Spend A Day Hitting Up The Citys Donut Joints
Donut miss out on sampling Chicagos delicious donuts. It must be done especially if youre at all fond of these deep-fried rings of goodness. Dunked in coffee, old fashioned style, whatever you go for its bound to be literally delicious. We kid not.
With a recent resurgence in the popularity of donuts in the city, believe it or not, theres a few gooduns to discover if youre in the search of off the beaten track stuff to do in Chicago, like donut-hunting. Hit up Dinkels Bakery. Going strong for over 90 years . Over at Delightful Pastries, this family-owned operation has paczki jam-filled donuts of Polish origin. Unreal.
Thing You Can Do For Free
Low on cash? Don’t fret: There are lots of things to do in Chicago for free. Most of Chicago’s public parks and art exhibits are free to wander as you see fit, like the beautiful Buckingham Fountain and expansive Grant Park. Many museums in the Chicago area offer free days, and some, like the Chicago Design Museum and Museum of Mexican Art, are free year-round. In a similar vein, the Chicago Cultural Center offers free admission and features historical exhibits, theater and music performances, and events throughout the year. A very popular free attraction with families is the Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory. The conservatory features more than 40,000 species of plant life in four buildings. The zoo allows visitors to observe many endangered species from around the world, such as polar bears, lions, rhinos, gorillas, and snow leopards.
Clean Water And Water Bottles
You never know the water situation in a cabin and whether or not it is clean and good to drink.
The water from the faucet might taste bad or the cabin may have no running water at all.
Putting extra water on your cabin vacation checklist is a great way to meet your hydration needs just in case of the unexpected.
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Enjoy The Views At The John Hancock Center
The John Hancock Center is a massive skyscraper located on North Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. For me, the 100-story tall building, which stands at 1,127 feet tall, is one of the most iconic skyscrapers in the city.
Oh, and dont forget, you can head to 360 CHICAGO, an incredible observation deck on the 94th floor of the building, for breathtaking views of the city, Lake Michigan, and the Magnificent Mile.
Its really great at sunset or if theres really low fog. Sometimes, the viewing deck will actually be above the clouds. Its magical.
Admire The Vast Collections At The Field Museum Of Natural History
Regularly spoken of as one of the worlds greatest natural history museums thanks to its collection of over 40 million artifacts, this Chicago icon welcomes millions of tourists year after year.
The enormous museum features immersive exhibits that explore over 4.6 billion years of natural history, including dedicated sections to ancient Egypt, the Chinese Qing Dynasty, the dinosaur era, and beyond.
Youngsters are sure to love digging up the dinosaur bones at the Crown Family PlayLab.
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Unleash The Youngsters At Pirates Cove Childrens Theme Park
Specifically designed for kids aged two to nine, the Pirates Cove Childrens Theme Park is a formidable way for the youngsters to burn off some energy while imaginatively exploring the parks attractions.
They can climb aboard Petes 18-century Pirate Ship, go round and round on the Captains Carousel, watch an interactive show at the Swashbuckler Wharf Fun Stage, and plenty more.
Pirates Cove is only open in the warmer months of June through August.
Attend The Chicago Jazz Festival
Taking place annually over Labor Day Weekend in Millennium Park, Chicagos Jazz Festival is a four-day, toe-tappin extravaganza.
Musicians venture from near and far to perform, free of charge, across multiple pavilions, for the thousands of visitors who regularly turn up.
Its a scintillating atmosphere and an unmissable event, providing the dates coincide with your visit.
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See The Light Show At Buckingham Fountain
Once the sun starts to set, head over to the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain in the center of Grant Park.
Before Cloud Gate came along, this historical landmark was Chicagos most-visited attraction, thanks largely to its mesmerizing nightly light show.
The majestic attraction uses as much as 15,000 gallons of water per minute, and it all illuminates up after dusk.
Get Your Kicks From Magic Tricks At Chicago Magic Lounge
Yeah, we know that magic shows dont really have the coolest reputation but hear us out on this one. The Chicago Magic Lounge is a pretty funky little venue where you might just be spellbound like youre a kid at a birthday party again. Even getting inside this place is like some sort of trick or inside joke as guests enter through what appears to be an old-school laundromat.
Step through the portal in to this world of magic, and spend your evening enjoying some pretty tasty cocktails whilst being suitably impressed, wowed and confused by what the hell is going on and how these tricksters do it.
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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 with 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. And, ahem, date night packages are available to anyone looking to woo a special art-lover in their lives.
Book A Sleepy Hollow Halloween Experience
Sleepy Hollow Bar: An Immersive Cocktail Experience is taking place now through Halloween and your presence is requested in the Western Woods where they say no sane person should go!
You will find a clearing under the moonlit sky: a spot hidden in the woods overflowing with cocktails, dark music, merriment, and life! As our opening-night guest, we welcome you to enter our tavern and enjoy three gothic drinks. We fine folk may have a gift for you here, as well as Godforsaken games of yore to enjoy at your leisure perhaps you may even experience the rare touch of the undead. You may have heard the Hollow is a place where blood runs cold, haunted by a warrior without a head and bathed in red. But please, worry for naught! What awaits you is an eve of fantastical joy, in woodlands that are yours to explore!
