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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Things to Do in Chicago - 10 Best Places To Visit


Things to Do in Chicago - 10 Best Places To Visit

1. Lincoln Park
Chicago is a big city with a small town feel.  If you can stand winter, the summers here are amazing.  Lake Michigan is beautiful, crystal clear blue and the beaches are great in the summer (this coming from a girl who grew up near the Atlantic).  In the summertime, there are festivals going on just about every weekend.  My favorites so far include the Blues Festival, Taste of Randolph, Air & Water show, and the Sheffield garden walk.  There are also plenty of baseball games going on between the Cubs and the White Sox.  It is usually pretty easy to snag a ticket from the guy on the corner after the first inning for $20-$30 for bleacher seats, despite the prices or lack of availability before the game.  There are great small and large bars, and depending on your mood you can go classy or casual.  Not to mention the amazing range of restaurants.  I think one of my cab drivers told me that there are more restaurants than cabby's and that is about 9,000! 
I live on the north side of the city in a neighborhood called Lincoln Park.  DePaul University is located here so there are a large number of undergrad and graduate students as well as the young professional and young families.  There are tons of boutiques and shops in this area which are always fun to browse but the merchandise can be pretty pricey.



2. Lincoln Park Zoo
George lives very close to Lincoln Park Zoo and this was one of the first places we went to. The pond at the zoo was frozen over so interestingly the geese were able to walk right on the ice. As this zoo is in a very cold climate, many of the animals have to be kept inside. All the primates have enclosures that have a heated indoor section but they can still access the outside. The big cats were kept inside in pretty small enclosures, which I thought was a little cruel. We got to see two lions having a very impressive roaring contest.


3. Grant Park
Grant Park stretches from the Museum Campus at Lake Shore Drive and Roosevelt Road all the way north to the Prudential building, with Columbus Drive on its west side and the lake on its east. At one time, this stretch of land was undeveloped and a prime target for builders. However, department store magnate Montgomery Ward did not want the lake view from his Michigan Avenue office obstructed, so he successfully lobbied the city to create Grant Park. In the summer months, the grounds bloom with rose gardens, and the famous Buckingham Fountain springs to life. The Petrels Music Shell is home to the Grant Park Music Festival and also hosts such events as Chicago Jazz Festival, Celtic Fest and Chicago Blues Festival. Perhaps the park is most famous for Taste of Chicago, a culinary festival which happens every year in late June and early July.


4. Exit
The Exit crowd's look--black leather, PVC and latex--recalls Chicago's industrial heyday, when the Wax Tax label had cachet. But the people are as nice as their threads are intimidating. Amid the gothic, post-apocalyptic etc.
         
5. The Art Institute of Chicago

A famous Museum and Art School to boot, the Art Institute of Chicago is a haven for those seeking a peek at great works of art. Be immersed in paintings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and more from all around the world. Visit or participate in exciting exhibitions and events. See works from your favorites and find new artists to follow. The museum is open every day except for major holidays.

Price
 Suggested admission $12 adults; $7 seniors, children 6-12, and students with ID; free for children fewer than 6. Additional cost for special exhibitions. Free admission Thurs 5-8pm

Credit Cards Accepted
 Visa, mastercard, Amex

Directions
Bus: 3, 4, 60, 145, 147, or 151. Subway/El: Green, Brown, Purple, or Orange line to Adams, or Red Line to Monroe/State or Jackson/State

