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Updated by Sayali Kedari on Nov 24, 2022
Headline for Top 10 Things to do when you visit Chicago!
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Top 10 Things to do when you visit Chicago!

Chicago has all the offerings you'd expect from a major city: world-class museums, vibrant shopping districts and ample nightlife venues, just to name a few. As a multicultural city, Chicago thrives on the harmony and diversity of its 77 distinct neighborhoods. Also, Chicago is recognized across the United States as a very passionate sports town. At attractions around every corner, from high-flying observatories to Millennium Park, you'll find fun every day of the year. And special events mean there's always something new to see. Grab your family and go!

Millennium Park

Type: Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing
Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
A first-time visit to Chicago isn't complete without a stop at Millennium Park! Enjoy an unprecedented combination of stunning architecture, sculpture and landscape design located in the heart of downtown Chicago! Most visitors come to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate, better known as "The Bean." The Bean reflects Chicago’s famous skyline and the clouds above. There are plenty of other attractions: Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Lurie Garden or the Boeing Galleries or McDonald's Cycle Center!

Navy Pier

Type: Amusement Parks
Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Extending out onto Lake Michigan, Navy Pier offers plenty in the way of family-friendly entertainment. Most noticeable one is the towering Ferris wheel. Kids can wander through the Funhouse Maze or spend a few hours exploring the Chicago Children's Museum. Grown-ups can catch a show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater or grab a drink at the Landshark Beer Garden. Just be sure to check Navy Pier's calendar of events! Impressive fireworks displays are the norm.

360 Chicago

Type: Sightseeing
Time to Spend: 1 hour to 1 day
Experience unsurpassed views of the city’s famous architecture, the lakefront and more! Conveniently located along Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile, 360 CHICAGO soars 1,000 feet above Lake Michigan and the city’s majestic skyline to offer visitors the most breathtaking views of downtown Chicago, the lakefront and four neighboring states. Add to that their interactive technologies, the enticing 94th floor café 'The Architect's Corner Café and Bar' and you have 360° of all-around entertainment!

Museum of Science and Industry

Type: Museums
Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Chicago's extensive Museum of Science and Industry pays tribute to the city's innovative roots, showcasing more than 35,000 artifacts and offering a variety of hands-on exhibits meant to inspire creativity. Enjoy a tour of the only U-505 German submarine captured during World War II, explore distant stars and planets at the Henry Crown Space Center, learn how to make a frog's eyes glow at the Genetics Exhibit and see a variety of live demonstrations hosted by the Omnimax Theater! Prepare for your visit by checking out the fun and interactive exhibits and experiences on the website.

Chicago Sports

One of the best things to do in Chicago is go to see one of the famous Chicago sports teams in action! Though all of the Chicago teams have had their highs and their lows over the years, the local fans always support them.You don't have to be a die hard sports fan to enjoy a game in the Windy City though - and why stick to your love of just one sport? Chicago sports include baseball, football, basketball, hockey, soccer, horseracing, and running, so there's something for everyone, every season of the year!

Chicago Dining

Chicago is famed for its fantastic selection of restaurants and fine cuisine. Just about every type of food and taste is catered for in Chicago, from the wide selection of Asian restaurants found in Chinatown to traditional Italian restaurants in Little Italy! Chicago is known for their Chicago pizza, hot dogs, beef sandwiches and Midwestern steaks, but it has so much more to offer. The largest concentration of restaurants is found north and west of the Loop.

Chicago Casinos

There is plenty to do and see at the many Chicago casinos and gambling hosts. Whether you prefer to play one of the slot machines or table games, or perhaps catch a live musical performance, there is never a dull moment at these casinos in Chicago. If you find yourself getting a little peckish, grab a bite at one of the Chicago casinos and gambling hosts many dining options. With everything from coffee shops, to gourmet delis, to all-you-can-eat buffets, there's something on the menu for everyone.

Chicago Architecture Cruise

Type: Sightseeing, Tours
Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
Chicago is known around the world for its architecture. Whether you tour downtown or a neighborhood, our expert docent guides will tell you the stories behind the buildings. Visit iconic skyscrapers, elegant hotels or the legendary houses of Frank Lloyd Wright. With more than 85 tours to choose from, no one can blame you if you can't pick just one. Travelers most recommend the Architecture River Cruise, which meanders along both the north and south branches of the Chicago River.

Chicago Theatre

Type: Entertainment and Nightlife, Sightseeing, Tours
Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
The grandeur of The Chicago Theatre often leaves its visitors breathless. The elegant lobby, majestic staircase and beautiful auditorium complete with murals above the stage and on the ceiling, are components of an amazing building called "the Wonder Theatre of the World" when it opened on 1921! Built in French Baroque style, The Chicago Theatre's exterior features a miniature replica of Paris' Arc de Triomphe, sculpted above its State Street marquee. You don't have to catch a show to admire the theater. Hourlong guided tours are available year-round!

Lincoln Park Zoo

Type: Zoos
Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
See around 1,200 animals, from apes to zebras, at the oldest and one of only a few free zoos left in the country. It is small, only 35 acres, but attractions like the Kovler Lion House and the Regenstein Center for African Apes pack a big punch. The newest feature: The Regenstein Macaque Forest, where snow monkeys swing through trees and relax in a hot tub. Have a look at the newest arrival, a sweet baby Sloth born in the zoo! While kids can have fun at the Storytime at a farm in the daytime, adults can have fun with cash bars, food and DJs after dark!