Chicago is an East Coast city situated in the state of Illinois.
It has amazing natural history and has some fantastic art galleries, historic buildings, world class museums and a bunch of tourist attractions to see.
For those that are adventurous you’ll find escape rooms, outdoor concerts, movie theaters, ice skating rinks, amusement parks and you can even take a Segway tour of the city.
Downtown Chicago is full of skyscrapers filling the city skyline, with lots of bold architecture.
In this guide, I’ll share some of the best things to do in Chicago.
Things To Do In Chicago
1. Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute features some the most famous paintings in the world.
On the first floor look out for the beautiful Chagall American Windows which are located near the modern wing.
As you browse you’ll find the Greek and Roman wings, the Chinese and Indian art galleries and so much more.
The impressions are the most highly praised collections in the museum.
For the patriots take a visit inside the American wing to see the great collection on display.
The Art Institute of Chicago offers an audio tour for those wanting to be guided through the beautiful museum.
For those looking to get through the whole museum, avoid visiting the Art Institute of Chicago on the weekends, where it’s most busy.
Address: 111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603-6110
2. Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest in the western hemisphere.
It features tons of fun for all ages and is perfect to bring your kids to.
You can explore the insides of a German submarine, go deep inside a coal mine, explore a fairy castle and much more.
Lots of the exhibits inside are interactive and there are lots of hands on activities.
For those looking for a thrill, the museum offers a mirror maze that will puzzle your mind. You can also hop aboard the flight simulator and see which magical world it takes you to.
Address: 5700 S. Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637-2093
3. 360 Chicago Observation Deck
The 360 degree observation deck is located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center.
It offers amazing views throughout the entirety of the Chicago Skyline.
If you want to experience something thrilling, then you can try out TILT. TILT is a huge moving platform that will tilt you over the edge of the building.
After that exhilarating experience, you can grab some drinks at BAR 94, which has a large selection of cocktails and some of the best views of the city skyline.
You are surrounded with floor to ceiling windows allowing you see the Willis Tower, Sears Tower and much more.
Throughout the observation deck you have interactive touch screens which provide information about the windy city.
Address: 875 N Michigan Avenue 94th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611-1803
4. Millennium Park and Cloud Gate
Millennium Park features tons of tourist attractions that are famous in Chicago.
You’ll find cloud gate (the bean), crown fountain and the occasional music concert in the park.
Cloud gate is the main attraction for the park, known to locals and tourists as the “Bean”, the iconic art structure is extremely popular.
It reflects everything around it, including the beautiful Chicago skyline, making it a perfect place to snap a picture.
The park features other art installations which vary during the time that you visit.
During the winter Millennium Park features an ice skating rink, which is lots of fun.
Address: 201 East Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601-6530
5. Field Museum
The Field Museum will take you on a journey of discovery.
You’ll discover the most put together Tyrannosaurus rex (SUE) and over 40 million specimens and artifacts in the collection.
The museum hosts collections related to nature, culture and natural history.
My personal favorites are the Egyptian exhibit and the dinosaur hall which were lots of fun to explore.
The underground adventure section is a special exhibit which simulates the shrinking of visitors to the Field Museum, down to the size of a penny. This lets you experience life as a small bug through the soil.
You’ll be able to explore the life of creepy crawlies and other insects. It’s perfect for children and they’ll be begging you to take them back to the Field Museum.
Address: 1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605-2827
6. Wrigley Field
Wrigley Field is the home of the Chicago cubs.
Fans can take a tour around stadium which was originally built in 1914, over 100 years ago.
On game days you can take a seat in the stands and enjoy a game of baseball.
On the Ivy Tour which is available on non gamedays, you can explore the historic landmark and take a photo in front of the historic Ivy Wall.
Address: 1060 W. Addison St., Chicago, IL 60613-4566
7. The Magnificent Mile
The Magnificent Mile is a 13 block stretch that runs from the Chicago River banks in the south all the way up to Oak Street in the north.
It’s a large shopping, dining and entertainment destination that contains more than 460 stores, 60 hotels and 275 restaurants.
The Magnificent Mile has something for everyone, regardless of your tastes or interests.
It’s also a beautiful walk along the Chicago River that is extremely relaxing and refreshing.
Address: North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611
8. Lincoln Park Zoo
The Lincoln Park zoo is one of the most fun things to do in Chicago.
It’s perfect for kids and families and will provide you lots of enjoyment.
The Chicago Zoo which was originally established in 1868 features a 35-acre plot of land that is beautiful landscaped and has no admission fee.
As this Zoo does not charge any admission fees, it’s the perfect place for those on a budget.
Inside the Zoo you’ll find the Great Ape House which features a wide variety of gorillas and chimpanzees from all across the world.
You’ll also find lions, seals, camels, big cats, polar bears and much more.
Address: 2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614-4757
9. Chicago Riverwalk
Going on a Chicago Riverwalk is one of the must do things when in this amazing city.
The river is one of the cleanest you’ll find and walking along it will allow you to discover the city, whilst enjoying the clear green waters.
Walking along the Chicago River is great to relax and people watch.
On a sunny day with no clouds, you’ll be able to admire the architecture of the tall skyscrapers that surround you.
For those wanting to sit down and relax, you can look for tour boats or even kayak rentals.
Overall going for a Chicago Riverwalk is a must and the Chicago River is one of the most beautiful parts of the city.
