Things to do in Chicago: Your guide to the city's best activities

Whether you're a local or tourist, make the most of this city with your checklist of quintessential things to do in Chicago.

CAF River Cruise

Looking for things to do in Chicago? We've got you. This is, after all, what we spend the live-long day doing: seeking out the coolest stuff in our city to share with you-everything from must-see Chicago attractions, parks, museums and tours to the best art galleries, brunch spotsfood trucks and comedy clubs. If you're a seasoned Chicagoan, you might feel that, sightseeing-wise, you've bean there, done that. But read on: Our to-dos are designed to appeal to both first-time visitors and experienced Windy Citizens. Besides classic experiences, such as exploring Millennium Park and eating a Chicago-style dog, you'll find some insider-y, more off-the-beaten-path suggestions, too. Now get out there and get doin'.

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Things to Do

Explore Millennium Park.

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Things to Do

Take in the light and music display at Buckingham Fountain.

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Art

Make like Ferris Bueller and see iconic artworks at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Restaurants

Taste a Chicago-style hot dog.

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Bars

Drink in the views at the Hancock Building's Signature Lounge.

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Things to Do

Take a Segway tour of local attractions.

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Dine on Devon Avenue.

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Art

View cutting-edge art at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

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Get down at Windy City Soul Club.

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Things to Do

Root for the home team at Wrigley Field.

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Theater

Go to a performance of the Neofuturists' Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.

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Comedy

LOL at a Second City show.

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Things to Do

Get lost in Lincoln Park.

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Restaurants

Eat a burger to the tune of deafening heavy metal at Kuma's.

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Things to Do

Stroll around Promontory Point.

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Things to Do

Hit the beach. (There are plenty to choose from.)

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Things to Do

Go vintage shopping on 18th Street in Pilsen.

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Shopping and style

Browse independent lit at Quimby's in Wicker Park.

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Bars

Shake up your cocktail game at the Violet Hour.

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Get your brunch on.

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Restaurants

Eat banh mi at Nhu Lan Bakery.

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Restaurants Book online

Have an Ethiopian feast.

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Things to Do

Bike the Lakefront Trail.

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Museums

Get a diver's eye view of marine life at Shedd Aquarium's Wild Reef.

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Museums

Get a natural history lesson at the Field Museum.

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Restaurants

Have an Americano at the original Intelligentsia.

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Things to Do

Live on the edge on the Willis Tower Ledge.

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Restaurants

Eat at one of Randolph Street's many fine restaurants.

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Museums

See stars at the Adler Planetarium.

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Film

See a midnight movie.

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Shopping and style

Shop for farm-fresh food at Green City Market in Lincoln Park.

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Restaurants

Feast on Chicago-style pizza.

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Things to Do

Watch runners go the distance at the Chicago Marathon.

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Things to Do

Take a shot of Jeppson's Malört.

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Restaurants

Visit Gene's Sausage Shop in Lincoln Square, Chicago's German neighborhood.

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Things to Do

Discover Historic Pullman.

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Things to Do

Visit the DuSable Museum, America's foremost museum of African-American history.

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Museums

Indulge your curiosity at the Museum of Science and Industry.

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Music

Take in a CSO show.

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Things to Do

Swim in a Chicago Park District pool.

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Things to Do

Catch a Bulls game at United Center.

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Things to Do

Dine at a Rick Bayless restaurant.

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Comedy

Watch improv (and future SNL cast members) at iO.

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Things to Do

Cheer on da Bears at Soldier Field.

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Theater

See Chicago theater.

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Things to Do

Watch the South Siders play ball at the Cell.

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Karaoke with the locals.

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Comments

1 comments
Orin K
Orin K

One of the Best Ways to have fun on one of the Greatest Lakes in the World is to Join Sail Chicago.  It's the best bang for the buck in Learning-How-To-Sail, getting your Skipper's Card so that you can use the 24 hr phone line to rent several types of deep-keel sail boats, join other members on various sails around the harbors, take out your friends who may have never sailed before... and teach them how to help you handle the boat as you sail along the lake for several hours of great views, great fun, picture-taking, and great conversations.  Kick back and enjoy the Greatest City in America.  If you choose, you can also learn how to race, or help "crew" in a race sanctioned by official groups like US Sail.


           Sail Chicago is easily found on FaceBook, and has its own web site  for current members and interested folks.

Just Google Sail Chicago to start the ball rolling... :)