Laugh Your Pants Off At Second City
Chicagos beloved comedy clubwhere Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Dan Aykroyd got their startshas been an institution for live comedy since 1959. After being closed due to the pandemic, Second City is reopening with two new improv shows: The Second City: Happy to Be Here and Safer, Shorter, and Still So Funny. The shows will be 60 minutes, with no intermission, and masks are required. After the show, enjoy beer, bites, and bar games upstairs at Utopian Tailgate, a playful rooftop party-scape with super-sized Jenga, Plinko, and PutterBall.
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.
Do Rite Donuts & Chicken
You can find doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, and fried chicken sandwiches at this Do Rite Donuts location. They offer both vegan and gluten-free doughnuts too. One of the most popular flavors it the candied maple bacon. .
The Smyth and The Loyalist are two distinct restaurants. The Smyth is a rustic restaurant serving New American cuisine with two Michelin stars. The Loyalist is a neighborhood bar with one of the best burgers in Chicago.
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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.
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.
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Paniq Escape Room Chicago
5.0 based on 229 reviews
It’s the perfect time to PanIQ! Whether you’re looking for a fun team-building activity, something new for your “tribe” to do for fun, or an inspired date night, PanIQ Rooms offer the hottest themes and challenges in escape rooms. Choose your theme, find a time, and get ready to test your mettle. You and your team will have 60 minutes to find the clues, decipher the puzzles, and solve the mystery to conquer the room and escape!
Reviewed By MegMZ – Chicago, United States
The title says it all – this experience really was so much more fun than I could have expected. I know escape rooms sometimes get a rep for being a little cheesy or only for team building, but this was seriously FUN. It made us feel accomplished and was a great way to start the night! Heidi and our game master Jeff were so helpful and Jeff did a great job thoroughly explaining everything, without giving anything away. We loved the decor and the puzzles were just the right amount of challenging . We’ll definitely be back to try the others!
Check Out The Public Art Downtown
Looking to get out of the house? Yes, you can go see The Bean, but dont stop there. Swing by the Chicago Picasso, or Calders Flamingo, then head down to the southern end of Grant Park to walk among the giant, headless sculptures that make up Agora. Take a selfie with the Art Institute lions, and be sure to check out the installations along the Chicago Riverwalk between Lake and Franklin. The concentration of world-class public art downtown is astounding and not to be missed. And, even better, Art on theMARTthe worlds largest permanent digital art installationcontinues its screenings on the south façade of the Merchandise Mart through November 25.
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Cruise Chicagos Emerald Necklace
A scenic drive around the city is never a bad idea, especially now that winter is just around the corner. Yes, you could certainly cruise Lake Shore Driveand by all means, you should. But for a lesser-known option that allows you to see the actual beating heart of the city instead of a few stretches of concrete, head to Chicagos Emerald Necklace, a 26-mile network of interior city streets and wide boulevards. Linking together some of the city’s most grandiose parks like Humboldt, Garfield, Washington, and Jackson parks, this is the way Chicago was meant to be seenwith the added bonus of being excellent quarantine-era therapy.
Have A Drink At Londonhouse Rooftop Bar
How does sipping a cocktail at a rooftop bar while watching the boats floating on the Chicago river sound to you?
If this is exactly your kind of thing to do then dont miss a visit to the rooftop bar of the citys best-located hotels. The LondonHouse Chicago is a 4-star hotel in a 1920s building facing the iconic Riverwalk. From its tri-level rooftop bar, you can take in stunning views of the Chicago river, Magnificent Mile, and even Lake Michigan while sipping a delicious cocktail.
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Ponder The Past At Pullman
The neighborhood we know today as Pullman was the first industrial planned community in the U.S., built specifically in the 1880s for employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company. In 2015, the Pullman National Monument was designated by President Barack Obama, making it the first National Park Service unit in Chicago. Pullman is home to a vibrant community rich with history and renowned for its architecture, especially the stunning row houses and restored company buildings. Also nearby is The National A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, which details the work of the highly trained, mostly African American porters who worked for Pullman. If you are feeling hungry, grab a snack at The Pullman Cafe or head to One Eleven Food Hall to choose from several local vendors including Majani, AndySunflower Café, and Lexington Betty Smokehouse.
Explore The Hip West Loop Neighborhood
The next place you should check out is probably a bit different than what you expect to find in the city.
Formerly an industrial zone, West Loop is now a popular neighborhood known for its great dining and nightlife scene. Once warehouses, most of the buildings in West Loop are now home to some of Chicagos top restaurants. Especially Fulton Market is now a popular area for many locals thanks to its hip industrial vibe.
The range of restaurants or cafés is immense and one place I can highly recommend is Sawada Coffee. This edgy coffee bar inside a graffitied building is the perfect address to get a good cup of your daily dose of caffeine. If youre not a coffee drinker, try their special Matcha Latte creation called Military Latte youll love it!
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Stupidly Exclaim How Bout Them Apples At An Area Orchard
There are few events as fall-centric as apple picking, which is why this is the season to actually make it happen if youre ever gonna do it. Get out of the city and explore the picturesque surrounding farms in Illinois and Wisconsin for a fresh taste of what the season is all about. Remember, you can always DVR the Bears game. Chart a crunchy course with help from our lowdown.
Smoke Some Of Illinois Most Essential Legal Green
Who knew that just a few months after Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, a full-blown public health emergency would bring our society to its knees? And, furthermore, can you imagine dealing with the past year-and-a-half without a little green? We dont even want to think about it, and you dont have to either. Deemed “essential” businesses with more than $1 billion in sales in 2020, legal weed is clearly here to stay in Illinois. Check out our full dispensary guide for all the hairy details.
