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10 NEW & INCREDIBLE CHICAGO ATTRACTIONS

See what's new in Chicago in 2017 and plan an itinerary that includes the latest museums, attractions and things to do.

 

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 can gear up too! Kayak under skyscrapers, race along the lakefront or climb high into the sky — the city is your playground.

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.

 

1

Chicago Riverwalk

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.

 

2

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.

 

3

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.

 

4

Navy Pier

Centennial Wheel

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

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

 

5

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. 


 

6

Maggie Daley Park

Climbing Wall 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 massive centerpiece, the Climbing Wall.

 

7

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 mobile towers that allow the performance arena to be configured in a variety of shapes and sizes, with audience capacities from 150 to 850.

 

8

Theater on the Lake

Rendering of Theater on the Lake in 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. Dine alfresco and take in music and theater, all within a picturesque lakefront setting in Lincoln Park.

 

9

Navy Pier Flyover & Lakefront Trail Expansion

Navy Pier Flyover under construction

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. 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. Recently honored as the "Best Bike City in the U.S." in 2016, Chicago boasts over 200 miles of on-street bike lanes.

 

10

Chicago Blues Museum

Rendering of Chicago Blues Experience museum

Opening in 2019

Expect three levels totaling 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. The brand new museum will open in the heart of the downtown Loop.

 

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