From robots to ice rinks... it might be nearing the end of 2015, but the year still holds plenty of exciting things to do in Chicago. Whether you want to try something new, experience the magic of the holiday season or catch the final days of exciting exhibits and tours, just consult with this hot list of events and ideas.
SEE WHAT'S NEW
1. Take in the
flavors and aromas at the Foodseum.
Block 37, 108 N. State Street | Open now through December 20, 2015
This interactive pop-up food museum celebrates Chicago's exceptional and iconic foods, starting with the hot dog. Bonus: you'll also learn about the history of delicious encased meats around the world. Extra bonus: the exhibit is FREE!
2. Be the first to try Chicago's hot new food hall Latinicity.
Block 37, 108 N. State Street | Open now
Looking for something Instagram-worthy? A mega dining marketplace filled with exotic flavors, Latinicity in the Loop shopping mall Block 37 opens its doors on November 5. Celebrity chef Richard Sandoval's 20,000-square-foot Latin food hall features a sprawling lineup of 12 flavorful food stalls reminiscent of street food vendors, as well as a tapas restaurant, full bar, cafe, market and lounge.
Other red-hot, must-visit spots include the ultra luxurious STK Chicago, where steak meets socializing in River North — just one of the newest steakhouses to open of late. Also, keep an eye out for fall projects on the horizon from two Top Chef alums: the regional Italian eatery in the West Loop, Monteverde, from Chef Sarah Grueneberg and Chef Stephanie Izard's Duck Duck Goat.
3. Make a wish list at Michael Jordan's new sneaker heaven 32 South State.
32 S. State Street | Open now
October 24 saw the debut of a new flagship featuring all Jordan Brand shoes and apparel. 32 South State is a stand-alone shop dedicated completely to his "Airness" himself, Michael Jordan.
Across Chicago, getting your holiday shopping done is a breeze when you have so many stores to choose from. Consult with our roundup of the best places to holiday shop in Chicago, and take advantage of end-of-season deals and holiday sales. Want to save even more money? Visit a designer outlet mall like the recently-expanded Chicago Premium Outlets. Or check out the latest addition to The Magnificent Mile's shopping scene: the newly opened Uniqlo, which is the first Midwest location of the Tokyo-based apparel brand, known for its affordable and stylish fashions.
CATCH THESE BEFORE THEY CLOSE
4. Take a guided architecture boat tour before the season ends.
Take in the sights and the history with a guided architecture tour down the Chicago River before the season is over. Choose from exciting and informative tours with Shoreline Sightseeing (November 8), Chicago Architecture Foundation (November 22), Wendella (November 29) or Chicago Line (December 6).
5. Interact with innovative architecture at the Chicago Architecture Biennial.
Citywide | Through January 3, 2016
Performance art, theatrical productions, large-scale architectural installations, expert presentations by artists and architects — it's all on the jam-packed 200+ events lineup for this FREE and first ever citywide celebration of thought-provoking and experimental architectural projects.
6. See major museum exhibits before they end.
- Interact with
cutting-edge technology at Robot Revolution.
Museum of Science and Industry | Through January 3, 2016
This fascinating exhibition supported by Google showcases high-tech robotics that visitors can interact with and learn about through hands-on exhibits. These rare robots are sure to surprise with their amazing skills — from card dealing to tic-tac-toe playing.
- Go back in time at Mammoths & Mastodons.
The Field Museum | Through January 3, 2016
Learn about prehistoric creatures in this special exhibit featuring massive mastodon teeth, mammoth tusks, fossilized skulls and even ancient cave drawings by early humans.
- Dig into the history of railroads and rail workers in the Railroaders exhibit.
Chicago History Museum | Through January 3, 2016
Peruse intimate photographs capturing the way of life for rail workers after World War II. Showcasing both black-and-white and early color photographs, these images by Jack Delano take you into the rail yards, stations and trains.
- See Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Paintings.
Art Institute of Chicago | Through January 3, 2016
The first major U.S. exhibition exploring the Hindu denomination Pushtimarg, this visually striking assemblage features more than 100 artworks from private and public collections from India and beyond. Get a glimpse into the rich, colorful tradition of this intimate religious community.
JOIN THE FUN AT THESE SEASONAL OPENERS
7. Marvel at the lights of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival.
Michigan Avenue between Wacker Drive and Oak Street | November 21
Stroll along The Magnificent Mile, where more than one million lights transform the streets to a glittering winter wonderland. Make sure to catch the Parade of Lights, when marching bands, parades and floats create a must-see FREE spectacle on the grand boulevard.
8. See Chicago's official Christmas tree in its new location.
Millennium Park | November 24
Experience the magic of the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony (November 24 at 5:30 pm) in a whole new location: Millennium Park. Afterward, take part in all the nearby festivities on Chicago's new "Winter Campus", such as visits with Santa, caroling at Cloud Gate and ice skating at Maggie Daley Park and Millennium Park.
9. Stroll through a wonderland at ZooLights.
Lincoln Park Zoo | November 27-29, 2015; December 4-6, 11-23, 26-31, 2015; January 1-3, 2016
Illuminated holiday light displays set the scene for a festive (and FREE!) holiday experience at the Lincoln Park Zoo, where visitors can take photos with Santa, make holiday crafts, watch musical light shows, go ice skating, see live ice carving, hop aboard the Lionel Train Adventure and so much more.
10. Welcome 2016 with Chi-Town Rising.
Michigan Avenue and Chicago River | December 31
Celebrate New Year's Eve with this sensational new event, featuring headliner music acts — legendary rock band Chicago and hit pop group American Authors — plus a special countdown and fireworks display over the river.