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Attractions

Adler Planetarium

1300 S. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60605

The Adler Planetarium is a public museum dedicated to the study of astronomy and astrophysics. It was founded in 1930 by Chicago business leader Max Adler. It is located on the northeast tip of Northerly Island.  For more information visit:  Adler Planetarium

 

Exterior of Art Institute of Chicago.

Art Institute

111 S. Michigan Avenue

Chicago, IL 60603

The Art Institute of Chicago, founded in 1879 and located in Chicago’s Grant Park, is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Recognized for its curatorial efforts and popularity among visitors, the museum hosts approximately 1.5 million guests annually.  For more information visit:  Art Institute

 

Blue Man Group

Briar Street Theater

3133 North Halsted Street

Chicago, IL 60657

Blue Man Group will rock your world. Blow your mind. And unleash your spirit. As three bald and blue men explore our world, together we’ll discover music, laughter and surprises at every turn. By the end of this spectacular journey, you’ll be saying “I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED BUT I LOOOVED IT.”  35 million people of all ages, languages and cultures have experienced the unexpected with Blue Man Group. Now it’s your turn to see what all the hype is about!  For more information visit:  Blue Man

 

Broadway in Chicago

17 N. State St. #810

Chicago, IL 60602

Broadway In Chicago is the source for terrific seats to the most exciting shows in Chicago’s bustling Downtown Theater District.  For more information visit:  Broadway in Chicago

 

 

Brookfield Zoo

8400 W. 31st Street

Brookfield, IL 60513

World-renowned, Brookfield Zoo inspires guests through extraordinary connections with animals, nature and each other. Set within a 216-acre nature park, the zoo have captivated and educated visitors since 1934. It is home to 2,000+ animal residents and is also an accredited arboretum.

Brookfield Zoo is open every day and welcomes more than two million guests yearly. It is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society and is located on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.  For more information visit:  Brookfield Zoo

 

Chicago History Museum

1601 N. Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60614

Founded in 1856 and incorporated in 1857 by an act of the state legislature, the Chicago Historical Society and its collection grew and opened its first building at the corner of Dearborn and Ontario Streets.

That building and most of the collection, however, burned during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. After three years and a second fire that destroyed most of the remaining collection, the Society renewed its operations. Occupying temporary buildings on the same site until 1896, the organization built a massive stone edifice designed by Henry Ives Cobb, which housed the Gilpin Library and exhibition spaces.

In 1920, the Society purchased thousands of manuscripts and hundreds of paintings and historical artifacts from the estate of Charles F. Gunther, including the bed on which Abraham Lincoln died and George Washington’s compass. In the late 1920s, the trustees began planning a new $1 million museum to house its growing collection and to celebrate the city’s centennial. Designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, the Georgian colonial building opened in 1932 in Lincoln Park at Clark Street at North Avenue. That building, with various additions, renovations, and improvements, has served as the organization’s home ever since. In 1972, the Society unveiled a modern limestone addition by Alfred Shaw and Associates.

In 1988, Holabird and Root “wrapped” the limestone addition in a red brick modern adaptation of the 1932 building and added underground storage and new gallery spaces. In February 2006, the Chicago Historical Society announced its new name: The Chicago History Museum. Later that year, the Museum celebrated a grand reopening, unveiling a dramatic new lobby and redesigned exhibition spaces. Signature exhibitions such as Chicago: Crossroads of America and Sensing Chicago debuted, while an old favorite, Imagining Chicago: The Dioramas, was restored and updated.

The Museum continues to share the stories of the city and its people through exhibitions, programs, publications, and digital media. Thousands of school groups from Chicago and the surrounding area visit annually. The Research Center serves thousands each year, from schoolchildren working on History Fair projects to PhD students writing dissertations to filmmakers researching documentaries.  For more information visit:  Chicago History Museum.

 

Chicago Riverwalk

Click Here for a map of the Riverwalk.

The City of Chicago is pleased to welcome you to the Chicago Riverwalk!  The 1.25 mile long path along the Main Branch of the Chicago River was completed in 2016 under the leadership and vision of Mayor Emanuel to transform the Chicago River into a recreational destination and weave the life of the River into the urban fabric of the city. Since its opening, the Riverwalk has been a bustling hub of activity, offering a variety of venues and spaces for residents and visitors to eat, drink and play.  The concession program has grown to 10 vendors this year, each providing new and innovative food and beverages showcasing the best of the City.  For More information visit:  Chicago Riverwalk

 

