Online Exhibits and Interactive Experiences Guide


Adler Planetarium 

Busy Beaver Button Museum

  • Blog featured compelling stories that reveal how people commemorated noteworthy times in their lives by creating and collecting these wearable mementos.

American Writers Museum

  • Virtual exhibits include Frederick Douglass: Agitator and My America: Immigrant and Refugee Writers Today.

Art Institute of Chicago 

  • Peruse the Art Institute of Chicago’s digital collections.

  • Virtual Visit provides a variety of multimedia resources, including videos and interactive features about works of art.

  • JourneyMaker allows families to explore the collection together, create custom ‘journeys’ through the collection, and engage in activities inspired by works of art. It was designed for in-museum use but can be used at home for imagined adventures to the museum.

  • Google Arts & Culture site shows you more than 500 digital images of its most famous artworks.

Brookfield Zoo

  • See a different species up close every day with the “Bring The Zoo To You” broadcast, streaming each weekday at 11:00 a.m.

Chicago Architecture Center

  • CAC@Home is a mini magazine featuring archival video, reading material, fun for the family. Visitors can also subscribe to receive upcoming issues. 

Chicago Children’s Museum

  • Recipes for Play at Home recreate the museum experience at home with activities such as chalk painting, muffin tin crayons, and shadow puppets. 

  • Parenting Playbook is a blog filled with more at-home ideas for young children.

Chicago History Museum

  • Chicago History at Home is a blog that makes learning about history family-fun through a variety of activities 

  • Google Arts & Culture site includes 11 online exhibits with topics such as Chicago: Law and Disorder, Chicago and the Great War, Ride Around Chicago: A City in Transition, and more.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

  • From scholarly podcasts to Shakespeare-inspired playlists to a web series featuring the ABLE Ensemble, Shakes@Home has the Shakespeare enthusiast covered at home.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra 

Design Museum of Chicago

Driehaus Museum

Field Museum

  • Learning Resources Hub is divided by grade levels and topics. 

  • The Brain Scoop education YouTube channel gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the Field’s collection. Definitely call out Curiosity Correspondent Emily Grasile. She is loved.

  • Máximo the dinosaur invites everyone to ask him questions.

Garfield Park Conservatory

  • Enjoy virtual yoga at home with the Garfield Park Conservatory in the background.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

  • Virtual museum includes audio tours, a digital artifacts collection and documentaries.

  • Facebook Live series happens throughout the week and includes Coffee With A Survivor and Stories with Susan.

International Museum of Surgical Science

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive & Outsider Art

  • The Henry Darger Room Virtual Tour brings you to the hidden gem of the creative work of Chicago’s most famous outsider artist Henry Darger and other related educational resources.

Japanese Arts Foundation

Kohl Children’s Museum

Lyric Opera of Chicago

  • Lyric Lately is a blog that you can find enlightening articles, exclusive artist interviews, behind-the-scenes photos, engaging videos, and more.

Morton Arboretum

Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Learning resources are created by and for teachers, youth, families, and other members of the MCA Learning Community.

  • MCA Dialogue series features eminent speakers, panel discussions, and open dialogue between arts professionals. Find recordings of all past events.

Museum of Contemporary Photography

  • The museum’s Photos at Noon series has become Photos at Zoom, a weekly recorded Zoom series exploring topics related to photography.

  • View the museum’s digital exhibitions.

Museum of Science & Industry

  • Science at Home includes a variety of science activities, videos, and games inspired by the museum’s collections.

National Museum of Mexican Art

Newberry Library

Oriental Institute

  • Online resources feature at-home activities, virtual events and digital collections at the museum. 

  • Virtual scavenger hunt guides you to learn about the history of wine within the ancient Middle East.

  • Board games is a list of 10 contemporary games inspired by the ancient Middle East.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

  • Wonder at Home archives emails with educational resources for parents and caregivers to fill their child’s day with nature and science activities. 

Poetry Foundation

Rogers Park Business Alliance

Shedd Aquarium

  • Sea Curious YouTube series features various topical questions kids ask about animals.

  • Free audio guides share stories about some of the aquarium’s most memorable species.

Smart Museum of Art

  • Smart at Home is a virtual version of the museum’s family days, offering videos of art-making ideas created by artist and educator Erik L. Peterson.

Studs Terkel Radio Archive

  • Explore the archive by topic, people, date, or keyword. Themes include architecture, rock music, poetry and the intricacies of the labor movement. 


Google Arts and Culture Online Exhibits

Google’s incredible and expansive Arts and Culture tool will keep you busy for hours and days. This free and open-access platform offers high-quality online exhibits curated by leading experts in different subjects locally and internationally. Here are the exhibit highlights offered at Chicago-based organizations.

DuSable Museum of African American History

IIT Institute of Design

  • Includes the exhibits Founding an American Bauhuas and 50 Years Bauhaus, 1969.

National Museum of Mexican Art

  • Includes seven online exhibits produced in Spanish.  

Oriental Institute Museum

  • Includes six online exhibits on hieroglyphics, magic, doing business in the ancient world, Persepolis, the Book of the Dead and more. 

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

  • Biodiversity at Risk online exhibit explores the human impact on biodiversity via photos of species that are either at risk of extinction or already extinct.


Still, Want More?

Museum Computer Network (MCN)’s Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections offers an extensive list of art, culture, and resources for history buffs. This comprehensive list includes open content of museum resources around the globe.

Travel and Leisure has a list of additional art museums around the world that you can access from home in the coming weeks.

#ColorOurCollections has hundreds of images from international museums that you can print and color at home.


Share With Us!

This guide will be reviewed and updated by library staff, though content and links maintained by the recommended museums and cultural institutions may occasionally become out of date. Please let us know if you find out-of-date content. Or, if you’d like to recommend a museum resource be considered as an addition to this guide, email