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What To Do In Chinatown Chicago

Appreciate The Architecture Of Pui Tak Center

WHAT TO DO IN CHINATOWN, CHICAGO: (your perfect one day itinerary)

This center is one of Chinatown’s most recognizable landmarks and a fine example of the traditional architecture of China.

Inspired by traditional Chinese architectural elements such as towering gables, the center has modern Western touches.

A Chinese Christian church, which provides ESL education and immigration assistance to the community, bought the facility in 2010.

Embrace The Lunar New Year At Chinatowns Chinese New Year Parade

The Lunar New Year is Chinas biggest holiday and the Chinese-American community use the date to celebrate their rich heritage here in Chicago. Though there are a number of events around the city, the biggest parade of all remains the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown.

In addition to marching bands and floats, youll see Chinese folk dancers, dragon boats, and ornate displays showcasing symbols of good luck. Get there early: Over 300,000 people attend this colorful, lively festival.

Go For Lunch At Fulton Market

Bex Walton

The industrial neighbourhood of Fulton has had bit of a facelift in recent years. From way back in the rough and ready days of its meat-packing past, theres been some dramatic urban renewal happening in recent years for a transformation of hipster proportions. For example, theres a Google office here.

Exploring Fulton Market in this reinvented West Side district is one of the coolest things to do in Chicago. Thats doubly true if you like food. Go for kebab and mezze at Aba, tuck into good ol fashioned barbecue at Green Street Smoked Meats, or classic diner dishes at Little Goat Diner. Youll love it.

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Skyline Views At Ping Tom Park

Spend the afternoon exploring Ping Tom Memorial Park, a beautiful public green space by the Chicago River. The Chinese Dragon Poles, the Pavilion, the murals that depicts ancient Chinese paintings, and the red zigzag bridge all are great reminders of the rich heritage of this community. Its also a great location for a panoramic view of the downtown skyline. In the summer months, you can catch the Water Taxi here for an easy and scenic ride to and from downtown.

Spend The Day At Oak Street Beach

Top Things to Do in Chicagos Chinatown

Thomas Barrat

Who knew that Chicago had beaches? Well, it does. Being on Lake Michigan, you probably knew it at least has a shoreline, but beaches? So if youre looking for romantic things to do in Chicago, pack up a picnic, your best swimmers, and some blankets and make your way to the surprising slice of sand that is Oak Street Beach.

Fairly long and spacious enough for everyone to find a spot, theres even a biking path along the green park behind the beach. And its backed by an impressive bank of skyscrapers. Pretty cool. Even on a winters day its nice for a romantic stroll together, but we would say that its probably more something to do in Chicago in summer. Dont forget sunscreen!

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Sink Your Teeth Into The Best Dumplings In Chicago At Qing Xiang Yuang Dumplings

For too many of us, the dumpling experience has been relegated to a cheap, quick snack served in Styrofoam. Chicago Chinatowns Qing Xian Yuang Dumplings, though, elevates the mighty and tiny dumpling to an art form. Each wrapper is filled with the freshest ingredients, the juiciest of broths, and ingenious blends. Servings are made to order and can be either steamed, fried, or boiled.

And for the true dumpling fanatic, the restaurant offers a freeyes, FREEone-hour dumpling making class, with a maximum number of four participants per session. It might be your first step to mastering this ubiquitous but challenging Chinese dish.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

This child-friendly museum in Lincoln Park presents the natural history of the Chicago region in smart and interactive ways.

During the Critter Connection every day at 11:30 kids can get an up close look at more than a dozen different amphibian species at the Animal House.

Theres also a bird walk, leading to a platform over Lincoln Parks North Pond, as well as hands-on stations where kids can learn about rivers, solve nature-inspired puzzles and explore a beaver lodge.

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Ping Tom Memorial Park

This stunning waterfront park on the east bank of the Chicago River appears to be one of the citys best-kept secrets. It offers one of my favorite views of the skyline Ive seen so far, but it never seems to get crowded, even on beautiful days.

Ping Tom Park is home to a pavilion, a boardwalk, a playground, and on its southern edge youll find the Chinatown Amtrak Lift Bridge , which is still in use today. Apparently, the middle section can be raised or lowered to accommodate large ships, but I havent personally witnessed it move up and down yet!

Gaze At The Amazing Displays Of Hoypoloi Gallery

WHAT TO EAT IN CHICAGO // Chinatown Food Tour Best Restaurants (Chicago Travel Guide 2021)

Hoi polloi is a disparaging phrase that refers to the masses or working-class, yet Hoypoloi Gallery embraces the name and exploits it to make art easily accessible to the general public by giving rare art.

