Walk The Bloomingdale Trail
Chicagos answer to Manhattans High Line, the Bloomingdale Trail takes visitors 2.7 miles across an elevated train track turned pedestrian walkway.
Multiple stairways are scattered from start to finish, allowing you to roam around the eclectic neighborhoods along the way.
Beer-lovers, make sure to take a half-hour to stop at the renowned Stenson Brewing Co.
Navy Pier Centennial Wheel & Rides
Navy Pier, once known as Municipal Pier before World War II, is a pier that extends out into Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Chicago River. It boasts a newly-redesigned Ferris Wheel, called the Centennial Wheel, and a handful of amusement park-type rides.
The pier is also home to the Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, weekly fireworks, numerous eating options, live concerts, and gardens. Stroll around the pier to enjoy everything it has to offer or take a cruise on one of the many boat tour companies that moor at the pier during the warmer months.
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.
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Recommendations For People Who Are Not Fully Vaccinated
If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:
- Before you travel:
- Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before your trip.
- Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destinations requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
- Check the COVID-19 situation in your destination.
Laugh At A Comedy Show
The Windy City is famous for generating some of the biggest legends of comedy: Steve Carell, Jim Belushi, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Bill Murray…the list goes on!
Youre likely to recognize some celebrities, and may even catch them performing!
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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
Take A Bike Tour Of The City
With so many interesting things to see and do in Chicago, it can be difficult to get around and discover all the sites.
Thankfully, there are bike rental services which offer bicycles for both adults and children.
All bike rental companies provide helmets and other protective gear to keep everyone safe.
Kids love to ride bikes, so this is a fun way to explore the city and see some of the most notable landmarks as a family.
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Learn About The Citys Past At The Chicago History Museum
On the southernmost point of the sprawling Lincoln Park, the Chicago History Museum showcases millions of artifacts dedicated to the stories of the citys past.
Its eye-opening exhibitions dive into Chicagos multiculturalism, its history with democracy and womens activism, the Civil Rights movement, and so much more.
Visit on a Tuesday to score free entry!
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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Take A Free Walking Tour
There are a lot of interesting things to see in this city, and many of them are included on free walking tours.
We have pay-what-you-wish services covering a variety of subjects such as the architecture of the city, the Chicago Riverwalk, the Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park, and even a Ghost tour!
Check this list of free Chicago walking tours to find one youll enjoy.
Northbrook Historical Society And Museum
If youre curious about Northbrooks past you can check out this local history museum in the southeastern corner of Village Green Park.
The setting is the Northfield Inn , a stop on the Chicago-Milwaukee road and regarded as one of the finest restaurants on the North Shore in the early 20th century.
Part of the museums inventory is the Schinleber Collection, made up of photographs from early Shermerville and Northbrook.
You can also browse a home interior from the 1890s, as well as the museums temporary exhibit, which focuses on a specific aspect of local life and is updated every few months.
When we wrote this article the exhibit was Whats the Story, with an in-depth discussion of selected objects from the collection.
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Make A Mental Health Pilgrimage To The Shit Fountain
If youre in the Ukrainian Village area and looking to do the whole public art thing, you may not find as dense of a concentration of murals as Pilsen or as many fine art sculptures as downtown. But you have one thing those other places cant touch: the one and only Shit Fountain. The human feces-shaped sculpture is located on a residential front lawn just off Augusta and Wolcott, created by a Chicagoan fed up with dog poop. After you get your fill, amble over to some of the citys best dive bars, conveniently located a mere stone’s throw away.
Starved Rock State Park
Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon might receive the brunt of the attention when it comes to the USAs national parks, but there are actually a few hidden gems scattered across Illinois as well. One park that stands above the rest is the 2,630-acre Starved Rock State Park. With its plentiful hiking trails, flowing waterfalls, picturesque canyons, and winter ice fishing opportunities, Starved Rock has deservingly been voted as the number one thing to do in Illinois.
Starved Rock is located right next to the town of Utica, which is only about an hour and a halfs drive from the land of deep-dish.
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Discover The Tallest Buildings In Chicago
The windy city is home to some of the most historic skyscrapers in the world, and there are many different ways to see these landmarks.
Whether youd rather save money with a self-guided tour, or you want to see these incredible buildings from the water on a cruise, there are several great Chicago architecture tours to choose from.
