Whether you're a local or an out-of-towner, if you have a day off in Chicago, spending it at a museum is a no-duh. (Ferris Bueller knew this; he hit up the Art Institute.) These well-respected institutions offer informative and inspiring encounters with art, history, science and culture, not to mention noteworthy architecture.
There's variety to be experienced: Tour the AIC's bright, Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing, commune with butterflies at the Notebaert Nature Museum or encounter aquatic life at the Shedd Aquarium. Whatever your agenda, be sure to hit our list of the best Chicago museums. Another no-duh suggestion: Take advantage of the museums' free days.