Chicago is a peaceful city, host to many art exhibits, world-class museums, cultural heritage, shopping arenas, exciting nightlife venues, etc. If you are visiting for the first time or have just relocated to this major city of the USA, you must acknowledge 30 inspiring things to do in Chicago and have the time of your life.
Note that most things mentioned below are mostly free of cost or light on the wallet because we want you to have a stress-free Chicago experience.
1. Chicago Cultural Center
Hundreds of free programs take place throughout the year at this historic site.
Take a free tour of the building to witness the world’s most giant glass, Tiffany.
2. Millennium Park
Millennium Park is one of the state’s most famous tourist sites and a soaring performance venue where you can enjoy free movies and concerts and see the famous landmark of Chicago, The Cloud Gate.
3. Chicago Greeter Neighborhood Tours
The Chicago Greeter program connects visitors to welcoming locals for an informal, insider’s tour of the city and its many dynamic neighborhoods.
4. Lakefront Trail
Run, stroll, cycle, or rollerblade along the magnificent Lakefront Trail, which runs beside the azure waters of Lake Michigan on one side and beautiful green parks on the other.
5. City Gallery at the Historic Water Tower
This beloved Chicago landmark is now like a free art gallery with rotating exhibits by local photographers and artists.
6. Ed Paschke Art Center
This art center aims to conserve and allow public access to the work of iconic Chicago artist Ed Paschke and provide a venue for other artists to exhibit their work.
7. Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory is a great place to see exotic gardens under glass.
This magnificent setting houses a half dozen greenhouses rare and local plants.
8. Clarke House Museum
The Clarke House Museum, built-in 1836 and located in the lovely Prairie Avenue Historic District, is Chicago’s oldest house.
See what life was like for a Chicago family in the city’s early years.
9. Harold Washington Library Center
This is one of the world’s largest public libraries, occupying an entire city block and containing over 13 million published works.
10. Hyde Park Art Center
The Hyde Park Painting Center offers free cultural exhibitions for visitors of all ages, including gallery discussions, poetry readings, musical performances, and art lessons.
11. Lincoln Park Conservatory
This conservatory, located in beautiful Lincoln Park, features lovely tropical flowers and vegetation.
This antique greenhouse seems like an exotic escape in any season.
12. Lincoln Park Zoo
One of the country’s only free zoos, Lincoln Park Zoo is home to approximately 230 animal species, including primates, reptiles, mammals, birds, and more.
The zoo is located in Lincoln Park, which is also accessible and enjoyable.
13. Maggie Daley Park Play Garden
Maggie Daley Park is a large play area inspired by classic children’s stories.
The little lighthouse, a life-size ship, two climbing walls, 30-foot suspension bridge, skating ribbon, tennis courts, and various picnic areas will appeal to children.
14. Intuit – The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Visit this art center to check International art. Intuit exhibits outsider art that isn’t mainstream.
It hosts world-class exhibitions and has a collection of almost 1,100 works.
15. National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
This fantastic museum has visual art exhibitions, hands-on community arts workshops, films in the park, and an annual outdoor fine arts and crafts festival.
16. Navy Pier
Navy Pier, one of the country’s most renowned tourist destinations, is located on Chicago’s gorgeous lakefront.
Boat excursions, rides, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, live music, fireworks are some of the activities available here.
17. Poetry Foundation
Find inspiration in Chicago’s first room dedicated entirely to the art of poetry.
This place features a public garden, a 30,000-volume library, an art gallery, and numerous public activities and events every week.
18. Stony Island Arts Bank
Don’t get fooled by the name! I am not asking you to visit a bank and open an account in Chicago.
It is a hybrid gallery, library, and community center that was substantially repaired and transformed from a 1923 bank facility.
19. Smart Museum of Art
Frank Lloyd Wright, Goya, Degas, Rodin, Rivera, Matisse, Picasso, and Ansel Adams are among the artists whose work you can admire at the Smart Museum.
20. Newberry Library
If you like reading and the smell of paper, visit a library with almost 1.5 million published works, including rare books, maps, music, and manuscripts.
21. Chicago Architecture River Cruise
There’s no better place to admire Chicago buildings designed by renowned architects than from the river.
22. Chicago Riverwalk
There is nothing better to do during warm weather than the Chicago Riverwalk.
The 1.25-mile pedestrian walkway along the Chicago River’s south bank offers a variety of activities, such as boat tours or kayaking and visiting the public gardens and art exhibits.
23. 360 Chicago Observation Deck
The 360 Chicago Observation Deck is one of the best sites to see Chicago’s skyline and all the main attractions and landmarks.
24. The Magnificent Mile
Want to pamper yourself or your loved ones?
Visit this stretch of Michigan Avenue and shop from the luxury retailers until you drop dead.
In addition, you can also find high-end restaurants and luxury hotels here.
25. The Chicago Theater
To watch various versatile comedic, musical, theatrical performances, visit the city’s theater and get the spoonful of entertainment.
26. Shedd Aquarium
With roughly 32,000 animals, Shedd Aquarium is one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums.
A visit to Shedd Aquarium will allow you to see penguins, piranhas, sharks, and beluga whales, among other sea creatures.
27. Wrigley Field
Are you a fan of Saturday Night Live?
If that’s the case, head north of the Loop to Wrigley Field to see “da Cubs” play baseball for an authentic experience of Chicago culture.
28. The Adler Planetarium
It is the first in the United States to provide unparalleled views of the solar system.
The Adler also features three full-size theatres – where shows like “Destination Solar System” and ‘Destination Moon’ are shown.
29. Gangsters and Ghosts Tour
This Gangsters and Ghosts Tour will show you a different aspect of Chicago history.
Discover the truth about Chicago’s mobster background.
Visit eerie haunting locations and listen to ghost stories.
30. Chicago-Lincoln Park Indoor Skydiving
With this indoor skydiving experience in Chicago, experience two 60-second ‘free fall’ experiences feel just like actual skydiving.
The place mentioned above is an excellent activity for thrill-seeking and fun-seeking travelers.
If you feel lost in this windy city and short of excitement, read the 30 things mentioned above to do in Chicago and find an exciting activity for yourself and your family.