Get the most out of your Labor Day weekend in Chicago
Design your perfect three-day weekend (you deserve it)!
63 exciting openings in Chicago in August
We want you (to have the best month ever)!
Things to do in the summer in Chicago
How many festivals, concerts, beach days and road trips can you cram in?
Events and festivals
Chicago Fashion Fest
Division gets a high fashion makeover with after dark runway shows and musical lineup headlined by the Black Lips
Movies in the Parks
Don't miss your favorite films with our full screening schedule
Things to do with kids
Chicago summer camp guide
School's out for summer! But what to do with your little ones?
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Raining outside? Let your kids run wild in one of our favorite indoor playgrounds
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Where to find the best wings, slides, climbing structures and mazes
The best things to do in Chicago
The 25 best sights and attractions in Chicago
Entertain guests or act like a tourist in your hometown and revisit these iconic Chicago attractions
The best contemporary art galleries
Look beyond the Art Institute or Museum of Contemporary Art to find cutting edge art in the city
The 10 best Chicago museums
These well-respected institutions offer informative and inspiring encounters with art, history, science and culture
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We round up the most exemplary architecture in Chicago, from the skyline to the suburbs
Museum of Science and Industry
If you’re into exhibits loaded with interactive bells and whistles, this expansive Hyde Park locale is your ticket
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum houses one of the largest collections of modern art in the nation and frequently hosts major touring exhibits
101 things to do in Chicago
Check out tall buildings, landmarks, parks and more
Find cool playgrounds and kid-friendly museums
Free things to do
Leave your wallet at home and start living the gratis life
This 24.5-acre park features Frank Gehry's Pritzker Pavilion and serpentine bridge; sculptor Anish Kapoor's 110-ton Cloud Gate (a.k.a. “The Bean”); and Jaume Plensa's Crown Fountain, with its ever-changing array of locals' faces spewing water very five minutes in the summer months. The Lurie Garden wows with year-round flower displays and monthly garden walks.
Lincoln Park Zoo
See some 1,200 animals, from apes to zebras, at the oldest and one of only a few free zoos left in the country. It is small, only 35 acres, but attractions like the Kovler Lion House and the Regenstein Center for African Apes pack a big punch. The newest feature: A 2010 rehab transformed the pond adjacent to Café Brauer into the Nature Boardwalk harboring Illinois wildlife.
This tourist hot spot features shops, eateries, an IMAX cinema and a bevy of sightseeing boat tours. Pier Park is home to a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, plus an old-fashioned swing ride and 18-hole mini-golf course. You'll also find the Chicago Children's Museum and a rotating roster of live entertainment on the Family Pavilion Stage. Most offerings may not turn locals on, but the seasonsal events, indoor activities and great people-watching provide plenty of entertainment, no matter what the weather.
Chicago Cultural Center
Since being converted to the Cultural Center in 1991 (it used to be the Chicago Public Library), this city-block-wide institution now offers free classical concerts Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. Most of the center’s classical offerings take place in Preston Bradley Hall on the second floor near the Washington Street entrance, but the Claudia Cassidy Theater (named for the Tribune’s venom-penned theater and music critic from the ’40s) on the Randolph Street side is used for experimental concerts, too. Concerts are always free.
Even when baseball’s not in season, there’s plenty to do at this legendary stadium, erected in 1914 and reinvigorated by an ownership change in 2009. Seasonal tours offer an insider peek at the Friendly Confines, and, come winter, you can skate on an ice rink just outside of the field. Keep your eyes on the website for quick-to-sell-out special events; in the past, they’ve included ice-hockey games, a college football match and inexpensive charity events that allow the public to prance on the field.
Things to do in Chicago neighborhoods
Visit the Museum of Science and Industry or walk through a beautiful park
Experience local art or take a walk in a quarry-turned-park
Take a dip in the lagoon at Humboldt Park or go for a stroll in Palmer Square Park
Head north to explore a historic lighthouse and several small museums