NAVY PIER The definitive must-see Chicago itinerary if you only have a weekend. CHICAGO ARCHITECTURE FOUNDATION BOAT TOUR ARCHITECTURE TOURS The Chicago Architecture Foundation’s wildly popular tours include river cruises with views of more than 50 architecturally significant buildings, 90-minute walking tours of must-see buildings, architectural highlights by bus and many others. Wendella Sightseeing Boats and Shoreline Sightseeing Company also offer architecture boat tours. CROWN FOUNTAIN MILLENNIUM PARK One of the state’s most popular tourist attractions features larger-than-life public art (including Cloud Gate, site of the most Chicago selfies each year); the Frank Gehrydesigned Jay Pritzker Pavilion, featuring free concerts all summer; Crown Fountain; and the all-seasons beauty Lurie Garden. THE ORIGINAL RAINBOW CONE NAVY PIER You can’t truly experience Chicago without a trip to Navy Pier. This 50-acre playground of entertainment, museums, activities and shops is the perfect place for a family outing. Take a spin on the taller, faster Centennial Wheel, which was upgraded in 2016, and dine at exciting new additions like Tiny Tavern and The Original Rainbow Cone. LAKEFRONT TRAIL CHICAGO BEACHES & LAKEFRONT TRAIL Hit the Lakefront Trail to run, walk, bike or rollerblade with the blue waters of Lake Michigan on one side and the city’s renowned skyline on the other. Along the way, stop and relax on one of Chicago’s numerous swimming beaches, like the ones at Oak Street and North Avenue. THE LEDGE SKYDECK CHICAGO The 103-floor elevator ride to the Willis Tower Skydeck has always been an essential Chicago experience, but the addition of the The Ledge has made it even more thrilling. These glass cubes jut four feet from the building, giving you hair-raising views of the city below and up to four states on a clear day. ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO No trip to Chicago is complete without a stroll through these storied halls. Explore more than 30,000 works of art, including Chagall’s American Windows, contemporary works by Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and, of course, the towering pointillist masterpiece A Sunday on La Grande Jatte by George Seurat. SHEDD AQUARIUM SHEDD AQUARIUM This white marble temple to aquatic life opened in 1930 and is one of the largest aquariums in the United States, with 32,000 animals from 1,500 species. Photo ops abound, from the playful Penguin Encounter to the ornate Beaux- Arts architecture. WRIGLEY FIELD WRIGLEY FIELD Root for the home team — and reigning World Series champions, 108 years in the making — at America’s secondoldest Major League Baseball stadium, surrounded by the vibrant (and Chicago Cubs-crazy) North Side neighborhood of Wrigleyville. BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN BUCKINGHAM FOUNTAIN This beautiful landmark fountain located in Grant Park presents nightly colorful light-and-music shows from spring through fall. Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest water fountains in the world. THE MAGNIFICENT MILE THE MAGNIFICENT MILE Take a stroll along Michigan Avenue, the grand main boulevard of this bustling area. Here you’ll find leading designer boutiques (think Gucci), flagship stores like Ralph Lauren and upscale shopping centers, including 900 North Michigan Shops. The Magnificent Mile is also home to some of the best restaurants and entertainment in the city. FREE FUN Looking for free things to do in Chicago? The city is filled with beautiful attractions that don’t cost a dime! GARFIELD PARK & LINCOLN PARK CONSERVATORIES As one of the nation’s premier displays of rare plant species, the Garfield Park Conservatory has a half dozen greenhouses and two large exhibition halls. And in the Lincoln Park Conservatory, see some of the most stunning flowers and rare plant life. No matter the season, a walk through this storied greenhouse will always feel like a stroll through paradise. LINCOLN PARK ZOO As one of only a few free zoos in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo covers more than 35 acres and features polar bears, lions and more than 230 other species of animals. The Farm in the Zoo and Nature Boardwalk get you up close and personal with the animal world. CHICAGO CULTURAL CENTER Did you know Chicago is home to the largest Tiffany-stained glass dome in the world? Or that critically acclaimed art exhibits, performances, lectures and film screenings are available to you every day for free all under one roof? This and more can be found at the historic Chicago Cultural Center. CHICAGO GREETER NEIGHBORHOOD TOURS The Chicago Greeter program pairs knowledgeable locals with Chicago visitors for an informal, insider’s orientation of the city and its many, vibrant neighborhoods. Through customized, guided walks you can sightsee all across the city based on interest topics of your choice, from public art and architecture to food and films. CHICAGO PARKS Chicago has hundreds of free public parks that span more than 8,000 acres. For wildlife viewing, check out Northerly Island. Get active at the kayak boat house in Ping Tom Memorial Park. Find incredible landscape designs at Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, Humboldt Park’s prairie river and boat house, and the Garden of the Phoenix — an authentic Japanese garden complete with footbridges, cherry blossom trees and public art pieces. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MEXICAN ART Located in the cultural epicenter of the colorful Pilsen neighborhood, the National Museum of Mexican Art is focused on celebrating Mexican culture and is the largest of its kind in the nation. DISCOUNT THEATER Hot Tix offers half-price theater tickets online, as well as at two convenient downtown ticket booth locations: 72 E. Randolph St. (across from Chicago Cultural Center) 108 N. State St. (inside Block 37 at Guest Services, 1st Floor) Get great deals for great performances every day of the week, including blockbuster Broadway In Chicago musicals, daring dramas from independent theaters and improv from the biggest names in comedy. Hot Tix hours vary by location. Half-price tickets are for select performances affiliated with the League of Chicago Theatres.
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