Join The North Halsted Halloween Parade
Check out the festive Halloween parade at 6 p.m. Sunday. Chicago Today Host Matt Rodriguez will be hosting the fun, which steps off at Halsted and Aldine and travels to Waveland.
The event is free and open to the public. There will also be after parties and a costume contest.
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Chicago Pizza And Hot Dogs
You cant visit Chicago without trying a famous deep dish pizza.
Chicago deep dish pizza consists of a thick crust, inlaid in a round cake-like pan about an inch and a half deep, filled with lots and lots of cheese, meat, and veggies.
The best known and most frequented pizza joint is Giordanos.
However, this is not the favorite of many locals.
I highly recommend Lou Malanatis instead.
We think the crust is better and they really pack their pizza full of ingredients instead of using loads of cheese as a filler.
There are two locations that are easily accessed with public transportation from the Loop.
The South Loop location can be reached by taking the Red Line to the Harrison stop.
The River North location can be reached on the Brown Line Merchandise Mart stop.
At Lous we always get a small Malnati Salad and The Lou with sausage and a root beer.
I can only finish about a slice and a half, so dont order too much!
Then, there is the Chicago Style hot dog.
The classic Chicago Dog is an all-beef frank, boiled, on a steamed bun and topped with fresh onions, green relish, pickle, tomato, mustard, one or two hot peppers, and celery salt.
There are endless number of places to get a dog in Chicago, mostly in the neighborhoods.
There are very few street vendors downtown and they wont be serving up high quality dogs.
Here are a few hot dog places that are reachable from the loop on public transport
Free Things To Do At Night
Many of the activities included above in our top 10 section are free, such as walking down the Magnificent Mile or taking a free walking tour. But there is so much more!
Be sure to read our posts on free things to do, both of which include items that are free.
Below are some suggestions on how to spend your evening in Chicago for free.
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Fun & Unusual Things To Do In Chicago
Nestled inland in the MidWest, the Windy City is throwing its hat in the ring for the title of the premier American tourist destination. Chicago welcomes some 57.6 million tourists per year, and with such a diverse range of attractions, theres an itinerary perfect for each and every one of them.
Art lovers, rejoice foodies, celebrate and history geeks, get excited because there truly is something for everyone in this sprawling Illinois metropolis youll be spoiled for choice when it comes to fun things to do in Chicago.
Admire the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan from 1000 feet high, or sail across them in divine luxury. Learn about the history of the mob or tour world-famous museums. Dig into a slice of deep-dish pizza or dine at multi-Michelin starred restaurants. Whatever you choose to do, you wont leave disappointed.
Watch The Chicago Fire Soccer Team At Soldier Field
Soccer might not be the most popular sport in the US, but its fans are as loud and as passionate as any.
When visiting the Windy City, immerse yourself in that passion by attending a Chicago Fire match at Soldier Field.
If youre looking for a few hours to kill before kickoff, head to the Field Museum right next door.
Looking for more things to do in Chicago? Check out TourScanners full list of tours and activities in Chicago. If you know other cool places to visit in Chicago, do not hesitate to comment below.
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Museum Of Science And Industry
Limitless inspiration for kids, the Museum of Science and Industry has show-stopping exhibits on an amazing scale.
The venue is the old Palace of Fine Arts, built in 1933 in Jackson Park for the Worlds Columbian Exposition.
Some of the jaw-dropping sights here are a full-size German U-505 submarine captured during the Second World War, the Pioneer Zephyr, a glorious stainless steel diesel locomotive from 1934 and the first Boeing 727 to enter commercial service.
Young scientists can wrap their heads around big concepts at the Science Storms exhibit, which has a Tesla coil, Foucault pendulum and Wimshurst machine.
There are relics from the Apollo missions at the Henry Crown Space Centre, while the central pavilion has a replica of a deep-shaft bituminous coal mine, in which youll take a mine train and see historic equipment from the 1930s.
Check Out The Wabash Art Corridor
Experience some of Chicagos vibrant street art with a visit to the Wabash Art Corridor! The corridor is home to dozens of murals, as well as also hosting live performances and various other art installments. This is not only a great place to see an authentic side of the art scene in Chicago, but also a great opportunity to get some stunning pictures!
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Top 10 Things To Do And Events At Night In Chicago
Below are our top 10 recommendations for things to do at night in Chicago. Some of the items here would also fit in the other sections.
Within each listing, we provide links for a more in-depth exploration of each selection.
Several of the items below are already included for free with the purchase of a tourist discount pass.