Plenty of museums, gleaming skyscrapers, theaters, art galleries, delicious food festivals, live music, and wonderful nature trails define the awesome city of Chicago. Do not define it just as a cold and windy city because, there are tons of various things to do in Chicago, Illinois, the USA.
Therefore over 60 million visitors (per year) are attracting to this wonderful city from all over the world. So, add the following “the best 60 things to do in Chicago” to your bucket list.
Things to do in Chicago, Illinois
Things to do in Chicago: Millennium Park
Normally, Millennium Park is the first place that any traveler visit in Chicago. So, it is the most famous attraction in the city.
Therefore, the park hosts plenty of festivals, events, workshops, and activities.
Especially, the “Cloud Gate”, the unique metal sculpture placed in Millennium Park is the iconic symbol of the city of Chicago. It was built by a British artist named Anish Kapoor.
It shines and mirrors the skyscrapers and the sky of the city. So, visitors definitely take selfies with this bean-shaped metal sculpture.
Beyond the Cloud Gate, you can experience theaters (especially Christmas movies at wintertime), the famous video playing water fountain, an art gallery, and an awesome botanical garden.
On the other hand, the outdoor pavilion of the park hosts many concerts and carnivals as well.
All of these spots and events that happen in the park connect together through a winding pedestrian bridge. So, anyone can reach their favorite spot easily.
Actually, this is the Times Square of Chicago. So, you cannot miss this iconic park at all.
The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park
The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park is one of the latest adventure parks in Chicago.
So, obviously, it offers very unique and new adventures. That’s why you should put this park on the top of your list.
Spreading over 300 acres of land area, The Forge features the biggest aerial course in North America. So, it contains four amazing ziplining chances.
And also, you can experience kayaking, canoeing, hiking/biking trails with 5 miles, augmented reality games, and laser tags like exciting things.
When you feel hungry after doing a lot of adventure activities, you can visit an open-air market in this park. As it contains a beer garden and outdoor dining you can enjoy delicious food.
On the other hand, The Forge: Lemont Quarries Adventure Park has an amphitheater that hosts musical events, concerts, and films. So, while having food, you can entertain.
Things to do in Chicago: Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall
Chicago and food are compatible words. Chicago hosts the largest food festival in the world (explained later) and also the city offers you delicious food on every corner.
For example, Dr. Murphy Food Hall is a new food hall opened in Chicago. But, within a few time period, it has got huge fame as it offers very delicious food.
Locating inside the building of Old Cook Country Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Murphy Food Hall has around 12 delicious restaurants under 12 different concepts.
And the most important feature of these restaurants is, it offers diverse food types. Like BBQ, pizza, Chinese, Vietnamese, Nepalese, and Thai cuisines.
So, this place is completely for foodies. Just add it to your Chicago bucket list.
Things to do in Chicago: Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is one of the most visited parks in the USA. Only second to New York’s Central Park in terms of visitor count.
So, definitely, it is the most visited park in Illinois. Because it is packed with Chicago’s major tourist attractions.
It contains zoos, museums, theaters, gardens, conservatories, cultural centers, and more.
Obviously, there are plenty of things to do in Lincoln Park, Chicago. Like, shopping, dining, visiting animals, walking on the beach, horseback riding in hills, sightseeing, and more.
You have to admit that Lincoln Park is one of the most beautiful parks in the city filled with tulip gardens, lily ponds, green willow trees like things.
So, you cannot miss this popular park when you are in Chicago.
Things to do in Chicago: Untouchable Tour
The state of Illinois was not famous for mob activity. But, Chicago had a popularity for that.
Because the city was the headquarters of many gangsters in the Prohibition Era. Like Bugs Moran, Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, and some other mafia kings.
Therefore, Chicago offers a lot of mob tours. But, the “Untouchable Tour” is the best and the oldest one out of all the others.
It is filled with excitement, curiosity, and fun.
And the special feature of this tour is, all the guides are dressed up like the above-mentioned famous gangster figures in the 1920s.
They really take you to the places where mafia activities happened. Like the places where mobsters were murdered, fought each other, gunned down by the FBI, and etc.
Also, you may see the historical site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. I’ll tell you what is that incident for those who do not know about it.
(On 14th February in 1929, seven members of the Chicago North Side Gang were murdered. And it is called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre)
So, Untouchable Tours is an exciting opportunity for you to understand the dark history of the city and familiar with the streets as well.
Click their official link to know more.
Things to do in Chicago: Willis Tower
Willis Tower was recognized as “the tallest building in the world” until Dubai and Tokyo skyscrapers pass it. But, still, it is the most iconic and tallest skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois.
Having 1729 feet in height, Willis Tower was formally called the Sears Tower.
Willis offers some observation decks for tourists. There’s no doubt you’ll definitely see the best aerial views of the city from those observation decks.
You can see stunning views of the streets, lakes, rivers, sidewalks, bridges, and even clouds that stretched for miles from this skyscraper.
And the Skydeck is the most popular observation point out of all the others as it is entirely made with transparent glass. (both walls and floor)
Also, there’s a series of transparent decks jetting out from the side of the building. It is called the Skydeck Ledge and it lets you walk in the air from that massive heights.
Actually, the major commercial things that are going on Willis Tower are television and radio.
Isn’t it adventurous to see the world from a 110 storied building?
Suggested Reading: 40 Enjoyable Things to do in Charlotte NC
Things to do in Chicago: North Avenue Beach
We all know that Chicago gets more snow in the winter. And also it is normally a cold and windy city. Especially, in the winter. But, winter is not existing throughout the year.
Chicago has a good and bright summer season. I think one of the best places to celebrate the summer is, North Avenue Beach.
North Avenue Beach is not the only sand and surf beach in the city. But definitely, it is one of the best shorelines in Chicago.
Boating, swimming, biking, kayaking, jet ski, paddle boarding, water tubing are the adventure activities you can do in North Avenue Beach.
Starting from yoga classes in the dawn, until playing volleyball in the dusk, you’ll have so much fun in this destination.
