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Things To Do In Illinois Outside Of Chicago

Kewanee Public Art Tour

10 BEST Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois

KewaneeDubbed one of the best small towns in America by the fine map-making folks at Rand McNally, Kewanee has been drawing crowds with its ambitious and eye-catching public art collection since an esteemed international group of 210 painters known as the Walldogs descended upon the northwestern Illinois hamlet in 2013, brushes in hand. Grab your selfie stick and immerse yourself in local lore along Kewanees self-guided History in the Paint tour that guides gapers through 15 Instagram-worthy outdoor murals.

Watch The Chicago Bulls Play At The United Center

With the legacy of Michael Jordan etched into NBA and sporting folklore, the Chicago locals absolutely adore their Bulls.

The teams regular home games are played at the United Center and run from October to April presenting a fantastic opportunity to escape the wind and the cold.

In terms of getting there, the Blue Line which stretches through Downtown drops you off within walking distance.

Ulysses S Grant Home State Historic Site In Galena

The Grant Home in Galena was presented to Ulysses S. Grant in 1865 upon his return from the Civil War. The house has been fully restored to the 1860s time period and contains many of Grant’s personal belongings, as well as original furnishings. Tours are available, enabling you to learn all about this Civil War hero.

Address: 500 Bouthillier Street, Galena, Illinois

Official site:

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Mississippi Palisades State Park

SavannaA favorite among big sky aficionados, this state park is located near the confluence of the mighty Mississippi and Apple rivers and features 15 miles of rugged and groomed cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails plus ample opportunities for ice fishing, weather permitting. Make your way around soaring cliffs, limestone caves, and wooded ravines, and if youre feeling confident, bring your own gear and have a go at Twin Sister and Indian Head, two of the most popular rock-climbing formations in the state.

Marvel At The Acrobatics Of The Chicago Air & Water Show

Top 16 Things To Do In Chicago, Illinois

Onlookers find themselves awe-stricken year after year at the annual Chicago Air & Water Show the most impressive of its kind across the country.

Grab a spot on the beach, tilt your head up to the sky, and hear the roar of the jet engines soaring overhead as military pilots perform astonishing stunts above the shimmering waters of Lake Michigan.

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Interesting Things To Do In Illinois

People tend to associate Illinois with the Windy City of Chicago, but it has a lot more to offer. Here are some awesome things to do there!

Go ahead and name another city in Illinois that isn’t Chicago. Tough task, isn’t it? While the Windy City has bucketloads to be proud about, from its diverse foodie scene to its diehard sports fan and eclectic arts culture, it certainly doesn’t deserve all the attention. The Chicago spotlight tends to sweep the rest of gems scattered across the remainder of the state under the rug, but not for long.

There’s picturesque natural parks, unique museums, and novelty roadside attractions that you can’t help but chuckle at. So, let’s forget about Chicago for a minute and explore a little more of the great Midwestern state of Illinois.

Grab Some Ice Cream At Original Rainbow Cone

This longstanding Chicago ice creamery hibernates in the winter, but in the summer theyre teeming with elated customers and ice cream fanatics.

Visit the Original Rainbow Cone, choose from cones, milkshakes, sundaes, or banana splits, then burn off the calories with a pleasant stroll through the parks of Dan Ryan Woods.

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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.

Visit The Dusable Museum Of African American History

Top 8 Things to do in Chicago Illinois

As a genuine cultural melting pot, Chicago presents as the perfect city to dive into the history of African American culture.

Through concerts, films, exhibitions, and events, the DuSable Museum of African American History has been educating its guests about the journeys of Africans and African-Americans for more than 50 years.

Its a fascinating learning experience immersed within the greenery of Washington Park a welcomed breath of fresh air compared to Downtown.

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Things To Do In Illinois With Kids

Illinois has amazing adventure, excitement and history for those fun family days out! Kids will love learning all about the home state of Abraham Lincoln. There are water parks to play in, theme parks to get thrilled in, and plenty of cute animal attractions that adults and kids will love! With the excitement of the big city, and charm of the small town, Illinois has so many places to visit with the kids!

Illinois is a state seeped in history, excitement and adventure. It was also the state that Abraham Lincoln chose to call home, so that makes it pretty special! The Prairie State has thrills and spills ahoy with Pirates Cove Childrens Theme Park, and that classic Six Flags Great America! There are animals a-plenty with attractions like Brookfield Zoo, Summerfield Zoo and Wildlife Prairie Park, and great adventures perfect for those little kids with Safariland!Museums are never far away featuring an incredible range of exhibits from the Geology Museum and the Chanute Aerospace Museum, to the Monticello Railway Museum and the historic Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum.Active kids – you will have a field day with attractions such as American Obstacle adventure park, and the very exciting K1 Speed racing!Illinois has small towns with charm, and big cities with excitement. Its the heart of America with endless places to visit with kids. Enjoy it, and dont forget to get your kicks because Illinois is the start of Route 66!

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.

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Day Trips From Chicago: Naperville

Naperville is a prairie town turned award-winning small city that has earned accolades from Money Magazine Best Places to Live, Kiplinger Best Places for Early Retirement, Zero Population Growth Top Five Kid-Friendliest Cities, and many others.

Besides Napervilles small town charm, the best reason for a day trip here is Riverwalk, the citys 1.75-mile walkway along the DuPage River. Highlights include Moser Tower a beautiful 158-foot bell tower, a clock tower, three fountains, a covered bridge, heritage sculptures, an amphitheater and labyrinth, and paddle boats. Visitors can also visit the popular Centennial Beach and Grill, a sandy beach waterpark and restaurant.

