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Explore an urban oasis, listen to live music, kayak through a skyscraper canyon. In Chicago, there’s no shortage of breathtaking things to see and do.

millennium park

Millennium Park

Home to “The Bean”, movies under the stars, and tons of free events and concerts for all.

Millennium Park

Pritzker pavillion

Kick back under the Pritzker Pavilion

the bean

See yourself in Cloud Gate

crown fountain

Splash around at Crown Fountain

Pritzker pavillion

Kick back under the Pritzker Pavilion

Pritzker Pavilion at night

Pritzker Pavilion

Frank Gehry's one-of-a-kind outdoor auditorium is set in the heart of Millennium Park. With 4,000 seats and room for 10,000 more on the sweeping lawn, the stunning outdoor space draws locals and visitors alike for free summer movies, live music, performances, and more. Plus, the state-of-the-art sound system is designed to mimic the acoustics of an indoor theatre, so you won’t miss a single beat.

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the bean

See yourself in Cloud Gate

the bean

The Bean

Cloud Gate

One of Chicago’s most famous sights (and maybe the most Instagrammed) is Cloud Gate, better known as “The Bean”. Created by legendary sculptor Anish Kapoor, the arched shape is designed to serve as a gate that visitors can walk under into Millennium Park. With 200 highly polished stainless steel plates, the shiny surface is the perfect spot to snap a photo or admire the surrounding skyline.

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crown fountain

Splash around at Crown Fountain

crown fountain

Crown Fountain

Crown Fountain

Come face-to-face with Chicago locals at Crown Fountain. This interactive public artwork features two 50-foot towers that project videos of more than 1,000 Chicagoans, showcasing the vast diversity of the city. Once the fountains kick on each May, the area around the fountain quickly turns into a refreshing spot to splash around and cool down during the summer.

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riverWalk

Chicago Riverwalk

Our award-winning riverfront hums with life both on and off the water.

Chicago Riverwalk

boat tour

Go with the flow on a boat tour

boat tour

Paddle along on a kayaking adventure

riverfront

Grab a seat at riverfront restaurants

boat tour

Go with the flow on a boat tour

boat tour

An architecture tour on the Chicago’s First Lady

River boat tours

You can’t go to the Riverwalk without getting out on the water. Boat tours generally run from April through October, with dozens of cruises taking visitors through the heart of the city each day.

Interested in the stories behind the skyscrapers? The Chicago Architecture Foundation Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady is one the city’s top attractions. Want to wine and dine? A dinner cruise on Odyssey’s all-glass river boat offers panoramic views. Just trying to get from point A to point B? Shoreline’s Water Taxis are a fast, fun way to get around the city.

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kayaking

Paddle along on a kayaking adventure

kayaking

Kayakers on the Chicago River

Kayak rentals and tours

Kayaking along the Chicago River is an experience like no other. As you meander down the river’s calm waters, you’ll be surrounded by the buzzing Riverwalk, the city’s classic drawbridges, and some of the world’s most stunning architectural gems. Urban Kayaks has a Riverwalk location that offers both rentals and history-focused tours for all ages and abilities.

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riverfront

Grab a seat at riverfront restaurants

riverfront

O’Briens Riverwalk Café

Riverfront dining

Everything tastes better when you’re eating on the water. The scenic Riverwalk is lined with outdoor outposts of popular Chicago restaurants, each with its own unique vibe and cuisine.

One of the buzziest spots along the water is City Winery at the Riverwalk. Snag a patio seat, order a glass of Riverwalk Red, and get ready for prime people watching. Nearby, Tiny Tapp serves up craft cocktails, frozen drinks, and local beers on tap. Chicago first cider-focused pub has a European-style beer garden here, and it’s always a good time at Island Party Hut. See the full list for more Riverwalk dining.

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riverWalk

Family-friendly fun

There’s a kid-size adventure around every corner in Chicago. Here are just a few.

Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park

Climb, play, and skate at Maggie Daley Park

navy pier

Go for a spin at Navy Pier

peggy notebaert

Walk with butterflies at Peggy Notebaert

Maggie Daley Park

Climb, play, and skate at Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park

The Climbing Wall at Maggie Daley Park

Maggie Daley Park

A fantastical play space designed to let kids (and their imaginations) run wild. Tucked between the lakefront and Millennium Park, Maggie Daley Park is jam-packed with 20 acres of all-ages adventures.

A whimsical play space pulls inspiration from classic childhood tales to create an immersive, engaging space for kids to explore. Or scale the Climbing Wall, made up of two rock-climbing structures that reach up to 40 feet in the air. A Skating Ribbon circles the park, perfect for ice skating in the winter and rollerblading and scooters in the summer.

