Things to do in Chicago
Chicago’s diverse blend of design, art, culture, music, and architecture means you’ll never run out of things to do in Chicago. For a relaxing, loosely structured day, visit Millennium Park to take in views of the Chicago waterfront and admire Cloud Gate, Chicago’s famous reflective bean sculpture. Stimulate your artistic side with a visit to Museum Campus, which houses three museums in one, and showcases the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton, among other amazing treasures. One of the most popular things to do in Chicago is to visit the Chicago Blues Festival. Taking place over three days and across five stages, this festival, celebrating Chicago’s foundational role in the blues movement, draws more than half a million fans from around the world to celebrate the scene’s past, present and future. Created in 1984 to honor Muddy Waters, one of the progenitors of the Chicago blues style, the festival has hosted famous performers like BB King, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, and Chuck Berry. (Jazz lovers can take in the Chicago Jazz Festival, too).
More cerebral Chicago activities come courtesy of the Chicago Architecture Foundation, which operates nearly 90 different tours, which you can take by boat, by bus, or on foot, and which cover everything from the city’s ultramodern skyscrapers to the historic downtown district and tours of various neighbourhoods. The foundation also organizes an Appetite for Design series, which merges culinary and architectural appreciation at some of Chicago’s top restaurants.
With its white deli cases, waxed butcher paper, and gingham-patterned walls, you might be tempted to order a corned beef on rye or pastrami, but the setting is actually the backdrop for this customizable T-shirt shop in Bucktown.
Instead of visiting the John Hancock Center’s zenith during daylight hours, opt for an evening cocktail in the building’s high-flying lounge. Located on the 96th floor, the dimly lit bar has dazzling 360-degree views of the city.
Established in 1961 by a group of 17 bibliophiles, this community-owned shop is now considered one of the world’s finest academic bookstores and has expanded to two additional locations in Chicago.
Once a historic movie theater, the two-story venue transformed itself in 1996 as an outlet for up-and-coming jazz, R&B, funk, and hip-hop musicians. If you hanker to hear local blues music, have dinner at the Back Porch and stay for the live 10 p.m. show.
Housed in the 1904 Santa Fe Building designed by Daniel Burnham, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s ArchiCenter features temporary exhibits as well as a permanent display entitled Chicago: You Are Here.
Small plates and martini boîte.
Whether you are hoping to hit the “Big 3” (Rome, Florence and Venice) with tots in tow, sample phenomenal wines in the alluring region of Apulia, or indulge in a romantic island vacation beside the sparkling Mediterranean, Andrea Sertoli and his Chicago-based agency, Select Italy, can make it hap
Selling unique designer wares and making gardening popular and possible in the Windy City, Sprout Home doubles as a home décor store and urban gardening supply shop.
Style-savvy men frequent this Bucktown clothing boutique to find the latest fashions from both established and emerging designers.
Stroll down the Magnificent Mile and stop at Garrett Popcorn. Although the company now has stores throughout Chicago and New York City, the first one opened at 10 West Madison Street, Chicago, in 1949.
The non-academic sister store to the Seminary Co-op, 57th Street Books is located underground in an unassuming red-brick building in Hyde Park. Inside, five low-ceilinged rooms are connected by brick archways and hide dozens of small nooks where patrons can enjoy newfound reads.