaces, I would cast my vote for The Chicago Room. I fell in love with this space a few years ago when I attended another event here, and we were thrilled to host our 100-guest wedding here in September. Reflecting the Georgian... Read More architecture of the original building, the Chicago Room has hardwood floors, high ceilings, and big windows that look over Lincoln Park - this place breathes a classic elegance. It feels historic, but it most definitely does not feel old - rather, it feels timeless. And it boasts enough design elements and restrained decorative touches - such as the chevron-patterned wood floors and stained-glass windows - that it requires minimal decoration. The Chicago Room includes two other adjacent spaces (an entryway and an outdoor plaza). We held both our ceremony and reception there, and used all three spaces. One fun perk is the black-and-white tile floor that separates the two halves of the room. It is perfect for dancing! We placed our DJ there and we strung cafe lights (in lieu of uplighting) over the floor. Even the entrance to the Chicago Room, the Robinson Gallery, is gorgeous - a brick-floor hallway with columns and chandeliers, it is an event space unto itself. We used it for the cards/gifts/placecard tables along with the open bar after dinner. Perhaps my favorite perk is that the outdoor Uihlein Plaza is included with the price of the Chicago Room. We held the ceremony and cocktail reception outdoors before moving indoors for the reception. This being Chicago, with wildly unpredictable weather, the museum worked with us to create two plans in case we had to be all indoors. We were able to wait until one week before the wedding to make the final call, which is generous given the amount of work they have to do in either scenario! The Plaza is also beautiful and huge, overlooking Lincoln Park. We used minimal decorations for our outdoor ceremony - we just erected a simple birch bower, and let the Park be our main backdrop. Working with the museum was easy. Sarah Novosad and Melanie Enright were lovely to work with - professional, friendly, knowledgeable, and responsive. The museum also supplies setup and cleaning crews, coatcheck, and security - all of whom were equally professional. The museum did a brilliant job of making our event seem seamless. An important thing to note that as a museum, they do have certain restrictions regarding caterers, alcohol, and decorations. For catering, CHM only works with four exclusive caterers - all of whom are excellent, but none of whom are cheap. For alcohol, CHM supplies their own bar packages, which are reasonably priced. The one problem I encountered was with the wine list. Supplying our own wine would have cost a $30/bottle corking fee (which was out of our budget), so CHM offered us the option to swap in wines of our choosing, if we could find wines carried by CHM's distributors at the same price point as the house wines (Canyon Road). I asked, but never did find out whom the distributors were or what price points the for the house wines, and my wine selections were rejected by the museum. So we wound up upgrading to their highest-priced package, just to secure better wines. Certain decorations are prohibited - mostly anything that could affect their exhibits. They brought that up on my first tour, so I was well-warned. Just be sure to book early - this place goes fast!

Reviewed on 10/22/2015 Abbie C

My wife and I got married in August 2015 and celebrated with our reception at CHM. Our goal was to find a place that could compliment our vision of a place with classic architecture, a clean canvas, and plenty of room and character to entertain in. CHM was the ideal place for... Read More us in Chicago. The coordinator staff was extremely helpful and very informative as this place turns a lot of events, as it should. They treated us like royalty and we truly had an amazing experience with CHM.

Reviewed on 10/22/2015 Rachel H

I was a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding here, and it was one of the best I've been to (and I've been to a lot). The space was beautiful and everything was well coordinated. They have a bridal room which was a great amenity that you might expect at a banquet hall or event... Read More space, but not necessarily a museum. They were able to accommodate a brunch wedding and they even let guests have access to the museum after the wedding. I would definitely recommend as a venue to someone looking for a beautiful and unique spot.

Reviewed on 10/21/2015

We had our brunch wedding here in July2015. Everything was fantastic! The planning was daunting, but the CHM staff was extremely professional and helpful. I believe wedding ratings should be heavily weighted based on communication, and they were very prompt with their replies,... Read More etc. We got exactly what we wanted from a wedding/reception venue. the weather held up for the outdoor ceremony (probably our biggest stressor), and the reception was a grand time. Perhaps the second best compliment I can give is, all the other vendors we worked with seemed glad to be working with CHM for our event. As others may have said: the best compliment I can give is, I would not change anything if we had to do it again (like, if our marriage certificate got lost in the mail or something). For some reason The Knot currently lists the capacity at 251-300. Our wedding was around 170, so I have no idea what The Knot is talking about.

Reviewed on 10/20/2015 Maggie W

I just had my wedding at CHM last Saturday, October 17th! It was truly the wedding of our dreams! The venue is breathtaking...the people are beyond accommodating...and it was everything we wanted and more! I recommend this venue to EVERYONE!

Reviewed on 10/02/2015 Natalie K

Growing up in Chicago made it somewhat difficult to decide exactly where to get married since there are so many wonderful options, but as soon as we saw the Chicago History Museum we knew that it was the perfect place for our special day. There are so many reasons why this is... Read More the perfect venue option, but I'll just focus on three. 1) The indoor/outdoor space. We were lucky enough to be able to have our ceremony outside and then the reception inside. However, there was a wonderful backup plan if it rained (which every bride needs to keep her sanity). 2) The museum staff (especially those who deal with events) are a pleasure to work with. They were attentive, helpful, really willing to work with me and my special requests, and most importantly responsive. I think I asked about one million questions over my year of planning and they answered each and every one of them. 3) The museum has a wow factor! Even though you are at a museum, you are somewhat working with a blank canvas. You have the flexibility to turn the space into whatever you want. It really is a magical place to get married!

Reviewed on 9/29/2015 Sarah S

My husband and I just got married at the Chicago History Museum in August and it was a wonderful experience for us from start to finish. We loved working with Jessica Trent and the CHM staff - they're responsive, knowledgeable, courteous and friendly. We opted to have all of... Read More our events indoors (ceremony, cocktails, and the reception) and the space lends itself to that flow very nicely. It's an absolutely gorgeous venue and a fantastic place to get married!