Listen To Live Blues At Buddy Guys Legends
Established by Grammy-winning Blues music maestro, Buddy Guy, this venue holds a special place in local hearts.
With live performances happening every day of the week, soaking in some of the best blues the city has to offer couldnt be easier.
The menu serves up tasty New-Orleans-inspired dishes, the bar is stocked to the brim, and you can even grab a t-shirt souvenir on the way out!
Catch A Show At The Chicago Theatre
Besides sitting down for a show at the world-famous Chicago Theatre, visitors are blessed with the opportunity to go behind the scenes and explore the grand history and intricate architecture of this iconic entertainment venue.
Step on stage, visit the rehearsal space, admire the ceilings, and more, all with an expert guide leading the way.
The theatre is centrally located to countless bars and restaurants, which makes planning the evening outing a breeze.
Fun Things To Do Near Chicago Il: Best Places To Visit Nearby
- Christina Rado
Sure, Chicago has a lot to offer travelers, but there plenty of amazing locations in the surrounding area as well.
If you are looking for a new adventure, check out this list of fun things to do near Chicago, IL.
Our carefully selected locations include exciting zoos, beautiful lakes, national parks, and much more.
Whether you are a couple, solo traveler, or accompanied by your squad, these locations will add more thrill to your vacation.
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Explore The Exhibits At The Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago
Located right near Water Tower Place, the Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the worlds largest contemporary art venues. Filled with thousands of pieces from different eras, the museum is operated gallery-style and includes newly curated exhibits year-round. Past exhibitions have included visuals from both local and global artists like Virgin Abloh, Simon Starling, and Doris Salcedo. Tickets are available online or at the box office and admission is free for those with membership as well as for Illinois residents on Tuesdays. Suitable for both groups and solo travelers, the MCA is a perfect destination to become connected and immersed in the art community.
220 E. Chicago Ave. | 280-2660
Experience Unrivaled Luxe Dining At Alinea
Alinea calls themselves not a restaurant instead, they refer to themselves as a culinary experience. It might seem odd, but with three Michelin stars under their belt, they can do as they please.
The ultra-modern haunt offers three high-class, unique experiences: 1) The Gallery Menu, a multi-sensory 16-to-18 course menu, 2) The Kitchen Table, a completely private dining experience in the company of the chefs, 3) The Salon Menu, a more affordable 10-12 course tasting menu.
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Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
This child-friendly museum in Lincoln Park presents the natural history of the Chicago region in smart and interactive ways.
During the Critter Connection every day at 11:30 kids can get an up close look at more than a dozen different amphibian species at the Animal House.
Theres also a bird walk, leading to a platform over Lincoln Parks North Pond, as well as hands-on stations where kids can learn about rivers, solve nature-inspired puzzles and explore a beaver lodge.
Experience Michelangelos Masterpieces In An Immersive Photographic Exhibition
Cant you travel to Rome and see the Sistine Chapel? No problem!
Go back in time visiting a full-scale photographic reproduction of Michelangelos masterpieces. The exhibition is created with a unique technique that makes the digital reproductions looking like paintings and frescoes.
The photographic exhibition reproduces 34 famous frescoes from the universe of Michelangelo.
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Art Institute Of Chicago
Three of the most studied and celebrated paintings of the past 150 years await at an art museum to match the best in the world.
These works are Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, American Gothic by Grant Wood and Seurats A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
They are all obligatory, as is Picassos Old Guitarist, but are only a gateway to a whole feast of art.
The Art Institute of Chicago has the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting outside Paris, with more than 30 paintings by Monet, as well as works by Cézanne, Renoir, van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.
For modern art theres Jackson Pollock, Warhol, Jasper Johns and Matisse, while the modern architecture and design collection has drawings and models by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and more.
You can also delight in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman artefacts, from mosaics, to pottery, glass, coins, bronze and jewellery.
Tip: Entrance is included in the Go Chicago Card: All-Inclusive Attraction Pass
Cheer On A Sports Team
No matter what time of year, theres a game going on somewhere!
Be part of the Crosstown Classic, where Northsiders cheer on the Cubs at Wrigley Field and Southsiders root for the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Baseball not in season? The Blackhawks hit the ice at the United Center fighting for another Stanley Cup!
And who can deny a chance to see the Chicago Bears play at Soldier Field?
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Fun Things To Do In Chicago At Night: Tourist Attractions
Which Chicago tourist attractions are open at night? Start with the free Millennium Park and the famous metallic Bean sculpture in downtown Chicago. The park technically closes at 11 pm everyday, though its hard to imagine anyone caring if you stroll by at midnight to grab a couple selfies with the Bean. Millennium Park also has free outdoor evening concerts quite often during the summer.
The Willis Tower Skydeck remains open until 10 pm everyday and midnight on Saturdays. Go up there and conquer your fear of heights by walking out onto the clear Skydeck ledge!
Another of the best places to go in Chicago at night is the Hancock Tower. The observation deck takes guests up to the 94th floor until 11 pm, while the Signature Room, a classy bar on the 95th floor that offers the same awesome views, stays open until midnight.
View the city of Chicago from 95 floors up at the Signature Lounge in the Hancock Building.
Most Chicago museums close before night time, but some have later hours on specific days of the week. For instance, the renowned Art Institute of Chicago stays open until 8 on Thursday evening.
The Chicago History Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Museum of Science & Industry all have occasional Happy Hour events that go until 9 or 10 pm. And the Shedd Aquarium has a ton of adults-only After Hours events until 10 pm, like salsa dances and game nights.
The Art Institute is one of the most fun places to go in Chicago on Thursday nights.
Greet The Animals At The Lincoln Park Zoo
Since its opening in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo has developed a reputation for excitement and prestige.