Apart from the outdoor activities, there are some indoor activities as well. As this beach has a big beach house with over 22,000 square feet area, you can join with some beach entertainment events as well.
Or if you like to view stunning ocean views without exposing to the sunlight, just visit this beach house.
Things to do in Chicago: River Walk
Do you like to walk along the Chicago River? Yeah, it is the best Riverwalk that anyone can take.
Stretching for 1.25 miles, Riverwalk offers visitors many events and activities. There are many cafes, restaurants, bistros, and bakeries with delicious Chicago foods along the trail.
And also, there are souvenir shops, luxury boutiques, street stalls, museums, and theaters like a variety of spots that are ideal for any kind of visitor.
You can select any method to enjoy Riverwalk. Like just walking, biking, kayaking, or boating. On the other hand, you can plan for a picnic on the grass fields with your family.
Many couples sit on the stone steps and experience the beauty of the Chicago River and the sky.
Spending time within this 1.25 miles is just like a whole vacation as there are tons of fun things to do. So, do not miss it. Click the official link and get more information.
Things to do in Chicago: Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo or Chicago Zoo is an enjoyable place to visit with your kids. Since this is one of the oldest zoos on the entire continent, it provides a home for the best and rare collection of animals in the country.
Although it was built in 1868, you can still see some old and original structures that use in the zoo.
Rhinos, lions, penguins, monkeys, different kinds of birds, bugs, marines, and very rare species of various critters are available in Lincoln Park Zoo.
The good feature of this zoo is, animals have enough space to live and the administration has created an almost natural surrounding for each creature.
In some places, visitors are allowed to feed and touch animals very closely. Actually, the zoo hosts some petting and feeding events as well. Click the above official link to know about those events and more information.
Taste of Chicago Food Festival
Welcome to the largest food festival in the world. Yes, Taste of Chicago considers as the largest food festival in the world and it attracts over 3 million foodies per year from all over the world.
It has a variety of food items from street food to luxury restaurant type dishes. Like different flavors of pizza, noodles, pasta, pastries, tacos, burgers, soups, ice creams, and many more.
Actually, you’ll find some innovative, brand new food items as well. Because this festival welcomes chefs and vendors from all over the world with their unique flavors.
So, you can have Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Costa Rican, or whatever you like. Yes, Taste of Chicago is the largest multicultural food festival in the world.
While eating crazily, it offers you some other entertaining events as well. For example, outdoor concerts, dances, games, bohemian art galleries, live cooking demonstrations, and cooking competitions.
If you are going to visit Chicago in the summer, just participate in this delicious event as its admission is free. And the food is sold through a ticket system for lower prices.
So, just add it to your Chicago bucket list.
Things to do in Chicago: Chicago Lakefront Trail
Spreading for 18.5 miles through the city, Chicago Lakefront Trail offers you some unique views of the landscapes in Illinois.
When you walk along the trail you’ll see Chicago beaches, lakes, well-grown marshes, hills, pedestrian bridges, and sidewalks.
That means each and every inch has something to impress you. So, many locals attract here to jogging, picnicking, and cycling.
Actually, there are some places along the trail with flowers where your family can have an enjoyable picnic.
And also, youngsters attract to this trail as there several skate parks where they can practice kickflips.
So, I suggest you go for a picnic with your family on the Chicago Lakefront Trail.
Things to do in Chicago: Chicago History Museum
If you like to know more about the city of Chicago, this is a suitable place for that.
Chicago History Museum offers you any kind of information regarding special things that happened in the city. For example, the Great Chicago Fire happened in 1871, Chicago’s first railroads, and about many landmarks of the city.
In the case of political exhibits, they are dedicated to the Civil War, Prohibition, Women’s Suffrage Movement, and the other political movements that happened in Chicago.
Especially, you can see a huge influence of Abraham Lincoln in political exhibits as he considered this city as his major working headquarters.
The best feature that I see in this museum is every exhibit displays the whole story hidden behind it through various expressive ways. Like interactive videos, simulated fires, moving trains, and many more.
Actually, it is a very successful way to convince people regarding the exhibits. And it is really fun as well.
Things to do in Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago
Are you curious to know about the various cultures and art around the world? Then, the Art Institute of Chicago is one of the ideal and most recognizable places in the USA.
Having over 300,000 paintings, sculptures, fabrics, photos, portraits, textiles, and ceramics like exhibits and artifacts that represent different cultures around the world, this place will impress you for sure.
As most of the artworks are world-famous ones, you’ll probably identify them. For example, Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist and Grand Wood’s America Gothics.
And also some great artworks done by Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse, and Vincent Van Gogh are available.
Representing different cultures of different countries, the Art Institute of Chicago has impressive things like heavy metal weapons of European crusaders in 1000 AD and traditional hand-stitched Japanese kimonos.
If you are an art expert or not, this place will teach you a lot and offers you a chance to enjoy creative artworks in the world.
Things to do in Chicago: Wabash Arts Corridor
When the teachers give full freedom to college students to express their creativity, Wabash Arts Corridor like impressive things comes out.
This is an awesome outcome designed by students at Columbia College Chicago. When they were offered full freedom to select the place and do whatever they want, they have designed this crazy art corridor.
So, their effort should be highly admired and you’ll be surely impressed by seeing it.
Filled with various arts in the Wabash Arts Corridor, you can see creatively painted doors, windows, walls, archways, staircases, and many more.
Actually, you can see both new and old murals, paintings, or graffiti in every corner of this neighborhood.
Currently, since many local artists, college students, and even tourists are engaging in the paintings, you’ll see a lot of new artworks daily.
Yeah, people paint and repaint this Arts Corridor every day.
I think the special feature of the Wabash Arts Corridor is, it provides a platform for anybody to express themselves through creative artwork.
So, this place can be considered as one of the most unique places to visit. Do not miss the chance.
Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the state. Spreading over 400,000 square feet, it contains thousands of exhibits under various categories.
Like zoology, astronomy, natural phenomena, the transportation industry, mirror mazes, 3D walkthrough models, and many more. It covers almost everything related to science and industry.