Hoypoloi now has two gift stores at O’Hare International Airport and a more conventional gallery in Chinatown.

They sell various items ranging from paintings to carvings to jewelry, all of which are one-of-a-kind.

It is also an opportunity to gaze at the artwork and speak with the knowledgeable owner.

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Primary And Secondary Schools

Residents are zoned to schools in the Chicago Public Schools including John C. Haines School and Phillips Academy High School.

Haines, which had its current facility built in 1994, serves students from Chinatown and formerly from the Harold L. Ickes Homes students from the latter used a tunnel to get to school. As of 2001 70% of the students were Asian while 28% were black most residents of Ickes were black. Connie Laureman of the Chicago Tribune stated that Haines, in 1990, was “crowded and dilapidated”. Until Gandy Easton became principal in 1990, the school had de facto racial segregation as ethnic Chinese students stayed in a bilingual program while black students took regular classes. Easton combined the two levels together, despite protests from ethnic Chinese parents. By 2001 school authorities instituted programs to combat racism and ensure Chinese and black students socialized with one another.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago supports the St. Therese Chinese Catholic School , a K-8 private Catholic school, which has one of its two campuses in Chinatown. It was established in 1941. In 1990, almost all of the students were ethnic Chinese.

The Pui Tak Christian School is a private pre-kindergarten to 8th grade school.

The Chicago Public Library operates the Chinatown Library at 2100 South Wentworth Avenue.

Books To Read In Chicago

The Backpacker Bible Learn how to ditch your desk and travel the world on just $10 a day whilst building an online income.

Sometimes a Great Notion A tale of a hardheaded Oregonian logging family that goes on strike, leading the town to drama and tragedy. Written by PNW legend, Ken Kesey.

Walden The transcendental masterpiece by Henry David Thoreau that helped modern Americans rediscover nature and her beauty.

To Have and To Have Not A family man gets involved with the drug smuggling business in the Key West and ends up in a strange affair. Written by the great Ernest Hemingway.

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Stroll Around Garfield Park Conservatory

Henryk Sadura

Theres a lot of city in Chicago. A lot of buildings. A lot of skyscrapers. All those tall, tall manmade structures might get to you after a while especially if youre not from a city. So if you need some space, the Garfield Park Conservatory is the place for you.

One of the last conservatories in the US often called landscape art under glass this place is bursting with greenery and tropical plants. If you love your succulents and your Instagram gallery is full of artsy pics of houseplants, we urge you to go here. Case in point: theres a Palm Room, with a zillion varieties of palm. One of our favourite hipster things to do in Chicago.

Make Reservations For Your Chicago Chinatown Food Tour Today

Top Things to Do in Chicagos Chinatown

Whether you live in the city or youre visiting from out of town, youll enjoy one of the best Chicago food tours of Chinatown! If you are here on vacation or business, we recommend you take our tours at the beginning of your stay. This gives you background knowledge you can draw on throughout the rest of your time here. It may also give you ideas for how you want to spend the rest of your time in Chicago.

We pride ourselves on our excellent safety record. Our well-trained guides can assist you with any concerns as you walk your way through the city, enjoying all the culinary spoils of Chinatown while also learning more than you ever thought possible about Chicagos history. Educating yourself while you eat? Its the perfect way to celebrate Chicago.

Book your Chicago Chinatown food tour online today or contact us for a private group tour.

What more can we say about Bobbys Bike Hike? Our company has earned many superlatives over the years, such as:

  • Mentions in national magazines such as National Geographic and Midwest Living
  • Ten years as Trip Advisors top-rated tour company in Chicago
  • Viators Award of Distinction

Other benefits of taking our tours include:

  • Expert guides who keep you amused and engaged the entire walk
  • A course thats accessible to people of any fitness level
  • Access to the best restaurants in town without having to fight for a reservation

Craig O. Chicago, IL

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See The Other Great Wall Of China In Chicago

Right on the corner of Cermak and Wentworth, youll find a breathtaking wall adorned with nine large dragons and over 500 smaller ones painted in red, blue, and gold. This is Chinatowns Nine Dragon Wall and one of its most famous landmarks.

Modeled after a glaze-tiled wall in Beijings Forbidden City, Chicagos wall is one of only four other replicas, and every design element is meant to symbolize good fortune and prosperity.

All Aboard The River Boat To See The City


Youve seen the city from up high. Youve seen it from ground-level. Youve even seen it from below . But a good way to see the city is from the Chicago River. And what child wouldnt completely lose their sh*t over a boat ride? Not many, thats for sure.

