TILT

Last night, I took my 13-year-old son and two of his friends 94 floors high up, almost up into the clouds over Chicago, and challenged them to conquer their fear of heights on the TILT, an exciting, brand-new feature at 360 CHICAGO (formerly the John Hancock Observatory). And it was a challenge of heights like they'd never encountered before. 

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Though I've lived in Chicago for most of my life, I was always inspired by the view from atop the John Hancock Observatory: there is something special about seeing our beautiful city, with its stunning skyline and lovely Lake Michigan beaches, from above. At night, it's even more spectacular, when you can see the twinkling and spinning Ferris wheel at Navy Pier and the Matchbox-like cars zipping down Lake Shore Drive.

With TILT, 360 Chicago adds to the wonder: step onto an enclosed glass and steel moveable platform (it holds up to eight visitors per cycle) and hold on as the platform slowly tilts outward to a 30 degree angle, giving you a downward-facing views of Chicago from one thousand feet above the Magnificent Mile. Stepping on the TILT was a challenge for all for boys: they were thrilled as the TILT leaned down a little, then a little bit more, until they were facing the streets below. As the TILT leaned back upright, there were high fives all around.

It took a few moments and a glass of water from the cafe at the west end of 360 Chicago  for the boys to catch their breath; soon they were off again, having a blast as they took in the incredible views and attempted to find their their homes and their school and even trace their school bus routes from above. We all enjoyed the interactive displays that let you zoom on on any location captured in the 360 degree view and access information on important historical and cultural sights down below.

A visit to 360 Chicago is a must for any tourist visiting Chicago and a lean forward on the TILT is a fun challenge for the tweens and teens in your family - or anyone who wants to challenge or conquer their fear of heights!

Open every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (last ticket sold at 10:30 p.m.), you can save time by pre-purchasing tickets online at www.360chicago.com. 360 CHICAGO is located at 875 N. Michigan Avenue, between Delaware Place running East on the North side and Chestnut Street running West on the South side - at the top of Chicago's Magnificent Mile. Riding the fastest elevators in Chicago to the top is part of the fun!