American Writers Museum
American Writers Museum
5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The American Writers Museum, the first of its kind in the nation, features fun and interactive exhibits for readers and writers of all ages. Explore more than 400 years of American writing of all genres, vintage typewriters, a Word Waterfall, word games and a Surprise Bookshelf that includes sounds, smells, videos and dioramas. Special exhibit FREE with paid admission: Level Up: Writers & Gamers.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from $16.00
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience American Writers Museum and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighborhood: Downtown / The Loop
Often visitors' first stop in Chicago, The Loop is a good starting point to sample the city's energy and flavor. This central business district boasts Michelin-rated restaurants, upscale hotels, premier shopping, and enough arresting architecture to keep your camera busy for hours. You won’t find too many photo galleries of downtown Chicago without a shot of Millennium Park and Cloud Gate (“The Bean”), one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. A stunning skyline coupled with cultural attractions like the Art Institute of Chicago present a Downtown where work and play peacefully coexist.
How to get there
  • Randolph/Wabash • 3 min walk
  • Lake • 4 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travelers are saying
  • christopherbO9687MP
    Acton, Massachusetts720 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent summary of American writers in general and Chicago's in particular
    The American Writers Museum contains an excellent summary of American writers in general and Chicago's in particular. Each of the featured writers in various mediums (fiction, poetry, screenplays, etc.) gets a brief introduction on a massive display wall plus a sample of their more famous sentences. Even if you don't recognize some of them, it's fun to see what they said that was particularly memorable. There are also lots of interactive displays that allow visitors to try crafting their own literature. That should appeal to young students as well as older readers.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 16, 2023
  • Michael R
    Raleigh, North Carolina25 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Spot for Readers and Writers
    I was curious about this museum as a high school science teacher. I went with a friend and thought we would just spend 20-30 minutes there to report to others what it was like. But, we were sucked in and spent close to an hour. It’s a small space (5-6 areas arranged in a circle). There are many interactive exhibits as well as information. It features all sorts of writing - novels, poetry, speeches, song, etc from people with diverse backgrounds. Certainly something for everyone to explore. Unexpected highlight of the trip. The entrance is on Michigan Avenue although there is a sign visible on Lake Street. Paid as we walked in. Hope they can increase the choices in the gift shop (pens or pencils?). Wanted to support them further and spread word to students.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 17, 2023
  • The_Coach55
    Ruislip, United Kingdom1,140 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting Innovative Museum
    The American Writers Museum is located in the Loop area of Chicago on North Michigan Avenue close to Millennium Park. There is a great deal of information pertaining to American authors over the last four centuries and I found it really absorbing. Great writers such as F Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck were well covered as were more local authors like Saul Bellow, Ray Bradbury, Nelson Algren and Upton Sinclair. I was slightly disappointed to not be able to vote for Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in my top three American novels as it wasn’t on the list. There are plenty of interactive exhibits on which budding writers can hone their skills. We spent a couple of hours here and the admission fee is $14 per person. The museum is closed on Wednesdays.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Robert P
    Valley Cottage, New York159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Small museum with lots to see and read
    This place is great. Starts with a room for children’s literature to thrill parents and kids. Then explores the history of writing in America with dozens of biographies set on a timeline and dozens of highlighted works across all genres (including lyrics, advertising, journalism) A special exhibit on Black literary history (included in your ticket) is a thought-provoking must see.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 18, 2023
  • Diane Elam
    Columbia, Missouri111 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Type on a typewriter!
    Definitely somewhat of a hidden gem of the city. This museum wasn’t mentioned as much as some of the other places while researching for this trip. I added it to the list in case I had time and I was able to make it and I’m glad I did. I love that they had a station with typewriters where you could type something and put it on the wall. I chose a quote that a writer friend of mine wrote that I absolutely love!
    Visited March 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written February 29, 2024
  • Anuja V
    Toronto, Canada31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Great Museum Experience for Kids & Adults!
    This little museum is such a worthwhile stop if you are visiting Chicago! Staff are so friendly and enthusiastic, tickets are reasonably priced, and there is a lot to see, do, and learn. There’s a great kid lit room that’s perfect for kids who might just want a quiet space to read/chill. Lots of interactive exhibits to check out. Kids especially liked the typewriters and the digital mad libs. Free bookmarks for everyone was a nice touch!
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 16, 2024
  • Caitlin H
    Kansas40 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Museum for Literature Lovers is Overall Wheelchair Inclusive
    The American Writer's Museum greatest strength is its design. It is incredibly interactive and uses technology to make historical or lesser known authors and their work exciting to new audiences. Try to catch a tour. They are free and the staff is knowledgeable and excited to talk literature. Depending on your point of view, the museum's focus on breadth and not depth can be a weakness or a strength. The current special exhibit (Level Up) was disappointingly surface level in its analysis. The museum is easily wheelchair accessible, but some elements of a few displays cannot be manipulated from a seated height. This was not enough of a factor to make me feel like I was missing out substantially and I would still consider it a worthwhile stop for those making use of seated mobility aids. I did not use the restrooms, so I cannot speak to them.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 9, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles438 reviews
Excellent
360
Very good
60
Average
15
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Vegan15
Chicago, IL20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
Wow!!! I rarely leave reviews but I was so blown away by my visit to the Writers Museum today. I'm kicking myself that I have walked by countless times (it's located in the heart of downtown Chicago right on Michigan Avenue) without going in. It appears to be a tiny museum and I assumed I would be in an out in 45-60 minutes, but I was there for over two hours and could have spent twice that amount of time. There are so many incredible interactive exhibits, some with a focus on Chicago writers that have influenced history, others that encourage the visitor to engage their own writing muscles, and much more. What a hidden gem!
Written May 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

