Attractions in Chicago

Chicago, IL, has a wealth of cultural, culinary, recreational and entertainment attractions. For a rich educational experience, Chicago is home to dozens of museums, many of which offer free admission to the general public on certain days. Famous Chicago museums near Lake Michigan include the Field Museum of Natural History, the Adler Planetarium and the massive Shedd Aquarium, featuring an oceanarium, two reef exhibits and an Amazon rainforest. Located on the city’s south side, The Museum of Science and Industry has delighted visitors for decades with hands-on exhibits including a coalmine and German submarine. The Chicago Children’s Museum features a popular hands-on dinosaur excavation exhibit.

Chicago is also home to the Art Institute of Chicago, which has the country’s third largest collection of art, and the Museum of Contemporary art. The city’s River North art gallery district is filled with galleries and artist supply shops.

Nature enthusiasts enjoy the butterfly garden and other conservation-related exhibits at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum or the extensive greenhouses of the Garfield Park Conservatory. Animal lovers can visit the city’s Lincoln Park or Brookfield zoos.

Chicago’s shoreline and beaches are almost entirely open to the public, offering miles of biking, jogging and skating trails. Visitors can picnic or grill out at the numerous pavilions and parks along Lake Michigan. The beach is also a great place to watch Chicago’s annual Air and Water Show. Navy Pier, an extensive boardwalk complex, boasts summer fireworks, a Ferris wheel, restaurants, shops, banquet hall and auditorium.

Chicago is also home to professional sports teams, and visitors can watch the Bears play at Soldier Field, the Cubs play at Wrigley Field, the White Sox play at U.S. Cellular Field, and the Blackhawks or the Bulls at United Center.

Chicago also has a diverse community and a lively culinary scene. Visitors can sample hundreds of the city’s restaurants during the annual Taste of Chicago festival. Chicago’s Downtown Farmstand, a year-round indoor farmers market sells sustainably grown produce and offers weekly educational lunches. Chicago is also known for its deep-dish pizza and Vienna beef hotdogs topped with everything but ketchup.

The city is also brimming with musical and theatrical entertainment. Visitors can enjoy outdoor concerts performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park or catch an independent play or Broadway show at one of the city’s many theaters and playhouses. The former home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Petrillo Music Shell, now hosts several Chicago music festivals including the Blues Fest and the Jazz Festival.