JourneyMaker gif

There are so many masterpieces to see at the Art Institute of Chicago that it can be daunting to come up with a plan for a family visit. JourneyMaker is a brand-new digital tool that makes it easy. A few clicks of the mouse is all it takes to create a customized tour for you and your family. You'll be ready to explore the museum with a game plan that will bring the art to your kids' level — for a day of fun, and learning, you can all look forward to.

How does the JourneyMaker tool work? Follow a few simple steps and you'll be on your way to an art adventure in no time.


Step 1: Head to the JourneyMaker website.

With it's simple instructions, bright graphics and click-to-choose concept, the JourneyMaker tool makes it easy for young art explorers to plan the family adventure, with a little help from you. The magic of the JourneyMaker tool is that it offers almost limitless guides to the museum, so you can plan a new route for each and every time you visit.

Get an introduction online at before heading to the Art Institute of Chicago or start right at home

Step 2: Create a storyline for your unique journey.

JourneyMaker courtesy of Art Institute

With eight storylines featuring over 250 works of art, there are more than 262,000 unique journeys your family can create. The kid-friendly themes include Superheroes, Time Travelers, and Strange and Wild Creatures. Select the works from the museum's collection that you want to check out from within that story, as suggested by the JourneyMaker tool.  

When you're done, you'll have a customized family tour that will guide you from masterpiece to masterpiece of your choosing, plus you'll get background information on each artist as well as fun, extra activities that will encourage you and your children too see the works of art from a different light.

Pro tip: If it's your first visit to the museum, be sure to include some of the Art Institute of Chicago's most iconic masterpieces, like the Thorne Miniature Rooms, Georges Seurat's "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," and Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks." If you're already familiar with the museum's most famous works of art, customize your guide by including pieces that are a bit less well known yet still fascinating.


Step 3: Print your guide.

You can print your JourneyMaker guide from home, or you can build and print your guide in the museum's Ryan Learning Center. Your plan will come out in full color and include an easy-to-follow map of the museum. At the center the plan prints on tabloid-sized paper that you can fold into a booklet using a unique origami technique. Admission to the Ryan Learning Center is always free. Plan on spending a bit of extra time there playing, reading and creating.


Step 4: Set out on your journey!

JourneyMaker at Art Institute of Chicago

Remember, admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is always FREE for children under 14. Which is quite the value given that this museum is top ranked in the world by TripAdvisor — four years in a row!  

Check out our family guide to the Art Institute of Chicago and build your very own art adventure with JourneyMaker today!



Gif & video courtesy of Art Institute of Chicago