What to do in Chicago, IL

Activities, attractions and tours
Chicago which includes street scenes, a city and a skyscraper

Chicago Attractions

People head to the Windy City for more than just pizza , as they should. In the summer you can claim part of the Lake Michigan shoreline, and when temperatures dip Millennium Park opens up an ice skating rink. From fine dining to world-class shopping , there are plenty of fun things to do in Chicago, Illinois. Of course, the Chicago art and culture scene is also quite the draw, bringing in all types of travelers from around the globe. You’re bound to leave Chicago with a full stomach and lots to talk about.

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Most fun & popular experiences in Chicago

What to do in Chicago

Free Things to Do in Chicago

They say the best things in life are free. Make sure you explore the following around Chicago:

Chicago Fed Visitors Center - Check if there are any special exhibitions or guided tours on at this museum.

Miró's Chicago - Spend time here and get an insight into the artistic and cultural side of the area.

Northerly Island Park - Make time for play and add a little excitement to your escape here.

Kluczynski Building - Architecture buffs will certainly enjoy marveling at the modern design of this landmark.

Marquette Building - Drop by this historic site and learn something about the cultural heritage of the area.

Chicago Riverwalk - Amble along the streets and appreciate the charm and character of this favorite location.

Four Seasons - Widely recognized among those who live here, this site is worth a look.

Chicago Loop Synagogue - Inject a bit of spirituality into your trip with a stop at this holy site.

Ohio Street Beach - Read a good book or listen to some music while getting some sun.

Millennium Park - If you're into digging around the garden, this place will delight your green thumb.

Areas & Neighborhoods in Chicago

Chicago is a city of diverse neighborhoods, each with its own flavor. The heartland sure isn’t bland and cookie-cutter, at least in The Windy City. No, Chicago is teeming with cultures from around the globe and plenty of food to please any palate.

Chinatown — On the south side of Chicago, Chinatown serves up authentic gastronomy and landmarks in near equal measure. This cultural haven is among the top attractions in Chicago once you enter through the eye-catching Chinatown Gate, savor the sights and sounds of this bustling area and examine the tile mosaic art.

Hyde Park — Hyde Park hosted the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, and it has been welcoming visitors with open arms (and a bounty of good eats) ever since. The historically significant neighborhood is home to architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and the University of Chicago.

Lincoln Park — This north-side neighborhood is a favorite for shoppers and outdoor enthusiasts. Armitage Avenue is characterized by small boutiques, but you can still find upscale stores right around the corner. The area of Lincoln Park also has an actual park by the same name, where you can stroll through the free zoo or picnic somewhere on the 1,200-acre space.

Streeterville — This waterfront is best known as the home of Navy Pier, where you can partake in amusement rides and more. The area has more to offer than the pier, however, so it’s also a good stop if you want to indulge in fine dining or stop by a contemporary art museum.

What to See in Chicago

If you trekked to Chicago with camera in hand, there are plenty of things to see in Chicago. The Willis Tower Skydeck offers stunning views of the city from the glass-bottomed ledge of its 103rd floor. Iconic buildings like the John Hancock Center and Tribune Tower are also worth a photo or two. More than 200 theaters are littered throughout Chicago, including The Chicago Theatre and The Second City comedy club, so you can take in a show any night of the week.

More Attractions in Chicago

From hang-gliding to diving into a Chicago-style pizza , you will never run out of things to do in Chicago. The Magnificent Mile is an impressive stretch of nearly 500 stores and hundreds of restaurants, so you can easily fill a day here. When weather permits, hit the links at local greens like the Jackson Park Golf Course. From the evening until the wee hours of the morning, night owls can burn plenty of calories on the dancefloors of downtown nightclubs. You should also embark on one of the many Chicago tours, which help you see the city by Segway®, bicycle, boat tour, or foot.

Things to Do in Chicago with Kids

There are plenty of unforgettable experiences in Chicago that the entire gang will love. These are a few of the best family friendly experiences around.


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Frequently asked questions

What to do in Chicago on a sunny day?
What to do in Chicago on a rainy day?
What is Chicago famous for?
With lots of renowned sights like these, your most daunting decision will be where to go first:

  • Wrigley Field
  • McCormick Place
  • Millennium Park
  • Willis Tower

What should I not miss in Chicago?
Don’t venture home without checking off the following incredible attractions:

  • Navy Pier
  • Soldier Field
  • United Center
  • Grant Park

Are there cheap things to do in Chicago?
What can you do in Chicago for free?
You’ll barely have time to pull your wallet out of your backpack with so many free things to do:

  • Millennium Park
  • University of Chicago
  • Northwestern University
  • John Hancock Center

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