Chicago is a big city with a lot to see and do. In 2024, it’s going to be as exciting as ever. If you like exploring new places, tasting different foods, or enjoying art, Chicago has something special for you. We’re going to tell you about the top 15 things you can do in Chicago that will make your trip unforgettable.

Chicago’s Top 15 Must-See Spots

  1. Visit the tall buildings and walk along the busy city streets.
  2. Check out the new spots that everyone’s talking about.
  3. Don’t miss the famous places that have been around for a long time.
  4. Take lots of pictures to show your friends.
  5. Find tasty food that will make your mouth water.
  6. See amazing art that will make you think and feel.
  7. Have adventures that will get your heart racing.

When you read this article, you’ll learn about all the best places to go in Chicago. You’ll know where to find delicious food, cool art, and fun adventures. Plus, we’ll tell you tips on how to make the most of your visit. Get ready to discover a Chicago that’s full of life and ready to welcome you!

Key Takeaways

  • The Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park are the top attractions in Chicago, according to reviews.
  • Outdoor activities in Chicago include visiting Millennium Park, exploring the Chicago River, and walking along the Lakefront Trail.
  • Popular things to do in Chicago with kids include visiting the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago Children’s Museum, Navy Pier, Shedd Aquarium, and Adler Planetarium.
  • Must-visit parks in Chicago include Millennium Park, Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Garfield Park, and Humboldt Park.

Millennium Park Exploration

chicago s iconic urban oasis

Millennium Park is a great place to go if you like music, art, and the outdoors. If you enjoy concerts, the park has many where you can listen to music, dance, or relax. For those who like art, the Art Institute nearby has many interesting things to see. These places give you a chance to experience the city’s culture in your own way.

When you visit Millennium Park, you can enjoy different activities and find new things you might like. It’s important to explore and have fun in the way you want to. The park and the art at the institute are there for everyone to discover and enjoy.

Art Institute Masterpieces

exquisite art institute collection

Just a short walk from the green spaces of Millennium Park, you’ll find the Art Institute of Chicago. This museum has an amazing collection of art that will interest both people who love art and those who are just starting to learn about it. Inside, you can see and learn about great paintings and sculptures by famous artists like Monet and Picasso.

These art pieces have great stories and show how creative people can be. You can take your time looking at each one and see all the details the artists used.

Plus, if you want to see something different, you can take a break and go on a Chicago riverboat tour. This boat ride lets you see the city from the water and enjoy the view of the tall buildings that make up Chicago’s skyline.

The city is like a big canvas, and you can have fun making your day as exciting as you want.

Skydeck Chicago Views

breathtaking views from skydeck chicago

When you go up to the Skydeck at Willis Tower in Chicago, you’ll see amazing views all around you. This is a place where you can take photos of the whole city from very high up, like how an eagle sees from the sky.

Chicago looks different when the sun sets. You can see lights everywhere, making the city look bright and beautiful at night. On the Skydeck, it feels like you’re really high up, almost like being on top of the world. When you take pictures here, you’re catching a special moment that shows what the city is like from above.

Visiting this place is something you should definitely do if you’re in Chicago. It’s a chance to see and take pictures of the city in a way you can’t do from the ground.

Science and Industry Wonders

innovation and industrial progress

At the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, you can see and touch many cool things that show how science and technology work. This museum is special because it lets you learn by doing, not just by looking. It has lots of hands-on exhibits where you can see how things are made and how they work.

When you step outside, you can also discover the Chicago River. It’s a great way to see the city from a different angle. As you walk or ride along the river, you’ll notice the tall buildings, the open sky, and the way the city’s noise seems quieter by the water.

When you explore these places in Chicago, you’re not just reading about science and industry—you’re actually experiencing them!

Cloud Gate Selfies

sculpture selfie at cloud gate

In Chicago, there’s a huge sculpture called Cloud Gate that people love to take pictures with. It’s a massive, shiny object that looks like a bean and it shows your reflection.

Here are three reasons why taking a selfie at Cloud Gate is a fun idea:

  1. Unique Reflections: This sculpture is like a giant mirror. Every photo you take will show you and the city in a different way.
  2. Famous Scene: When you take a picture with Cloud Gate, the tall buildings of Chicago will be in the background. It’s a view that many people recognize.
  3. Lasting Memories: By taking pictures here, you’ll have a special way to remember your visit to Chicago.

Once you’re done with your photos at Cloud Gate, you can go to the Lakefront Trail. It’s a path where you can walk or ride a bike right next to Lake Michigan. Chicago is known for its energy and spirit, and you’ll feel it when you’re out there enjoying the trail.

Field Museum Discoveries

unearthing treasures at field museum

At the Field Museum in Chicago, you can explore amazing things from our planet’s history. This museum is full of cool stuff to learn about, from old bones of dinosaurs to beautiful items made by people from different parts of the world. When you visit, it’s like going on a fun learning trip.

