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Holidays 2015: Open Something Greater

November 20, 2015–January 3, 2016

Great gifts come in packages large and small. But the very best ones come with no wrappings at all—imagination, inspiration, and the joy of a season spent with family and friends. At the Art Institute, we’re thrilled to share gifts of all sizes with you and yours throughout the holidays.

Please note: The museum is closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days and will close at 5:00 on Thursday, December 24, and Thursday, December 31.

Holidays 2015 are sponsored by

Holiday Thorne Rooms
Gallery 11
From a teeny Tudor yule log to a miniature midcentury menorah, the beloved decorating tradition is back—with a Twelfth Night–themed room joining in the fun this year!

Neapolitan Crèche
Gallery 209
One of the very few and finest examples of such a work outside of Naples, our spectacular 18th-century Neapolitan crèche returns once again this holiday season.

The New Contemporary
Galleries 288, 290–299
Opening December 13
Member Previews: December 11–12
Masterpieces by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns are among the 44 new works given to us by Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson that transform the presentation of our contemporary collection this December.

Gifts to the City
Galleries throughout the museum
Once again this holiday season we’re presenting the best and brightest new works as our gifts to the residents of and visitors to Chicago. Download this mini-tour with a fill-in-the-blank scavenger hunt and enjoy all these new works on your journey through the galleries.

24th Annual Wreathing of the Lions
November 27 at 10:00

Holiday Choirs
December 7–11 at 12:00

Concert: Lyric Opera and the Crèche
December 9 at 6:00
Free for members, $10 nonmembers
Registration required

Lecture: The Christmas Story
December 10 at 12:00

Family Workshops: Holiday Treasures
December 12, 11:00–12:30 or 2:00–3:30
$5 members, $8 nonmembers
Registration required

Build Your Own Gingerbread House
December 12, 11:00–1:30 or 2:00–4:30
Family of four: $55 members, $70 nonmembers
Registration required

34th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party
December 13, 10:45, 12:00, or 1:30
$30 members, $35 nonmembers, $15 children 2 and up, free for children under 2
Registration required

Express Talks: Masterpiece of the Day
December 21–24 and 28–31, 12:00–12:30

Holly Days
December 27–30, 10:30–3:00

Tour and Reception: Behind the Scenes—Holiday Thorne Rooms
November 13, 17, and 18, 9:30–11:00
$100 per member
Registration required—SOLD OUT

Holiday Hot Chocolate
November 20–January 3

Member Weekend Mornings: Holiday Thorne Rooms, Neapolitan Crèche, and Degas: At the Track, On the Stage
November 21–January 3
Doors open at 10:00

Member Lecture: Holiday Thorne Rooms
November 23 at 2:00
Registration required

Member Lectures: Neapolitan Crèche
December 2 and 5 at 2:00

Member Preview: The New Contemporary
December 11–12, 10:30–5:00

Member Lectures: The New Contemporary
December 11 and 12, 2:00–3:00

Member Open House
December 12, 10:00–5:00

Holiday Small Plates
December 3, 10, and 17
Museum Café
Celebrate the holidays with a seasonally inspired menu on Thursday evenings in December. Reservations are recommended but not required. Call (312) 553-9675.

Gift Memberships
(312) 499-4111, Monday–Friday, 9:00–5:00 CST
Visit any Member Services desk in the museum for immediate fulfillment through December 24!
Wrap up the museum’s world-renowned collection with a gift membership this holiday season. With free admission, exclusive exhibition previews, member-only educational and travel opportunities, plus so much more—membership is the perfect gift for the art lover in your life.

Just be sure to place your order online or by phone by December 10 to guarantee holiday delivery.

Valet Parking
Modern Wing Entrance
$28 per car at drop-off, cash only
Don’t waste time searching for—or even thinking about—parking. Let us take care of it. Our valet service is available during regular museum hours right in front of the Modern Wing entrance on Monroe Street.

Free Trolley between the Art Institute and Navy Pier
Saturdays and Sundays December 5–6 and 12–13
Daily December 19–31*
The free trolley operates non-stop between the Art Institute’s Modern Wing entrance (159 East Monroe Street) and Entrance 2 at Navy Pier under Festival Hall (600 East Grand Avenue).

  • Trolley departs every 20 minutes.
  • First trolley departs Navy Pier at 10:00 a.m.
  • Last trolley departs the Art Institute of Chicago at 5:00 p.m.

Plus enjoy special discounted admission to Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier through December 31, 2015.*

*Excludes Christmas day.