With an abundance of art galleries, museums, high-rises, parks, zoos and more, Chicago is a cultural hub that offers inspiring attractions. The city is famously known as the birthplace of the skyscraper and is home to the world’s largest dinosaur, as well as a botanical conservatory brimming with thousands of plants. Whether you’re a tourist or a resident looking for ideas on what to do in the Windy City, discover Culture Trip’s line-up of the area’s must-visit attractions.
The Shedd Aquarium is home to approximately 32,000 animals, including sea otters, sharks, frogs, penguins and beluga whales, not to mention a multitude of different fish and coral species. The aquarium is divided into different geographical exhibits and offers a comprehensive daily schedule that includes spotlight sessions on various species, live dives and feedings, along with look-and-learn experiences. With so many activities and programming, this is easily a full-day excursion. Buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended.
Taking an architecture boat tour is one of the most popular and fascinating things to do in the city that lays claim to inventing the skyscraper. With a variety of different tours along the Chicago River available, Shoreline Sightseeing is one of the best as the guides boast excellent architectural knowledge. Cruise down the river and discover the thrilling history of the city and its founder, and then marvel at the pure feats of engineering and architecture spanning Chicago’s many eras.
Thrill-seekers with a fondness for heights will not be disappointed with a trip to 360 Chicago. Sitting 1,000ft (305m) above ground in one of the city’s tallest buildings, the iconic John Hancock Center, the 360 Chicago observation deck offers panoramic views across the city and beyond. It’s also home to TILT – an enclosed moving platform that tilts you out over Michigan Avenue from the 94th floor. Purchase tickets online to ensure you have the full 360 experience.
See Chicago from a different perspective, down by the riverfront. The charming and unique Chicago Riverwalk offers a variety of activities, including strolls along its winding paths, a pit stop at City Winery or exploring local art along its banks. You can also take to the water via a water taxi, boat rental or guided tour. For the more intrepid explorer, Urban Kayaks offers an active way to traverse the river and blow off some steam.
For the literature lover, a visit to the American Writers Museum is an absolute must. It’s one of the only museums in the country dedicated to American writers and their works, and its collection spans more than five centuries of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, journalism and more. Visit its website for the schedule of weekly events – for kids and adults alike – and discover its permanent and temporary collections, too.
If you’re looking for pure fun, you can’t go wrong with The Escape Game. In an immersive “choose your own adventure,” you will pick a challenge and work with your teammates to do your best sleuthing – uncovering clues, solving puzzles and unlocking the secret solution. It’s perfect for team-building work trips or family fun, and booking online is recommended.