Chicago July 4th 2014 Attractions

Boston Attractions

With the Fourth of July falling conveniently on a Friday this year, you have the perfect opportunity to spend a long weekend in Chicago – a city known for its festive summer celebrations. Extravagant fireworks displays and music festivals are the hallmark activities, and you’ll find plenty to do in any of Chicago’s many diverse neighborhoods. Take a look at some of the most popular upcoming events for the Fourth! By far the most popular fireworks attraction is the Navy Pier display, hosted by the Illinois Lottery. The explosive event is more elaborate than the weekly summer presentations, so you’re in for a treat even if you’ve been lucky enough to catch them on another night over the summer. Head to the Pier or Millennium Park for the best views – but be warned the crowds will be fierce. JulyFourth.com is celebrating with Freedom Fest 2014 atop the Navy Pier Rooftop … [Read more...]

Art Institute of Chicago Welcomes Special Magritte Exhibition

Art Institute of Chicago

Huge news for art lovers in Chicago this summer! The Art Institute of Chicago will be opening a fantastic new special exhibition of twentieth century art, organized around one of the most iconic surrealist painters of the age – René Magritte. This exhibition, “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938,” focuses particularly on the artist’s most experimental and inventive period, with a collection of pieces that illuminate the evolution of his artistic philosophy. Best known for its clean lines, simple shapes, and unexpected elements, Magritte’s work has emerged over the years as some of the more memorable and thought-provoking surrealist art. Paintings that couple simple images with words or short phrases, like “The Treachery of Images,” brought him fame in the first part of his career. Magritte’s evolving exploration with disturbing or unexpected distortions … [Read more...]

Millennium Park Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

Millenium Park Chicago

2014 is a big year for Chicago. In addition to ushering in new attractions, exciting theatrical debuts, and inspiring art exhibits, this summer also marks the 10th anniversary of one of their most famous landmarks, the iconic Millennium Park! It’s one of the most visited Chicago attractions each year, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. This 24.5-acre urban paradise was first imagined in 1997, when Mayor Richard Daley envisioned replacing old rail yards and dead space with a centrally located public space for Chicagoans to come together for art, music, and outdoor fun. In conjunction with renowned architect and visionary designer Frank Gehry, the city designed a truly modern park space that would include a music pavilion, public works of art, elaborate fountains, bike paths, and cultivated gardens. The park officially opened to the public in July of … [Read more...]

Best US Cities for Summer Vacations

GoCHI-shorelinetours

With June quickly approaching and the temperatures warming across the States, there’s no denying that soon summer will be upon us. If you have school-aged children, the exact start-date of summer as you know it probably coincides with the last day of school (a beautiful and terrifying day). You may suddenly be wondering just what to do with your family this summer. It’s the season for family vacations, but where to? Our favorite destinations for the summer of 2014 offer the perfect combination of outdoor recreation, cultural attractions, high-quality entertainment, and even a bit of education. Sound expensive? Don’t worry; we also have US attraction discounts to keep your wallet as satisfied as you are. If you’re on the West Coast or have always wanted to go, San Diego and Los Angeles are the forerunners. Southern California’s relaxing beach town vibe is just the kind of … [Read more...]

US Summer Attraction Discounts

Cape Cod Sunset

If you’re a budget sightseer like I am, you’re probably looking for the best deals when it comes to travel—whether it’s local or long distance. Often times, travelers only pay attention to finding the best deals on accommodations and transportation, forgetting about the costs accrued through actually doing things and enjoying the adventure. This doesn’t have to be the case. It’s easy to get the best attraction discounts when you know where to look. No matter where you are in the country, city attractions passes will conveniently save you money on admission prices. Keep reading to discover my favorite attractions in the Northeast, Midwest, West Coast, and Florida. The Northeast As a New Englander, I know there’s no better time to enjoy the Northeast United States than in the summer. It’s for this reason that summer has always been my favorite season. The weather is … [Read more...]

