Things To Do
Photo Courtesy World Choice Travel
Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
The first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, Adler has hands-on and
historical exhibits as well as sky shows.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Masterpieces from Monet and Degas are housed in a vast, world-class
collection that also features African, American-Indian and Asian works,
decorative arts and sculpture, photography, prints, textiles, and
contemporary American painting. Free lectures are open to the public on
Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 South Pulaski Road
Dedicated to the preservation of Lithuanian art, history, customs, and
traditions, Balzekas also has a Children's Museum of Immigrant History.
First Avenue and 31st Street
Located 14 miles west of the Loop, it is accessible by Metra. A number
of large exhibits. Includes dolphin shows.
Buckingham Fountain, Chicago
Chicago's landmark is considered one of America's finest fountains due
to its Beaux-Arts-style design, finely wrought bronze sculpture, and
innovative use of technology.
Burnham Skate Park
31st Street and Lake Shore Drive
Admission is free; the park is closed in winter.
This 20,000-square-foot park for skateboarders and in-line skaters
features benches, curbs, rails, and smooth, curved metal surfacing for
Chicago Children's Museum
700 East Grand Avenue
Located on Navy Pier.
The exhibits encourage children to look, touch, and explore.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission to enter
More than 40 different architectural tours, varying in price.
Clarke House Museum
Address: 1827 South Indiana Avenue
Chicago's oldest surviving building, and the only place to see how an
early Chicago family lived.
Chicago Botanical Gardens
100 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Admission charged per car.
Whatever your taste in gardens, you will find it here. The 385-acre
property includes a suitably romantic English Garden, a thoughtful
Japanese paradise, and indoor greenhouses that duplicate the atmosphere
of the desert as well as the rainforest. A 45-foot waterfall cascades
through the Waterfall Garden and the pools in quiet areas. A visit to
the Chicago Botanical Gardens is a learning experience as well. Courses
and lectures are almost always available, and a walk through the
Endangered Species Garden teaches about preservation of plant species.
Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
The world's largest public library has more than two million shelved
volumes available to the public.
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington St., Chicago
Elegant, ornamental details abound in this building, including
sparkling mosaic tiles, sculptured ceilings, inscribed literary
quotations, and a sweeping white Carrara marble staircase. The Preston
Bradley Hall, on the third floor has the world's largest Tiffany
stained-glass dome. Another magnificent stained-glass dome is on the
second floor in the GAR rotunda. The structure was constructed in 1897
to serve a dual purpose. The Randolph Street and Washington Street
sides are different for this reason One was the entrance to the city's
central library, and the other to the Grand Army of the Republic
museum. The Cultural Center houses public spaces, with free concerts
and performances of all kinds, including live music every weekday at 1
in the Randolph Café.
500 W. Madison St., Chicago
Near West Side
Across the Chicago River from the Civic Opera House, the functions of
commuter train station and office building unite. The center combines a
boxlike office tower with glass half-cylinders rising from the lower
levels. Horizontal and vertical bands of mirrored and smoked glass
alternate up the building for a ribbon effect. It looks very much like
the grand old European railroad stations. The gates to the tracks are
elevated above street level to allow traffic to proceed east and west
Bounded by Washington, Randolph, Dearborn, and Clark Sts., Chicago
Named for the late mayor Richard J. Daley, the father of the current
holder of the office, this boldly plain high-rise is the headquarters
of the Cook County court system, but it also draws visitors' attention
because of what stands outside: a sculpture by Picasso. Known simply as
"DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Place
The DuSable Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and
interpretation of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of
African descent. The museum sponsors a film series, jazz and blues
concerts, and film and theater events geared to children.
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
The Field is Chicago's crowning museum of natural history, with
exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to African culture to gems and
minerals. Visitors can observe as geologists work on a million-year-old
fossilized dinosaur, painstakingly removing its bones from the rock and
assembling them for display. The "Life Over Time" display documents the
changing weather patterns that contributed to the formation of the
earth's environment, and other exhibits explore the various cultures of
the world's population.
Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation
Address: 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park
This building served as both the Wright family residence and Wright's
studio around the turn of the century.
Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust
931 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park 60302
The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust operates two historic house
museums: The Robie House in Hyde Park and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home
and Studio in Oak Park. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was the
architectural laboratory for the architect. The Preservation Trust
offers guided architectural tours of these buildings daily, along with
special educational programs for youth and adults.
Glessner House Museum
1800 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago 60616
Glessner House Museum is a National Historic Landmark, designed by
Henry Hobson Richardson and built in 1887. Guided tours of Glessner
House and the neighboring Clarke House Museum are available,
Wednesday-Sunday at noon, 1 and 2pm. Museum programming examines the
architecture, art, history and culture of the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries through lectures, discussions, performance events
Grant Park, Chicago
Dedicated in 1844, this park covers 319 acres along Lake Michigan and
is home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum
and the Art Institute.
The Hancock Observatory
875 N. Michigan Avenue
John Hancock Center, Chicago
It's not the tallest building in Chicago, but the 100-story Hancock
Tower is worth a visit for its magnificent cityscapes and the
interesting interactive exhibits on its 94th floor. Visitors take a
speedy elevator ride to the observation level, where "Soundscope"
viewers give a narrated account (in one of four languages) of what
you're seeing through the telescope. Adults will enjoy the Signature
Lounge, a 96th-floor watering hole with a lakeside view.
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State St., Chicago
The center's holdings include the Chicago Blues Archives, the
Jazz/Blues/Gospel Hall of Fame, and the Balaban and Katz Theater.
Hull House Museum
800 S. Halsted Street, Chicago
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, Jane Addams did what no one
before her had thought to do. She moved into one of Chicago's tenement
neighborhoods and opened a "settlement house" to help meet the economic
and social needs of her neighbors and to encourage their involvement in
improving their own community. During the height of its activity, Hull
House included a library, gymnasium, theater and an art gallery. The
museum, snuggled in the heart of the University of Illinois-Chicago,
consists of two of the original 13 buildings, one an Arts and
Crafts-style dining hall built in 1905.
Hyde Park, Chicago
This neighborhood, located south of the downtown area, is best known
for being the home to the University of Chicago.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Visitors to the Shedd Aquarium should be sure to stop by around feeding
time to watch divers distribute dinner to the various eels, rays, sea
turtles and fish that make its Tropical Coral Reef home. Nearly 8,000
aquatic animals - fresh and salt-water alike - are part of the Shedd's
collection, and nearly 2 million visitors make the journey to the
world's largest indoor aquarium each year.
Kohl Children's Museum
2100 Patriot Blvd
Glenview IL 60026
Children ages 1—8 can touch and explore the exhibits and participate in
planned daily activities.
Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago
The oldest zoo in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo is still free to
visitors. But its greatest asset is its vast collection - 1,200 animals
- and its dedication to teaching conservation and protection of
wildlife. The zoo's Lester E. Fisher Great Ape House is considered one
of the finest gorilla exhibits in the world. Other visitor favorites
include the Sea Lion Pool, the Bird House (where feathered friends
surround their homo sapiens visitors) and the Penguin and Seabird
House. And of course, there are plenty of elephants, giraffes and
North Michigan Avenue, Chicago
A mecca for shoppers, Magnificent Mile runs along North Michigan Avenue
to Lincoln Park and rivals Rodeo Drive and Worth Avenue for world-class
shopping and restaurants. Comforting names like The Gap accompany
upscale Armani on the list of 60 well-known retail establishments to
line this spending paradise. Three shopping malls are also nearby, and
each is worthy of the Magnificent Mile's high-class shopping
reputation, and magnificent restaurants and five-star hotels.
Located in downtown Chicago
On Michigan Avenue between Randolph and
The 24.5-acre park is an unprecedented center for
world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design, where you
can experience everything from interactive public art and ice skating
to al fresco dining and free classical music presentations by the Grant
Park Orchestra and Chorus.
Among the park’s prominent features is the
dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert
venue of its kind in the United States, designed by Frank Gehry, one of
the world’s greatest living architects. A pedestrian bridge, also
designed by Mr. Gehry and spanning Columbus Drive, provides access to
the pavilion, acts as an acoustical barrier between the audience and
traffic noise, and links Millennium Park to the rest of Chicago's
lakefront park system.
