17 Exciting Things to Do in Chicago

17 Exciting Things to Do in Chicago

December 3, 2019 | Chicago Highlights,

Do you know what Chicago is known for? Are you wondering what to do and see in Chicago during your travels? Luckily, in addition to all the high-quality restaurants and bars located around town, there are several Chicago attractions you should visit during your next trip to the Windy City.

Shop ‘Til You Drop on the Magnificent Mile

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile encompasses 13 blocks of entertainment, including many of the attractions on this list. In addition to hotels, restaurants and attractions, you’ll find department stores, shopping centers and luxury boutiques.

In 2010, National Geographic named The Magnificent Mile one of the top 10 shopping avenues in the world. It’s easy to see why — with more than 460 stores, there is something for everyone.

Snap a Picture With The Bean at Millennium Park

A trip to Chicago isn’t complete until you have taken a picture next to Cloud Gate — also known as The Bean — at Millennium Park. While you’re there, take the time to browse the exhibits. Millennium Park is 24.5 acres of architecture, landscape design and the Lurie Garden.

The park also hosts several seasonal events throughout the year.

See It All From the Chicago Observation Deck

360 Chicago is an observation deck located 1,000 feet above the Magnificent Mile. From the top of the deck, it is obvious why the Windy City is one of the best in the world.

360 Chicago is also where you will find Tilt, a moving ride for thrillseekers and one of the most exciting things to do in Chicago.

Enjoy a Game at Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field is home to the Cubs and one of Chicago’s top attractions. The field has been a landmark since 1914, making it the second-oldest MLB ballpark.

Are you visiting during the off-season and can’t catch a game? Take a tour of Wrigley Field instead.

Walk the Chicago Riverwalk

The Chicago Riverwalk stretches 1.25 miles along the main branch of the Chicago River. Its nickname is “Chicago’s Second Shoreline.”

Enjoy the sight of cruising riverboats while you sip your morning coffee, or people-watch from the tiered seating at The River Theatre. The Chicago Riverwalk is also home to the Floating Gardens and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza.

Check out the View From Willis Tower Skydeck

Located at Willis Tower — formerly the historic Sears Tower — the Ledge at Skydeck is 1,353 feet in the air, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and one of the top places to visit in Chicago.

On your way to the top of the building, you can also browse exhibits to learn more about Skydeck and the city.

Spend the Evening at the Navy Pier

Many people will tell you Navy Pier is Chicago’s best-known landmark. With 180 million visitors since the pier’s re-opening in 1995, it is easily one of the most popular attractions the city has to offer. The Navy Pier is home to dozens of shops, restaurants, games, exhibits and more.

Take the whole family for a ride on the Centennial Wheel, an iconic piece of Chicago’s skyline, to catch 360-degree views of the city.

Take in a Show at the Chicago Theatre

The Chicago Theatre is part of the fabric of the city’s history and is easy to recognize by its bright, light-up marquee sign. The theatre hosts a variety of shows throughout the year, including comedy acts, family events and more. Want to learn more about the landmark? Take a tour of the theatre to learn all about its history and how it came to be one of Chicago’s top attractions.

See Nature at the Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory is two acres of public botanical greenhouse space and 10 acres of outdoor gardens. This urban oasis is home to more than 2,100 different species of plants. Visitors can take a class, watch a demonstration or enjoy the day experiencing the natural beauty Garfield Park has to offer.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago

Downtown’s Art Institute of Chicago is one of the world’s top art museums. Here you’ll find work by Monet, Seurat, van Gogh, Renoir and other famous artists. If you are visiting with children, the Ryan Learning Center offers educational programs and art workshops for children and adults of all ages.

See Buckingham Fountain at Grant Park

With over 312 acres of greenery and landmarks, Grant Park has earned the nickname “Chicago’s Front Yard.” Grant Park houses several of the city’s top attractions, including Millennium Park.

While enjoying the park, stop by the sculptural Buckingham Fountain to see one of the world’s largest memorial fountains shoot water 150 feet into the air.

Learn Something New at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Museum of Science and Industry is one of the largest science museums in the world. It houses more than 400,000 square feet of interactive exhibits. Some highlights include a World War II submarine, a 40-foot tornado simulation and a giant dome theater.

Kids will love the Idea Factory, where they can get hands-on experience conducting scientific research.

Take a Chicago River Cruise

After a day of sightseeing, sit back and relax on a cruise boat sailing down the breezy Chicago River. See the city from a new perspective while you learn more about its history, architecture, landmarks and more.

Learn More About the World at the Field Museum of Natural History

The Field Museum of Natural History hosts exhibits and displays — including over 40 million artifacts and specimens — that demonstrate the history and beauty of the world’s different cultures and ecosystems.

See the Animals at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Are you wondering what to do in Chicago that the whole family will enjoy? Look no further than Lincoln Park Zoo.

The Lincoln Park Zoo, founded in 1868, has become home to hundreds of reptiles, waterfowl, penguins, jungle cats and more. The zoo focuses on research and wildlife conservation. Lincoln Park Zoo is open year-round, and admission is free.

Enjoy Popcorn and a Movie at the Music Box Theatre

If you’re looking for a little off-the-beaten-path entertainment, check out the Music Box Theatre on Southport Avenue. The Music Box is Chicago’s top destination for independent and foreign films. If you watch a show at the Music Box, be sure to try some of their famous real-butter popcorn.

Take a tour of the theatre to learn more about its history, including the story of “Whitey,” the resident ghost.

Soak up Some Sun at the Beach

Why visit Chicago? Because on top of the great food, historic landmarks and unforgettable experiences, Chicago also has some beautiful lakeside beaches.

The Chicago Park District boasts 26 miles of free lakefront beach access, including family-friendly Chicago hotspots like Montrose and North Avenue Beach. Each of Chicago’s beaches has something different to offer— which one will you visit?

South Side Social Is Convenient to Chicago’s Top Attractions

Now that you know what not to miss in Chicago, you can use this guide to plan a day or more of sightseeing and fun in the Windy City. After you’ve worked up an appetite exploring the city, stop in and see us at South Side Social Neighborhood Kitchen & Tap. At our locally owned restaurant, all of Chicago — including South Siders, visitors and more — can come together for a chef-crafted menu and an upscale, comfortable dining experience. You’ll find us near the busiest intersection in Illinois, meaning our location is conveniently close to many of Chicago’s top attractions.

Dine with us to enjoy classic Chicago fare and our take on Midwestern specialtiesContact us online or give us a call at 708-229-8888 to make a reservation.

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