Chicago Theatre

175 North State Street

Chicago, IL 60601

The Chicago Theatre, originally known as the Balaban and Katz Chicago Theatre, is a landmark theater located on North State Street in the Loop area of Chicago, Illinois. Built in 1921, the Chicago Theatre was the flagship for the Balaban and Katz (B&K) group of theaters run by A. J. Balaban, his brother Barney Balaban and partner Sam Katz. Along with the other B&K theaters, from 1925 to 1945 the Chicago Theatre was a dominant movie theater enterprise. Currently, Madison Square Garden, Inc. owns and operates the Chicago Theatre as a performing arts venue for stage plays, magic shows, comedy, speeches, and popular music concerts.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places June 6, 1979, and was listed as a Chicago Landmark January 28, 1983. The distinctive Chicago Theatre marquee, “an unofficial emblem of the city”, appears frequently in film, television, artwork, and photography.  For more information visit:  Chicago Theatre.

 

Field Museum of Natural History

1400 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Chicago, IL 60605

Located on Chicago’s iconic Lake Michigan shore, the Field Museum opened its current building to the public in 1921—but our story began years earlier.

Our collection grew out of items on display in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in the “White City.” The exposition delighted visitors with 65,000 exhibits filled with natural wonders and cultural artifacts, many of which later found a permanent home in Chicago at the newly created Field Columbian Museum. Our museum name still honors Marshall Field, who donated $1 million to make the collective dream of a permanent museum a reality.

Since opening the Museum in 1894, our collection has grown to nearly 40 million artifacts and specimens. The breadth of our mission has expanded, too. We continue to research the objects in our collections, as well as document previously unknown species, conserve ecosystems in our backyard and across the globe, educate budding scientists, invite cross-cultural conversation, and more—all to ensure that our planet thrives for generations to come.  For more information visit:  Field Museum

 

Goodman Theatre

170 N. Dearborn St.

Chicago, IL 60601

Goodman Theatre, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for-profit theater, has won international renown for the quality of productions, the depth and diversity of artistic leadership, and the excellence of its many community and educational programs. Under the guidance of Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the Goodman is committed to producing both classic and contemporary works, giving full voice to a wide range of artists and visions. Central to that mission is the Goodman Artistic Collective, a diverse group of outstanding theater artists whose distinctive visions have given the Goodman an artistic identity of uncommon richness and variety. By dedicating itself to three guiding principles—quality, diversity and community—Goodman Theatre seeks to be the premier cultural organization in Chicago, providing productions and programs that make an essential contribution to the quality of life in our city.  For more information visit:  Goodman Theatre.

 

Grant Park

Columbus Drive

Chicago, IL 60601

Proudly referred to as “Chicago’s Front Yard,” Grant Park totals 312.98 acres and is a public park located in Chicago’s central business district in the Loop Community area. Grant Park’s most notable features include Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum Campus.

A city centerpiece much like New York’s Central Park, Grant Park is home to some of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks and attractions. The park includes Museum Campus, the site of world-class museums the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History, the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium. Grant Park’s centerpiece is the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, built in 1927 to provide a monumental focal point while protecting the park’s breathtaking lakefront views.

Grant Park is also home to baseball diamonds, tennis courts and breathtaking gardens. The park plays host to some the city’s largest food and music festivals, including The Taste of Chicago — a large food and music festival held around the Independence Day holiday — and The Grant Park Music Festival. Grant Park is also the site of the start and finish lines for the Chicago Marathon and Lollapalooza, a popular outdoor music festival.

Grant Park has been the site of many large, historic civic events. In 1911, it hosted the major Chicago International Aviation Meet. In 1968, it was the scene of clashes between Chicago Police and demonstrators during the Democratic National Convention. In 1979, Pope John Paul II delivered an outdoor mass to a large crowd in the par,k, and in the 1990s, championship celebrations for the Chicago Bulls were staged here. The park was also the location for President Barack Obama’s Election Day victory speech on the night of November 4, 2008.

Named for U.S. President and Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, Grant Park was developed as one of Chicago’s first parks and expanded through land reclamation. The park was the focus of several disputes in the late 1800s and early 1900s over open space use. It is bordered on the north by Randolph Street, on the south by Roosevelt Road, on the west by Michigan Avenue and on the east by Lake Michigan.

Grant Park offers many different attractions in its large open space. The park is generally flat. It is crossed by large boulevards and pedestrian bridges are used to connect Millennium Park and Maggie Daley so that patrons may cross S. Columbus Drive with ease. There are also several parking garages underneath the park, near Michigan Avenue.  For more information visit:  Grant Park

 

The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

4802 N. Broadway Street

Chicago, IL 60640

Al Capone and other gangsters used to hang here in the 1920s, but these days it’s all about the music. Owner Dave Jemilo, who returned the club to its original luster in the 1980s, books smart bebop and free jazz with a discriminating ear. Local favorites Frank Catalano and Patricia Barber both maintain residencies throughout the year (Barber’s here every Monday, if she’s not on tour). Come early, as it’s usually understandably busy.  For more information visit:  The Green Mill.

