And's the 2022 schedule for FREE Museum Days in Chicago!  Check the selected museum websites for admission and updated programming schedule

Field Museum – Free Days for Illinois Residents: January 12, 19  26, February 2, 9, 15, 23.  Free Entry Year-round for active military and Illinois teachers

Art Institute of Chicago - Free admission January 3-March 17(Weekdays: Monday, Wednesday and Friday)  Free Entry Year-round for Active Military, Link and WIC cardholders, Illinois teachers, children under 14 and Chicago teens under 18.

Brookfield Zoo – Free Admission Year-round for active, reserve and retired military personnel.

Chicago Botanic Garden - Free admission daily, however, you need to preregister for timed entry online.

Chicago Children’s Museum - Free Admission Year-round for active and retired military personnel, EBT or WIC cardholders 

Chicago History Museum - Free Admission Year-round fir Active Military, Police, Firefighters, Illinois educators and children 18 and younger.

Lincoln Park Zoo – Free daily admission, online reservations required.

Museum of Contemporary Art - Free admission for military personnel and veterans, members of police, fire departments and children under 12.

Museum of Science and Industry - Free Days for Illinois Residents: January 9-12, February 1-2, 7-9, 11, 13-14, 16, March 2, 4, 9, 16-18, June 1, 14, September 6-7, 12-15, 19-20, 26-27, October 4-5, 10-11, 17-18, November 2, 8. Free Admission Year-round for Active Military, Link and WIC cardholders, Illinois teachers Police Officers, Firefighters, POWs, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan teachers 

 Adler Planetarium: N/A

Chicago Botanic Garden: N/A

Chicago Cultural Center: N/A

DuSable Museum of African American History: Free Admission on Wednesday. Free Entry for Active Military and Illinois educators.

Shedd Aquarium: 

Free days January 13-17, February 7-11, 14-18  Free Admission Year-round for active military, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan teachers,  Police officers Firefighters 

COMING SOON: Black Restaurant Week

Welcome to Chicago Black Restaurant Week, also known as CBRW. 

We are excited to announce that Chicago Black Restaurant Week 2022 will be two weeks ONCE AGAIN! You can enjoy more delicious food from amazing restaurants and take advantage of exclusive CBRW 2022 deals!

Chicago Black Restaurant Week is a week-long event designed to celebrate amazing food and beverage businesses, owned by African Americans in our community. Founded in the Summer of 2015 by Lauran Smith (native Memphian), she decided that African American businesses needed their own week of support, allowing everyone to get a chance to taste the goodness in the community, where these businesses will share discounts on items of their choosing. 

CBRW is held at various registered African American owned restaurants throughout the city and suburbs of Chicago, and a list of all participating business can be found on the event website (, as well as the various social media channels associated with the week. Follow the food train on Facebook & Instagram (@officialchicagobrw), and also via Twitter (@chicagobrw).

Museum of Science and Industry Amazes

The Art of the Brick, a captivating exhibition featuring intriguing works of art made exclusively from one of the most recognizable toys in the world, the LEGO® brick, comes to the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) in February 2022.

The critically acclaimed collection of creative and inspiring pieces constructed using only LEGO bricks is created by renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya. The blockbuster exhibit kicks off a slate of experiences coming to the Museum next year.

In addition, MSI will be open again on Mondays in 2022. New visitor amenities include upgraded dining options throughout the building. Museum Kitchen opens in March, offering multiple food stations preparing locally sourced healthy options using live-fire, display-kitchen-style cooking and kids’ meals approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America.

Free Museum Days Are Here!

There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than by wandering through a new museum exhibit or art gallery. Here are the upcoming free museum days this month (and make sure to reserve your tickets ahead of time):

You can also check out one of the city’s always-free museums, like the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Hyde Park Art Center. And check out free museum days throughout the year.

The Chicago Auto Show Roaring into Chicago

The 2022 Chicago Auto Show roars back in the South Exhibit Hall at Chicago's 
McCormick Place, 2301 S. King Drive. 

Chicago's most popular event will take place February 12 thru February 20 from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and February 21 from 10 a.m. - 8 pm.  All Chicago Auto Show exhibits are held in the McCormick Place complex. Exhibitions include: multiple world and North American introductions; a complete range of domestic and imported passenger cars and trucks; sport utility vehicles; and experimental or concept cars. In total, nearly 1,000 different vehicles will be on display. Additionally, attendees will also have the opportunity to see numerous accessories and auto-related exhibits, competition vehicles and project, antique and collector cars.

The Chicago Auto Show is 100% committed to delivering a safe and welcoming event!

Based on guidance from the City of Chicago, the current health and safety protocols are in effect for the PUBLIC DAYS (Feb. 12-21) of the 2022 Chicago Auto Show.

