Chicago

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.

Since opening in 2004, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park has become a Chicago staple that lures renowned artists, architects, and musicians. Highlights include The Cloud Gate, The Crown Fountain, and the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.

After nearly five decades of brick-and-mortar business, the Chicago retailer of Scandinavian goods has switched to an online presence only. Have hard-to-find specialty goods like Arvid Nordquist Swedish Coffee, Danish Lurpak Butter, and Finnish sweet licorice delivered right to your door.

Located in the Loop, the Chicago Cultural Center is known for both its impressive architecture and its free programming, which includes more than 1,000 events each year.

The Chicago area has plenty of couture ice cream operations—like Ruth and Phils Gourmet Ice Cream, with such arcane flavors as sour cream cinnamon—but a big, hearty city demands the kind of hearty ice cream that Al Capone used to enjoy.

Rising 113 feet above the shore of Lake Michigan, the Grosse Point Lighthouse provides panoramic views of the water, as well as Chicago skyscrapers, the Baha’i temple, and Northwestern University.

After arriving in the 1840's, many of Chicago’s first Greek immigrants resided in a section of town just west of the Loop.

Even celebrities like Julia Roberts and Naomi Watts have relied on this boutique for stylish, non-frumpy maternity clothes.

Located in the Loop beside the 1926 Cadillac Palace Theatre, Encore Liquid Lounge is a casual lunch club by day and a cocktail bar by night, offering creative martinis, local craft beers, and New American small plates.

Whether you want a pair of skinny jeans or a black cocktail dress, visit sister stores Veruca Salt Fun and Veruca Salt Fancy. For basics like Grassroot T-shirts and Collective Clothing dresses, head to Veruca Salt Fun.

Ideal for foodies and chefs of all skill levels, the Chopping Block is both a retail store and the city’s largest recreational cooking school.

The Water Tower and Pumping Station were the only public buildings left standing after Miss O’Leary’s cow allegedly knocked over a lantern and ignited the greatest fire in Chicago history in 1871.

As the black and white sign above the glass storefront proclaims, Erickson's Delicatessen has "everything for the smorgasbord." Established in 1925 in the historically Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville, the tiny shop carries a wide array of Scandinavian delicacies as well as products imported