There are many things to do for fun when visiting the windy city of Chicago. However, if you are not from Chicago, then you will often find yourself scratching your head trying to figure out what to do. This is where experience pays off or knowing someone who likes to explore the character and charm of the neighborhoods that make up a city like Chicago.
If you are in Chicago during the summer you might enjoy checking out The Grant Park Music Festival. For ten weeks each summer they put on a series of concerts performing classical music. It is a great way to relax and hang out with family and friends while listening to some good music for free. Grant Park is located at East Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 and is open from 6 am to 11 pm daily.
My kids really liked the Brunk Children’s Museum which is part of the Swedish American Museum that is located at 5211 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640. It cost $4.00 for adults and $3.00 for children or you can take the whole family for $10.00. For anyone on a tight budget, they offer free admission every second Tuesday of the month. They are open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 11am-4pm. The Brunk Children’s Museum offers the kids a chance to see and feel the hardships that immigrants experienced when they came to America. It makes you ask yourself if you would leave home for the dream of a better tomorrow.
The Cernan Earth and Space Center is located at Triton College • 2000 Fifth Ave. • River Grove, IL 60171. It is both fun and educational for the entire family. They are open to the public on Friday and Saturday with shows starting at 7:30pm and 9:00pm and Sunday afternoon at 2pm and again at 3pm. The cost for adults is $8.00 and $4.00 for kids for regular shows, or $10.00 adults and $5.00 for kids for the laser show. The Laser show is spectacular and well worth the money in my opinion. After all, you are never too old to reach for the stars.
Millennium Park is one of Chicago’s best kept little secrets. It is a free place to take the kids and enjoy the great outdoors. You can have a picnic or listen to music while enjoying the beautiful scenery. The hours are from 6 am to 11 pm daily and are located at 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60602. Points of interest in the park include the McCormick Ice Skating Rink, The Crown fountain, The Lurie Garden, Wriggly Square Millennium Park Monument, and The Cloud Gate. You won’t want to miss taking a stroll on the BP Bridge. It offers a spectacular view of downtown Chicago’s skyline.
Who can resist the panoramic views offered from a visit to the Skydeck on the former Sears tower? You’ll experience the bird’s eye view from a height of 1,353 feet. It is open every day from 9 am to 10pm from April through September and 10 am to 8 pm from October to March. The cost of tickets is $15.95 for adults and $11.00 for kids.
If you love or appreciate history, then you should check out the Museum of Science and Industry. It has one of the Germany U-Boat’s on display that was captured during World War II. It is located at 57th St & Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60637. The hours to visit are Monday – Saturday, 9:30 am – 4 pm; Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm. Admission is $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids.
Before leaving Chicago you can get lost in the Amazing Chicago Fun house Maze located in the middle of Navy Pier. Tickets for adults are $10.95 and $9.95 for kids and they are open 10am to 8pm every day except on Friday and Saturday when they stay open till 10pm.
The Navy Pier is a small time amusement park built on the banks of Lake Michigan. You can buy tickets for a single ride or as a combo package depending on what you are interested in. My favorite ride was the Ferris wheel that takes you 150 feet into the air. The address for Navy Pier is 600 E. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. Their hours are Sunday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Lincoln Park Zoo is a great place to see a variety of animals up close and learn about their habitats. The hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. year round and longer in the summer. The zoo is free but there is a fee for parking and other attractions.
2391 N. Stockton Drive, Chicago IL 60614 is the address to the Lincoln Conservatory. It is open 9 to 5 every day and is free. On weekends you can take an interpretive tour of this Victorian glass house that contains an extensive collection of tropical plants. It’s a great place for the garden enthusiast to visit.