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Indiana Dunes State Park

Outdoor Activities in Chicago Recommended by a Local

50 miles outside Chicago

With 2,000 acres of sand, shore, and space, social distancing wont be much of a problem at the Indiana Dunes State Park. While public outdoor swimming pools remain closed, all of the parks inns, restaurants, all nature preserves, forest, fish, and wildlife areas remain open for you to explore. Meaning you can bound up mountainous dunes , go spelunking in one of its many caves, take a moment to relax on the beaches of Lake Michigan, and much more.

For real-time updates on whats available at the Indiana Dunes State Park, follow Indiana State Parks on .

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Tour The Chicago River By Kayak

In either a solo or tandem kayak, soak in the famous skyline views with a peaceful paddle along the Chicago River.

All the equipment is included with the tour, likewise the knowledgable guide wholl spill architectural, cultural, and historical tidbits throughout the journey.

For something a little more spooky, glide down the river by moonlight on a ghost-themed outing.

Go Ape Zipline And Adventure Park

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With a menu that includes everything from ziplining to axe throwing, the Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park will definitely satisfy your hunger for adventure.

Its one of the most exciting places to visit in Illinois for people who like to view the world from on high.

Most activities are in the tree canopies, including the swings, ziplines, rope courses, suspension bridges and bouncy treehouse nets.

A few things like the axe throwing are on the ground.

Things can be booked by the hour or by the course.

There are also adventure packages available that combine multiple site features into one, so if you have an insatiable appetite that wants to try everything, thats an option as well.

Clear out this weekends schedule.

Its time to embrace your inner monkey and go hurtling through the treetops at Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park.

Address: 1100 Ogden Ave, Western Springs, IL 60558, United States

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Tour The Frederick C Robie House

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the prairie-style Frederick C. Robie House designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright is considered a pivotal stepping stone in the advancement of American architecture.

Tours run Thursday through Monday and include a stroll through the house and the gardens, led by an expert guide.

Explore The Richard H Driehaus Museum

Top 10 Things To Do in Chicago

With a particular focus on the Gilded Age, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum takes visitors on a journey through the art, architecture, and design of the late 1800s.

Its conveniently located just a couple blocks from Magnificent Mile, with a regular calendar of concerts and performances to complement the permanent exhibits.

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Best Day Trips From Chicago Illinois

Even with all Chicago, Illinois, has to offer, sometimes it just feels right to get away for a day. Exploring a sleepy river town, fishing in a river surrounded by towering canyon walls, or answering the call of your inner history buff, can leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Here are top day trips from Chicago that will awaken your soul and enhance your well-being. Hours/availability may have changed.

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.

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Dave’s Down To Earth Rock Shop

Not too far from the Bahá’í Temple, were stopping into a quaint little storefront that boasts much more than meets the eye. Located in the Evanstown area, Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop has been around for over 40 years, providing a quirky mix of materials of geological materials such gemstones, fossils, and crystals, with friendly information via books or Dave himself on offer to explain it all.

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What tends to take visitors by surprise is the dinosaur-themed museum hidden down in the basement. It offers informative fun for all ages and is touted as a worthy stop for anyone looking to get out of the chaos of Chicago and venture into other areas.

Magnificent Mile In Chicago

Fun Activities To Do In Chicago

A walk down Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, a portion of Michigan Avenue, is a must for visitors to the windy city. The shopping along here is some of the best in Chicago, with everything from everyday stores to high-end boutiques.

Stop in at any one of the fantastic museums, restaurants, hotels, and other entertainment options along what locals call the Mag Mile. The John Hancock Building, the Wrigley Building, and the Tribune Tower line this street, and it is just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and the famous Navy Pier.

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Back In Time On A Prohibition Tour

The Windy City has always been known for its ties to the mob.

With a lively guide dressed as a Chicago gangster, visitors will zoom around town on a private bus, stopping into around 10 relevant sites like the Biograph Theater, Holy Name Cathedral, and St. Valentines Day Massacre.

Throughout the two-hour tour, youll hear all the stories of the decorated mobsters that ruled the town in the Prohibition Era .

Watch An Outdoor Play At American Players Theatre

Driving time from Chicago: About three and a half hours

Spring Green, Wisconsin is perhaps best known as the home of Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style summer estate set amid the limestone outcroppings of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area. You should make a stop at the house if you have timeWright’s estate offers a huge variety of guided toursbut the 1,089-seat outdoor ampitheater at American Players Theatre is an equally unbeatable summertime attraction. The company’s repetoire is mostly classical , though you’ll find more contemporary works on the lineup as well.

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Catch A Performance Of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra

As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra edges its way toward 13 decades of captivating performances, it solidifies its reputation as one of the worlds best.

With brass, percussion, string, and woodwind instruments, coordinated by renowned Italian conductor, Riccardo Muti, its quite literally music to our ears.

Performances regularly take place at the Symphony Center in the Loop area.

Scream Your Lungs Out At Lollapalooza Music Festival

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Lollapalooza is one of the largest and most famous music festivals on the planet, and it surfaces every year in the middle of none other than the Windy City.

The wild event spans four days in late July or early August, with hundreds of local and international artists pumping out their best tunes for the tens of thousands of screaming fans.

Past headliners have included The Strokes, The Chainsmokers, Ariana Grande, And Twenty One Pilots its a big deal and tickets sell out quickly.

Festival-wise, its not only one of the best things to do in Chicago but one of the best things to do across the entire country!

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