Chicago is an exciting city full of activities and attractions. There are plenty of places to see. Check out some of the city attractions below to make the most of your time here.
(312) 922-9410 – www.fieldmuseum.org
Located on the Museum Campus along with the Adler Planetarium & Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum is Chicago’s natural history museum. One of the main draws is Sue, the largest T. Rex skeleton ever discovered.
(312) 922-7827 – www.adlerplanetarium.org
The Adler Planetarium is the oldest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, and the oldest still in existence today. Visitors can explore the numerous exhibits and visit three theaters in their exploration of space.
(312) 939-2438 – www.sheddaquarium.org
Get up close and personal with over 32,000 animals at Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium. In addition to its exhibits, the building itself is considered a significant architectural structure designed in the Beaux-Arts style. Located in the center of the Museum Campus, it’s a destination no visitor should miss.
Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
(847) 967-4800 – www.ilholocaustmuseum.org
Located in Skokie and opened in 2009, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center is the main Holocaust memorial in the Midwest. Through various Holocaust-related items and exhibits, visitors will get a glimpse into these dark days in our history.
Museum of Science & Industry
(773) 684-1414 – www.msichicago.org
A playground for adults and children alike! One of Chicago’s most beloved museums, some of the most popular attractions include a working coal mine, a German submarine from WW2, and a spacecraft used during the Apollo 8 mission. And fun fact: The museum is housed in the only permanent structure erected during the World’s Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893 – the Palace of Fine Arts.
Art Institute of Chicago
(312) 443-3600 – www.artic.edu/aic
The second largest art museum in the United States, the Art Institute houses a diverse collection of works including one of the world’s most notable collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in its permanent collection. Be sure to visit the Chagall windows, as well as the new Modern Wing, opened in 2009.
Chicago History Museum
(312) 642-4600 – www.chicagohistory.org
The Chicago History Museum offers an eclectic variety of permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing our great city’s past, present, and future. For anyone interested in the real Chicago, this museum in Lincoln Park is a must-stop.
Lincoln Park Zoo
(312) 742-2000 – www.lpzoo.org
Lincoln Park Zoo is one of Chicago’s most popular attractions – and it’s free! The main zoo within the city of Chicago, you will find over 1,200 species of animals call Lincoln Park home. The zoo also hosts a variety of other events during the year, so be sure to check out what’s happening!
(708) 688-8000 – www.brookfieldzoo.org
Located in Brookfield, approximately 15 miles west of Chicago, Brookfield Zoo is the largest zoo in Illinois. The zoo quickly gained attention after its opening in 1934 for its use of moats and ditches to keep the animals separate from one another and visitors, as opposed to cages. While the zoo is open every day of the year, be sure to check seasonal hours.
International Museum of Surgical Science
(312) 642-6502 – www.imss.org
One of Chicago’s more unusual museums, patrons may view artwork, artifacts, surgical tools from 2,000 BC and state-of-the-art prosthetics.
DuSable History Museum
(773) 947-0600 – www.dusablemuseum.org
Named for Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, the first resident of Chicago, DuSable African-American History Museum is the oldest and largest museum dedicated to African-American history in the United States. Every Sunday is free admission day!
(773) 404-2827 – mlb.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/index.jsp
Home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field is the second oldest baseball stadium in use today next to Boston’s Fenway Park. If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll want to be sure to head to Clark and Addison for a visit to the Friendly Confines.
US Cellular Field
(312) 674-5225 – mlb.mlb.com/cws/ballpark/index.jsp
Located within walking distance of IIT at 35th & Wentworth – just on the other side of the Dan Ryan Expressway – the Chicago White Sox, 2005 World Series Champs, play to the delight of their fans every spring and summer. If you hear fireworks, watch out for a home run ball!
(312) 409-5560 – www.themagnificentmile.com
A mix of residences and great shopping, the Magnificent Mile is a must stop for Chicago visitors. While perusing the shops, visit the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, and the Water Tower – the only remaining vestige from the Great Chicago Fire.
