From lunchtime concerts to provocative art shows, the Chicago Cultural Center is a creative epicenter, with free art exhibits, concerts, guided tours, and more. Here are just seven of the free must-sees and dos at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Chicago Cultural Center ©Lucy Hewett
Photo: Adam Alexander

1. Take a guided architecture tour

Experience the magnificent architectural features of this historic building during a free Chicago Cultural Center tour. These 45- to 60-minute tours take you beneath the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome, past colorful mosaics, and through rooms featuring intricate detailing such as marble arches, crown molding, and coffered ceilings. Tours are offered Wednesday through Saturday at 1:15 p.m. and meet in the Randolph Street lobby. Tours are limited to the first 25 people, so be sure to arrive early.

2. Catch an afternoon classical concert

Every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m., the Preston Bradley Hall inside the Chicago Cultural Center comes to life with classical music during Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts. These free, 45-minute concerts feature a line up of emerging artists, from violinists to pianists, and more.

3. Or maybe a chamber music Monday

Chamber Mondays explore a rich diversity of chamber music, featuring Chicago’s most talented classical, jazz, and world music instrumentalists and vocalists. The concerts take place year round on the fourth Monday of the month at 12:15 p.m. in Preston Bradley Hall.

Chamber Mondays at ©Chicago Cultural Center
Chamber Mondays at ©Chicago Cultural Center

4. Get your toddler dancing at “Juicebox”

Plan for some playtime with your little one at Juicebox, a special cultural event that introduces toddlers to music from around the world, while encouraging dancing and interaction with performers. These free events take place on the first and third Friday and Saturdays of the month from 11 11:45 a.m. in Preston Bradley Hall.

Juicebox at ©Chicago Cultural Center
Juicebox at ©Chicago Cultural Center

5. Take in a couple of art exhibits

The Chicago Cultural Center is home to free rotating art exhibits located in galleries throughout the building. Learn about upcoming Chicago Cultural Center exhibitions.

6. Share your story at the StoryCorps oral history project

The largest oral history project of its kind, StoryCorps interviews and records the diverse stories of people from all walks of life in Chicago. These personal accounts are preserved at the Library of Congress and shared with listeners of NPR’s Morning Edition. Make an appointment to share your own story at the Chicago Cultural Center.

7. Explore the city’s underground

Deep beneath the city is an extensive pedestrian walkway system, which connects more than 50 buildings across 40 Chicago city blocks. Explore the Pedway from the access point in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Randolph Street lobby.

Looking for even more fun things to do? See the ever-changing Chicago Cultural Center events calendar.

The Chicago Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington St.