Prime Places to Visit in Chicago: 5 of Our Favorite Spots

Prime Places to Visit in Chicago: 5 of Our Favorite Spots

Heading to Chicago for some fun times, these 5 places will ensure you have a great time and remember your trip to the Windy City.

There is so much to do, and so much fun to be had when you are in Chicago. I am sure you have heard people tell you that there is no reason to go to Chicago because there is nothing to do. I am here to tell you that’s not true and these five places are the perfect spots to visit when you are in Chicago to have a great time.

Navy Pier

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“Step right up to #navypier! #Chicago #rides #ferriswheel #sky #summertime #funatnavypier #reimagination #city #summertimechi #pier #navypierchicago photo…”

A bit of history, a bit of shopping, and some fine dining choices, you can find it all here at the Navy Pier. The truth is that there is so much to do here that you could spend a whole day and still not see everything there is to experience. This is a great place to go for adults and kids alike. One of the best spots to see while you are at the pier is the Crystal Gardens. This is a beautiful botanical garden that is in a six-story atrium. From the palm trees overhead to the leapfrog fountain this is one beautiful sight to see. The Chicago Children’s Museum is the best place to go with children. Here they will be able to do everything from digging up dinosaur bones to climbing a three story ship all the way from the cargo hold up to the crow’s nest, or even splash around in the water playground (don’t worry they do provide raincoats). There is so much more for kids to do here and it is free for all children ages 10 and younger.

Navy Pier has so many wonderful things to do it should be on the top of your list for fun in Chicago.

600 E. Grand Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

1-800 595-PIER (7437)

Shedd Aquarium

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“Meet Makoa! The Pacific white-sided dolphin calf's mom, Piquet, revealed his name this morning with the help of @abc7chicago! #namethedolphin #TeamMakoa 🐬🐬”

Time to immerse yourself in the world of the water. The Shedd Aquarium brings you animals from the sea that you might not get to see elsewhere. This is a great, fun place for adults and kids to visit. You will be able to see marine life from all over the world, from the cool Great Lakes all the way to the warm waters of the Caribbean and beyond. There are so many amazing exhibits and animals here that it could turn into an all-day adventure.

Maybe you want to see how life in the rain forest works and what lives there, and how the ecosystem works together. Or perhaps you would like take a trip to the Caribbean Reef, here you will get to see a 360 degree view of the underwater reef with turtles and rays passing by, or maybe you can try to find that moray eel that likes to hide in the rocks. One of the best parts, if you get there at the right time, is watching the trainers feed the animals.

Tickets for this amazing aquarium do vary based on what you are looking for, so check their website, or call, but one of the best options (must be ordered at least a day before you go) is the Total Experience pass which will be $39.95 for adults, and $30.95 for children, and it includes access to all of the aquariums exhibits and shows. Regular tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children, but it is a limited ticket as far as what is available. They are open during the winter (Aug 24 - June 15) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, and in the summer months (June 15 - Aug 24) they are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday.

1200 S Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Museum of Science and Industry

This is a great fun place for kids, and they won’t even realize it since they are having so much fun, but they will be learning while they are here also. There are several exhibits that are fun and some are even hands on so they get to play. Just a few of the exhibits are Earth Reveled, Henry Crown Space Center, and Ships through the Ages.

Earth Reveled is a giant model of the planet earth that have all sorts of awesome features that kids will love. You can see different climates, and weather changes, and even the human impact. This is a great attraction that is fun to see and experience.

The Henry Crown Space Center is just what it sounds like, a space center all about rockets, and satellites, and space probes. This is a great place for all the space lovers you know. Here you will find information about the lunar landing and more about those that first ventured into space, but some of the coolest features are the simulators. In one simulator you try and dock a ship at the international space station, or on a different one you can control the Mars Rover.

Ships Through the Ages is all about the sailing ships of the past. Ranging from the first water crafts created nearly 5,000 years ago to the luxury liners of the mid-1900. There is even a life size mock-up of what the quarterdeck looked like. There are all kinds of different tools that the sailors would use to help navigate, and you get to see and experience them all at this amazing exhibit.

These are only a few of the great things to see here, there are plenty more, plus there are exhibits that do change so some exhibits are a mystery until you get there.

Tickets cost $18 for adults, and $11 for children age’s three to eleven, but you can add on special explorer packages that will include museum entry and addition museum exhibits.

5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 684-1414

Adler Planetarium

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“@natayajinn captured the Atwood Sphere (one of the world’s oldest planetariums!) in all its glory for this week’s #AdlerFanFeature. Want to be make a…”

Exhibits, shows and special events, what more could you ask for when looking for a day of fun. This planetarium has several different shows throughout the day that will be fun and informative for everyone, children and adults alike. From Cosmic Wonder, which gives you a glimpse into the farthest reaches of space and the birth of a star to the mystery of dark matter, to something a little closer to home with Earth, Moon, and Sun where you get taken on a humorous adventure helping a confused coyote learn how the Earth, Sun and Moon work together. But there is much more than just shows here. You will get to see exhibits that you couldn’t see anywhere else. One of the coolest is A Walk Through Time and Space, where you get to follow the journey of the universe from the very beginning and see how it was all created. One of the most unique attractions is the Atwood Sphere. This is a giant metal sphere with holes drilled at precise locations to recreate the exact positions of the stars in the sky of Chicago in 1913, no the stars have not moved, but at night you can only see a fraction for these stars due to the amount of light that Chicago produces. This is a great way to see what the sky would look like without all the city lights. There are plenty more exhibits and shows and even some special event that will make spending all day here easy and fun.

Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $8 for children ages three to eleven if you want just the basic general admission, however to get the most out of your experience I suggest the Anytime All Access Pass which is $34.95 for adults and $29.95 for kids, and offers access to everything they have to offer. The hours here do vary slightly depending on special days, or events happening in the city, but typically Monday through Friday they are open from 9:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday they are open from 9:30 a.m. until 4:40 p.m.

1300 S Lake Shore Dr,
Chicago, IL 60605
(312) 922-7827

Lincoln Park Zoo

Who doesn’t have fun at the zoo? Here is even better news about the zoo, it is open year round and it is free every day.

A little more about the zoo; that is if you didn’t stop reading once you read free zoo; they have dozens of different exhibits with hundreds of different animals from all over ether globe. Ranging from tiny monkeys to a sea lion pool, you will see animals from all the continents in one spot. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians live here so you will be sure to be see your favorite, or your children’s favorite, animal here. One unique feature of this zoo is they have a farm exhibit. Before you start laughing too hard this is the most interactive exhibit in the whole zoo. You get experience what is it like to “hatch” out of an egg in their oversize egg they so lovingly call Hatching Out, or you can experience what it is like in a tornado without all the dangers of flying tractors and cows. They also have special events that happen throughout the year so make sure you check that out when you visit. Zoos are a great fun place to spend a day looking and learning about new and exciting animals from all over the world and this zoo doesn’t disappoint.

2001 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614

Chicago is a city that is full of fun places to go and amazing things to see and these five places are just the tip of the iceberg, and visiting any or all of these great places will ensure that your days are filled with fun and excitement. Several of the places listed are part of a group ticket package called the CityPass Chicago. This is a ticket that gives you admission to five different attractions for one price, $96 for adults and $79 for children age’s three to eleven. If you are planning a long stay in Chicago and want to see the most attraction for the least amount of money I would recommend looking into this.

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