  1. Masks are REQUIRED for all attendees age 2 and over, except when eating and drinking. Masks must cover the nose and mouth.

  1. Proof of COVID-19 vaccine WILL NOT be required for admission. However, designated areas will be set up for the consumption of food and beverage and proof of COVID-19 vaccine WILL BE required for entry into those areas. As a result of this requirement, outside food and beverage are not permitted into the 2022 Chicago Auto Show. 

For food and beverage entry, the Chicago Auto Show will follow the City of Chicago’s direction on proof of COVID-19 vaccine, this includes a photo ID for those age 16 and older. More information can be found here

All bags subject to search. Patrons will be randomly selected for security screening. All mobility devices must be approved by show management. Hoverboard, Segway and similar devices are not allowed on the show floor.

Welcome to Chicago Restaurant Week

Back by Popular Demand,  CHICAGO RESTAURANT WEEK

returns March 25 – April 10, 2022!

Chicago Restaurant Week is a 17-day celebration of the city’s award-winning culinary scene. The 15th annual event brings together hundreds of the area’s top restaurants, representing a near-endless array of cuisines.

During Chicago Restaurant Week, diners can enjoy special prix fixe menus from restaurants throughout Chicago and nearby suburbs.  These multi-course meals are $25 for brunch or lunch, and $39 and/or $55 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax, gratuity, and delivery fees).

This year, diners will continue to have the flexibility to experience Chicago Restaurant Week through dine-in or takeout/delivery options.

Chicago Restaurant Week 2022 will run from Friday, March 25 – Sunday, April 10, 2022.

You can explore our list of participating restaurants to view menus and book tables once reservations are live.  You won't need a reservation but they’re highly encouraged! You can book your tables online when they become available.

Foodies get ready for the Chicago Restaurant Week!


Focus Features, Universal Pictures International and Carnival Films announce that global release dates will shift to late spring for the highly anticipated film sequel DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The film, previously dated for a March 18, 2022, will now launch in theaters exclusively in the UK on April 29, 2022 and in the US on May 20, 2022. 


From award-winning creator Julian Fellowes comes the motion picture event DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The much-anticipated cinematic return of the global phenomenon reunites the beloved cast as they go on a grand journey to the South of France to uncover the mystery of the Dowager Countess’ newly inherited villa.


The original principal cast have returned for the second film along with new additions Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Nathalie Baye and Dominic West. The screenplay is written by Downton creator and Academy-Award® winner Julian Fellowes, with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning Gareth Neame and Emmy Award-winning Liz Trubridge producingwith Fellowes. BAFTA and Emmy nominated Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) is directing.

Focus Features, Universal Pictures International and Carnival Films announce that global release dates will shift to late spring for the highly anticipated film sequel DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA. The film, previously dated for a March 18, 2022, will now launch in theaters exclusively in the UK on April 29, 2022 and in the US on May 20, 2022. 


To celebrate Black History Month, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is offering a wide array of virtual programs for all ages. The month begins with A Seat at the Table, one of NMAAHC’s signature interactive programs, inviting participants to consider challenging questions about race, identity and economic justice over a meal. This special program will cover the triumphs and challenges of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the efforts to maintain their legacy.

The museum will also explore the historical significance of Black health and wellness in February with the debut of a new blog series featuring conversations with several practicing midwives and doulas including Kahlil Kuykendall and Nikki Plaskett. These posts also offer a closer look at several objects from the midwives’ section of the current NMAAHC exhibition, “Making a Way Out of No Way.”

NMAAHC’s social media channels throughout Black History Month will feature Black health and wellness stories, including that of James McCune, the first African American to hold a medical degree. Other stories include Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman who was diagnosed and treated for cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1951. Lacks’ cells were taken for a sample without her permission. Her story is one of many examples of the medical malpractice African Americans experience while seeking health care. More stories and details can be found at NMAAHC’s Searchable Museum.

February Virtual Programming Schedule

Joyful Fridays: The Black Panthers

Friday, Feb. 4; 11 a.m. ET 

Parents can kick off Black History Month with their little ones during this session showing how the Black Panther Party contributed to the health and wellness of their communities through initiatives such as the Free Breakfast Program for children, 1969–1980. Then, they can paint a panther inspired by objects in NMAAHC’s collection. Registration is required.

