Water Tower Winter This past Sunday, the kids and I took a break from Mag Mile shopping and took a moment to remember the true reason for the Christmas season. We stepped into the Loyola University Museum of Art, just across from the historic Water Tower,and took some quiet time to soak in the current exhibit, Art and Faith of the Crèche: The Collection of James and Emilia Govan. This touching exhibit shows how artists across the globe depict the Nativity, and makes for an interesting, relaxing and thoughtful break from holiday shopping.


Located on the Magnificent Mile in Lewis Towers, a historic 1926 Gothic Revival building and part of the Water Tower Campus of Loyola University Chicago, the Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA) was founded in 2005. The museum is dedicated to exploring, promoting, and understanding art and artistic expression that illuminates the enduring spiritual questions of all cultures and societies, best illustrated in the first floor lobby by the Windows of Faith, which represent the five major faiths of Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. The Museum houses a medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque collection, known as the Martin D'Arcy, S.J. Collection, other museum permanent collections, and rotating exhibitions.

The Art and Faith of the Crèche exhibit showcases how artists recreate the nativity scene with clothing, architecture, and figures from their native lands. We enjoyed guessing where the crèches were from, and our visit gave us pause and helped us to keep the story of Christmas close to our hearts. Docents are on hand to give free tours, and there is a kid-friendly table set up with a nativity scene that kids are welcome to play with. The gift shop features some lovely and affordable crèches for sale - including a teeny-weeny matchbox sized crèche - so you can add to your own crèche collection at home, too. See if you can spot the crèche presented in honor of Pope Francis, a Gaucho style nativity that represents the people of Tierra del Fuego in the southern region of Argentina.

When you pass Chicago's historic Water Tower, steer your family towards the LUMA at 870 North Michigan Avenue. The LUMA is open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. (free admission) and Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more information, visit luc.edu/luma/