Museum Hack: Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago can be a pretty daunting place. After all, it is one of the largest art museums in the United States! So when Museum Hack offered me tickets to one of their unconventional, “not your grandma’s” guided tours, I was intrigued. It sounded quirky, educational, and a lot of fun!
I decided to send my new content coordinator, Lisa, and her boyfriend to check it out. Turned out, Museum Hack puts a pretty cool twist on date night!
Here’s the lowdown from Lisa on Museum Hack:
Not fully knowing what to expect, my boyfriend and I headed into the Art Institute of Chicago (the building with the iconic lions on Michigan Avenue). Inside, we spot our tour guide who is waiting near the ticketing agent. Little did we know, we were about to enter a very social and uninhibited environment of theatre and games.
Mark, comes from the world of improv and comedy at the world famous Second City, here in Chicago. He brings a lot of enthusiasm, and he makes sure everyone in the group gets on his level! Not only was he funny, but he knows his art.
Mark led us through the Art Institute of Chicago, skipping from one artist to to the next, he revealed interesting tidbits about them along the way. Who knew Frank Lloyd Wright’s scandalous personal life was as fascinating as his work? Mark is full of anecdotes which he weaved in throughout the tour. Museum Hack lived up to its promise of a “high-energy, group-oriented tour experience certain to keep you entertained and teach you a bit along the way.”
Get Ready to Get Goofy, Y’all!
Mark is clear from the start, games were about to ensue. Silly games. I was apprehensive. Even though I consider myself to be pretty social, I have my limitations on how far I’ll go as to expose myself. I was surprised at how well my boyfriend was doing- so I copied. As Mark shared stories of the ways King Louis XVI spent his money, he walked us through the contemporary wing and we played more of those silly games. My biggest challenge happened to be an “Iron Chef” game of sorts. We photographed pieces of art and presented a three course meal based upon our interpretations. Later in the tour, we had to stand around playing imaginary instruments. So alas, I was standing there alongside my boyfriend, playing an imaginary trumpet.
Eyes on You
As other museum-goers are quietly moving from painting to painting, you can expect to get put on the spot…just a bit! Museum Hack at Art Institute of Chicago is truly an interactive experience. Meaning: you may have to come out of your comfort zone! For this tour, you will be amongst strangers or familiar friends who you will engage throughout the experience. When I went, it was comforting to have my significant other there, who I knew would have an open mind. Museum Hack at the Art Institute of Chicago could make for a really fun first date or 15th date! If you go, just know, everyone else is in this too — you’re in it together.
Things to Know
- Admission into the Art Institute of Chicago is still required. If you are an Illinois resident or student you are eligible for free admission on Thursdays. Out-of-state adults tickets cost $25. Illinois residents pay $20 unless otherwise noted in the museum’s calendar.
- The duration of our tour is a full two hours and moves at a fast pace, so comfortable footwear is a must.
- You will get your photo taken and get a cute little polaroid to take home like this one below!
If you’re someone who isn’t afraid to be silly for a couple hours – in public – you’ll probably dig this. It could be a good way to break the ice on a date! Art-haters, stay away. This tour gives you the “behind the scenes” of significant art and its renowned artists – think Claude Monet and Édouard Manet (remember, there’s a difference).
Museum Hack provides tours at the Art Institute of Chicago on Thursdays and Saturdays. Tickets costs $39 each. If you are interested, you can purchase them here. There are also tours in New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.
Let us know if you check it out! By the way, if you are from out of town, be sure to watch our “Getting Around Chicago” video for apps and advice that make getting around the Windy City a breeze!
*Note: Lizzy Fay received complimentary tickets from Museum Hack to experience a tour. All opinions are that of Lizzy Fay.
Post Contributor: Lisa Ancilleri