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Meander Through Millennium Park
Millennium Park is worthy of a visit year-round, whether its for free weekly concerts and films every summer at the Frank Gehry-designed Pritzker Pavilion, or ice skating in the winter. Snap an obligatory selfie in front of Anish Kapoors Cloud Gate stainless steel mirrored art sculpture, nicknamed the Bean before wandering through the blooms in Lurie Garden. This is a great spot for a picnic, and kids will love splashing around in Crown Fountain, a reflecting pool bookended by two interactive video sculptures. Two new public art structures have debuted that will be on display until April 2022.
Ride The Ferris Wheel At Navy Pier
For the next point on the list, its time to leave the inner part of the city and head in the direction of Lake Michigan. There you can find Navy Pier, a 1-km-long pier on the shoreline of the lake.
You can easily spend an entire day at this pier because there are so many fun outdoor attractions. A sensory maze experience, a botanical garden, a Musical carousel, and the Chicago Childrens Museum are only some of them.
In the center of the pier and hard to oversee is the Chicago Ferris Wheel. This 60-meters high construction offers some of the best skyline views while rotating at a gentle speed. Tickets for single rides are $12 for children and $19 for adults. Its definitely not a cheap pleasure but its a lot of fun and its great to see the city skyline from the lake.
If you want to skip the line, you can buy online tickets in advanceHERE.
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West Loop Bars And Nightlife
A community doesnt attract the likes of Google and McDonalds without boasting a variety of places to let off steam after a hard days work. The Aviary offers cocktail exotica, the Press Room wine bar offers intimacy, charcuterie and fabulous desserts, and the Soho House Fox Bar has fantastic service and a playful seasonal menu.
City Winery offers not only wine but concerts. Lone Wolf Tavern is your spot to get 3 Floyds Beer out of Munster Indiana. Bar Siena at 832 W. Randolph is known as a buzzy bar, which makes sense since its closing time itself is buzzy no specified time, just close. Bar Siena serves rustic Italian street-fare inspired meals by Chef Fabio Viviani. It even has a puppy patio where your pooch can enjoy, too!
For billiards, try G-Cue Billiards at 157 N. Morgan, which boasts 24 beautifully-maintained tables, homemade crabby cakes and chili, as well as their famous chicken fajita salad. Mix it up at the Emporium Fulton Market , with its 19 arcade games, two foosball tables, 11 craft beers and a live DJ. For comedy, try Wiggle Room at 1200 West Randolph.
Once again, bars and nightclubs change like toppings on your favorite Chicago deep-dish pizza, so check out websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor to search for the exact kind of nightlife, bar or club youre looking for.
Visit Millennium Park & Cloud Gate
While a bit outside of the official Loop, Millennium Park is still considered a part of the Loop neighborhood. This park was built to celebrate the turn of the century and opened in 2005.
Inside of Millennium Park, there are many lovely gardens and several pieces of notable public art most recognizable is Cloud Gate which is more commonly referred to as the Bean.
This stainless steel reflective piece by Anish Kapoor is the centerpiece of Millennium Park. Learn more about it on our Loop & Millennium Park Tour.
Things to see in Millennium Park:
- Cloud Gate designed by Anish Kapoor
- Pritzker Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry
- Crown Fountain designed by Jaume Plensa
- Lurie Garden- a 5-acre garden which pays homage to our city motto The City in the Garden
- Wrigley Square and Millennium Monument to honor the Millennium Park Founders
- The rotating Boeing Galleries- Constantly changing public art
- BP Bridge designed by Frank Gehry
- Nichols Bridgeway designed by Renzo Piano
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River And Lake Cruises
Out on Lake Michigan and along the Chicago River you can sit back and give Chicagos cityscape the attention it deserves.
Theres a selection of cruises, from gentle lake tours to exhilarating speedboat rides.
The Classic Lake Tour is a 40-minute sightseeing trip giving you plenty of time to soak up the sights, and with a recorded commentary for interesting titbits.
At the old Navy Training Center on Navy Pier you can jet off on a speedboat for a 75-Minute Architecture Cruise, starting on the lake and heading upriver as far as the Willis Tower.
The Chicago River Architecture Cruise has a more sedate pace, and gives you a clear view of more than 40 listed landmarks, accompanied by live commentary from an expert guide.
Enjoy A 360 Degrees View Of Chicago
I dont know about you but one of the first things I love to do in a new city is to find a place high up from where I can enjoy a great view. Whether that means climbing an old church like in Amsterdam or hiking up a fortress in Kotor, Montenegro. In this case, its taking an elevator up to the 94th floor of the John Hancock building, one of the tallest buildings of the Chicago skyline.
360 Chicago is an observation deck that enables a breathtaking 360 degrees view of the city. It even comes with its own bar where you can enjoy a drink while admiring the view. If you fancy some more action, you can try the TILT a platform made out of glass and steel. As its name may already tell, the platform tilts outward, making you lean forward and get a downward-facing view of Magnificent Mile 300 meters below.
The tickets for the observation deck are a bit more than $25 for adults and if you want to try the TILT you have to pay more than $30 extra.Paying another $30 for the ride is a bit too pricy in my opinion so you can skip it if you dont want to spend that much money.
I recommend buying the tickets in advance so you dont have to queue. You can find online tickets for the observation deck& the TILT HERE.
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