The Columbian Exposition established Chicago as a culture capital back in 1893. Even 120 years later, it remains one of the most important events in the city's history (there's even a star on the city's flag to commemorate it). Time may have passed, but Chicagoans are still fascinated with revisiting the World's Fair of 1893, and Chicago abounds with ways to experience it.
Opening the Vaults at The Field Museum
The Field Museum was originally opened with the purpose of housing and exhibiting artifacts from the fair. Last October, the museum opened the vaults, giving the public access to rarely seen photos and exhibits, like the "cursed meteorite," which had previously been considered so dangerous that it was kept shackled in a castle dungeon. Head here before September 7th, when many of the artifacts will go back into storage.
What better place to learn more about the 1893 World's Fair, than in the only major building built for the fair that's still standing? The Museum of Science and Industry is hosting a twice-monthly interactive exploration of the Columbian Exposition. Attendees will experience the fair through 3D virtual simulations of some of the buildings before going on an outdoor walking tour of the museum's historic features. Tickets cost $30 in addition to museum entry. Check out dates and times here.
The Devil and the White City Tour with CAF
Fans of Erik Larson's book, this tour is for you. Run by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the tour focuses on two remarkable events in Chicago's history-the 1893 World's Fair and the emergence of America's first publicized serial killer, Dr. H.H. Holmes, who used the fair as a hunting ground for victims. This 3-hour bus tour highlights the Midway and the site of the world's first Ferris Wheel, and includes a brief walking tour of the fairgrounds at Jackson Park. Two dates are currently scheduled for the tour-March 9th and March 23rd-but more are added routinely. Tickets cost $55 each.