Chicago, one of the best cities in the world, is full of fun activities, great food, beautiful parks, and a dazzling lakefront to keep you busy during your stay. Check out www.choosechicago.com for more details. Here are a few of our favorite Chicago destinations:
Millennium Park: Wander through the gardens, take in a concert, see the famous Cloud Gate sculpture (a.k.a. “The Bean”), or enjoy a good meal. A city park like no other.
Navy Pier: Ride the 150-foot Ferris wheel for an unparalleled view of the skyline and lakefront. IMAX theater, restaurants, Chicago Children’s Museum. Segway and boat tours depart from here.
Museum Campus: Three great cultural institutions in one location!
Head to the museum campus to check out the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Adler Planetarium.
Among The Field Museum's 20 million specimens is Sue, the largest and most complete T. Rex ever found. The Field offers various guided explorations from 30-45-minute tours of favorite exhibits to the full-day Behind-the-Scenes Tour of permanent collections, special exhibits, storerooms, libraries, and working laboratories.
The Adler Planetarium is the world's only museum with three full-size planetarium theaters, as well as daily programs and exhibitions.
Get up close with 22,000 aquatic species at the Shedd Aquarium. A typical visit to Shedd will allow group members to enjoy the recently renovated Oceanarium and thrilling aquatic show, as well as Stingray Touch, an interactive stingray exhibit.
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is an encyclopedic art museum located in Chicago's Grant Park. It features a collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in its permanent collection. Not to be missed!
SkyDeck at Willis Tower (a.k.a. the Sears Tower)
See amazing views of the city and beyond from an enclosed ledge that extends 4 feet beyond the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere.
360 Chicago Observation Deck
360 CHICAGO observation deck, located 1000 feet above the famed Magnificent Mile in the iconic John Hancock Building, offers breathtaking 360 degrees views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan. 360 Chicago observation deck is also home of TILT – Chicago’s highest thrill ride – an enclosed moving platform that literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th Floor. With its many interactive learning opportunities on the city’s rich history, colorful neighborhoods and its iconic architecture, along with a modern Bar and Café where you can relax and enjoy the best views of the city, 360 CHICAGO is the perfect place to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour
Chicago Architecture Foundation Boat Tour Learn about Chicago’s rich history and amazing architecture from docents of the Chicago Architecture Foundation via river cruise on the Chicago River.
If you’ve never seen Lake Michigan, you will be amazed at how beautiful and expansive it is. Walk, run, or bike along Chicago’s lakefront trail which runs 18 miles along protected beaches. Easily accessible from Navy Pier. Rent a Divvy bike (stations located throughout the city, including one at Fullerton and the lake) and explore! Bring your binoculars and head to the many great birding spots along the trail, including Montrose Beach, the Magic Hedge, and Jarvis Bird sanctuary. See this Bird Trail Guide for more details.
Don’t miss Soldier Field (Football stadium, home of The Bears), Wrigley Field (Baseball stadium, home of The Cubs), US Cellular Field (Baseball stadium, home of The White Sox), and the United Center (Basketball area, home of The Bulls, and hockey rink, home of The Blackhawks).
Museum of Science and Industry
If you are able to venture a little further afield, the Museum of Science and Industry, right near Chicago’s Hyde park. From their website: “The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere, is home to more than 35,000 artifacts and more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on experiences designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. Since opening our doors in 1933, we’ve welcomed more than 180 million guests from around the world. Our mission, to inspire the inventive genius in everyone by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational, is realized through world-class exhibits such as: Science Storms, an exhibit revealing the science behind some of nature’s most powerful phenomena; YOU! The Experience, an exhibit that lets you explore what it means to live a vital, healthy life in the 21st century; and the U-505 Submarine, the only German U-boat in the United States.”
If you are interested in seeing several of these attractions, a CityPass might be a cost-effective option. See http://www.citypass.com/chicago for more details.
Finally, if you’ve got time, don’t forget to get out of downtown and explore some of Chicago’s other neighborhoods! The city of Chicago spans nearly 20 miles north and south along Lake Michigan. Wrigleyville, Wicker Park, West Loop, and Hyde Park all offer different sides of the city.