Online Exhibits Guide

Museum Guide

Online Exhibits Guide

Use this list as a guide for your next adventure at local and world-class cultural institutions ​​​​​

Travel to different museums and visit exhibits from the comfort of your home. Try out interactive resources and online programming to stay connected with and expand your learning communities. This list is compiled by Programs & Exhibits staff and covers resources for children, caregivers and adults.

For information about the library exhibits, visit Exhibits.

Museum and Cultural Institutions (listed in alphabetical order)

Adler Planetarium 

Busy Beaver Button Museum

  • The Busy Beaver Button Museum's blog features compelling stories that reveal how people commemorated noteworthy times in their lives by creating and collecting wearable mementos.

American Writers Museum

  • Virtual Hub includes all of their online offerings, from blogs to podcasts to virtual exhibits and more, celebrating American writing on the device of your choice. 

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 shows more than 500 digital images of the Art Institute of Chicago's most famous artworks.

Brookfield Zoo

Chicago Architecture Center

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

Chicago Children’s Museum

  • Check out Recipes for Play at Home to 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-friendly through a variety of activities.

  • Google Arts & Culture 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

DuSable Museum of African American History

Field Museum

  • Learning Resources Hub features lesson plans, activities, games, and more and is divided by grade levels and topics. 

  • The Brain Scoop is an educational YouTube channel that gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the Field’s collection presented by Curiosity Correspondent Emily Grasile.

  • Meet Máximo the Titanosaur - virtually meet the largest dinosaur that ever lived and ask him questions.

Garfield Park Conservatory

  • New digital tours are added regularly, with options for individual visitors and the whole family. Use your smartphone or tablet to navigate at your own pace.

Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center

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

  • Several Facebook Live series happen throughout the week including Coffee with a Survivor and Stories with Susan.

IIT Institute of Design

International Museum of Surgical Science

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive & Outsider Art

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum

  • Jane Addams Hull-House Museum has partnered with Gail Borden Public Library District, Schaumburg Township District Library, Aurora Public Library, Arlington Heights Memorial Library and Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) to pilot new Virtual Tours at Hull-House.
  • Why Women Should Vote is a virtual exhibit that explores the widespread grassroots national movement organized by American women demanding the right to vote and to be recognized as full citizens in the United States.
  • True Peace: The Presence of Justice spotlights the organizing legacy of women, women of color and queer communities of color featuring artist-activist Monica Trinidad and Sarah-Ji.

Japanese Arts Foundation

Kohl Children’s Museum

Lyric Opera of Chicago

  • Lyric Lately is a blog where 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

  • The Oriental Institute's online resources feature at-home activities, virtual events and digital collections at the museum. 

  • This virtual scavenger hunt helps you learn about the history of wine within the ancient Middle East.

  • Check out this list of board games - 10 contemporary games inspired by the ancient Middle East.

  • Its Google Arts & Culture page 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

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

  • Biodiversity at Risk is an online exhibit in Google Arts & Culture that explores the human impact on biodiversity via photos of species that are either at risk of extinction or already extinct.

Poetry Foundation

Rogers Park Business Alliance

Shedd Aquarium

  • Sea Curious is a YouTube series that features various 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.

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