Big, bold and no small plans — Chicago is a city that is always reinventing itself with new and exciting things to do. In 2017, build an itinerary around all the latest sights, from the fresh-off-its-debut Chicago Riverwalk to the even taller Ferris wheel at Navy Pier dubbed the Centennial Wheel in honor of the pier turning 100. Outdoor enthusiasts should gear up too because there's a massive climbing wall to tackle and a river to kayak.

Check out the field guide below for all that's new and open now in Chicago, plus all the latest and greatest openings coming up soon.



Chicago Riverwalk

O'Brien's at Chicago Riverwalk

A newly-expanded people-filled promenade
Official opening May 2017

The banks of the Chicago River have been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly urban playground. The Chicago Riverwalk is lined with great dining, sipping and sightseeing and even has kayak rentals and water taxis to get groups out on the water.



American Writers Museum

American Voices Exhibit at American Writers Museum

The first of its kind proudly opens in the heart of America
Official opening May 2017

The new American Writers Museum opened in March 2017 as the first and only of its kind in the nation. Explore 500 years of American literature — the downtown Chicago museum celebrates American writers through themed galleries, interactive exhibits (think high tech like touch screen games and digital maps), educational programs and special events.



Park at Wrigley

Park at Wrigley

A year-round gathering place for Cubs fans of all ages
Official opening April 2017

Wrigley Field's expansion and restoration project includes an open-air plaza outside the ballpark, the Park at Wrigley. Sit just outside the ballpark at this game day beer garden and plaza, a venue for non-game day community events such as a winter ice rink, farmers markets, yoga classes and movie nights.



Navy Pier

Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier

Reimagined into a dramatically different, but still stunning, lakefront jewel
Centennial celebration July 2016

Navy Pier, the Midwest's most visited attraction, celebrated 100 years in 2016. The recently renovated pier added the 20-story Centennial Wheel and a locally inspired, elevated dining scene.



The 606 

The 606

Transforming an abandoned railroad into an elevated park trail
Official opening June 2015

A 2.7-mile stretch of old railroad line has been converted into The 606, a bike-friendly, art-lined path winding through four Chicago neighborhoods and parks. Rent wheels from a Divvy bike-share station, and stop for a bite at one of the many new restaurants and bars open along the greenway.



Maggie Daley Park

Climbing Wall at Maggie Daley Park

The ultimate children's playground
Official opening June 2015

The kids can climb like monkeys and splash like fishes at this sprawling 28-acre park located right next to Millennium Park downtown. The Play Garden alone at Maggie Daley Park is 3 acres, and is filled with the most colorful towers, slides, swings and water features imaginable. Not to miss: the curving, quarter-of-a-mile long Skating Ribbon and the scalable centerpiece, the Climbing Wall.



The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Coming soon! Fall 2017

Opening for the 2017/18 theater season, The Yard will be Chicago Shakespeare Theater's third stage and will feature a series of mobiletowers that allow the performance arena to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes, with audience capacities from 150 to 850.



Theater on the Lake

Rendering of Theater on the Lake Chicago

Coming soon! Fall 2017

Entering its 65th season, the historic Theater on the Lake is undergoing renovations to become a year-round program and event facility with larger capacity, restaurant and event space, outdoor seating and a patio by late 2017.



Lakefront Trail: Navy Pier Flyover

Opening in 2018

Chicago's Lakefront Trail, a stunning 26-mile recreational path along Lake Michigan, is getting two major upgrades. One is the addition of a soaring new section that will span along Navy Pier dubbed the Navy Pier Flyover. The second is the separation of the busy path into two sections: one for pedestrians on foot, and one for those speeding by via bicycle or skates. Named the #1 Best Bike City of 2016 by Bicycling Magazine, these developments add to the nearly 400 km of bike lanes in the city.




Chicago Blues Museum

Opening in 2019

Expect three levels totalling 50,000-square-feet to be filled with not only history-driven interactive displays, tributes to local legends and Chicago blues memorabilia, but also a performance lounge and restaurant at the Chicago Blues Experience.

Featured Partners

Read More
Urban Explorer
Heart-pumping thrills in the heart of the city?...
Explore the 606
Rising nearly 18 feet above street level, The 606...
5 Things You Didn't Know About the Riverwalk
Eat, drink and play along Chicago's new...
The Lakefront Trail
One of Chicago's most beautiful assets, its...
6 Sports Stops
Football fans or not, groups can join in on Bears...
Fitness on the Lake
Staying fit in Chicago is an easy task with the...