Lion 3000 1875


Holidays at the Art Institute 2019–20


Make the Art Institute your home for the holidays this season.

The Thorne Rooms are trimmed with festive decorations, the Neapolitan crèche is back on display, and choirs are singing from the Grand Staircase—the holidays have officially arrived at the Art Institute. Join us for beloved traditions or start a new one today with your family, friends, and loved ones. View all upcoming holiday events on our calendar.

Holiday Exhibitions


Neapolitan Crèche

On view through January 6
An intricate and theatrical nativity scene featuring over 200 figures, 50 animals, and 41 items of food and drink—all staged in an elaborate Baroque cabinet—the Art Institute’s spectacular 18th-century crèche is one of the few and finest examples of such a work outside of Naples.

The crèche can only be on view for a few weeks every year due to the fragility of the silk costumes and embroidery, so don’t miss your chance to revel in Baroque artistry this season!

A photo of the Victorian Thorne Room decorated for the holidays. A small Christmas tree on a table covered in a red cloth is at the center of the image.

Holiday Thorne Rooms

On view through January 7
The beloved tradition is back, with several of the Thorne Rooms decked out for the season. The charming miniature rooms are decorated in a wide variety of holiday traditions—don’t miss the Christmas tree in the elaborate English Drawing Room of the Victorian Period, the menorah and dreidel in the modern-era California Hallway, or the traditional Chinese interior with shadow puppets and instruments that would have been used to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Holiday Events

Soul Children Of Chicago 2016

Stop by for events throughout the season that are sure to lift your spirits. From the annual wreathing of the lions to talks about treasured works in the collection, there’s something for everyone this season at the museum.

See all upcoming holiday events on our calendar.

In the Galleries

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The holidays are the perfect time to visit your favorite works—return to classics like Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Sky above Clouds IV, and Marc Chagall’s America Windows. And explore the galleries to discover new and unusual works in our collection and current exhibitions.

Planning Your Visit

Before you come to the museum, check out our resources to help guide your experience. Read What to See in an Hour for a quick guide to highlights from our collection, visit FAQs to find answers to often-asked questions, discover what’s new on view, see all upcoming tours and talks, and learn more about the mobile app and audio tours. Visiting with your family? Plan a one-of-a-kind tour using the digital interactive JourneyMaker and visit the Families page to find events and more tips.


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