imaginelifenow
Chicago, IL5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020 • Friends
Love this place!! So many different things to do. I had a blast watching my college grad daughter try out the typewriters. “Where is the #1 key on this typewriter?” Each section is setup so creatively. Alot of variety - history, hands on exhibits, play games, or sit and read. The author talks are very interesting. I spent awhile here and then became a member.
Written May 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ginnybean52
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I like that it is immersive, in that there are plenty of things to touch, open, turn. There are even old typewriters to use! There is a robust children's room (I am anxiously awaiting grandchildren to take) and displays everywhere. It is a small space, but difficult to take all in on one day. You definitely don't just stroll by exhibits, you engage and you think. And it is so personal, you can think it was made just for you.
Written February 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TNLikes2Travel
Tennessee95 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Solo
Readers and writers will thoroughly enjoy this interactive, “easy to pace yourself” museum. So well displayed and easy to navigate and enjoy. The exhibits bring a smile or a thought or a memory of a writer, book, or favorite quote. Well worth 2 hours or more. Highly recommend for teen age and above. Stools are located for relaxed time at the different exhibits. A wonderfully conceived and created museum!
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lynn M
Houston, TX2,533 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Solo
My husband and I spent two hours here and loved it. If you love to read, you should enjoy this. The museum is on the second floor (take note of the gorgeous elevator doors). It is all on one floor with different theme rooms. I took lots of photos of books, titles and author names I want to read. I focused on those I have not read or heard of versus those that I have read (Bradbury, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, etc.). I focused a lot on women authors and African American authors. I loved the interactive displays. I really loved that they had a lot of real books that you can pick up, open and get a flavor for the book. I wish we had this museum in our hometown as it could fit right in in any city in the U.S.
Written June 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vishwa A
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
A place, a space, a magical energy, where a true lover of writing gets lost, flows with the deepest inspiration, joy, and resilience that lies within you. This museum is a treasure to protect and persevere. The interactive elements and creativity of all different ways it can engage a visitor is mindblowing, heartmelting, and mesmermizing. So many spaces to tap into different writing styles in history so far and within you as a writer, reader, and lover of ideas. I visited twice in the same week in my first ever Chicago visit. Both times my heart just didn't want to leave. I learned and amazed myself with many different forms of writing and lives of writers and poets. There are many fun elements to the place that could captivate from kids to people of all ages, identities, and values. This is place is definitely worth a visit, especially to travel worlds and infinities within one museum.
Written April 13, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caitlin H
Kansas40 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
The American Writer's Museum greatest strength is its design. It is incredibly interactive and uses technology to make historical or lesser known authors and their work exciting to new audiences. Try to catch a tour. They are free and the staff is knowledgeable and excited to talk literature. Depending on your point of view, the museum's focus on breadth and not depth can be a weakness or a strength. The current special exhibit (Level Up) was disappointingly surface level in its analysis.

The museum is easily wheelchair accessible, but some elements of a few displays cannot be manipulated from a seated height. This was not enough of a factor to make me feel like I was missing out substantially and I would still consider it a worthwhile stop for those making use of seated mobility aids. I did not use the restrooms, so I cannot speak to them.
Written June 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael R
Raleigh, NC25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Friends
I was curious about this museum as a high school science teacher. I went with a friend and thought we would just spend 20-30 minutes there to report to others what it was like. But, we were sucked in and spent close to an hour. It’s a small space (5-6 areas arranged in a circle). There are many interactive exhibits as well as information. It features all sorts of writing - novels, poetry, speeches, song, etc from people with diverse backgrounds. Certainly something for everyone to explore. Unexpected highlight of the trip. The entrance is on Michigan Avenue although there is a sign visible on Lake Street. Paid as we walked in. Hope they can increase the choices in the gift shop (pens or pencils?). Wanted to support them further and spread word to students.
Written July 17, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

christopherbO9687MP
Acton, MA720 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
The American Writers Museum contains an excellent summary of American writers in general and Chicago's in particular. Each of the featured writers in various mediums (fiction, poetry, screenplays, etc.) gets a brief introduction on a massive display wall plus a sample of their more famous sentences. Even if you don't recognize some of them, it's fun to see what they said that was particularly memorable.

There are also lots of interactive displays that allow visitors to try crafting their own literature. That should appeal to young students as well as older readers.
Written July 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

klhchicago
Chicago, IL113 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019
Right on Michigan Avenue tucked away on a floor or two above the ground which is a step into the history of assorted U.S. writers. This is a very approachable place and has great presentation on writers through out recent history and their stories. Nice to see a good variety of writers that includes people of color.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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American Writers Museum - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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