For example, under natural phenomenon, the museum contains exhibits like experiencing a simulated tornado and teach you how the earth’s forces by using Foucault pendulums and Wimshurst machines.
In the case of transportation, marvels like various airplanes, rockets, Word War II submarines, trains, and many more are there for display.
And as I said to you earlier, there are amazing exhibits like mirror mazes with optical illusions and 3D walkthrough models human body (ex: human heart).
Being the best educational spot in Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry features everything related to science. So, this is an essential place to visit especially, when you tour with your kids.
Adler Planetarium has attractive and unique architecture. Because it is made of dark and heavy granite. And its dome is the most noticeable thing.
So, once you see this planetarium, you’ll surely feel like it’s an architectural wonder.
Spreading over 69 feet, the visitors can watch space-related films, projection, and video on a life-size screen. Adler Planetarium exactly offers you a chance to feel you are in a real space shuttle.
Obviously, this planetarium has space shuttles as well.
Other than that, it contains exhibits like meteorites, old metal space capsules that were used in NASA projects.
Apart from those exhibits, you can join some astronomy-related programs as well. For example, stargazing programs and celestial viewing.
On the other hand, there’s an active research and observation station in Adler Planetarium. And it hosts a lot of educational programs for every age level. That means for kids, couples, families, tourists, and also for general visitors.
As there are plenty of things to see and do if you visit the Adler Planetarium.
Click the above official link to know about their ongoing programs.
Illinois is rich with various landscapes and rugged natural beauty. But, we know Chicago’s natural lands have already replaced with buildings, shopping malls, and skyscrapers.
It is a sad truth. But, fortunately, still, there are few wonderful natural beauties like Morton Arboretum.
As it is devoted to trees if you visit this place you can get fresh air and mind-blowing views.
And also you can see a large number of flora species including native ones of Illinois as well.
One of my favorite parts of Morton Arboretum is it has a stunning flower collection in a wonderful garden.
If you visit with your kids, just let them have fun with the giant wooden trolls in the garden.
Or if you like to discover more about this natural land, you can select any trail out of countless tours, trails, and trams and enjoy the natural beauty.
Actually, Morton Arboretum is the best hideaway spot in Chicago where you can experience remote and calm surroundings (without toxic air, noises, and buildings).
Click the official link to know more information.
Bobby’s Bike Hike
Bobby’s Bike Ride is an excellent touring company in Chicago that takes you to the best restaurants in the city. Yes, it is a food tour on bikes.
Chicago pizzas, hot dogs, desserts, drinks, and many special food types are hunted from their bike routes that spread throughout the city.
There’s no doubt that they target the best and most delicious foods in the city.
They offer different kinds of food tours. Some of them are specialized in some particular food types.
So, you can select the tour according to your preference. Don’t worry, Bobby’s Bike team members are very friendly and will guide you well.
For example, dessert lovers can select the “Sweets and Sprit Dessert walking Tour” which is filled with delicious dessert types. Like candy infused cocktails, cupcakes, truffles, and many more.
And also in a tour like “Bikes, Bites, and Brews Tour”, you can eat different sausage rolls, deep dish pizzas (Chicago is famous for pizzas), hot dogs, and craft beers like things.
Since all of these tours are delicious and getting a chance to explore the city, Bobby’s Bike Ride has a huge demand among tourists in every season.
So, select your favorite tour from Bobby’s Bike Ride, and enjoy the best Chicago foods. Click the above link to know about their tour packages.
Wrigley Field is the oldest stadium in Illinois. And the special feature of this stadium is, still it has the same old features for many years now.
So, if you are excited to see an old hand-turned scoreboard, old floodlights, and ivy-covered outfield walls, just visit Wrigley Field.
Actually, its ivy-covered outfield walls are famous and an iconic feature of this stadium.
As it is located in the middle of a residential neighborhood, you can see many residents are enjoying matches from their roofs.
And those residents warmly welcome the stadium visitors and let the visitors park their vehicles in their driveways. Yes, you guessed correctly, the stadium does not have a parking lot.
Normally Wrigley Field hosts football games, baseball games, hockey games, soccer games, and even a number of concerts.
If you like to get a rare, classic baseball experience while eating a hot dog, Wrigley Field is the best stadium for you. And if you are lucky enough, you may catch a live concert as well.
However, I recommend you to check their schedule before you visit. Click the above official link for that.
Shedd Aquarium is one of the top attractions in Chicago. Especially among kids.
Having around 35,000 creatures, it is one of the largest ones in the state of Illinois.
The special feature of this aquarium is, it contains more than you expect to have in an aquarium.
For example, it obviously contains sharks, whales, and stingrays. But, on the other hand, it has snakes, bugs, amphibians, birds with the other marine creatures.
Therefore, the exhibits are divided according to several themes. Like “Amazon Rising” with a jungle related theme, “Wild Reef” with a colorful corals theme.
Apart from those themes, Shedd Aquarium offers you some unique experiences as well.
You can an underwater virtual reality experience. On the other hand, there are programs like animal feeding events, presentations, tours, and animal encounters that you can join. All you need to do is to register, click the above official link for that.
And as a bonus feature, it has a movie theater as well. So, do not miss this awesome place on your Chicago tour.
Spreading along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Chicago Navy Pier is filled with a lot of enjoyable things everywhere.
Like shops, delicious restaurants, street food stalls, museums, theaters, galleries, buskers, and many other festive things are available.
You can get scenic rides in Lake Michigan as well.
This festive atmosphere offers you live music events most of the time in the year.
And importantly, the Centennial Wheel (the first Ferris Wheel) is also located in this Navy Pier. Along with that, it contains wave swingers and the whir of tower drops like other amusement experiences as well.
On the other hand, there are elegant botanical gardens and funhouse mazes as well.
However, this is almost a festival zone that you can visit at any time of the year. So, just add it to your bucket list.
Locating a little outside of Chicago, Four Lakes offers you a lot of adventure activities to do.
