Chicago-on: 12 Must-Do Activities in the Windy City

Chicago is a vibrant city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions for locals and visitors alike.

Whether you're looking for art, culture, history, food, or entertainment, you'll find it all in Chicago.

One of the best things to do in Chicago is to explore its diverse neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own unique charm and character, with a variety of restaurants, shops, and cultural attractions.

From the trendy Wicker Park and Logan Square to the historic Hyde Park and Bronzeville, there's something for everyone.

Another must-see attraction in Chicago is its world-class museums. The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the most famous museums in the world, with an extensive collection of art from around the globe.

The Field Museum of Natural History is home to Sue the T-Rex and other fascinating exhibits about science and nature. The Museum of Science and Industry is a great place to learn about technology and innovation, while the Shedd Aquarium is perfect for marine life enthusiasts.

Of course, no visit to Chicago is complete without indulging in its famous food scene. From deep-dish pizza to hot dogs to Italian beef sandwiches, there's no shortage of delicious eats in Chicago.

And with a growing craft beer and cocktail scene, there's always something new and exciting to try. So, whether you're a foodie or just looking for a tasty bite, Chicago has you covered.

1. The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute Of Chicago
111 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603 (Google Maps)

The Art Institute of Chicago is a world-renowned art museum with an impressive collection of nearly 300,000 works from all over the globe.

It is a must-visit for art lovers and enthusiasts alike. With various exhibits throughout the year, there is always something new to see.

The museum is well-organized and easy to navigate with helpful staff. The architecture of the building is beautiful, adding to the overall experience.

A visit to The Art Institute of Chicago is a fantastic way to spend a day exploring the world of art.

2. Riverwalk

E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

Riverwalk is a scenic pedestrian path along a river. Visitors can enjoy city views, dining, and boat rides.

The walkway is perfect for those who want to skip waiting for traffic lights and enjoy a more interesting perspective of the city.

At night, the lighted skyscrapers make for a beautiful view.

Tourists can also take a boat tour along the water. The riverfront is among the nicest in the country.

3. Field Museum

Field Museum
1400 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (Google Maps)

The Field Museum is a state-of-the-art museum of science and natural history. It features the world's largest Tyrannosaurus Rex and a vast collection of artifacts and displays that are sure to pique anyone's interest.

With three floors of exhibits, visitors can spend hours exploring ancient Egypt, animal species, gemstones, and prehistoric ocean creatures.

The museum is well-organized and very clean, making it a pleasant experience for all. The displays are kid-friendly, with lots of stations for children to touch items and learn about science and invention.

The museum also has a cafeteria available inside, so visitors don't have to go out for food. A must-see museum when in Chicago!

4. Buckingham Fountain

Buckingham Fountain
301 S Columbus Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (Google Maps)

Buckingham Fountain is a must-visit landmark in the heart of a bustling city. The fountain, built in 1927, is among the world's largest and offers light and water shows.

It's a perfect spot to take pictures and enjoy the views of the city skyline. The fountain is surrounded by a beautiful green landscape, creating a stunning contrast with the urban environment.

Visitors can sit on nearby benches and enjoy picnics while taking in the views. The fountain is a popular tourist attraction, and people from all over the world gather to see it.

The fountain lights up at night, creating a spectacular display that's worth seeing.

5. Lincoln Park Conservatory

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

The Lincoln Park Conservatory is a must-visit for nature lovers.

This 1890 glass structure houses thousands of exotic plants from all over the world, including a fern house and orchid house. Visitors can also explore the outdoor gardens and fountains.

While the conservatory is free, online reservations are required. The warm and humid environment inside is perfect for escaping cold or rainy weather.

The conservatory is a great place for families with kids, students, and anyone interested in naturalist and botanical gardens.

6. Medieval Torture Museum

Medieval Torture Museum
177 N State St, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

If you're a fan of history and the macabre, the Medieval Torture Museum is a must-visit attraction.

This interactive museum takes you on a journey through the history of torture, from medieval times to the present day. The exhibits are graphic and visceral, providing a glimpse into the dark side of human history.

With an audio guide available, visitors can learn about the history of each exhibit and the stories behind them.

Although not suitable for children, the Medieval Torture Museum is a fascinating and unique experience for adults.

7. Riverwalk – 100 W

Riverwalk - 100 W
100 W Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

Riverwalk – 100 W is a must-visit for anyone in the city. This scenic spot offers a beautiful view of the river and the surrounding skyline.

The well-lit area is perfect for a stroll, and there are plenty of spots to sit and relax.

The Riverwalk offers a range of entertainment options, including bars, restaurants, and gardens.

The path along the river is perfect for a leisurely walk, and the reflective covers provide a cool escape from the heat. This is a great place to take photos and enjoy the city's beauty from a different perspective.

8. Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk

Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk
517 E Solidarity Dr, Chicago, IL 60605 (Google Maps)

Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Chicago skyline. It is a popular spot for photographers and visitors looking to capture stunning photos of the cityscape.

The observation deck is well-maintained and provides ample space for visitors to walk around and enjoy the view.

There are also informative exhibits on display, offering insights into astronomy and the role of Chicago in space exploration.

A must-visit for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Chicago from a unique perspective.

9. Nature Boardwalk

Nature Boardwalk
2121 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL 60614 (Google Maps)

Nature Boardwalk is a picturesque spot in the heart of the city that offers visitors a chance to connect with nature.

The boardwalk provides a serene and peaceful atmosphere, with a beautiful garden filled with native plants and wildlife.

The composite material of the boardwalk makes it easy for everyone to navigate, including those with strollers or wheelchairs.

The view of the Chicago skyline from the bridge is breathtaking, making it an ideal place for photography. The boardwalk also offers a great opportunity to explore the zoo and enjoy a fun day out with family and friends.

10. American Writers Museum

American Writers Museum
180 North Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60601 (Google Maps)

The American Writers Museum is a hidden gem for book lovers and history enthusiasts. This intimate and interactive venue engages all senses, except taste, and offers a unique experience for visitors.

The museum is less expensive and less crowded than other Chicago museums, making it a great option for a day trip.

The exhibits showcase a diverse range of authors and highlight the impact of literature on social justice in the US.

The interactive displays allow visitors to read books, type their own poetry or story, and learn about the history of American writers. The museum is well worth a visit for anyone looking for inspiration or simply an enjoyable day out.

11. Frederick C. Robie House

Frederick C. Robie House
5757 S Woodlawn Ave, Chicago, IL 60637 (Google Maps)

The Frederick C. Robie House is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Prairie-style house is a notable landmark and historical museum.

Although the tour may be a bit pricey for some, the knowledgeable tour guide and stunning design make it worth the visit.

Visitors should be prepared for a lot of stairs and note that the tour does not include the kitchen or second floor balcony.

The surrounding neighborhood and nearby University of Chicago make for an interesting walk. For those interested in architecture, the Frederick C. Robie House is not to be missed.

12. Ukrainian National Museum

Ukrainian National Museum
2249 W Superior St, Chicago, IL 60612 (Google Maps)

The Ukrainian National Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in Ukrainian culture and history.

The small museum is packed with fascinating artifacts, including traditional Easter eggs, embroidery, and modern artworks. Visitors can learn about Ukraine's rich history and traditions, as well as its recent revolution.

The in-house tour guide is passionate and knowledgeable, making the experience even more worthwhile. The museum is a family-run enterprise and has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.

At just $5 per person, the fee is a great value for the wealth of information and exhibits on offer. The museum is a great way to learn about a lesser-known culture and gain a deeper appreciation for Ukraine and its people.