Area
At Adams St

Hours
Mon-Fri 10:30am-4:30pm (Thurs until 8pm); Sat-Sun 10am-5pm

6. Hancock Observatory

While not as famous as the Sears Tower, for many locals the Hancock remains the archetypal Chicago skyscraper, with its bold, tapered shape and exterior steel cross-bracing design. The Hancock Observatory delivers an excellent panorama of the city and an intimate view over nearby Lake Michigan and various shoreline residential areas. The view from the top of Chicago's third-tallest building is enough to satisfy, but some high-tech additions to the experience include "talking telescopes" with sound effects and narration in four languages, history walls illustrating the growth of the city, and the Skywalk open-air viewing deck -- a "screened porch" that allows visitors to feel the rush of the wind at 1,000 feet. On a clear day you can see portions of the three states surrounding this corner of Illinois (Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin), for a radius of 40 to 50 miles. The view up the North Side is particularly dramatic. It stretches from the nearby Oak Street and North Avenue beaches, along the green strip of Lincoln Park, to the line of high-rises you can trace up the shoreline until they suddenly halt just below the boundary of the northern suburbs. A high-speed elevator carries passengers to the observatory in 40 seconds, and the entrance and observatory are accessible for people with disabilities. Allow 1 hour."Big John," as some locals call the building, also has a sleek restaurant, the Signature Room at the 95th, with an adjoining lounge. For about the same cost as the observatory, you can take in the views from the latter with a libation in hand. Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.


Price
 Admission $9.75 adults, $7.50 seniors, $6 children 5-12, free for children fewer than 5

Credit Cards Accepted
 None accepted

Directions
Bus: 145, 146, 147, or 151. Subway/El: Red Line to Chicago/State

Area
94th floor of the John Hancock Center, enter on Delaware St

Hours
Daily 9am-11pm


7. The Field Museum

Get a glimpse of the ancient Americas, see a Dinosaur name Sue, be dazzled by a hall of gems - these are just a few of the exhibits you will find at the Field Museum. Originally built to house exhibits from the 1893 World's Fair, this natural history museum is located in the Museum Campus Chicago on Lake Shore Drive and houses the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex fossil. Aside from its impressive permanent collection, there are temporary exhibits and special programs and classes for children and adults.



Credit Cards Accepted
 Visa, mastercard, Amex, discover

Directions
Red Line, Roosevelt stop

Hours
Daily 9a

8. John G. Shed Aquarium & Oceanarium
Home to over 24,382 sea creatures and 5 million gallons of water, the Shedd Aquarium is one of the largest in the world. Visit dolphins, whales and otters in the Oceanarium, anacondas and piranhas at Amazon Rising, and see sharks at the Wild Reef exhibit - you'll feel like you've traveled around the world and under the sea from just a day's visit here.


Price
All-Access Pass (to all exhibits) $23 adults, $16 seniors and children 3-11, free for children under 3; admission to aquarium and Oceanarium $18 adults, $14 seniors and children; aquarium only $8 adults, $6 seniors and children. Free admission to aquarium Mon-Tues Oct-Feb (except the last 2 weeks of Dec)

Credit Cards Accepted
Visa, mastercard, Amex, discover

Directions
Bus: 6 or 146

Hours
Memorial Day to Labor Day daily 9am-6pm; early Sept to late May Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm

9. Museum of Science and Industry
Even if you don't plan on spending the day in Hyde Park, you'll pass through the neighborhood on your way to one of Chicago's most popular tourist attractions. The massive Museum of Science and Industry is the granddaddy of interactive museums, with some 2,000 exhibits. Schedule at least 3 hours here; a comprehensive visit can take all day, especially if you catch an OMNIMAX movie. While the museum is constantly adding new displays to cover the latest scientific breakthroughs, you shouldn't miss certain tried-and-true exhibits that have been here for years and epitomize the museum for Chicagoans. 

The U-505, a German submarine that was captured in 1944 and arrived at the museum 10 years later, brings home the claustrophobic reality of underwater naval life. The sub was completely rehabbed in 2005 and is now displayed in a dramatic indoor arena, with exhibits and newsreel footage that put the U-boat in historical context (a guided tour of the sub's interior costs $5 extra, but the exhibit is worth visiting even if you don't go inside). The full-scale Coal Mine, which dates to 1934, now incorporates modern mining techniques into the exhibit -- but the best part is the simulated trip down into a dark, mysterious mine. Get to these exhibits quickly after the museum opens because they attract amusement-park-length lines during the day. 