So, just take a little drive towards Lisle Illinois while experiencing the awesome views in every mile. Especially in the winter, you can see breathtaking snow views.
Once you reach there, you can do snowboarding, skiing, tubing, and more.
Actually, I can define Four Lakes as one of the best skiing destinations in the city.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a complete beginner or a fluent skier. Because there’s a well-trained staff to guide you for everything.
Or if you feel confident to do it yourself there are wonderful terrain ranges that are ideal for any skill level.
So, this crispy, clean, fresh, and white destination should definitely include in your Chicago bucket list. Book your space from Four Lakes Snow Sports.
Ferris wheels were invented by a man named George Ferris Jr. in 1893. As a civil engineer, he has first displayed this Centennial Wheel, a giant metal wheel for the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition.
Yes, this remarkable piece of architecture changed the entertaining world.
Currently, we know that Ferris wheels are everywhere in the world. It has become a landmark of every major city in the world. And also it features in every amusement park and boardwalk.
In Chicago, you can see the Centennial Wheel as one of the most iconic tourist attractions.
Now, the old version is renovated and added safety features with high-class amenities. Also, there are VIP gondolas as well. They have plush seats and glass-bottomed floors.
So, a lot of families and romantic couples attract to this Centennial Wheel to get awesome aerial views of the city while having fun in the gondolas.
Especially, it is ideal for a romantic date night.
Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities
Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities is a shop made by a local couple in Chicago. Actually, by making this unique place, their aim was to make themselves easy with death.
But, surprisingly, it became one of the top tourist places in the city.
Actually, what does it contain?
The tables are filled with skulls, bottles and jars are filled with some disgusting things like animal fetuses, eggs, skins and etc.
On the other hand, the shelves are containing lamps made by using alligator heads and human dentures like things.
Everything inside this bizarre shop majorly focuses on death in a very weird way. But, fortunately, visitors see this place as a celebration of life. So, do not miss this unique Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities when you are in Chicago.
Chicago Children’s Museum
Are looking for a unique place to take your kids other than amusement parks and shopping malls? Chicago Children’s Museum is the ideal place for that.
It is a place that combines education and entertainment together for both kids and adults.
Having 3 stories, each layer offers various experiences under various themes.
For example, The Tinker Lab, The Dinosaur Expedition, The Cloud Buster, Play It Safe, and many more.
The Tinker Lab contains the tools used by the builders and engineers while the Dinosaur Expedition displays some hidden fossils of dinosaurs found by paleontologists.
The Clouder Buster offers your kids a chance to do climbing activities. Basically, it is a fun zone. So, they’ll love it.
And Play It Safe section provides knowledge about how to react in fire emergencies. And they simulate like emergencies in a firehouse and teach the visitors how firefighters fight for it.
Like that, there is a lot of fun stuff to do in the Chicago Children’s Museum. And most importantly, kids can get some knowledge while they have fun. So, plan an evening tour with your kids.
For more details, click their official website through the above link.
Garden of the Phoenix
Do you like to visit an authentic Japanese garden in Chicago? Well, the Garden of the Phoenix is the best place for that.
It has everything that you want to see in a Japanese garden. Actually, it is like transporting a Japanese painting into reality. And this beautiful reality is located in the middle of Chicago city.
Filled with flowers, ponds, streams, curved bridges, bonsai trees, and also cherry blossoms define the Garden of the Phoenix.
When you walk through the stunning trails, you’ll get shade from the bonsai trees.
And those walking trails are connected with curved bridges over the ponds and streams.
Also, the trails are surrounded by fragrant flowers like chrysanthemums, camellias, roses, and many more.
Especially in the morning, a lot of birds are flying here and thereby making wonderful sounds.
Is this a fairy tale? No, it is a real experience you can get if you visit the Garden of the Phoenix.
But, if you love to see cherry blossoms, you have to visit at the correct season as they have a very short life.
So, the spring attracts thousands of visitors to this garden in Chicago just to see those stunning cherry blossoms.
I hope you have already added the Garden of the Phoenix to your Chicago bucket list.
Chicago Cultural Center
Are you looking for a budget travel destination in Chicago, Illinois? Chicago Cultural Center is a suitable place for that. Because everything is free of charge from the entrance till the end.
Although they do not charge any money from you, do not ever underestimate the things inside this wonderful place.
Surrounded by the skyscrapers of Chicago, this cultural center still offers you a chance to experience various cultural things.
Like theater performances, musical programs, movie screenings, concerts, dance lessons, art lessons, tea ceremonies, and calligraphy classes like enjoyable things.
This high-class tourist spot has an attractive architectural style as well. The mother-of-pearl mosaics and grand staircase are more highlighted.
So, basically, the Chicago Cultural Center is a fun, budget-friendly, and attractive place to visit by any visitor. Just add it to your list.
Chicago Theater is very famous as it features in many movies, TV series, and postcards. Even you’ve entered there or not, the vintage style outlook of this theater should be familiar.
Built-in 1921, Chicago Theater offers you nice, historical, old views of architecture and furniture. So, it really made me feel like walking to the history that was rich in art and culture.
The balconies and ceilings have classic chandeliers and glided murals.
On the other hand, you can observe the last authentic Wurlitzer pipe organ that is left in the country.
And fortunately, the theater is still functioning as well. So, you can enjoy plays, magic shows, orchestras, music shows, comedy shows, and motivational speeches like entertaining events.
I highly suggest you visit the Chicago Theater as it has a lot to see and enjoy.
Superdawg Drive-In is one of the last retro dining places in Chicago. It has not changed any feature since 1948.
So, you can experience a classical food experience if you visit Superdawg Drive-In. Just imagine the era when girls wear poodle skirts and bouncy ponytails.
And surprisingly, it still runs by the same family.
Also, they serve the same old food recipes with salty, gooey, delicious food on paper hotdog trays. Yes, Superdawg Drive-In always serves you authentic fries, hotdogs, malts, and milkshakes.
I must say that they are not acting or pretending to look vintage, but it is their real way.