A Seat at the Table: The Triumphs and Challenges of Black Education
Friday, Feb. 4; 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET

Access to higher education and formal schooling were new opportunities for African Americans during the Reconstruction era immediately following the Civil War. Education advocates helped foster the founding of several HBCUs, which trained generations of educators, lawyers, scientists and medical professionals. Their work helped shape some of the greatest minds of the 19th and 20th centuries. However, Jim Crow laws forcibly segregated schools, leaving many Black institutions underfunded and overburdened—a complicated legacy that reverberates to the present. Julianne Malveaux will moderate a conversation with Taiisha Swinton-Buck, Jitu Brown and Harry L. Williams to examine why these issues are still present among Black-majority schools and the efforts to change this landscape. A Seat at the Table is an interactive virtual program for participants to consider challenging questions about race, identity and economic justice. The conversations take place over a meal delivered by the museum to the participants. Upon registering for the program, registrants will make their meal selections with the museum.

History Alive! Coming Home: African Americans Returning from World War II 

Monday, Feb. 7 and 14; 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET 

In the face of racism and segregation, Black men and women served in every branch of the armed forces during World War II. After victory abroad, Black veterans returned and continued the fight for freedom at home. History Alive! explores the people and the stories behind the artifacts that trace the nation’s history in health care, education, housing and political process and shows the conditions Black veterans faced during the aftermath of WWII. John McCaskill, NMAAHC’s living history interpreter, tells how those engaged in the military made their service useful not only for the good of their country, but also to benefit their personal lives and their community. Join online

“Make Good the Promises” at Busboys and Poets—Conversation Featuring Kinshasha Holman Conwill and Paul Gardullo

Feb. 9; 7 p.m. ET

Kinshasha Holman Conwill, NMAAHC deputy director, and Paul Gardullo, supervisory museum curator, will hold a virtual discussion of the new book Make Good the Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and Its Legacies, which they co-edited as the companion to the museum’s exhibition about the lasting impact of Reconstruction. Their moderated conversation will focus on the book’s exploration of themes of the historical and contemporary importance concerning voting rights and education equity, as well as the legacy of violence, liberation and repair. The program will be hosted and streamed by Busboys and Poets. 

Joyful Fridays: Maya Angelou

Friday, Feb. 11; 11 a.m. ET 
Maya Angelou (1928–2014) showed people that kindness and expressing gratitude are important parts of their everyday wellness. During this special Black History Month children’s program, participants can learn more about this inspiring poet and author and create a rainbow collage craft as a reminder to “be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Registration is required.

Fruit of the Earth: Using Deed Records to Uncover Your Ancestors with Robyn Smith 

Saturday, Feb. 12; 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Deed records are among the best documents for researching family history, but their legal language can intimidate even seasoned researchers. In this session, genealogy blogger Robyn Smith shows how deed records can help identify multiple generations of a family and reveal the social history of a community. An engineer by day, Smith specializes in researching Maryland history, court records and slavery and has lectured widely at regional and national conferences. This program will include a discussion with Ebonie Alexander, director of the Black Family Land Trust. Registration is required.

Joyful Fridays: Granville T. Woods & The Roller Coaster 

Friday, Feb. 18; 11 a.m. ET 

The inventive mind of Granville T. Woods (1856–1910) is behind the roller coasters enjoyed today. Born in Columbus, Ohio, to free African Americans, he held various engineering and industrial jobs before establishing a company to develop electrical devices. Known as the “Black Edison,” he registered nearly 60 patents in his lifetime, including a telephone transmitter, a trolley wheel and the multiplex telegraph. During this interactive children’s program, participants can learn more about this African American inventor and create a mini roller coaster-inspired sculpture. Registration is required.

Historically Speaking: A Great Moral and Social Force—Conversation with Timothy Todd

Tuesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

In his book, Great Moral and Social Force: A History of Black Banks author Timothy Todd of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, discusses the emergence of African American financial institutions and how they fostered economic independence and wealth-building within African American communities during the Reconstruction era and beyond. In a discussion moderated by Michael Fletcher of ESPN’s Undefeated, Todd will provide the social and historic contexts for the establishment of Black bank ownership by focusing on their emergence in the cities of Richmond, Virginia; Boley, Oklahoma; Chicago; Memphis, Tennessee; and Detroit. A digital copy of the book is available for download. Registration is required.

Joyful Fridays: Black Creativity & Abstract Art 

Friday, Feb. 25; 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET 

Participants can take a closer look at the art of African American artists Alma Thomas (1891–1978) and McArthur Binion and learn about their unique creative styles. They can then create a drawing inspired by their art in the NMAAHC collection. Binion, born in 1946 and living in Chicago, employs basic materials such as oil sticks, ink and graphite to create a dense, interlacing grid on the surface of his paintings. This handmade geometry is applied to a ground layer of neatly tiled images. During the 1960s, Thomas emerged as an exuberant colorist, abstracting shapes and patterns from the trees and flowers around her. She began to paint seriously in 1960, when she retired from her 38-year career as an art teacher in the public schools of Washington, D.C. In the years that followed, she would be regarded as a significant painter of the Washington Color Field School. Registration is required.