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Special Events

We have lots of great opportunities to network with colleagues and experience Chicago's famous entertainment offerings. Enhance your time at the conference by taking advantage of some of these great events.

Exhibit Hall Continental Breakfast

Kaur Foundation cordially invites you to: Bagel and Coffee with author Linda K. Wertheimer Hear Linda's personal stories and insights which inspired her to write Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance. Learn more about teaching versus preaching. Ask tough questions; get straight answers on teaching religion in the classroom. Be one of 25 to receive a personally signed copy of her book. The breakfast is generously sponsored by Kaur Foundation.

Institutional Members' Networking Lounge

Calling all Institutional Members! Join us for a new professional networking opportunity to meet other institutional leaders and share in opportunities and challenges across your organizations. This special session is for representatives from our Institutional Members only and is designed to provide a strong way to make new connections and exchange leadership strategies. As a special bonus, meet Hall Davidson, our Featured Speaker from Discovery Education, who will share deeper insights on how to build a future for social studies! NCSS President India Meissel and Executive Director Lawrence Paska will also share thoughts with you about NCSS supports for your organization.

Refreshments provided courtesy of Discovery Education.



Human Rights Education Community Reception

Join the Human Rights Education Community at a Reception honoring the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) recognizes the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), December 10, 2018, as a significant historical milestone in the development of a global civic culture based on respect, fairness and dignity for all. … NCSS urges all participants in the 2018 NCSS Annual Conference to … engage with the NCSS Human Rights Education Community in building human rights awareness into the educational experience of every student. (”

Meet-and-Greet the NCSS HRE Community for light refreshments and a no-host bar, sharing resources and information for re-vitalizing the story of our journey to human rights with classroom and community-centered teaching and learning. Meet special guest Karen Robinson, Senior Education and Training Manager for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights , the 2018 recipient of the Edward O’Brien Human Rights Educator Award (to be presented at the reception).

NCSS President's Breakfast and 2018 Teacher of the Year Awards

Join us for the official opening of the 98th NCSS Annual Conference. The breakfast will include a keynote speech by Girl Scouts of the United States CEO Sylvia Acevedo, honor the 2018 Teacher of the Year award recipients and include NCSS President India Meissel's address on the current state of social studies.

The President's Breakfast is a ticketed event, generously sponsored by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The Ballroom will be open for any registered attendee without a breakfast ticket interested in hearing the program.

Reception at the Palatine Gurdwara

The Palatine Gurdwara, the oldest in the midwest, is a unique venue for this celebration of teachers and social studies education, connecting us with the heritage of the Sikh-American community. This engaging evening includes networking opportunities, a gallery tour, cultural activities, and a traditional vegetarian Langar. Explore exhibits and watch diverse documentaries. The reception is hosted by the American Sikh Council in collaboration with the Sikh Resource Society and the Palatine Gurdwara.

The Second City


The Second City is America’s most famous live comedy theater, with original comedic revues featuring sketch, improvisation, and music, performed 7 nights a week. For over half a century, their ensemble casts have been daring audiences to laugh at our world, our shared troubles, and ourselves. In their oldest theater, Second City's Mainstage Revue features the latest of cutting-edge sketch comedy. The Second City boasts a lengthy alumni list from Bill Murray to Steve Carell, John Belushi to Tina Fey, and continues to produce the premiere comic talent in the industry. 

SOLD OUT. The 8:00 show on Saturday is completely sold out, but you can find tickets for other performances over the weekend here.


How does a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean by providence, impoverished in squalor, grow up to be a hero and a scholar?  Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash Broadway musical on the life of Alexander Hamilton has come to Chicago.  

Friday and Saturday SOLD OUT

Tickets for both Friday and Saturday evening performances are still available through

Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!

 Experience NPR’s weekly hour-long news quiz program live, from its regular home at the Chase Auditorium. Test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world, and laugh at the week’s events.