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navy pier

Go for a spin at Navy Pier

navy pier

Pier Park at Navy Pier

Navy Pier

Navy Pier is home to one of Chicago’s most beloved attractions: the Centennial Wheel. A distinctive part of the city skyline (and its history), the wheel soars nearly 200 feet above the ground and offers stunning, 360-degree views of the surrounding city and lake.

Once you’re back on the ground, take your pick from the Pier’s abundance of kid-friendly activities and attractions. The Chicago Children’s Museum is here, along with an IMAX Theatre and enough food options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Stick around past dark on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the summer, and you’ll see the sky light up in a fantastic fireworks display.

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peggy notebaert

Walk with butterflies at Peggy Notebaert

peggy notebaert

A hands-on demo at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Explore the forest canopy, wander a nature trail, and meet live animals at this hidden gem in Lincoln Park. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, founded by one of the oldest scientific institutions in the country, is designed to connect visitors with nature through engaging exhibits that enthrall kids of all ages.

The museum boasts thousands of plant and animal specimens, including both rare and native species. One of the most magical exhibits is the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven, filled with over 40 types of exotic, colorful butterflies. The museum is across the street from Lincoln Park Zoo, so kids can continue their exploration just outside.

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Sky-high views

Sky-high views

See the city from a new perspective at these top observation decks.

Skydeck Chicago

sky deck

Step out above the clouds at Sky Deck

tilt 360

Take your trip to new heights at 360 CHICAGO

sky deck

Step out above the clouds at Sky Deck

sky deck

The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago

Skydeck Chicago

Welcome to one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere. Skydeck Chicago, perched on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower, features spectacular views that span up to four states on a clear day. If you can pull yourself away from the views, the space is also full of interactive exhibits on Chicago history.

For an unforgettable thrill, step out onto The Ledge. The all-glass balcony extends more than four feet off the side of the building — and 1,353 feet above the ground. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment, and a pretty sweet photo opp.

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tilt 360

Take your trip to new heights at 360 CHICAGO

tilt 360

TILT at 360 CHICAGO

360 CHICAGO

Step off the elevators at 360 CHICAGO and you’re instantly surrounded by jaw-dropping views. Located 1,000 feet above The Magnificent Mile, this 94th floor observation deck offers an unbeatable perspective of the surrounding cityscape, Navy Pier, and up and down Chicago’s stunning lakefront.

Test your nerves on TILT, billed as Chicago’s highest thrill ride. The enclosed, moving platform literally tilts you out over Michigan Avenue for a heart-pounding Chicago experience unlike any other. Afterwards, head to the bar area for a much-deserved drink while you soak in the views.

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Maximo at Field Museum

Museums

Admire Impressionist masterpieces, a real-life submarine, and the world’s largest dinosaur at Chicago’s mind-blowing museums.

Máximo the Titanosaur at Field Museum

art institute

See artistic treasures at the Art Institute of Chicago

field Museum

Explore natural wonders at Field Museum

museum of science and industry

Be wowed at Museum of Science & Industry

art institute

See artistic treasures at the Art Institute of Chicago

art institute

Woman’s Board Grand Staircase at Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Where else can you see Monet’s water lilies, Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe, Picasso’s guitarist, and dozens of other iconic artworks — all in an afternoon? The Art Institute of Chicago, which frequently tops lists of Chicago’s most popular attractions, is one of the oldest and largest museums in the world.

But don’t be intimidated by its size — the museum makes it easy to see the highlights of their impressive collections in just about an hour. Be sure to make time for their Impressionist exhibit; featuring masterpieces by Degas, Renoir, and Manet, it’s the largest such collection outside of the Louvre. Their newest addition, a striking Modern Wing, houses an impressive selection of contemporary works.

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field museum

Explore natural wonders at Field Museum

field museum

SUE the T.rex at Field Museum

Field Museum

Meet the world’s largest dinosaur, step inside an ancient Egyptian tomb, chat with expert scientists. Chicago’s Field Museum is home to thousands of natural and cultural artifacts, with exhibits that delve into everything from the world’s oldest civilizations to cutting-edge discoveries.

One of the Field Museum’s latest exhibits is a new home for SUE, the largest and most complete T.rex ever discovered. Visitors will travel back in time 4.6 billion years to learn about SUE’s prehistoric world through rare fossils, immersive videos, and hands-on interactive displays

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museum of science and industry

Be wowed at Museum of Science & Industry

museum of science and industry

Museum of Science & Industry

Museum of Science & Industry

Science comes to life at the award-winning Museum of Science & Industry, one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. Their immersive and highly interactive exhibits explore an astonishing array of subjects, offering something for all ages and interests.

The museum’s permanent exhibits will take you into the depths of a coal mine, the eye of a whirling tornado, and on board a captured German submarine from WWII. There’s also tons of hands-on experiences, like a flight simulator, design lab, virtual reality space walk, and so much more. Bonus for architecture buffs: the museum is housed in one of the last remaining buildings from the 1893 World's Fair.

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