Once you stop the vehicle at this place and order in the intercom, carhops come up to you with delicious foods.
Actually, they offer a very good service as well.
So, if you like to go back to the old times and have old-style (but delicious) foods, Superdawg Drive-In best place in Chicago, Illinois.
If you are not familiar with the places and streets in Chicago, it is better to join with a trustworthy tour guide company.
And Shoreline Sightseeing is such a helpful, trustworthy, and flexible company that can be highly recommended for you.
They will take you to Chicago’s top tourist attractions by a comfortable boat. So, it will be an unforgettable tour for you.
Shoreline Sightseeing tour company offers some different tour packages.
For example, they offer “Architecture Tour” which takes you to see the city’s most famous and eye-catching landmarks by being on a lake tour.
On the other hand, there’s a “Fireworks Tour” that offers you a chance to see the weekly displays in Chicago.
There are some other tours as well. So, you can select one according to your preference. Some tourists are attracted to observe Chicago’s sunrise and sunset over the water.
And also you are offered drinks, snacks, and restrooms like amenities.
Actually, there are several advantages of hiring this kind of tour company. Like it is very comfortable, ensure that you are not missing any spot, and save your time.
So, plan your Shoreline Sightseeing tour ASAP.
Petrillo Music Shell
Being one of the largest outdoor amphitheaters in Illinois, Petrillo Music Shell has the capacity for 35,000 visitors at once.
So, obviously, it hosts a lot of entertaining concerts all over the year.
Since it hosts various kinds of music styles (like pop, indie folk, and country), all the music lovers attract to this place for shows.
Therefore the fans meet the most popular stars in the country at Petrillo Music Shell.
Apart from those music events, this place offers a venue for rallies, food festivals, and sports events like things as well.
However, the famous annual festivals like Lollapalooza, Chicago Gospel Music Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, and Taste of Chicago happens in this place.
So, simply, this is not just an amphitheater, it is a fun, community gathering spot in Chicago. Just target your favorite event and visit here.
Covering over 4 million square feet of land area, Merchandise Mart is a square-shaped building that looks like a warehouse.
This very large building is located in the middle of Chicago city and used mostly for businesses and offices. And this was the biggest building in the world. But, not anymore.
Still being a hub of commerce, Merchandise Mart is also open to the public as well. And it offers many services for the public.
It contains a lot of shops, showrooms, mail services, wine stores, a food court, and clothes dry cleaning centers like places.
So, basically, this is a perfect shopping mall that contains everything you need. If you feel hungry, just visit the food court inside the Merchandise Mart and have whatever you like.
On the other hand, Merchandise Mart hosts some events as well. For example, art shows, book signings, trade fairs, and fitness sessions, and more.
So, visiting this is one of the best things to do in Chicago, Illinois.
Barhoppers are you ready? Violet Hour is waiting for you.
It is open from 6 pm to 2 am and it is one of the trending places in Chicago for barhoppers. Locating in the Downtown, you’ll have a lot of fun there.
They ensure your joy from every aspect. For example, they do not even allow you to take the cellphone with you.
And Violet Hour decorations support a lot. Dim lights, heavy black curtains, and well-polished wood-grain tables like Chicago’s Prohibition-era style things are existing here.
But, do not misunderstand, there are no mobsters in Violet Hour.
And most importantly, the cocktails are delicious and unrealistic. Also, those cocktails have unique names as well. Like Moonchild, Giving Life to Memory, and more.
Not only cocktails, but you can also have the most delicious food made by the best chefs in the world.
So, keep your kids at the hotel/home and make a beautiful time in Violet Hour.
Maggie Daley Park
Maggie Daley Park, a crazy recreation area is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Chicago.
This recreation area has a lot of things to do for all ages and it is open 365 days per year. So, no need advance bookings or checking.
It contains gardens, large lawns, playgrounds, gardens, harbors, picnic areas, bike trails, ice skating path, tennis courts, places for rollerblading, rock climbing, and more.
Especially, the “ribbon”, the biking path is very famous among locals and tourists in the summer. On the other hand, the “ribbon” becomes an ice skating path in the winter.
And kids will love to enjoy rock climbing walls and rollerblading in Maggie Daley Park. Also, they will love to sprawl on the playgrounds with jungle gyms, bridges, tunnels, and multi-level towers.
Tennis fans and golf fans can play or enjoy games on tennis courts or golf courses in the park.
Another enjoyable thing to visit by adults in Maggie Daley Park is the mirror maze or the upside-down forest.
Are you still going to miss this awesome park in your Illinois tour?
Now I’m going to explain to you about one of the hidden gems in Chicago.
Located in Lake Shore (towards Northern Illinois) Montrose Beach doesn’t attract many tourists like other beaches in Chicago. It is not because of lacking beauty, but because, it is an uncommon one.
Soft sand dunes, glittering water with the sunshine, and mild wind define the nature of Montrose Beach.
The favorite feature of this beach is it has a very calm surrounding. Because, there are no crying kids, no vendors to bother you, nobody to play here and there. It is totally calm, serene, and lacks amenities.
You can do things like just walking along the soft sanded Montrose shore, swimming in the swimming area, riding a bike along the asphalt trail nearby the beach, and more.
If you are looking for a place to hide from the busy life and experience the sea breeze, there’s no other ideal place like Montrose Beach.
Obviously, Myopic Books is not just a bookshop. It is a very unique place and ideal for all the bookworms.
Having over 80,000 interesting books, Myopics attracts a lot of tourists all the time. So, you may always see crowded and books filled tables.
Why does every book reader come to this place?
Because it contains any kind of book especially under very rare topics. Most of the books that you can find in Myopics, do not contain in any other famous bookshops for sure.
There rare collection of antique books is the secret.
And they are existing under various categories like vintage sci-fi, busty romance novels, rare historical books, crime thrillers, and more.
Although this 3 storied building looks untidy and unclean, it is like heaven for the book overs. Also, the old book smell attracts a lot of real readers to Myopics tables.
