Swing From The Trees At North Americas Largest Aerial Adventure Course
From outdoor adventure courses and trail-running to laser tag and escape rooms, The Forge: Lemont Quarries certainly isnt lacking when it comes to fall-centric outdoor entertainment. If thats not enough, you can also fill up on cheffy cuisine paired with scenic views at the Forgefire experience. Suddenly, a trip to the burbs isnt such a terrible idea.
Stretch Your Legs In The Great Outdoors
The Chicago Lakefront Trail is always a popular choice, but its not the only place to greedily ingest some fresh fall 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 just across the Indiana border? Also be sure to stop by Morton Arboretum to peep its jaw-dropping assemblage of vibrant fall foliage. Need more outdoor ideas? Right this way.
Stans Donuts And Coffee
Think pink! Take a walk on the wild side when you stop for a sip of pink hot chocolate at Stans Donuts and Coffee. This photogenic cup of cocoa pairs perfectly with a fresh donut .
We are also partial to their delectable hot chocolate malt, which features real chocolate malt balls!
The Midwests largest city is a magnificent mess of lakefront beaches, iconic architecture, and an impressive art collection. But, for a city so thoroughly urban, its shocking to discover the holiday spirit alive and well in everything from decorated CTA trains to the sparkling lights at Millenium Park.
Every year visitors from all over the world flock to the White City to enjoy first-class entertainment, live shows, festive illumination, and delicious eats.
From memories under the mistletoe to a real live train ride aboard the Polar Express, a holiday in Chicago is something youll never forget!
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Feel Like Youre Floating Above Chicago At The Willis Tower
The Willis Tower, the second-tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, provides an amazing view of the cityscape. For a unique experience, you can visit the famous 103rd floor Skydeck with walls, floors, and ceilings made entirely of glass, allowing visitors to enjoy a unique and view of Chicagos architectural landscape. On a clear day you can see up to 50 miles ahead and four states!
233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
Go To A Sporting Event
Seeing a big game is a great way to spend an evening. For more things to do at night, check the section on nighttime activities below.
Fun fact: Chicagos soccer team is named after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. You can learn about the great fire on our Birth of the Skyscraper-Architecture Tour!
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Skating Ribbon At Maggie Daley Park
When: Opens November 19th, 2021
Nothing says white Christmas more than a snow-filled ice skating session at one of Chi-towns best ice skating rinks. The Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park is unique in that its curved serpentine structure makes it twice the length of a traditional ice skating rink.
Go To A Baseball Game
We have two baseball teams here, so there are plenty of options for families to go catch a game!
Tour both stadiums, or just enjoy the fresh air while cheering on our Chicago teams!
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Enjoy The Winter Flower Show At The Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest and most stunning botanical conservatories in the US. Often referred to as landscape art under glass, the Garfield Park Conservatory showcases thousands of plant species from around the world throughout eight indoor display gardens. Visitors can enjoy the lush flora and tropical temperatures indoors year-round! Their Winter Flower Show, Serenity starts on November 24.
Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, IL 60624
Hours: Wednesday 10am-8pm Thursday Sunday 10am-5pm Closed Monday and Tuesday. Visitors are encouraged to make a reservation online in advance. Walk-ups are welcome if there is space available.
Support Chicagos Black Community
Whatever else you do this fall, be sure to continue to do your part in making the community we live in a better place for all its residents. Aid in the fight for racial justice and social equity taking place across the city by supporting Chicagos Black community via everything from BIPOC-focused nonprofits and community organizations to Black-owned restaurants and bookstores. Here’s how to get get started.
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Devour A Delicious Brunch On The Chicago Odyssey Cruise
Captivating views of the Chicago skyscrapers are aplenty on board the luxurious Chicago Odyssey.
On a typical 2-hour cruise, guests have access to a fresh brunch buffet, offering the best of the breakfast and the lunch menu, and complemented by a gourmet coffee bar.
Cap off the journey with a mouth-watering mimosa before disembarking at the 3,300-foot-long Navy Pier.
Admire Famous Works At The Art Institute Of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States and is frequently found on lists of the top museums in the world. .
When: Hours are Monday and ThursdaySunday from 11 a.m. 6 p.m. . Closed on TuesdayWednesday.
Where: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603
Cost: $25 for adults, $19 for seniors, students and teens members and children under 14 are always free.
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Order A Slice At Vito & Nicks Pizzeria
Contrary to Chicagos deep-dish pizza reputation, Vito & Nicks Pizzeria has been dishing up Cracker Thin Crust Pizza since the 1950s, and theyve yet put a foot wrong.
A visit to this adored eaterie and youll feel like youve stepped back in time into an old-world Chicago dive restaurant.
This isnt luxury nor sophistication, its just darn good pizza.
Have Fun At Navy Pier
Navy Pier is a must do if you are visiting Chicago with toddlers or kids. A ride on the large Ferris wheel offers paranoramic skyline views of Chicago and is another great way to see the fall colors from above early in the month. .
On Saturdays during the month of November, enjoy free live music acts from a wide array of genres and styles as part of Sequence Ch!cago.