Get your tickets here.
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See The Real Chicago On A Street Art Tour
Illinois largest city is teeming with urban art get off the beaten track with a unique tour that steps away from the crowded sites and explores the underground and the backstreets instead.
Guides not only take you to some of the citys premier murals but also explain their meanings and histories.
If the idea of all that walking makes you a little thirsty, choose one of the options which stop into a craft brewery or allow you to BYOB.
Instagrammers, this should be a priority when it comes to choosing between all the things to do in Chicago!
Fun Things To Do In Chicago At Night
Located in the state of Illinois, Chicago is one of the most-visited cities in the US. The Windy City is a highly popular destination for those looking for fun city breaks and exciting stops on road trips.
Chicago also has an array of attractions that please tourists and locals alike. On top of the range of activities to do during the day, there are numerous fun things to do in Chicago at night. If you’re looking for a unique way to explore Chicago after dark, be sure to try some of these 21 nighttime activities.
- 21 things to do
Disclosure: Destguides may receive commission for purchases made through links in this article at no cost to you.
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Interact With The Exhibits At The Museum Of Science And Industry
Showcasing an array of interactive and immersive activities, the Museum of Science and Industry is a fun, engaging, and informative day out for the whole family.
Headlining the incredible list of innovation and engineering-themed attractions are the mirror maze, 40-foot tornado simulator, and authentic German submarine.
It sits in the middle of Jackson Park, a perfect slice of nature to dive into a pre- or post-museum picnic.
Feed Yourself At The Taste Of Chicago Festival
Foodies, its time to get excited! Hosted in Grant Park, Taste of Chicago is considered the worlds largest food festival and best of all, the 5-day event is free of charge.
If you happen to be visiting in July, dont miss the chance to sample some of the tastiest treats that the city can muster up.
Even if youre not hungry, the atmosphere and live music are still worth checking out.
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Visit The Chicago Childrens Museum
The Chicago Childrens Museum has a lot of fun, hands-on exhibits that are designed to help kids learn about the world around them.
If youre looking for an activity that will engage the imaginations of your children, this is an excellent museum where they can go on a hunt for dinosaur bones, create art, play in a treehouse, and more.
Best of all, admission is free for children 15 and under on the first Sunday of every month, and they offer late hours every Thursday!
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
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Stretch Your Legs In The Great Outdoors
The Chicago Lakefront Trail is always a popular choice, but its not the only place to ingest some crisp winter air. Did you know the entire Chicago metro area is surrounded by a 210-mile nature trail complete with campsites and lakes? How about a 2.7-mile urban hiking trail along a former railway corridor? How about one of Americas newest national parks, perched just across the border in Indiana? And be sure to stop by Morton Arboretum to peep its jaw-dropping holiday light display. Want more? Right this way.
More Attractions In Chicago
From hang-gliding to diving into a Chicago-style pizza , you will never run out of things to do in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile is an impressive stretch of nearly 500 stores and hundreds of restaurants, so you can easily fill a day here. When weather permits, hit the links at local greens like the Jackson Park Golf Course. From the evening until the wee hours of the morning, night owls can burn plenty of calories on the dancefloors of downtown nightclubs. You should also embark on one of the many Chicago tours, which help you see the city by Segway®, bicycle, boat tour, or foot.
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Woolly Mammoth Antiques And Oddities
Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities
The tables are covered in skulls.
The shelves are stacked with things like human dentures and lamps made out of alligator heads.
The bottles and jars are filled with eggs, skins, animal fetuses and other grotesque knickknacks.
Its focused on death, but in a weird way, its also a celebration of life.
What can make you feel more alive than looking at a stuffed and mounted squirrel?
Drop by Woolly Mammoth Antiques and Oddities if youre looking for unique tourist places in Chicago.
It isnt something that youll find in a travel guide, but its utterly bizarre collection will definitely give you a story or two for when you return home.
Address: 1513 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60640, United States
Learn About Chicago Architecture
One of the top things Chicago is known for is the diverse and impressive architecture youll find around the city.
Learn about the different styles and time periods on a guided Architecture Tour of Chicago.
Just as there are many diverse bridges, buildings, and structures, there are diverse ways of seeing it all and learning about the architects.
The biggest architecture enthusiasts will enjoy the Chicago Architecture Foundations over 3-hour bus tour.
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Check Out The Willis Towers Revamped Skydeck
If vertigo-inducing experiences are your thing, high up Sears Tower, more formally known as the Willis Tower, a glass ledge breaches the buildings dimensions and stands 4ft outside of the walls of the 103rd floor. Looking down youll see a 1,353 ft drop staring back up at you as you sit in a tiny glass box protruding outside of what was once the worlds tallest building.
After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation the iconic experience recently reopened boasting even more reason to head up to the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower. The 45,000-square-foot space is now, according to the Skydeck general manager Randy Stancik, part Chicago museum, part selfie museum, part architectural river tour, and part childrens museum. Acting as the entrance to the Skydeck, an interactive museum featuring lighting, sounds, and visuals now offers a journey through Chicagos history on the level below the observation deck. Many Chicagoans will be fully aware of the Skydeck but now with the exciting new features, its the perfect excuse to go and pay another visit.