So, just visit there in the afternoon to buy your dream novel. But, keep in mind, they sell only used books for the starters.
If you need to know more information, then just click the above official link.
900 North Michigan
900 North Michigan is a skyscraper made in 1989 and located in downtown Chicago. Being one of the coolest places in the city, it offers you a lot of cool things to do.
And this mall is filled with luxury shops, boutiques, discount stores, restaurants, and more. If you like to shop or just hang out with your family, this is a suitable place.
Suppose, it is a rainy day or a cold day, 900 North Michigan is there to get rid of that situation.
And also, while you are shopping, you have a chance to get amazing views of the city from its pillar-like towers as well.
A luxury spa, a fitness club, recreational areas, and even a book store is there.
On the other hand, several restaurants and cafes are ready to offer you delicious traditional foods as well as modern ones.
So, I don’t see any other place better than 900 North Michigan to be trapped in Chicago when it rains outside. When you enjoy things inside the mall, the rain might finish.
Crystal Gardens are like a location in a fairy tale. Because it has a unique beauty.
Made with a large glass atrium, the lush trees and flowers are cultivated inside it. It really contains large, tall trees.
So, obviously, there are deep, wild roots. But, they are well maintained and contained in symmetrical structures.
Since Crystal Gardens contain white color decors, you can see a very charming environment. In between plants, there are sculptures, water fountains, fairy lights, and some other simple aesthetic decors.
Due to this simplicity and fairy looking beauty, Crystal Gardens have a huge demand for weddings and other fancy functions in the city.
As this awesome garden is open for public visits and located on the Navy Pier, you can easily experience its beauty.
And there are no charges to enter. Yes, it is totally free. Do you need any other benefits?
Whether it rains or shines in the environment, Crystal Gardens offer you breathtaking natural views inside a glass atrium. So, plan your tour now.
Do not miss understand. Soldier Field is not a real war field. But, it is a fun field that hosts games like football, hockey, soccer, rugby, and more.
And also it hosts political rallies, monster trucks, and musical events as well.
Spreading over 66,000 feet of land area, Soldier Field is the largest stadium in Chicago. Therefore all the top events in the city are definitely happening in this place.
Obviously, their schedule is always filled with new and trending events. After enjoying the events, you are allowed to observe behind the scenes as well. Like a tour in locker rooms, a tour in the VIP suite, and a tour in the main field and country yard.
So, you can’t find a better stadium in Chicago than Soldier Field. Just click their official link to check the schedule and to book tickets in advance.
Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Actually, this is the Nickerson House owned by the banker Samuel M. Nickerson which was built in 1883.
Then, it is converted into the Richard H. Driehaus Museum by the Chicago Fund manager in 2003.
As it is located near the Magnificent Mile, any visitor can easily visit this museum. It is just like stepping back into America’s Gilded Age.
Inside the museum, still, you can see the original furnishings, luxurious arts, onyx, stained glass, marble, carvings, and many decorative arts.
The great American artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany has contributed to this museum with his creations.
Baha’i House of Worship
Baha’i is a new religion that was created in the Middle East and spread all over the world. But, it is a very lesser-known and not clearly expressed religion. But it is a very interesting one.
Therefore, the millions of followers of this religion have only a few temples and prayer houses in the world.
Well, Illinois is blessed to have one. And it has recognized as the largest and oldest Baha’i House in North America.
Whether you are a follower of Baha’i or not, its architecture should be admired. Yes, it has a very impressive architectural style highlighted with a lace patterned dome made on nine pillars.
And, when explaining about the interior, it contains uniquely painted murals and stained glass windows.
On the other hand, there are fountains, pools, gardens, and enough calm spaces to spend time outside.
Baha’i House is one of the most unique places to visit in Chicago.
It is not essential to be a follower of this religion to experience the beauty and history in this place. So, just plan a visit on your Chicago tour.
Chicago is nicknamed “The Windy City” as it has cold and windy weather. If you really want to experience that chill climate with entertaining events, Sky Rink is the best place for that.
Yeah, it is a wonderful, small ice skating destination which is located on the top of a luxury hotel named Peninsula Chicago. And it is decorated with fairy lights, a big Christmas tree, and more.
Basically, it is like an awesome movie location. So, you’ll also feel like you are acting in a Christmas movie when you enjoy Sky Rink.
A lot of couples are coming to this place to experience romantic ice skating.
And after skating, you can have delicious and fresh food as well. They offer you any kind of food that you like to eat.
The most important thing about visiting Sky Rink is, you don’t need to be a guest of the hotel Peninsula Chicago. So, anyone can visit and grab this wonderful experience at any time when you are in Chicago.
Welles Park is for visitors who are looking for a nice and quiet environment without any busy noises and crowd.
But, this park has all the amenities to host any kind of event like political rallies, musical programs, concerts, or festivals.
And also, as there’s a swimming pool, football and baseball fields, a fitness center, and a children’s playground, you can play whatever you like.
Or if you like to stay calm and enjoy the natural beauty, Welles Park is so good for that.
Because, there are picnic areas, grassy fields, shaded tree groves along nature walks, and more. So, when you are fed up with the busy and noisy life in Chicago, just head into Welles Park and get some fresh air.
Then, you’ll realize Chicago is really a wonderful city.
Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
This event is happening a few miles away from the city of Chicago. Exactly in Schaumburg, Illinois. So, now you may think, “is it worth driving there?”.
And the answer is of course.
You can have unique, but delicious food while watching the armor fights of men on white stallions in Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.
Don’t worry, although it seems like they fight for death, they are not. But, they act in a realistic way. So, we should admire their acting ability.
The above description clearly defines the appeal of Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.
It actually takes to the era of pageantry and peasantry in Spain in the 11th century. So, you’ll get goosebumps when the knights are entering the battlefield on their horses with swords.
And while they are fighting, you are served with delicious foods and drinks as well.
So, it is really worth driving a few miles from the city to experience this amazing Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Schaumburg.
Magnificent Miles is the best road for sightseeing in Chicago.