Ancient FossilsFeel the texture of the past
Cultural ArtifactsObserve how different cultures come together
New SpeciesLearn about the variety of life on Earth

After you’ve spent time at the museum, why not enjoy a boat tour on the Chicago River? It’s a relaxing way to see the city from a different view. On this boat ride, you’ll get a fresh look at Chicago and have a great time.

360 Chicago Panoramas

breathtaking 360 chicago views

After visiting the Field Museum and learning about history and culture, get ready to see Chicago from high above. The city has amazing views that you’ll want to check out.

Here are the top spots to see:

  1. Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower: This is a special place where you can stand on a glass floor and look down at the city. It’s like floating in the air!
  2. 360 Chicago Observation Deck**: From here, you can see Lake Michigan’s blue waters and the busy streets. It’s a great way to see how big and beautiful the city is.
  3. Lakefront Trail**: If you prefer to stay on the ground, this path lets you walk or ride a bike while you enjoy where the city’s buildings meet the water.

These places let you see Chicago in a whole new way. Grab your camera and take some awesome pictures of the city from these spots!

Lincoln Park Zoo Adventures

animal encounters at zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place in Chicago to learn about animals and help them too. Let’s take a look at what you can do there:

AdventureDetailsThrill Level
Animal EncountersGet close to different animals!Exciting
Conservation EffortsFind out how the zoo saves animals!Educational
Exhibits GaloreSee animals in places like their homes!Interesting
Family FunHave a good time with your family!Fun

As you walk through the zoo, you’ll see animals in spaces that are like their natural homes. This helps you understand how they really live. Meeting animals up close is not only exciting, but it also helps the zoo. When you visit, you are helping animals in the wild too. Are you ready to learn and have fun?

Chicago Riverwalk Strolls

leisurely walks along chicago s riverwalk

Take a walk on the Chicago Riverwalk and you’ll see a lively place where you can really feel the spirit of the city. This path next to the river is perfect for exploring, relaxing, and getting to know Chicago in a special way.

Here’s what you should check out:

  1. Chicago Riverwalk Sunset: Every evening, the setting sun paints the sky with different colors that bounce off the tall buildings. You can watch this amazing show for free.
  2. Public Art: All along the walk, you’ll see interesting statues and big paintings. Each one has a story, and you can think about what it means to you.
  3. Chicago River Cruise: Take a ride on a boat where a guide will tell you all about the buildings and the history of Chicago as you go by on the water.

Enjoy being outside and let the fun things you find on the Riverwalk guide your day in the middle of Chicago!

Navy Pier Excitement

thrilling adventures at navy pier

Navy Pier is a great place in Chicago where people of all ages can have fun next to Lake Michigan. It’s full of cool things to do and see. When you go to Navy Pier, you can find lots of excitement all around you.

Here’s what you can expect:

Navy Pier ActivitiesLakefront Trail Fun
Big Ferris WheelRiding Bikes
Boat RidesRollerblading
Kids’ MuseumRunning with a Lake View
Theater and Music ShowsPicnics Next to the Water

Navy Pier is perfect for having a great time and enjoying the fresh air from the lake. Plus, right next to it is the Lakefront Trail, where even more activities are waiting for you. Get ready for some memorable moments!

When you visit Navy Pier, you’ll see the Giant Ferris Wheel, which is hard to miss and really fun to ride. You can also go on Boat Cruises to see the city from the water. For kids, there’s a special place called the Children’s Museum with lots of cool things to learn and play with. And if you like watching Live Shows, there’s plenty of music and theater to enjoy.

Just a short walk away, the Lakefront Trail offers a chance to ride bikes, put on some rollerblades, go for a jog, or relax with a picnic by the water. It’s a great way to spend time outside and get some exercise.

Architecture Center Insights

analyzing architectural trends and analysis

Chicago is famous for its big buildings and bridges. At the Chicago Architecture Center, you can learn all about these cool structures. They don’t just have things to look at; they help you really understand how the city’s designs are special.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  1. Fun events at the Chicago Architecture Center where you can get to know the city’s big buildings better.
  2. Interesting exhibits that tell you about the buildings and bridges of Chicago from the old days to now, and even what they might look like in the future.
  3. Hands-on activities that let you learn about architecture in a way that’s exciting and not boring.

This is your chance to dive into the world of buildings in Chicago, find out new stuff, and have a great time exploring!

Deep-Dish Pizza Tasting

savoring chicago s signature pizza

Deep-dish pizza is a classic Chicago food that everyone should try. This pizza is special because it has a thick, crunchy crust filled with lots of cheese and a variety of toppings you can choose from. Eating this pizza isn’t just about being hungry; it’s about enjoying a famous part of Chicago’s food history.

In Chicago, there are many places where you can try deep-dish pizza. Some of these restaurants have been making it for a very long time, and their recipes are family secrets. When you eat a slice of deep-dish pizza, you’re tasting a delicious tradition.

