5 Cool Things To Do The Next Time You Visit Chicago

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The Windy City. It’s a lively part of the United States filled with incredible history and culture. Seeing it all during a one-week or two-week vacation is impossible. However, there are several places you must stop and see the next time you visit the home of Da Bears or Da Cubs.

You can choose from a wide variety of outdoor or indoor activities. Some venues offer tours, others feature exhibits to explore and so much more. Foodies can discover many types of cuisine and if you are looking for other forms of entertainment, you won’t be disappointed in the Windy City.

To make it easy for you the next time you visit, here is a list of 5 of the coolest things to see and do in Chicago.

1. Navy Pier

Navy Pier

This site is now over 100 years old and can be documented as far back as the 1909 Plan of Chicago which inspired the project. The Plan of Chicago was the concept created by Edward H. Bennett and Daniel Burnham which laid out a plan for the city.

Architect Charles Sumner Frost was charged with the construction of what was then known as the Municipal Pier. It was finally opened to the public on July 5, 1916. Although the common nickname of Navy Pier has stuck, the original design for the site was what would be considered unique for that time.

The plan was to construct a dock that could accommodate passenger traffic, freight and provide a facility for outdoor and indoor recreation. Originally a total of five piers were to be built on the shores of Lake Michigan but only one was completed and has since seen many changes.

2. Alder Planetarium

Alder Planetarium

This is a multipurpose facility that operates as an observatory first but is also known as a museum, theater and research center. It is located along the Chicago lakefront at the Museum Campus. The site provides incredible unblocked views of the heavens above.

Featuring many different exhibits, which change frequently, all of them explore the 91-billion light-years of our universe. You can visit the Planet Nine exhibit which will give you the tools necessary to search for the ninth planet as an example of the interactive nature of the programs.

The Planet Explorers exhibit will take you through the paces where you will discover planets while crawling, climbing and flying through the presentation. Or you can zip through the fast-paced tour Destination Solar System that focuses on our cosmic surroundings.

3. The Field Museum

The Field Museum

Not only is this considered Chicago’s premier natural history museum, but it also happens to be one of the world’s largest museums of its kind. The museum houses one of the most impressive collections of artifacts in the United States and is a must-see site.

Marshall Field, who launched the famous department store of the same name, founded this museum. In addition to several changing exhibits, the Field Museum is also home to several permanent displays that have survived the test of time and continues to attract visitors.

Some of them include the classic dioramas featuring animals in the natural habitats to various interactive displays. You can walk through 4-million years of human life in Evolving Planet or look into DNA research in the DNA Discovery Center to name just two great features.

4. Millennium Park

Millennium Park

Millennium Park is one of Chicago’s most iconic and vibrant public spaces. Located in the heart of the city, it is renowned for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and impressive art installations. The park’s centerpiece is the Cloud Gate sculpture, commonly known as “The Bean,” which reflects the city’s skyline and offers a unique photo opportunity.

In addition to Cloud Gate, Millennium Park features the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, an outdoor concert venue designed by Frank Gehry, which hosts a variety of free concerts and cultural events throughout the year. The Lurie Garden offers a serene escape with its lush greenery and blooming flowers, while the Crown Fountain provides interactive fun with its video displays and water features.

Millennium Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the artistic and cultural heartbeat of Chicago.

5. Shedd Aquarium

Shedd Aquarium

It is the crown jewel of Chicago’s Museum Campus and is without a doubt a one-of-a-kind, first-class marine biology institution. It is the home to well over 32,000 different aquatic species that you can get an up close and personal with thanks to an endless collection of display tanks.

The displays range from non-native species such as frogs existing in an artificial setting designed to replicate their home environment to pools filled with larger sea creatures. Touch tanks give visitors an interactive experience with selected marine life used to teach and inform.

Originally, the founder of the aquarium, John G. Shedd, once had Florida seawater shipped to the site in tanker cars regularly. That practice continued until it was no longer required once a method of turning fresh water into seawater had been invented. The aquarium is a must-see.

In Conclusion

Sports fans have many options when visiting Chicago at any time of the year. From hockey to football and baseball, there is no shortage of ways to entertain those members of your traveling party. But for those seeking something other than sports, we created this list of cool things.

Chicago has a long and interesting history which can be enjoyed in many different ways. It is evident in the architecture, museums, and libraries. To get a true sense of the arts and culture of the city, the above-noted list of 5 cool things to do should give you a good start.

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to visit tourism websites for more information on what to see and do in Chicago. Proving that yes, indeed, as windy as it may be, Chicago is still a pretty cool place to visit regardless of the time of year.

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