When you have already covered a lot of major tourist attractions in the city, but still need to see the lifestyle of this busy city, just walk along the Magnificent Miles.
It will give you a summary of the whole large city of Chicago.
Magnificent Miles is filled with shops, restaurants, malls, resorts, towers, skyscrapers, and major landmarks of the city.
Running through the Downtown, this road offers a lot of things to do by any traveler. Ok, let’s take the exact statistics, there are 51 hotels, 275 restaurants, and 460 stores along the Magnificent Miles.
And also there are museums, gardens, art galleries, theaters, and historically important things.
When you do not have advance plans and just landed in Chicago, you must walk along Magnificent Miles. It will give you tons of travel ideas.
Locating in the middle of Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain is one of the most impressive places in Chicago.
Exactly it is in between South Rose Gardens and North. And being one of the largest fountains in the world, it was built in 1927.
Buckingham Fountain is 8m tall along with 200 jets and 85m across. Also, it includes some designs to represent some states in the country and world art styles.
Like Allegory art for Lake Michigan, four pairs of sea horses represent the states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana.
On the other hand, Rocco design from the Latona Fountain at Versailles.
Whenever you visit Buckingham Fountain, you can see 5,700,000 liters of water, jets shooting water into the air up to 50m, and 20 minutes of water display per hour.
Second City Chicago
Now, It’s time to laugh.
Second City Chicago is one of the best places if you are looking for a comedy club. But, this is not just a comedy club. It offers you a lot of entertaining things.
As there are several branches of Second City all over the USA, it has created a lot of peoples’ path to Hollywood.
That means you can experience performances of really talented comedians.
For example, famous comedians like Stephen Colbert, Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, and Amy Poehler have initiated their careers from this place.
And it hosts a lot of shows, musical events, plays, comedy routines, and more.
So, Second City is one of the most enjoyable places to visit in Chicago. Click their official link to know about events.
Chicago Air and Water Show
Chicago Air and Water Show is such a wonderful, big event happens in the city since 1959.
And it is the largest free show and the second most visited festival in the country.
Because normally that event attracts around 2 million visitors to North Avenue Beach. Why do they come all the way to see this? Is it worth visiting?
Obviously, this a real display of supersonic jets, formation flying, skywriting, and skydiving like exciting things.
Chicago Air and Water Show is handled by the US Army and Airforce groups. Especially, the US Airforce Thunderbirds and Golden Knight Parachute Team.
Happening in the middle of August (usually on a weekend), this is the best thing to see in the Chicago sky.
Therefore, all the tickets in the 360 Chicago Observation Deck, lake cruise lines, and beachside restaurants are booked in advance.
So, hurry up.
Brookfield Zoo spreads for around 216 acres of land area and it provides a home for over 450 species.
It was opened in 1934, by introducing a huge difference to the USA animal conservation culture. And that was using moats and cages instead of cages and showing giant pandas for the first time in the USA.
Even recently Brookfield Zoo has added a new section called Great Bear Wilderness which lets you observe North America’s large carnivores.
On the other hand, kid’s favorites like big cats, giraffes, and rhinos are also there at Brookfield Zoo. So, just take a metra train ride to Brookfield with your kids and visit this zoo.
Poetry Foundation Library
There are very few poetry libraries in the world. And luckily, Chicago has one of them.
So, obviously, the Poetry Foundation Library in Chicago is definitely one of the most attractive tourist spots in the whole state.
And this wonderful place has a huge collection of 3000 volumes. Containing various types of poetry like raunchy limericks and flowery sonnets.
You can find poems in books, anthologies, scholastic works, diaries, and newspapers that have collected over the years.
On the other hand, you can hear the audio recordings of poems from listening booths. And most of the recordings are the real voices of those authors.
As there’s a huge demand from the visitors, the Poetry Foundation Library offers a limited time. It is open from 11 am to 4 pm every weekend.
If you like to read poems and you are in Chicago on a weekend, you can visit this amazing library located on Superior Street.
Field Museum of Natural History
Welcome to the largest natural history museum in Chicago. Actually, it is one of the largest ones in the world as well.
Filed Museum of Natural History has millions of natural artifacts like gigantic skeletons, colorful gems, pressed flowers and plants, taxidermy animals, and more.
Yes, there are over 24 million items in total.
The large skeletons in the display mammoths and dinosaurs like unique animals. And the colorful gems in the display have glittering edges.
Also, there are underground tours to display the way of the earth below the surface. On the other hand, the Filed Museum of Natural History shows space films to explore the space as well.
Many plants display inside the greenhouses of the museum. Also, the museum displays various pressed and preserved flowers.
Extrinsic animal species are preserved as taxidermy. Ex: the man-eating lions of Tsavo.
And even ancient texts are printed and preserved on silkscreens.
These are only some of the highlights in the Filed Museum of Natural History. That means there are many other impressive displays that are waiting for you.
So, come along with your kids for sure.
Chagall’s Four Seasons
Chagall’s Four Seasons is a unique sculpture in Chicago.
Locating under a glass canopy at the skyscraper, Chase Tower Plaza, it is an exceptional piece of art that everyone should admire.
And this mosaic was designed by the artist Marc Chagall with donations from the American stockbroker Frederick H. Prince.
It contains within a box sized 21m long, 4.3m high, and 3m across. And it is made with over 250 colors.
Now, you should curious about the content of it.
It displays Chicago’s skyline, flowers, sun, fish, lovers, birds, and musicians in a very creative way.
So, if you are an art lover, do not miss Chagall’s Four Seasons sculpture.
We all know there are Chinatowns in most of the major towns in the world. Chicago also has one.
But, it is one of the best and vibrant Chinatowns compared with others in the USA.
Generally, it has shops, restaurants, and street food stalls just like other Chinatowns. But, it has some beyond features as well.
For example, there are museums, parks, tourist areas, some schools, libraries, and more.
Therefore, it considered the biggest Chinatown in Illinois. So, obviously, it provides a home for around 100,000 people.