When you visit these pizza places, you’ll see that making deep-dish pizza is something they do with care and love. It’s not just any pizza; it’s a pizza that comes with a story of people making it for years and years. As you eat, think of yourself as an explorer trying new and exciting flavors. Remember, you’re not just eating a piece of pizza; you’re discovering a bit of what makes Chicago special.

Magnificent Mile Shopping

luxury shopping on michigan avenue

The Magnificent Mile in Chicago is a popular place to go shopping. Here’s what you should know:

  1. Fashion: As you walk along the Mile, you’ll see lots of new and cool clothes. It’s a fun way to show who you’re through what you wear.
  2. Brand-Name Items: This area has stores with fancy and expensive things. If you want to treat yourself, this is a good place to look.
  3. Sales: Watch out for times when stores lower their prices, especially during holidays. You can get more for your money!

Shopping on the Magnificent Mile is about having a good time. You can take your time looking through different stores.

You might find something that’s a really good deal, which can be exciting. Remember, shopping isn’t just about buying things—it’s also about enjoying the search and finding something special.

Willis Tower Landmark

iconic chicago skyscraper

Standing tall in the heart of Chicago, Willis Tower is one of the tallest buildings in the United States. This huge tower has many stories to tell, from the way it was built to all the people who’ve visited it over the years.

When you visit, you can ride an elevator up to the skydeck, where you’ll find incredible views of the city. When you reach the top and step onto the observation deck, you might feel a little nervous because you’re so high up, but you’ll also feel excited. You can look out and see the city and Lake Michigan spread out far below you. It’s a special place where you can take amazing pictures and feel the wind on your face.

Visiting the Willis Tower isn’t just a regular trip; it’s a fun experience where you get to see a city from the sky! Remember, this isn’t just any building—it’s a famous part of Chicago that many people from all over the world come to see. When you’re up there, you become a part of the city’s history too.

Cultural Center Performances

diverse artistic performances showcase

After you check out the amazing views from the top of Willis Tower, there’s a cool place nearby called the Chicago Cultural Center. It’s like the heart of the city’s art scene, and every day, people can watch really neat shows.

Here’s the scoop on what shows you should see:

  1. Music Concerts: Imagine listening to live music that can range from smooth jazz to grand classical pieces. It’s like the city’s heartbeat in music form.
  2. Dance Performances: Dancers tell stories with their bodies, moving in ways that look super smooth and can make you feel all kinds of emotions.
  3. Theater Productions: Local actors get on stage and bring stories to life. You can feel the tension, excitement, and drama right along with them.

These performances are more than just fun to watch—they let you feel a special part of Chicago.

And if you’re hungry afterward, why not grab a slice of deep dish pizza? It’s a famous Chicago dish and a tasty end to a day full of cool performances.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Times of Year to Visit Chicago for Mild Weather and Fewer Crowds?

You should visit Chicago in the spring or fall for mild weather and fewer crowds. Enjoy seasonal festivals and budget travel while embracing the city’s freedom without the summer or holiday tourist rush!

Are There Any Hidden Gem Attractions or Neighborhoods in Chicago That Are off the Beaten Path but Worth Visiting?

You’ll love discovering Andersonville’s charm and the vibrant Pilsen murals! These hidden gems offer unique experiences away from the usual tourist spots, giving you the freedom to explore Chicago’s diverse culture.

Can Visitors Participate in Any Hands-On Workshops or Classes That Allow Them to Experience Chicago’s Art, Music, or Culinary Scene Directly?

You’ll love diving into Chicago’s creative side with artisanal workshops and lively music festivals! Get hands-on, express yourself freely, and soak up that vibrant city energy! It’s all waiting for you!

What Are Some Family-Friendly Nighttime Activities or Attractions in Chicago That Are Safe and Enjoyable for Children?

You’ll love exploring Chicago’s stargazing spots with your kids at night! Safe and fun, don’t miss the city’s magic shows—they’re absolutely thrilling for the whole family. Embrace your freedom under the stars!

How Accessible Is Chicago for Tourists With Disabilities, and Are There Specific Services or Tours That Cater to Those With Special Needs?

You’ll find Chicago quite accessible! Many spots offer wheelchair rentals and welcome service animals. Tours tailored for special needs ensure you’ll experience the city’s freedom and excitement without hassle. Enjoy your adventure!


You’ve done it! You’ve soaked up Millennium Park, marveled at art, and soared high on the Skydeck.

Science amazed you, and Cloud Gate reflected your joy. You savored that deep-dish delight and shopped the Magnificent Mile.

Willis Tower wowed you, and cultural shows captivated your heart. Chicago’s magic won’t fade – it’s etched in your memories forever.

Now go, share your stories, and let the Windy City’s spirit live on. What an adventure!