Chicago Summer Events 2014

Millennium Park Chicago

Chicago is the perfect city in the summer time. Hot sunny days, tempered by a nice lake breeze. Attractions with just the right balance of fun, education, and excitement. And of course, an unbeatable lineup of free summer events! Visit Chicago this summer for a weekend (or three!) to enjoy any of these iconic summer Chicago Attractions. Taste of Chicago July 9 – 13, 2014 Grant Park This festival is a Chicago Attraction that I've truly come to love over the years. It’s perfect for foodies, culinary adventurers, or heck, anyone who just enjoys a good snack. Enjoy samples from more than 200 different dishes, spanning every cuisine from American and Italian to African and Indian.  Plus, you’ll also enjoy live music, comedy shows, and special activities just for the kids. Join millions of others this summer and take part in a Chicago tradition. Evening concerts will be held at … [Read more...]

Chicago Summer Discounts

Chicago Summer Discounts

Everyone loves a memorable summer vacation. Bike rides, Ferris wheels, ice cream cones, and picnics in the park. A concert, an art show, maybe even a cruise. Spend a few days of your summer in Chicago, and you can take part in all of those iconic summer activities – Chicago style! From Navy Pier to Millennium Park and beyond, the Windy City will turn your summer vacation up to 11. And with Smart Destinations’ insider tips and handy passes, the savvy traveler can get big city attractions for small town prices. With a Go Chicago Card Attractions Pass, you can feel like a kid again – or, you know, do stuff with your kids. Rent a bike to explore the urban park system or the beach front at the Navy Pier Bike Tour stand. Ride waaaay up high on the Ferris wheel, get competitive with a round of mini-golf, and indulge your nostalgia with a carousel ride at Navy Pier. While you’re … [Read more...]

“Paris Street; Rainy Day” Returns to Art Institute of Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

Big news in the Chicago art world this season! After undergoing months of restorative work, “Paris Street; Rainy Day” returns to the Art Institute of Chicago this May. The longtime favorite and a centerpiece of the Art Institute’s extensive Impressionist holdings, “Paris Street; Rainy Day” (1877) is an iconic work by French painter Gustave Caillebotte, best known for his blend of Realist and Impressionist techniques in his paintings of Parisian streets, men and women, and “la vie quotidienne.” The painting has been a popular one with visitors since the museum first acquired the piece in 1964, at which point it was already nearly 90 years old. Museum staff notes that it had undergone some restorative treatments upon arriving in Chicago. Since that time, it’s been a cornerstone of Impressionist exhibits throughout the Art Institute of Chicago’s history, featured … [Read more...]

Chicago Vacation Tips

Chicago Summer Discounts

Looking to book a trip to the Windy City this summer? Here are a few of our favorite vacation tips for your Chicago visit. We’ve got recommendations on new exhibits, special events, and insider tips for everything from getting around the city to getting Shedd Aquarium discount tickets. Save big on all your activities (and skip the line at a few!) with a Chicago Attractions Pass! One of the best things about Chicago is the selection of world-class attractions, from museums and tours to architectural marvels and kids’ activities. If you’re looking to explore the world of high art in Chicago, consider paying a visit to The Art Institute of Chicago or to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. Current special exhibits at The Art Institute (recently voted #1 Museum in the U.S.!) include “Renoir’s True Colors” (an exhibit designed to study Renoir’s painting techniques), a … [Read more...]

Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing Reopens!

Art Institute of Chicago

Art lovers headed to Chicago this spring are in luck – the famed Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago will reopen on April 18, 2014 after a seven-month-long renovation process that saw many of the museum’s most popular pieces loaned out across the country. The Renzo Piano-designed Modern Wing has been a Chicago landmark since it was first erected in 2009; an example of exquisite contemporary architecture, it’s been updated to accommodate redesigns in gallery lighting. Now visitors to the Art Institute can reacquaint themselves with the missing pieces. More than 100 paintings, sketches, and sculptures were loaned out to the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth, Texas, including Matisse’s “Bathers by the River,” an early example of his interest in Cubism that has been a centerpiece of the Modern Wing Galleries. The renovation process actually put over 300 works of … [Read more...]