Chicago is renowned for its museums like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Field Museum. These museums are world class and will certainly not disappoint in their grandeur. But when I’m looking for a more focused take on the immigration history of Chicago, the Swedish American Museum is the way to go.
The museum is located in the Andersonville neighborhood which has a historic Swedish immigrant past. The museum’s core is to celebrate this immigration history from Ellis Island to Chicago. There are great exhibits about how Swedish immigrants found their way to, and settled in, this area of Chicago. I enjoy reading about how Chicago’s Swedish immigrants set up their own schools, sport leagues and more in the area. There also Scandinavian artifacts and exhibits celebrating Nordic culture. I always enjoy carefully inspecting the intricate Vasa (17th century Swedish war ship) model in the museum’s front window. Even children will be engaged with a separate area of the museum dedicated just to them.
I always stop in the museum shop before leaving. There are plenty of Scandinavian sweets and treats along with Swedish souvenirs. I like to grab a bottle of Glögg to enjoy. This spicy and hot wine is perfect around the holidays.
The Swedish American Museum is unique and educational. At only $3 admission, it’s hard to find a better value in town.