Activities to Enjoy Alone in Chicago

View from the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise on the North Branch of the Chicago River | © Tracie Hall/Flickr
View from the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise on the North Branch of the Chicago River | © Tracie Hall/Flickr
Photo of Tim Marklew
22 July 2017

Everyone needs alone time now and again, and some things are just better enjoyed on your own. So why not indulge yourself with these pretty great solo activities? Whether you check out a movie or a museum, treat yourself to a fancy treatment or meal, combining several of these will make for a pretty great day out in Chicago.

Pamper yourself in a River North hotel

An indoor pool with city views at the Peninsula Chicago
Courtesy of The Peninsula Chicago / Expedia
Now we’re talking about some real me-time. On the 18th and 19th floor of the fancy Peninsula Hotel, off Michigan Avenue is the equally fancy Peninsula Spa. Among the options on the exquisite treatment menu are Asian-inspired bamboo massages, Jade hot stone therapy, Himalayan crystal salt scrubs and luxury facials. Treatments can be combined into half- and full-day retreats. It’s certainly expensive, but you’re worth it!

Chow down at the French Market

Market, American, Street Food
Chicago French Market
Courtesy of Chicago French Market
With so many great food vendors under one roof, you can put together your own customised tasting menu at the Chicago French Market. How about an aromatic salad from Saigon Sisters, a Mac & Cheese side from Wood Fire Counter, a Strawberry Dream crêpe from FliP Crepes or an artisan truffle from Lolli & Pops? That’s barely scratching the surface. You also won’t have to share a single bite.

Go to the movies


Going to the movies on your own is massively underrated. You don’t have to be self-conscious about how many snacks you want, you can watch whatever you choose and you don’t have to answer any questions during the movie. Chicago has some great movie theaters, such as the Music Box Theatre in Wrigleyville, which has midnight movies and weekend matinees featuring rare and classic films, alongside the best of modern cinema.

Take a wellness class at the Chicago Botanic Garden

Botanical Garden
What better way to relax and find your own thoughts than by taking a wellness class in the beautiful surroundings of the Chicago Botanic Garden? Outdoor yoga (remember to bring a mat), tai chi and even walking classes are open to all ages and fitness levels. Held in different parts of the gardens each time, the focus is on feeding your mind, body, and soul.

Retail therapy on the Magnificent Mile

Shopping can be a wonderful, fun activity or a joyless and tiresome chore. That’s often down to who you’re shopping with, so remove any outside influence by going it alone. Head to the Magnificent Mile and take your sweet time browsing literally dozens of stores, trying on whatever you want and buying it too.

Get lost in a museum

The Art Institute of Chicago is a top destination for art lovers everywhere | © Pinotgris / WikiCommons
We all browse museums at different speeds, enjoying certain pieces and exhibitions more than others, so why not go without being hurried or slowed down by anyone else? World famous Chicago museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Field Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry are all best enjoyed at your own pace, taking time to appreciate the wonders within or just to enjoy the peace.

Take on all three floors of Myopic Books

Park, Store
Another activity best enjoyed solo is looking for that classic book you’ve always wanted, especially in a used book store with over 70,000 titles littered across three floors. In Wicker Park’s Myopic Books, it’s easy to spend hours browsing shelves, flipping through old books and just soaking up the atmosphere. Stick around for a reading or even live music.

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