Kids who love planes, trains, and automobiles shouldn't miss All Aboard the Silver Streak, a refurbished Burlington Pioneer Zephyr train with onboard interactive exhibits; the massive model-train exhibit that makes up The Great Train Story; or Take Flight, an aviation exhibit featuring a full-size 727 airplane that revs up its engines and replays the voice recordings from a San Francisco-Chicago flight periodically throughout the day. Net world, which offers a flashy immersion in the Internet (with plenty of interactive screens), will entrance computer addicts. More low-tech -- but fun for kids -- are The Farm (where children can sit at the wheel of a giant combine) and the chick hatchery inside the exhibit Genetics: Decoding Life, where you can watch as tiny newborn chicks poke their way out of eggs. Enterprise immerses mini capitalists in the goings-on of a virtual company and includes an entire automated toy-making assembly line. If you have really little ones (under age 5), head for the Idea Factory, which is filled with hands-on play equipment (admission is limited to a set number of kids, so pick up a free timed ticket in advance).I hate to indulge in gender stereotypes, but girls (myself included) love Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle, a lavishly decorated miniature palace filled with priceless treasures (yes, those are real diamonds and pearls in the chandeliers). 

The castle is hidden away on the lower level. Also tucked away in an inconspicuous spot -- along the Blue stairwell between the Main Floor and the Balcony -- are the Human Body Slices, actual slivers of human cadavers that are guaranteed to impress teenagers in search of something truly gross. A major addition to the museum is the Henry Crown Space Center, which documents the story of space exploration in copious detail, highlighted by a simulated space-shuttle experience through sight and sound at the center's five-story OMNIMAX Theater. The theater offers double features on the weekends; call for show times. When you've worked up an appetite, you can visit the museum's large food court or the old-fashioned ice-cream parlor; there's also an excellent gift shop. Although it's quite a distance from the rest of Chicago's tourist attractions, the museum is easy enough to reach without a car; your best options are the no. 6 Jeffrey Express bus and the Marta Electric train from downtown (the no. 10 bus runs from downtown to the museum's front entrance during the summer). Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

Price
 Admission to museum only: $9 adults, $7.50 seniors, $5 children 3-11, free for children fewer than 3. Free admission Mon-Tues mid-Sept to Nov and Jan-Feb. Combination museum and OMNIMAX Theater: $15 adults, $13 seniors, $10 children 3-11, free for children under 3 on an adult's lap

Credit Cards Accepted
Visa, mastercard, Amex

Directions
Bus: 6 or Metra Electric train to 57th St. and Lake Park Ave

Area
57th St. and Lake Shore Dr

Hours
Memorial Day to Labor Day Mon-Sat 9:30am-5:30pm, Sun 11am-5:30pm; early Sept to late May Mon-Sat 9:30am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm


10. Sears Tower Skydeck
See all of bustling Chicago - head to the Skydeck of the Sears’s tower and great a spectacular 360 degree view of the city from 1,353 feet (412 meters) above. On a clear day, it's possible to see upwards of 40 miles away thanks to high powered telescopes. Kids will enjoy their own view with a display window that's built for them in mind. Known as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, the Sears Tower offers an audio tour and museum exhibits for a fun and informative experience for everyone.



Price
Admission $12.95 adults, $9.50 children 3-12, free for children fewer than 3

Credit Cards Accepted
Visa, mastercard, Amex, discover

Directions
Bus: 1, 7, 126, 146, 151, or 156. Subway/El: Brown, Purple, or Orange line to Quincy, or Red or Blue line to Jackson; then walk a few blocks west

Area
Enter on Jackson Blvd

Hours
May-Sept daily 10am-10pm; Oct-Apr daily 10am-8pm
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Item Reviewed: Things to Do in Chicago - 10 Best Places To Visit Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Rd Singh
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