Engineering Fest

Sunday, Feb 23 – 24, 2020 9:30 am – 5 pm

111 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601

On Feb. 23 and 24, drop by anytime between 9:30am—5pm to build and learn, view two floors of exhibits, meet engineers and celebrate the 125th anniversary of the World’s Fair at the CAC’s annual two-day Engineering Fest—bigger and better than ever! Kids ages 14 and younger are FREE.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Engineering the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.” Come celebrate the 125th anniversary of the fair by taking part in numerous stations and activities, including:

  • Design the Midway — Gain a new perspective and explore our miniature model of the South Side's Midway Plaisance park from a bird’s eye view.
  • Build and test a Ferris Wheel — Mr. Ferris and his wheel became famous at the World’s Fair. Put your engineering skills to work and help make the wheel move!
  • Meet an engineer — After building a Ferris Wheel, test your creation with a licensed engineer for feedback.
  • Engineering Marvel — The immense size and speed at which the Fair was created is thanks to a unique engineering feat: the Three-Hinged arch. Learn about how the arch works and was used in almost every building at the Fair.
  • Out the window — The 1909 Plan of Chicago grew from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition and changed the way the city looked and operated. Take a look out the window and see some of the changes that owe their start to the world’s fair.
  • Soil testing — Test various samples of soil and learn about the special engineering it took to build the 1893 World’s Fair on Chicago’s swampy ground.
  • E-fest youth tour — The Fair has long been over, but we still see remnants from it today. Take a quick tour around the block and learn about the history of the 1893 World’s Fair from what we can still see today. Stops include and not limited to: the Wrigley Building, the Chicago Flag and taking a peek at the new Navy Pier Ferris Wheel (if time allows).
  • Photo station — Say "cheese" at our themed photobooth station!


  • Tickets for Engineering Fest may be purchased in advance or on the day of the event at the CAC box office.
  • Ticket price includes entrance to the Chicago Architecture Center on the day of the event.
  • Tickets for children 14 and under are free and will be available at the CAC box office.
  • All online transactions will be charged a $3 convenience fee. To avoid this fee, order tickets via phone 312.922.3432 or in-person at the CAC Box Office at 111 E. Wacker Dr.