The park also is home to one of the
world’s largest outdoor sculptures by the British artist Anish Kapoor;
the tradition-setting Lurie Garden designed by the team of Kathryn
Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel; and the Crown Fountain
designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.
Mexican Fine Arts Center
1852 West 19th Street
Exhibits on traditional and contemporary Mexican art range in medium
from prints and drawings to papier-mâché and from ceramics to
historically significant photographs. Every autumn the museum hosts the
city's most visited Day of the Dead exhibit.
Museum of Broadcast Communications
Michigan Avenue at Washington Street
(in the Chicago Cultural Center)
The MBC examines popular culture and contemporary American history
through the sights and sounds of television and radio. Featured are
hands-on exhibits, broadcasting memorabilia, and a public archives
collection of more than 60,000 radio and television programs and
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
The MCA exhibits painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and
performance created since 1945. It includes a terraced sculpture garden
and has a great view of Lake Michigan.
Museum of Contemporary Photography
600 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission, The permanent collection focuses on American
photography produced since 1959.
Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
More than 800 exhibits and 2,000 interactive units include a display
exploring the inner workings of the brain, an exhibit of a captured
German U-boat, and a trip down a replica coal mine. There is also an
Omnimax movie dome.
Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive
With its collection of 7,000 surgery-related objects, manuscripts, and
artworks, this museum shows the discoveries and failures that have
shaped modern surgery.
National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum
1801 South Indiana Avenue
Art of 115 men and women who served in Vietnam.
600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago
Stretching more than a half-mile (3000 feet) into Lake Michigan, the
Navy Pier is a popular attraction for guests and locals alike. The pier
area welcomes more than 5 million visitors who come to ride its
150-foot Ferris wheel and old-fashioned carousel, see an IMAX movie,
take sightseeing and dinner cruises or stroll its lovely lakefront
location. Its concert dome, Skyline Stage, seats 1,500 and
presents performances from May through October. The 170,000-square foot
festival hall hosts several distinguished annual events, and a
six-story glass atrium contains Crystal Gardens, the pier's one-acre
enclosed botanical garden.
Oak Street Beach, Chicago
Great place for water sports and biking.
5757 S. Woodlawn St., Chicago 60637
Robie House represents the culmination of Wright's renowned work in the
revolutionary architectural genre known as the Prairie Style. This
spectacular structure features 174 exquisite art glass windows and
doors. Tours offered daily, as well as public programs and special
events-all of which focus on Wright's legendary creativity.
233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago
The tallest building in North America and still one of the tallest in
the world, the Sears Tower soars 110 stories to 1,454 feet. Completed
in 1973, the tower was built by 12,000 workers in fierce Chicago winds,
which became a more significant challenge the higher the structure
rose. The newly opened Skydeck on the 103rd floor offers 80-mile views
on a clear day. It also presents a number of educational exhibits on
Chicago history, the Great Chicago Fire and the city's founding fathers
Spertus Museum (Institute of Jewish Studies)
618 South Michigan Avenue
Spertus Museum welcomes students from all backgrounds to its galleries,
using its collections to introduce basic themes in Jewish religion and
Swedish American Museum Center
5211 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
This museum aims to preserve the Midwest's rich Swedish heritage by
collecting, interpreting, and displaying materials related to
Terra Museum of American Art
664 North Michigan Avenue
Free for students with valid ID
Ukrainian National Museum
721 N. Oakley Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60612
Tribune Tower, Chicago
The neo-gothic tower's signature is the exterior collection of stones
from other famous edifices, like the Parthenon, St. Peter's Basilica,
Notre Dame, the White House and most recently, the Berlin Wall.
University of Chicago
5801 South Ellis Avenue
The public attractions include museums (Oriental Institute and Smart
Museum of Art), galleries, and a Frank Lloyd Wright home (Robie House).
It also is the site of the magnificent limestone edifice, Regenstein
Library, which features over 7 million volumes in addition to priceless
archives. The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is a mini cathedral with
memorable stained glass windows, a 92-bell carillon and a 10,000 pipe
Wrigley Building, Chicago
This white, terra-cotta landmark was built in 1922 as headquarters for
the Wrigley chewing gum company.
Wrigley Field, Chicago
One of America's smallest, oldest, and best-loved ballparks, Wrigley is
home to the Chicago Cubs
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