5 of the Best Things to Do in Chicago

Are you taking a trip to Chicago but aren’t sure what to do while you’re there? Here are 5 of the best things to do in Chicago.

Pre-pandemic, Chicago saw a record 60 million tourists in 2019. While visitor numbers haven’t quite bounced back to those levels, Chicago remains a popular destination for Americans and foreign travelers alike.

Of course, if you decide to visit Chicago for the first time, you may find yourself at a loss for what you should do. After all, there are many Chicago attractions and a finite amount of time on any given trip.

If you’re planning a Chicago vacation or heading there for business, keep reading for five things to do in Chicago that you don’t want to miss.

1. Green Mill Cocktail Lounge

For some grownup entertainment with a historical twist, consider a visit to the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. Once a watering hole for 20s-era gangsters — here’s looking at you, Capone — the Green Mill reinvented itself post-Prohibition.

These days, it’s a Chicago destination for Jazz and Bebop. It’s open seven days a week and there’s live music nightly.

2. Garfield Park Conservatory

When the weather turns cold, and it gets mighty cold during a Chicago winter, you might feel the need to reconnect with nature. You can do that over at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

The conservatory plays host to exhibits, classes, and programs for the public. They even maintain a desert room where you can see some cacti. Something usually reserves for visiting the Southwest in the dead of winter.

3. Art Institute of Chicago

If plants don’t tick any boxes for you but art is right in your wheelhouse, the Art Institute of Chicago should make your list. The Art Institute maintains exhibits that might include anything from Japanese prints and African art to ancient Roman sculptures.

4. Navy Pier

For the family visiting Chicago, the Navy Pier should make your list. Even if the weather isn’t great, you can still see the iconic Centennial Wheel or pay a visit to the Funhouse Maze.

The pier is also a launching point for sightseeing cruises. Plus, there is always an abundance of excellent food on hand for you and your kids.

5. Escape Rooms

If you’re looking for something a bit more interactive or group-friendly, Chicago plays host to several escape rooms. Different escape room companies cater to different crowds.

If you like a choice of themes, for example, view this local escape room. If you like your escape rooms a bit more on the science-fiction side, you can find those as well.

Things to Do in Chicago

In the end, finding things to do in Chicago isn’t the problem. Narrowing down which things you’ll do is the problem. Chicago is home to so many outstanding restaurants, attractions, and a revolving door of events that you can’t possibly visit them all on one trip.

If you are going, though, consider some of the options above, such as the escape rooms, conservatory, or Navy Pier. These destinations rarely disappoint.

Looking for more tips to make your next adventure away from home a little more interesting? Head over to our Travel section for more tips.

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