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Chicken fried chicken at Dove's Luncheonette.
Photograph: Martha WilliamsChicken fried chicken at Dove's Luncheonette.

10 awesome things to do alone in Chicago

Written by
Stephanie Bernstein

There are plenty of amazing things to do in Chicago—especially when it comes to venturing out with groups or planning a romantic date night. But we all need a little "me time" to recharge. Next time you're craving a solo adventure in Chicago, enjoy one of these options all to yourself. 

Hit up your favorite record shop. It’s a lot easier to flip through vinyl without your friends lurking behind you. Bring your selections home and host a private dance party for one. 

Take a walk in the park. Chicago is covered in pristine green spaces that are free to visit whenever you'd like. Pack a book, create a playlist and reset your mind at one of Chicago's best parks.

Enjoy an art museum at your own pace. Who needs snobby Art History 101 commentary? Some of the city's best museums offer free days and deals for Illinois residents, so you can even save a buck or two while enjoying time to yourself.  

Play tourist for the day. Visit the Bean, take a free walking tour, hang at the Chicago Cultural Center or hop on an architecture river cruise—all without any judgment. C'mon, you know you want to.

Hop on a Divvy. You don't have to own a bike to explore the city on two wheels. Check out a new-to-you neighborhood on the cheap—just make sure to stay in the bike lane and follow these unspoken rules

Try a new restaurant. It's hard enough to get your friends to commit to brunch on Sunday. When you're dining alone, you don't have to wait on anyone to grab a seat at that new spot down the street. Trust us—it's a deliciously liberating experience. 

See a comedy showGrab a seat at the bar and laugh at even the stupidest jokes.

Retail therapy. Whether on Michigan Ave or in a nifty thrift store, you can plan your own route, weave through the crowds and take your time when shopping alone.

Visit a bathhouse. Steam and soak the day away at Red Square in Wicker Park or book a detoxifying massage at Aire Ancient Baths in River West.  

Plan a staycationWant to go all out? Avoid the hassle (and cost) of leaving town and play hooky for the day. Book a hotel room or an AirBnb rental in Chicago and make a long weekend of it. Sleep in, order room service and enjoy some vacation time without leaving the city limits.

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