 

Helicopter Tours

For more information visit:   Chicago Helicopter Experience or   Chicago Helicopter Tour Nighttime Experience

 

House of Blues

329 North Dearborn Street

Chicago, IL 60654

House of Blues IS the ultimate night out. It’s where great food sets the stage for amazing live concerts. From VIP experiences with the world’s best artists to our world-famous Gospel Brunch on Sundays, House of Blues is truly where music and food feed the soul.  For more information visit:  House of Blues.

 

Lincoln Park Zoo

2001 N. Clark St.

Chicago, IL 60614

Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience in the heart of Chicago and by advancing the highest quality of animal care, education, science and conservation.  For more information visit:  Lincoln Park Zoo

 

Mafia and Prohibition History in Chicago

The Prohibition Era was a colorful time in the “The Windy City” with mobs and gangs running rampant—everyone from Al Capone to John Dillinger—and plenty of speakeasies where the liquor flowed. Here are the options to learn more about the era on a gangster tour of the city.
See the spots once ruled by liquor, jazz, and the mafia on a Prohibition history tour. Visit relevant sites such as the Holy Name Cathedral, Biograph Theatre, Clark Street Bridge, and the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929. Private tours include a Chicago nightlife option and a Chicago blues and Jazz Age history option.  For more information visit:  Mafia and Prohibition History in Chicago.

 

Millennium Park

201 E. Randolph St.

Chicago, IL 60601

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.  For more information visit:  Millennium Park

 

Museum of Science & Industry

5700 S. Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60637

The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago—one of the largest science museums in the world—is home to more than 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity.

Between the World War II submarine, five-story movie screen, 40-foot tornado and the 727, you might wonder how we fit this much discovery inside one museum.

One thing’s for sure: it helps to maximize your vertical space.  For more information visit:  Museum of Science & Industry

 

Navy Pier

600 E. Grand Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611

Originally completed in 1916 as part of Daniel Burnham’s plan for Chicago, Navy Pier is an iconic city landmark inspiring discovery and wonder. Since its reopening in 1995, more than 180 million visitors have come to enjoy the Pier’s 50 acres of unparalleled attractions and experiences. As Navy Pier enters its second century, the venue is evolving into an accessible, year-round centerpiece for Chicago’s diverse arts and cultural treasures.  For more information visit:  Navy Pier.

 

James M. Nederlander Theatre

24 W. Randolph St.

Chicago, IL 60603

This theatre, originally named Oriental Theatre, opened to much fanfare on May 8, 1926. Designed by the legendary George L. and Cornelius W. Rapp, it was one of the first motion picture palaces designed to create a complete experience for the theatre patron.

The theatre is still to this day the décor is a virtual art museum including large mosaics of an Indian prince and princess, an inner foyer with elephant-throne lighting and multicolored glazed Buddhas, and an auditorium of “hasheesh-dream design.”

Over the years it presented popular first-run motion pictures, complemented by lavish stage shows. Among the many stars that played the theatre are The Three Stooges, Judy Garland, Al Jolson, Sophie Tucker, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Duke Ellington, Fanny Brice, and Danny Kaye. Although management changed hands several times the theatre continued to feature films and hosted live performances by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Little Richard.

Soon the theater fell into disrepair. In an effort to preserve the theatre, it was added to the Federal National Registry of Historic Places in 1978, but the building continued to crumble. The theatre was closed to the public in 1981, and the site was considered for a shopping mall and cinema. In 1996, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley stepped in and announced that the venue would be restored to its original grandeur for the presentation of live stage musicals.

Renamed the Ford Center for the Performing Arts, in 1997, the restoration was completed in October 1998, and opened with the Chicago premiere of Ragtime. Broadway In Chicago, formed in 2000, began to light the stage with the record-breaking run of Wicked for three and a half years and the long-run production of Billy Elliott, along with many Pre-Broadway World Premieres including: The Addams FamilyBig FishOn Your Feet!, The Spongebob Musical, Escape to Margaritaville, Pretty Woman: the Musical, and The Cher Show with many more to come.

In February 2019, the theatre was renamed the James M. Nederlander Theatre, in honor of the legendary Broadway theatre owner and producer and patriarch of Broadway James M. Nederlander. As the founder of Broadway In Chicago, he championed theatre in Chicago having produced shows here for over six decades.  For more information visit:  James M. Nederlander Theatre.