One of only seven Bahai Houses of Worship around the world, the Illinois Temple, located at 100 Linden Avenue in Wilmette, is a center of the faith in the United States. The extensive grounds, interior and exterior are a breathtaking sight in gleaming marble.
Willis Tower (previously known as Sears Tower)
Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Americas, and a fixture of the Chicago skyline since 1974. The Skydeck on the 103rd floor offers unparalleled views of the city: on a clear day, visitors can see across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan.
(312) 595-PIER – www.navypier.com
The most popular tourist attraction in all of Illinois, Navy Pier is home to a giant Ferris wheel, shops, restaurants, IMAX theatre, Chicago Children’s Museum and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Several of the boat tours operate from the pier as well.
(312) 235-7000 – www.soldierfield.net
Built as a memorial to fallen soldiers, Soldier Field has been home to the Chicago Bears since 1971. Originally built in a Greco-Roman style, the new modern addition has been a talking point for Chicago since renovations in 2003. In Burnham Park, just east of Soldier Field, stands the Balbo Column; the only remaining remnant of the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair, the column is a gift to Chicago from Benito Mussolini.
(312) 742-1168 – www.millenniumpark.org
Discover a state-of-the-art collection of architecture, landscape design and art that provide the backdrop for hundreds of free cultural programs including concerts, exhibitions, tours, and family activities. In Millennium Park, you’ll find a new kind of town square – a lively, spectacular gathering spot located in the heart of the city and a destination for Chicagoans and visitors alike! Be sure to stop by one of the most famous pieces of public art in Chicago – Cloudgate, affectionately known as The Bean.
Chicago’s principal downtown park, often referred to as Chicago’s “front yard”. Its beautifully landscaped gardens host a myriad of events, including the annual Taste of Chicago and the free of charge world-class Grant Park Music Festival. The centerpiece of Grant Park is Buckingham Fountain – best seen at night when it is animated with a computerized choreography of color spotlights.
(773) 702-9514 – www.oi.uchicago.edu/museum
Located on the University of Chicago’s campus, the Oriental Institute is the university’s archeology museum and research center for ancient Near Eastern studies. The museum has history, art, and archaeology exhibits from such places as ancient Egypt, Persia, and Mesopotamia. Free admission, though there is a suggested donation.
Chicago Architecture Foundation
(312) 922-3432 – www.caf.architecture.org
The Chicago Architecture Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing public interest and education in architecture and design through tours, exhibitions, lectures, and special events. This organization seeks to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of Chicago’s outstanding architectural legacy. Sign up for a walking or boat tour to explore the wondrous architectural heritage our city has to offer.
(312) 744-6630 – www.chicagoculturalcenter.org
The stunning landmark building is home to two magnificent stained-glass domes, including a Tiffany dome, as well as art exhibitions and family events. Chicago’s original public library, the Cultural Center is an important piece of Chicago’s history.
John Hancock Observatory
(312) 751-3681 – www.hancockobservatory.com
One of the tallest buildings in the country, the Hancock Building Observatory Deck offers unparalleled views of the city and Lake Michigan, and in the winter even offers a sky-high ice skating rink! Dining is available at the Signature Room on the 95th, or stop in for a drink at the lounge on the 96th floor.
Elks Veterans Memorial
(773) 755-4700 – http://www.elks.org/memorial
Built as a memorial to Elk’s members who perished in World War 1, the memorial has been rededicated to include veterans of all subsequent conflicts. Designed in a Beaux-Arts style, the interior is designed with allegorical murals and art reflective of noble and humanitarian ideals. A little known fact: A young group of Northwestern students made a student film here, featuring a young actor named Charlton Heston.
(312) 994-4000 – http://gowright.org/robie-house.html
For architecture buffs, a visit to Robie House is certainly in order. Adjacent to the University of Chicago campus, Robie House is one of the best known examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style, considered the first architectural style that is uniquely American.