This business district offers you a lot of delicious food and drinks, market events, Chinese plays, and gallery openings like enjoyable things.
Don’t you like to try eating with chopsticks?
Just visit the happening Chicago’s Chinatown.
Chicago Jazz Festival
As mentioned above, the Chicago Jazz Festival happens in Millenium Park.
Taking for complete 4 days including the Labor Day weekend, this event is happening since 1974. The first event has happened in Grant Park as an honor to the late American composer Duke Ellington.
At that time, the stage was shared by famous jazz artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Sun Ra, and Milles Davis.
Still, the Chicago Jazz Festival is one of the famous festivals among Jazz lovers and attracts a lot of visitors.
If you love Jazz music, you must join with it.
Six Flags Great America
Six Flags Great America is one of the best amusement parks in Illinois.
Thrill-seekers will love to experience roller coasters, water slides, bungee jumping, plummets, bumper cars, tilt-a-whirls, racers, and more.
As it is located quite away from Chicago city (in Gurnee), you can have enough space as well. Just drive for around one hour to the north of the city to get this adrenaline experience.
And it is totally worth the drive.
Delicious food, festive climate, and fun, exciting activities define the Six Flags Great America thrilling location.
Do not forget to book your tickets earlier as you’ll find a coupon for an all-day pass. Click the above official link, to get more information.
Grant Park is one of the most famous parks in Chicago. And it calls “Chicago’s Front Yard” as it is open for many top tourist spots in the city.
It is a nice, massive and multipurpose place.
Since this park is open for many hot spots, (like Buckingham Fountain in Laurie Garden, Metal bean at Millennium Park, Petrillo Music Shell, and Art Institute of Chicago), it is an ideal place to end your Chicago journey.
Because you can easily check, what did you miss, and what you’ve already covered.
Chicago Mosaic School
Well, Chicago Mosaic School is a place that teaches you new, creative skills and new hobbies. And it is the only place of its kind that exists in Illinois.
Being a workshop for the local ceramicists, this institution has won awards as well. Especially, it has recognition for preserving this industry through creative work.
So, it is worth signing up for training sessions in this institute.
If you already know something about the ceramic industry, you can check for your expertise level. Or you can get a tour around this school as well.
While touring you can see a lot of handiwork, galleries, showrooms, studios, and exhibitions.
So, there are a lot of things to do and see at Chicago Mosaic School. And since this is a unique place, it will be unforgettable as well. Click the above link to join with a tour or class.
Things to do in Chicago: Chicago Picasso
This is an untitled monumental sculpture made by the great artist Pablo Picasso in the mid of 1960s. Existing in Daley Plaza, this is a very heavy one with 147 metric tons and with a 15m height.
Currently, it is a meeting point and a public event hosting place.
United Center is the home of the famous Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League.
Therefore the seats of the United Center had a huge demand by sports fans since the 90s.
When Micheal Jordan, the famous American basketball player, and Chicago Bulls moved to this arena in 1994, they have won major three titles from 1996 to 1998. Since he guided the team to achieve those titles, there’s a statue of him as an honor.
And its name is”The Spirit”.
After that, in 2010 the Bulls shared the United Center with the Chicago Blackhawks and won the Stanley cup in 2010, 2013, and 2015.
So, if you are a fan, you can surely catch the games in the regular season from October to April.
On the other hand, the United Center now hosts various events like musical events. So, click the above official link for me details.
Holy Name Cathedral
Holy Name Cathedral or Chicago’s Gothic Revival Catholic cathedral is one of the most highlighted places in the city.
After burning in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, this cathedral is reconstructed in 1875 by Chicago Station on the Red Line.
If you have eagle eyes, you’ll be able to identify the “Tree of Life Theme” in the building fittings.
And once you enter the cathedral, you can see immense bronze doors which are heavy more than 500kg.
Also inside the cathedral, there are impressive things like bronze sculptures of the Evangelists, a bishop’s throne (cathedra), and red Rocco Alicante marble.
So, it’s totally worth visiting.
Michigan Avenue Bridge
The Burnham Plan was proposed by Daniel Burnham and Edward H. Bennett in 1909 to design major development projects in the city of Chicago.
Like Michigan Avenue Bridge over the Chicago River, harbor facilities, parks, widened streets, civic buildings, and new railroads.
As an official Chicago Landmark, Michigan Avenue Bridge was opened in 1920. After opening this bridge, the Magnificent Mile developed so quickly.
When you visit the north and south pylons of the bridge, you can see the carvings that represent Chicago’s past. And the north pylons were made by Henry Hering while the south pylons were carved by James Earle Frasier.
Further, the south pylons depict the Defence and Regeneration while the north pylons highlight the Discovers and Pioneers.
Being one of US National Historic Landmarks, Robie House is located in the Univerity of Chicago.
Actually, what is it?
It was built in 1921. But it looks so modern. And this is an awesome residential architecture design made by the great Frank Lloyd Wright for Frederick C. Robie who was an assistant manager of a company in Chicago.
Following the Prairie architecture style, the Robie House considers as one of the most successful architectural designs of the early 20th century.
Normally, the Prairie architecture style represents the broad balconies, narrow red bricks, low profile, long cantilevered eaves, and more space like things.
Another highlighted feature of Robie House is, it contains impressive art-glasses hand-designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. So, you can see them on bathroom fittings, furniture, curtains, rugs, fireplaces, and lightning.
Things to do in Chicago: Oriental Institute Museum
After visiting the Robie House, do not miss the Oriental Institute Museum which is also located in the University of Chicago.
Because this is a unique museum that contains the ancient artifacts found during the digs in Israel, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Egypt.
The most highlighted exhibits are a statue of King Tutankhamen and a large human-headed winged bull which was found in the Assyrian city of Khorsabad.
And also, there are a set of ornate Luristan Bronzes which were produced in Western Iran in the early iron age.
On the other hand, there are thin ivories carved found from the ancient city Tel Megiddo (Northern Israel).
If you like to see all of these exciting things, just freely visit the Oriental Institute Museum on your Chicago tour.