10. Chicago Cultural Center
The Chicago Cultural Center is America’s first free municipial cultural center.
It’s one of the most popular attractions in Chicago and perfect for culture lovers.
The building is stunning and opened in 1897, as Chicago’s first public library.
It features two stained glass domes inside.
You’ll find lots of free cultural exhibits which change year to year and lots of different performances.
Admission into the Chicago Cultural Center is free.
Address: 78 E Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602-4801
11. Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum is a great place to take your kids for an afternoon of fun and learning.
It’s the perfect place to stimulate their minds and let them explore their creativity.
The Chicago Children’s Museum offers a variety of permanent exhibits, as well as rotating exhibits which are always changing.
Some of the permanent exhibits include: Dinosaur Expedition, American Girl, WaterWays and much more.
There is also a variety of different programming offered which includes: art classes, story times, dance parties and more.
The Chicago Children’s Museum is located in Navy Pier and admission is free for kids under the age of 15.
Address: 700 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
12. Grant Park
Grant Park is one of the most iconic parks in Chicago.
It’s located in the heart of downtown and features a variety of different attractions.
Within Grant Park, you’ll find: Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Art Institute of Chicago and more.
Grant Park is the perfect place to go for a walk, a run or a bike ride.
It’s also the perfect place to go when the sun is out and you want to enjoy a day in the park.
Address: 337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601
13. Skydeck Willis Tower
One of the most popular attractions in Chicago is the Skydeck Willis Tower.
It’s located on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower and provides stunning views of the city.
You’ll be able to see for 50 miles which spans across 4 states.
There’s also a “Dare to Stand Out” ledge, which features a glass balcony that extends 4.3 feet outside the building. This provides a thrilling experience.
Tickets are required to go up to the Skydeck and you can buy them online or at the Tower.
Address: 233 S Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60606
14. Chicago History Museum
If you’re interested in learning about the history of Chicago, then you must visit the Chicago History Museum.
The museum is located in Lincoln Park and features a variety of different exhibits.
You’ll be able to learn about the city’s founding, its rise as a metropolis, the Great Chicago Fire and much more.
There are also a variety of different tours which you can take, including a bus tour, walking tour and even a night tour.
The Chicago History Museum is the perfect place to go for anyone who wants to learn more about the city’s history.
Address: 1601 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
15. Navy Pier
Navy Pier is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chicago, located on Lake Michigan.
It’s home to a variety of different attractions, including: the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, a carousel and more.
In the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, you’ll be able to see Shakespearean classics, as well as modern day productions. The theater also offers a variety of different educational programs for students.
You’ll also find a variety of different restaurants and shops at Navy Pier.
Navy Pier is the perfect place to go for a day of fun. You can easily spend a few hours here and not get bored.
Navy Pier features rides such as the Ferris wheel, which offers amazing views of the city and tour boats which can help you explore.
It’s a perfect place to go with friends or family.
Address: 600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611
16. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is the perfect place to go when you want to enjoy a day outdoors.
The lake is the largest freshwater lake in the world and is absolutely stunning.
There are a variety of different beaches to choose from and you can even go for a swim if you’re feeling brave.
If you want to stay on land, there’s also plenty to do.
You can go for a walk, a run or a bike ride on the lakefront trail. Or you can simply relax and take in the views.
Lake Michigan is a must-see when in Chicago and should definitely be on your list of things to do.
17. Chicago Theatre
The Chicago Theatre is one of the most iconic buildings in the city.
It’s a beautiful theatre that was built in 1921 and has been host to a variety of different performances.
From musicals to stand-up comedy, there’s something for everyone at the Chicago Theatre.
The theatre features a 3600-seat auditorium and has been beautifully restored.
Spanning 7 stories high, the theatre is truly a sight to see and a historical landmark.
Tickets for most events at the Chicago Theatre can be purchased online or at the box office.
Address: 175 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601
18. Deep Dish Pizza
There’s no doubt that deep dish pizza is one of the most popular dishes in Chicago.
It was created in the 1940s and is a must-try when in the city.
Deep dish pizza is a type of pizza that has a thick crust and is filled with cheese, vegetables and meat.
There are a variety of different places you can go to get deep dish pizza in Chicago.
Some of the most popular places include: Gino’s East, Lou Malnati’s, Giordano’s and more.
19. National Museum of Mexican Art
The National Museum of Mexican Art is the perfect place to learn about Mexican culture and art.
The museum is free to enter and features a Permanent Collection, as well as rotating exhibits.
Within the Permanent Collection, you’ll find: Pre-Columbian Art, Colonial Art, Popular Art and Contemporary Art.
There is also a variety of different programming offered which includes: family days, art classes, performances and more.
The National Museum of Mexican Art is located in Pilsen and is open 7 days a week.
Address: 1852 W 19th St, Chicago, IL 60608
Is Chicago a good place to visit right now?
Yes Chicago is a great place to visit right now. Whether you want to walk through Jackson Park, get some Chicago style hot dogs or relax in some Chicago Spas, the city is a great place to visit.
For those looking for some cool history, you can checkout the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour which is a two hour tour, following the life of Al Capone and other famous gangsters.
Is downtown Chicago Open?
Yes downtown Chicago is open.
The Chicago skyline never sleeps and you can always take a walk through the windy city.
Whether you want to explore Grant Park, Sears Tower, the John Hancock Center or go on a Chicago Riverwalk, the city is always open.