150+ sites. 20+ neighborhoods. Endless discoveries.

Open House Chicago is back October 15-16 for another year of architectural discoveries and delights. Organized by the Chicago Architecture Center, this free festival provides behind-the-scenes access to over 150 architecturally, historically, and culturally significant buildings across more than 20 neighborhoods in Chicago. From innovative new designs to longstanding community hubs, there’s a site for everyone on the OHC lineup this year. But if you’re stuck on where to begin, perhaps a thematic itinerary is your best bet.

If these walls could talk

During OHC, the city’s stunning movie palaces, rock star clubs and refined theaters become the main attractions as curious concert-goers and movie buffs can explore their favorite venues. Visit the ornate Riviera Theatre in Uptown, a movie theater-turned-concert venue that’s over 100 years old. Stop by South Shore and marvel at the intricate details that make up the Avalon Regal Theater’s Moorish Revival design. Look for the soaring Art Deco sign outside of Apollo’s 2000 Theater in Little Village and check out the extensive restoration project that brought the theater back to its grand status.

For the family

There are OHC sites all over the city that spark wonder in kids—and kids at heart. Get creative at the ornately decorated Harold Washington Library, which is hosting a slew of media-based activities across five floors. The whole family can test their strength on pedal-powered contraptions at Working Bikes, a museum and shared workspace dedicated to refurbishing bikes in Little Village. Visit Tree House Humane Society in West Ridge and explore the eco-friendly building, but don’t be surprised if someone in your party gets attached to one of the adoptable pets in the shelter’s cat café!

Bring the skyline down to eyeline

A breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline never gets old, and OHC is the best time to see the city from an entirely new angle. The Cliff Dweller’s Club is usually a private club for Chicago’s creatives, but during OHC weekend, it opens its doors—and its 22nd-story terrace—to the public. Find your creative inspiration as you take in where the skyline meets the lake just north of Grant Park. Then, head over to the Near West Side to explore the contributions of Greek American immigrants at the National Hellenic Museum. The building’s amazing rooftop provides the perfect place to reflect on what you learned. Eastlake Studios puts you in the center of it all with its large private roof terrace nestled among the downtown skyscrapers.

No matter how you choose to explore the city during OHC weekend, the Chicago Architecture Center app is key to unlocking all the festival has to offer. Browse maps, photos and short descriptions about sites and neighborhoods in the app. Continue the festivities all month long with in-app self-guided tours, plus a suite of free virtual programs throughout October.

CAC members receive special benefits during OHC, including priority access passes to skip the line at busy sites. Become a CAC member to get the most out of your Open House Chicago experience!

Visit openhousechicago.org to learn more and use the tag #OHC2022 to share your experiences and photos on social media.