Catch a boat from near the DuSable Bridge along the Riverwalk on the south bank of the Chicago River and youll whisked upriver, through a very cool lock system all the way to Lake Michigan, before being lowered back into the river itself. The level of engineering excitement and watery appeal of it is enough to make this a top thing to do in Chicago with kids.

For an even more memorable trip, you should consider renting a boat in Chicago, which will take you anywhere you want to go on the river or Lake Michigan for an affordable price.

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Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool

People go out of their way to visit a masterpiece of landscape architecture in Lincoln Park.

This pond is named after its designer, Alfred Caldwell who worked on it in the second half of the 1930s.

In the same vein as the Robie House, the environment is laid out in the Prairie style.

Youll definitely sense the Prairie schools love for low horizontal forms and the natural landscapes of the Midwest.

A National Historic Landmark since 2006, the pool is traced by winding stepping-stone paths, wide stratified slabs of limestone, circular benches, plants native to the Midwest, a waterfall and waterside pavilion.

Join The Festivities On Chinese Lunar New Year


The Chinese Lunar New Year Parade is a fantastic opportunity to honor the rich cultural legacy of the Chinese people each year.

A different animal represents every year in the Chinese calendar.

Traditional dragons, lion dances, and animal-themed floats make up the massive procession.

The Chinese Lunar New Year Procession includes everything you might dream for in a classic Chinese parade, including floats, marching bands, dragon and lion dancers, as well as a 100-foot dragon.

It’s the closest you can come to being in China without actually being there.

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Enter The Past Through The Chinatown Gate In Chicago

Looming over the busy streets of the neighborhood, the iconic Chinatown Gate greets residents and visitors to the area. It is also the gateway to Old Chinatown, where youll see more densely packed streets, restaurants and businesses than the more orderly Chinatown Square and Archer Avenue.

Fear not, those who enter: An array of thrilling sights, senses, and smells await.

Hunt For Bargains At The Randolph Street Market

If youre into a bit of vintage clothing and other knick-knacks and relics from the past, going for a bargain hunt at Randolph Street Market is definitely one of the top things to do in Chicago. No doubt about it. This mecca of cool has been featured in stuff like the New York Times and Travel & Leisure, so you know its a hip place.

This monthly indoor-outdoor market is a bonanza of things to buy and places to eat as well. Its located in Chicagos Plumbers Hall and takes place over one weekend every month. Its ticketed though general admission is $8. But boy is it ever worth it. Hot tip: Come after 3pm on a Sunday for free admission.

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Art Institute Of Chicago

Three of the most studied and celebrated paintings of the past 150 years await at an art museum to match the best in the world.

These works are Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, American Gothic by Grant Wood and Seurats A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.

They are all obligatory, as is Picassos Old Guitarist, but are only a gateway to a whole feast of art.

The Art Institute of Chicago has the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painting outside Paris, with more than 30 paintings by Monet, as well as works by Cézanne, Renoir, van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec.

For modern art theres Jackson Pollock, Warhol, Jasper Johns and Matisse, while the modern architecture and design collection has drawings and models by Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and more.

You can also delight in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman artefacts, from mosaics, to pottery, glass, coins, bronze and jewellery.

Tip: Entrance is included in the Go Chicago Card: All-Inclusive Attraction Pass

Popular Places To Visit In Chinatown

Chicago, Chinatown. [OC] : CityPorn

Navy Pier

Millennium Park

A landmark gathering place for locals and visitors who come to admire the unique art, architecture and landscape.

Union Station

Learn about the history of Union Station, a well-known monument in Chicago. Amble around this vibrant area’s riverfront or experience its fascinating museums.

McCormick Place

Attend an event at the United States largest convention center, which features hyper-modern facilities and huge exhibition spaces connected by promenades and sky bridges.

Wrigley Field

Tour the iconic grounds and catch a game March through September at Chicagos beloved baseball stadium.

Michigan Avenue

You can enjoy some retail therapy when you visit Michigan Avenue, a popular shopping spot in Chicago. Amble around this vibrant area’s riverfront and enjoy its top-notch restaurants.

Chicago Riverwalk

Stroll along the waterfront of the Chicago River to pass some of the citys most appealing attractions and appreciate how a once grim area has been successfully revamped.

Soldier Field

Events center, NFL stadium and historic landmark all in one, this waterfront field is one of Chicagos most popular destinations.

Reviewed on Jan 31, 2022

Reviewed on Feb 1, 2022

Reviewed on Jan 31, 2022

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