LionEach year the holidays roar into Chicago when the beloved lions who stand guard at the Art Institute of Chicago receive their annual wreathing. It’s a popular tradition that signals the start of the holiday season. The holiday highlights at the Art Institute of Chicago are numerous.

But that’s not all the Art Institute of Chicago has in store for the holidays.  There are plenty of treats to be had inside the museum as well.

Thorne Miniature Rooms   

Artists are seldom asked to think small, but that’s exactly what they’ve done for the Art Institute of Chicago.  What’s the big idea?  Find out by stepping inside the lower level gallery that houses the 68 Thorne Miniature Rooms. Young and old will enjoy getting a glimpse into these painstakingly replicated interiors ranging from 13th Century Europe up to 1930’s America.
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One of the Art institute’s most popular exhibits, here you’ll see a variety of historically accurate model rooms. An English drawing room, a French Provincial bedroom and a southwestern American kitchen are just a few of the rooms on display.

Deck the Halls
For the holidays, they’ve decked the halls of several of these miniature homes with decorations in keeping with each room’s appropriate time period and geographical location.

And it’s not just Christmas being celebrated in these homes— check out the menorah in the mid-century modern California interior.
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These are the dollhouses of your dreams and your child’s.  Their eyes will just about pop out of their heads as they delight in the tiny treasures found in each room. 

It’s a small world after all at the Art Institute of Chicago during the holidays, and for that we can all be thankful.

Admission to the Art Institute of Chicago is $18 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and children over 14, free for children under 14.

Art Institute of Chicago: www.artic.edu

Andrea Guthmann is a freelance journalist. She spent many years as a writer and producer for WTTW-TV, the PBS station in Chicago. Her travel stories have been published in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Parent, Make It Better and on-line travel sites.

A native Floridian, Andrea’s now a big (windy) city mom of 3, who range in age from tot to teen. After giving birth to 2 beautiful children she’s had the joy of becoming a mom again through adoption. She loves sailing Lake Michigan and visiting the world class museums and restaurants in her sweet home Chicago. Being a scenery starved city girl, she loves escaping to the outdoors during vacations and is working hard to raise 3 happy campers! You can follow her on Twitter at @AndreaGuthmann.