Midwest Living Review
Though the Swedish culture isn't as prevalent in Chicago's Andersonville as it once was, you'd never know it when you step into the Swedish American Museum Center. For more than 30 years, this North Side attraction has kept the Swedish immigrant culture vibrant. The museum's major permanent exhibit, "The Dream of America: Immigration to Chicago," covers all aspects of immigration. Why did so many leave Sweden? How did they get here? What did they bring with them, and why did they choose Chicago? The Brunk Children's Museum covers many similar topics in a hands-on way for kids. They can haul in firewood at a traditional Swedish farmhouse and "ride" a 20-foot immigrant steamship. A temporary art gallery houses rotating exhibitions, including "17 Swedish Designers," celebrating female artists and Swedish innovation, and "Nordic Light," featuring the Swedish landscape paintings of Johan Thunberg. At the museum store, you can stock up on books, gifts and ornaments. Genealogists trace family histories at the Nordic Family Genealogy Center. Annual events at the museum include Midsommarfest and several around the holidays, such as the popular St. Lucia celebration.