So you’re coming to the Windy City this summer, huh? Whether you’ll be here for the massive BlogHer conference at the end of July and you’re looking for some sightseeing opportunities or you’re coming for a family getaway, if you’re wondering what to do in Chicago I am just the girl who can help you out. My book, Chicken in the Car and the Car Won’t Go: Nearly 200 Ways to Enjoy Chicagoland with Tweens and Teens happens to be overflowing with–you guessed it–nearly 200 things to do in the Chicago area.
In addition to all of the fun features, the book contains information on public transportation, where to find the best hot dogs and deep dish pizza, great tours, and tons more for ages ten to one hundred (maybe even one hundred and one). Each activity has its own page and I did all the research for you, providing websites, phone numbers, location and price information, and of course, helpful descriptions.
Let me recommend one of my favorite FREE things to do in the city, just to get you started.
I mean, talk about a jewel right in the middle of the city!
The park is located just off Michigan Avenue, a few blocks south of the Chicago River and just north of Grant Park. (It IS within walking distance from the BlogHer host hotel, the Sheraton.) It is attached to the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago by a fantastic walkway (The Nichols Bridgeway), and there are many other great features:
Cloudgate: Known by locals as “The Bean” (and pictured on the cover of my book!) due to its kidney-bean shape, Cloudgate was the creation of artist Anish Kapoor. It is a fantastic photo stop and the most famous feature of Millennium Park. When you go check it out, make sure to walk UNDER it, because the view is pretty cool:
Crown Fountain: The two glass-block towers on the southwest end of Millennium Park face each other and provide fun for all ages. Projected on each tower are rotating images of Chicagoans who seem to make faces at the crowds below. Every few minutes the projected faces “spit” water out into the reflecting pool, delighting the kids (who all squeal when it happens: it’s adorable!). After they “spit”, the faces change! The Crown Fountain is just as pretty at night.
Lurie Garden: A five-acre oasis right in the middle of Chicago, Lurie Garden is colorful and peaceful. I love the juxtaposition of the quiet in the gardens with the hustle and bustle of the city right outside its walls of greenery. You can take a quick walk through or sit for a spell along the water feature on the east end.
The Pritzker Pavilion: Millennium Park’s music venue is a sight to behold. Designed by architect Frank Gehry, the pavilion and its twisty stainless steel “ribbons” that spring out from above the stage to greet the trellis over the Great Lawn quickly became one of Chicago’s greatest and most recognized sculptural treasures.
There are several more features of the park, but these are my favorites. If you’d like to learn about all of the art and architecture in the Park, you can take a free Millennium Park Greeter Tour. The tours, which are offered daily at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. through October 14, begin at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Visitor’s Center (78 E. Washington Street). Tours are first come, first served and max out at ten people.
Want more information on what to do in Chicago? Consider grabbing my book off of Amazon.
I look forward to welcoming you to my city this summer!