Special Events

Special Events 2016

No registration required

Family festivals and events offer an exciting array of activities in the Ryan Learning Center, and may include gallery walks, art making, performances, and other fun surprises! Our mascot Artie the lion also makes an appearance at most family festivals.

Family Festival: Miniature Worlds
Saturday, September 17
Drop in 10:30–3:00

It's time to think small. Shrink down and explore the museum's beloved Thorne Miniature Rooms. Enjoy interactive gallery stations in the museum and the Ryan Learning Center, including the Little Studio for our youngest visitors (under age 5). 
Check out the day's schedule!  

Saturday, November 5
Drop in 10:30–3:00

Join us as we celebrate the Hindu festival of light! Create a work of art inspired by Indian traditions, learn new and familiar stories in the Alsdorf galleries, get moving with lively dance performances, and more! There is so much to celebrate and to see, including the Little Studio, a space for children under 5.  

25th Annual Wreathing of the Lions
Friday, November 25
Ceremony at 10:00
Drop-In activity 10:30–3:00

Start your winter season with this Chicago family favorite. After the ceremony on Michigan Avenue, create your own wreath inspired by art in the galleries. 

Holly Days
December 27–December 30
Drop In 10:30–3:00

Celebrate the season of light with bright and colorful art making. Create your own mixed-media projects inspired by light-filled artworks in the museum's collection and special exhibitions.  


Festival programs located in the Ryan Learning Center are free. Museum admission tickets are required for festival programs that take place in the museum galleries, outside the Ryan Learning Center. 

Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Admission to the Ryan Learning Center is always free.
Admission to the museum is free for children under 14. 

If you are interested in bringing a family group to an upcoming special event, please visit the family community groups page for additional information on how to schedule a family group program.