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Visit The First United Methodist Church Of Chicago
Why would you want to visit a church on your vacation? While exploring downtown Chicago, you may be surprised what you find when you look up. Dating back to 1831, the First United Methodist Church of Chicago is the citys oldest church and tallest church building in the world. The building has 21 floors and reaches 568 feet into the air. At the very top of the building, in the top spire, 400 feet above the noisy city streets, sits the Sky Chapel.
Bonus tip: You can take a free tour of the Sky Chapel Monday through Saturday at 2:00 p.m. or Sunday at 9:45 a.m. or 12:15 p.m.
Catch Amazing Views From A Helicopter
Courtesy of TripAdvisor
If you are up for splurging a bit, Chicago offers an adrenalin-based attraction all year for the adolescent and the rest of the family. From a helicopter, you’ll see over 25 miles of the city landscape and landmarks from above. There is also an option to ride at night, taking in the lovely city lights. Children must be at least 5 to ride the helicopter, and at least one person in your reservation must be over 18.
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Garden Of The Phoenix
ezellhphotography / Shutterstock
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
Explore Old Town’s New Hideseek Museum
Old Town’s new immersive museum is meant for people to “feel like a kid again” with a ball pit, slinky room and giant bean bag chairs, among other features.
Located at 1620 N. Wells St., HideSeek is open Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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Remember How To Laugh Again
If Netflix reruns of The Office arent quite as funny as you remember, you might need to turn to the experts for your comedy fix. Comedy clubs across the city are doing their best to keep you laughing through Americas still-not-over pandemic, including live stand-up shows at Zanies and, of course, the world-famous improv-sters at Second City. In the meantime, head over to Lincoln Lodge to bask in the oddball glory of the nations longest running independent comedy showcase, recently back from hiatus. For even more options, check out this handy rundown.
Chicago’s Suburbs: Nearby Illinois Attractions
If you’re looking for things to do in the Chicago suburbs this weekend, rest assured that the greater Chicago area has a lot to offer outside of downtown. Some popular destinations just a short distance away from the city include the Frank Lloyd Wright Home in Oak Park, Brookfield Zoo in nearby Brookfield, the summer-only Ravinia Festival of music in Highland Park, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. Families will love Six Flags Great America in Gurnee and Legoland in Schaumburg both are popular destinations with kids but fun for the whole family. Fans of racing can catch a horse race at Arlington International Racecourse in Arlington Heights, a drag race at Route 66 Raceway in Elwood, or a NASCAR race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. For a more traditional sports experience, Toyota Parkin Bridgeview is home to the Chicago Fire, the city’s Major League Soccer team.
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Juice Box Concerts At The Cultural Center
Head to the Cultural Center with your family of little ones every first and third Friday and Saturdays at 11:00 am-11:45 am for an engaging musical event!
While this will be enjoyable for the whole family, it is geared to kids between the ages of 1-6. See their website for more.
NOTE: This event was canceled due to the pandemic.
Museum Of Science And Industry
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Covering more than 400,000 square feet, the Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science center in the entire Western hemisphere.
It offers a staggering amount of things to see and do, so whether youre into astronomy or zoology, its A-to-Z activity roster is sure to keep you entertained in Chicago.
Are you fascinated by natural phenomenon?
Stand inside of a simulated tornado or learn about the Earths forces with Wimshurst machines and Foucault pendulums.
Are you a geek for transportation?
Other exhibits include everything from mirror mazes filled with optical illusions to 3D walkthrough models of the human heart.
If its a topic related to science, its probably featured here.
Between its events, activities and collections, the Museum of Science and Industry is a coveted jewel for Illinois.
It puts the state on the map in terms of scientific scholarship.
Even more importantly, its a lot of fun!
Swing by for a visit if youre looking for the best and most educational places to go in Chicago.
Address: 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637, United States
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Hit Up Some Of The Seasons Finest Events
Event season certainly isnt as predictable as it once was, but there are still a few fall classics you can count on. From the annual Halloween spectacle that is Arts in the Dark and the family-friendly Chicago Thanksgiving Parade to the cosplay-drenched C2E2 and the drunk-before-noon TBOX Christmas bar crawl, theres something for every kind of reveler.
Outdoor And Seasonal Attractions
While Chicago is an urban environment, nature-lovers will find plenty of outdoor things to do in Chicago in all seasons of the year. Chicago is rated as one of the most walkable cities in the country, with plenty of parks and green space. Cycling has taken off in Chicago, with companies like Divvy offering bike-share programs and rentals, a perfect option for city-dwellers who may not have the garage space to own and maintain their own bicycle. The Lakefront Trail, a picturesque pedestrian and bike path along the shores of Lake Michigan, and The 606, an elevated highway repurposed for bicycles, are very popular with cyclists.
Some of our favorite outdoor activities in Chicago take advantage of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River. Chicago Sailing offers lessons in how to sail, as well as sailboat rentals. Companies like Urban Kayaks and Chicago River Canoe and Kayak offer canoe and kayak rentals at the lake or the river. Chicago’s beaches are also a great choice for lovers of the outdoors. We recommend North Avenue Beach and Margaret T. Burroughs Beach.
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