Step back in time as history comes to life, enjoy classic cars and music of a bygone era, or savor the best in bar-b-que and blues. You'll find hundreds of special events happening all year long.
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Cubs vs. Cardinals: The Rivalry

3/24/2017 - 12/31/2017, Daily: 9 am - 5 pm

Visitors will see rare artifacts and photographs. They’ll learn about legendary players like Mordecai Brown and Rogers Hornsby and newer stars like Jake Arrieta and Yadier Molina. They’ll also be able to interact with the exhibit by sharing their own Cards-Cubs memories, answering trivia questions and playing a home run derby as their favorite team. “The Rivalry” was developed in conjunction with the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals, an unprecedented partnership from all three organizations for an exhibit of this type. 

Check out this video:

Michiko Itatani: Celestial Visions

4/20/2017 - 6/5/2017, Monday-Saturday 9 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday Noon to 4:30 pm

Michiko Itatani is one of Chicago's most well-respected contemporary artists. This exhibition features new acquisitions of drawings and prints alongside installation-based and heroically scaled figurative paintings from the Museum’s Fine Art Collection. Exhibition will be on display at the Illinois State Museum through June 5, 2017. For more information contact Robert Sill at or 217-524-5744.

Museum Admission: Adults ages 19-64: $5. Members, youth, seniors, military, veterans: Free


Concert at the Carillon

5/3/2017 - 9/27/2017, Every Wednesday: 6:30 pm
A half an hour, outdoor, live concert with a great variety of music, played by the resident carillonist on the 67-bell Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon.

Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago Exhibition

5/25/2017 - 8/11/2017, Monday-Saturday 9am to 4:30pm, Sunday Noon to 4:30pm

The Illinois State Museum proudly presents Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago, organized by the Elmhurst Art Museum. Executive Director, Jenny Gibbs, and curated by New York’s Dan Nadel.  This interactive exhibition is an examination of the intertwined history of two of Chicago’s greatest exports: pinball and imagist painting. Guests are invited to play pinball on Chicago-built pinball machines alongside paintings, sculptures and prints inspired by them, including works by Roger Brown, Ed Flood, Gladys Nilsson, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida. The exhibition also features original works by Constantino Mitchell a long time pinball artist.

Most of the world’s finest pinball machines were made in Chicago's North Side factories. As those machines reached the apex of pictorial and engineering ingenuity, the artists now known as the Imagists and the Hairy Who were finding their unique visual style with inspiration from many vernacular sources including the arcades and Riverview Park. Pinball provided inspiration with its high contrast coloration, absurd juxtapositions and ultra-flat forms. Pinball was but one inspiration for these artists, along with the city’s many color storefronts, campy product ads, and hand painted and neon commercial signs. The exhibition also contains photographs of Chicago in those years, as recorded by some of these same artists.

The exhibition will be open through August 11, 2017. For more information, contact Karen Everingham, or (217) 782-5949.

The Illinois State Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon until 4:30 p.m. Museum admission: $5 for adults ages 19-64; Free admission for Members, children, seniors, and veterans.

Legacy of Giving Music Festival

6/2/2017 - 6/3/2017, F. - 5 pm to Midnight; Sa. - Noon - Midnight
The successor to SOHO, Legacy of Giving Music Festival will feature 5 stages, 60 bands, a Family Fun area, and much more!! This is a great weekend to visit Springfield!! Bring the kids, bring the dogs! A great weekend outdoors while enjoying music and entertainment! All proceeds go to charity. 

Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago Public Reception

6/2/2017, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

A public reception will be held at the Illinois State Museum on Friday, June 2 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm for the new exhibition, Kings & Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago. Attendees at the reception will have the opportunity to play select pinball machines. Free and open to the public.

Two of Chicago’s greatest exports – pinball and imagist painting – have an intertwined history of mutual appreciation. Arguably the world’s finest pinball machines were made in Chicago's North Side factories, and many of those were produced by Elmhurst's Gottlieb family. As those machines reached their apex of pictorial and engineering ingenuity, the Chicago artists now known as Imagists were finding their unique visual sensibilities. They drew inspiration from pinball’s high contrast coloration, absurd juxtapositions, and ultra-flat forms. Pinball was but one inspiration for these artists, along with the city’s many colorful storefronts and the enormously popular Riverview Park.

The exhibition at the ISM in Springfield will display sixteen pinball machines from the 1960s through the 1980s, nearly all designed and built in Chicago, alongside Imagist paintings, sculptures and prints by Gladys Nilsson, Ed Flood, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Barbara Rossi, Ray Yoshida and Karl Wirsum.

The exhibition opens at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield on Saturday, May 20, and will continue through Friday, August 11, 2017 .  For more information, please contact or (217)782-0061 or (217) 782-7386.



Civil War Tech: Trench Warfare

6/3/2017, 10 am - 11 am
Civil War soldiers began using trenches to help them avoid increasing attacks from small arms and cannon fire. Discover how trenches were used during the 292-day battle at Petersburg, VA. How would you have used trenches in battle? Registration recommended. Ages 8-12. Civil War Tech is a monthly program series presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum thanks to generous support from AT&T. 

Outside at the Museum Super Saturday

6/3/2017, 11 am - 3 pm

Come celebrate No Child Left Inside Month at the Museum. Activities will include cloud watching, nature hunts, sidewalk chalk, plain air art, and more on the Museum porch and lawn. In the event of rain, activities will be moved inside.

Super Saturdays at the Illinois State Museum offer free, thematic activities recommended for children ages 5 and up each month. Activities take 30-40 minutes to complete and feature crafts and educational games. Parents and families are encouraged to participate.

Museum admission is $5 for adults 19-64. Free admission for Members, youth, seniors, military, and veterans.

56th International Carillon Festival

6/4/2017 - 6/9/2017, Concert Every Night: 6:30 pm
The International Carillon Festival, in beautiful Washington Park, features concerts by some of the world's finest carillonists. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Don't miss the Festival fireworks Friday evening. During the past five decades, the Festival has featured carillonists from: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, and the USA. Individuals and families are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner as well as lawn chairs and blankets. There is large video screen are the base of the Carillon which allows the audience to view the carillonist during the performance. Fireworks on Friday June 9 at dusk (~9:15 pm) Fireworks Rain date, Saturday June 10, at dusk. 

Bob Steffan Summer Film Fest - Rocks & Erosion

6/6/2017, 10am & 2pm

In this school bus series film, the bus turns into a boulder and the students are transformed into rocks for a lesson about erosion. 

Summer Film Fest
Enjoy a movie at the Museum this summer. The Summer Film Fest features 30 minute, fun and engaging films on a variety of topics including dinosaurs, rocks, bats, birds, and more. A different film is shown each week throughout June and July.

This program is recommended for children ages 3-8 and is great for day care classes, summer camp groups, and families. Each film lasts approximately 30 minutes. Registration is only requested for groups of 10 or more (group pricing available). For a schedule of film titles or to register a group, email or call (217) 782-5949. Group Admission: One adult entry free with every 10 youth tickets.

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