 

Redhead Piano Bar

16 W. Ontario Street

Chicago, IL 60654

Tucked into a basement-level space off bustling Ontario Street, The Redhead offers nightly live piano music. A great seat, if you can get it, is around the piano. A large rectangular bar dominates the room, or cozy up at the intimate tables for two. The rear of the bar offers tables where groups who are more interested in conversation than a sing-along can sit.

We are incredibly proud to offer our outdoor covered smoking area, an extension of our venue. Enjoy a cigar (that you brought along or that you picked up from our in-house humidor) at any time outside. Don’t let our chilly winter weather deter you, either. Our smoking area is heated, cozy, and ready for you.  For more information visit:  Redhead Piano Bar.

 

1616 N. Wells Street

Chicago, IL 60614

The Second City has been bringing the funny for over 50 years, but here’s the short version.

We began as a small comedy theater, and have grown to become today’s leading brand in improv-based sketch comedy. With a variety of theaters, training centers and full-time, touring ensembles, you can find us all over the world.

We’ve also taken improv off the stage, expanding our business to include collaborations with corporate clients, and television and film productions.

And we have more than a handful of successful Second City alum that we aren’t too modest to mention, like Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, and Keegan-Michael Key.  For more information visit:  Second City.

 

Shedd Aquarium

1200 S. Lake Shore Dr.

Chicago, IL 60605

Every year Shedd Aquarium welcomes 2 million guests for unforgettable encounters with belugas and bluegills, stingrays and sturgeons, sea otters and a sea turtle—and so many more animals from aquatic environments around the world.

But Shedd is more than a destination. Our scientists are saving endangered species and their habitats. Our animal care experts rescue and rehabilitate wildlife in need, across the country and around the world.

Our conservationists are restoring the health of the Great Lakes. Our building operators are setting the standard for conserving water and energy. And our educators spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.

We are recognized within our profession with accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, formal affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution and certification by American Humane. And all our efforts have been directed toward achieving a world thriving with aquatic life, sustained by people who love, understand and protect it.

Dive in to learn more about Shedd Aquarium―the animals, the people and the place. We’ve been a part of Chicago since 1930. We have a proud history, a dynamic present and a vibrant future with a global outlook. And you can be a part of it!  For more information visit:  Shedd Aquarium

 

Willis Tower / Skydeck Chicago

233 South Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL 60606

Standing tall above every other skyscraper in Chicago, Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower) is a 110-story building in the heart of downtown. One of the tallest buildings in the world and the tallest building in America, it is impossible to miss when appreciating the skyline.

In 1969, Sears Roebuck and Company was the largest retailer in the world, with about 350,000 employees. Deciding it needed a central office space for its many employees, the company hired architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to design what would become one of the largest office buildings in the world. After breaking ground in 1970, it took three years to complete and used enough concrete to make an eight-lane, five-mile-long highway. The last beam put in place was commemorated by the signatures of 12,000 construction workers, Sears employees, and Chicagoans.

In 1988, Sears Roebuck and Company sold and moved out of the building, but the Sears Tower name remained the same. It was renamed Willis Tower in 2009 after the Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker who calls the Tower its Midwest home.

In July 2009, U.S. Equities Realty led the design and construction of a multi-million dollar renovation of Skydeck Chicago, including the development of The Ledge, a series of glass bays on the 103rd floor that extend from the building providing visitors with unobstructed views of Chicago through the windows and glass floors – 1,353 feet straight down. In addition to The Ledge, the new Skydeck visitor center features museum-quality interactive exhibits. The opening of The Ledge has provided the Skydeck with record-breaking visitor counts consistently since its debut.

In May 2011, Skydeck Chicago opened Skydeck Marketplace, a brand new, 7,500 square foot retail and express cafe experience.  Visitors can purchase their choice of over 300 unique Chicago, Ledge and Willis Tower items and are treated to authentic Chicago food and beverages including Connie’s Pizza and Vienna Hot Dogs.  For more information visit:  Willis Tower.

 

Tours

Crime and Gangsters Tours

Learn about the Chicago crime of the past and take a trip back in time to the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s on a crime and gangster tour. Hear stories about the iconic murders and crime scenes from this infamous time in the city’s history. Explore Chicago’s North Side, Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Magnificent Mile, and other neighborhoods that are part of the city’s gangster past.  For more information visit:  Chicagocrimetours.com

Speakeasy & Cocktail Tours 

Another way to experience the city’s Prohibition era is to visit the pubs and bars that defied the 10-year alcohol ban. Speakeasy bars across the Old Town district, Wicker Park, and the Chicago Loop come to life on cocktail-themed tours.  For more information visit:  Prohibitiontours.com