One of the most established zoos in the country , the 35-acre complex houses animals of all shapes, sizes, colors, and origins amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and more.
Its a fantastic excursion for the whole family just remember to wear comfortable shoes.
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Nra Basic Shotgun Shooting Course
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Free Music Mondays At Empty Bottle
One of Chicagos top locations for indie music is the Empty Bottle, located in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood.
There is music every night of the week, and Monday nights are usually free, featuring local and national musical acts.
Info: Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N Western Ave, see the calendar of events at emptybottle.com.
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Best In Chow Food Tour Chicago Food Planet
I have always wanted to do a food tour, but wasnt sure how it would go over with the kids. It ended up being great! We choose the right tour that was all about classic Chicago food which is also a lot of kids favorites. The Best In Chow Food Tour by Chicago Food Planet.
The tour was 3 hours long and we walked about 1 1/2 miles around Chicago stopping at a variety of restaurants to sample the food and also some Chicago landmarks where our guide gave us a great history lesson on Chicago and on the foods we were trying.
It was cool how we included not only history on Chicago, but also a lot of history and interesting facts about how these foods ended up being Chicago classics.
Eating 5 different kinds of foods can sound like a lot, but with the walking and the breaks in between to learn more about Chicago, the food it was perfect. Plus it kept the kids occupied and full so they were great and really enjoyed it.
At the end of our trip Carson said it was his favorite thing we did in Chicago! Book your tickets for the Best In Chow Food Tour now. Or try the Secret Food Tour and get your tickets here!
Embrace Your Inner Homer Simpson On An Original Donut Walking Tour
Chicagoans have long adored the donut. Taste the very best the city has to offer with a dedicated desert tour, stopping into a hand-picked selection of the Chicago Loops top donut shops.
The tastings are all included , while vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free options are also available.
For anyone with a sweet tooth, this tour should headline your bucket list of things to do in Chicago.
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Check Out Trippy Paintings Come To Life At Immersive Van Gogh
The stateside premier of this international project continues to wow crowds at Chicagos Germania Club Building for an immersive experience featuring moving images illustrating the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The 600,000-cubic-foot experience includes bright flashing lights set to soundtracks in a historic Gold Coast building. For dessert, peep the Art of Banksy, the worlds largest traveling exhibit devoted to the legendary street artist, open now through Halloween.
Learn About Latin Culture At The National Museum Of Mexican Art
Nestled within Chicagos Pilsen neighborhood, this free museum provides an exciting, educational insight into Mexican and Latin American culture.
With a collection covering some 9,000 pieces of art spanning from ancient Mexico to present modern times, the National Museum of Mexican Art proudly showcases one of the countrys largest Mexican art collections.
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Discover A New Cool Neighborhood
Dont make a rookie mistake and behave like some bewildered out-of-towner by thinking all of Chicago can be experienced downtown. Sure the Loop is great and all but, as any self-respecting Chicagoan knows, the real heart of the city lies within its spectacularly diverse 77 neighborhoods. From the laid-back residential enclave of Norwood Park to the historic sights of Bronzeville, theres always something to discover. Get out there and pound the pavement.
Cover All Your Bases At Wrigleyville Rooftops
Catching a baseball game at Wrigley Field may be a storied Chicago summer tradition, but how can you make sure even the sports-averse have a good time?
Turn to Wrigleyville Rooftops. Each one of their eleven rooftops will give your group spectacular views of the fieldor the city, if thats more your speed.
Thats not all.
Food and drinks are included so even White Sox fans will be happy with the spot. There are also meeting rooms with state-of-the-art equipment for any pregame presentations.
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Follow The Yellow Brick Road To Oz Park
In the North Side of the city youll find a pretty unusual thing to do in Chicago. Namely, its a park dedicated to all things Wizard of Oz. Theres Dorothys Playlot, the community-based Emerald Garden, and statues of the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto. Before you get your hopes up, there is no Yellow Brick Road.
Youre probably wondering: Why? Good question. It all started because of one the areas more famous former residents: L. Frank Baum. A Chicago-native who lived in the Lincoln Park area in the 1890s, he was the author of the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. In his honour the city transformed this once run-down area into the space it is today.
Stroll The Chicago Pedway
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We cannot help but love the futuristic feel of a city that connects buildings to other buildings with underground tunnels and overhead bridge links. Theres something amazing about it. Like, you know, the city of tomorrow or something. If youre like us, then youll agree that exploring the Chicago Pedway is one the best things to do in Chicago.
First began in 1951 when several one-block tunnels linked the Red and Blue CTA lines, today it spans 5 miles and connects over 50 public and private buildings and CTA stations. Dotted throughout are a whole load of services from restaurants and bars to shoe repair shops. Not its not just about keeping warm, but Chicago really does get super cold in winter.
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Garden Of The Phoenix
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Illinois might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of cherry blossoms, but at the Garden of the Phoenix, theyre an annual event.
This beautiful, peaceful garden has been transported right out of a Japanese painting and into the heart of Chicago.
Curved bridges will lead you across ponds and streams.
Bonsai trees will provide shade from the sun.
Flower fields will offer amazingly fragrant mixes of camillas, chrysanthemums and morning glories, and birds will sing sweet songs over the sounds of babbling brooks and rustling tree leaves.
Youre probably impatient to hear about the cherry blossoms.
Thousands of visitors flock to Chicago from all over Illinois just to see them every spring.
Their lives are brief, so make sure to time your trip when theyre actually in season, but seeing them in person is just as amazing as you think.
If youre looking for attractions that you cant find anywhere else in the state of Illinois, consider the Garden of the Phoenix.
Its cherry blossoms are a rare and exotic treat, but its real appeal lies in its beauty, serenity and tranquility.
Once youre here, youll never want to leave.
Address: 6300 S Cornell Ave, Chicago, IL 60637, United States