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 … [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 … [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.!) … [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 … [Read more...]

Top Chicago Tourist Attractions

chicago2

Chicago is a city known for a variety of characteristics: innovative architecture, deep cultural and musical roots, the headstrong pride of its inhabitants—of course—its numerous tourist attractions. The top Chicago attractions are as vast and varied as the city wherein they reside. This makes Chicago a fun and dynamic vacation destination for visitors because there’s always something new to do and something everyone in the family will enjoy. Moreover, you can see all the sites for one low price with a convenient Chicago attractions pass. Must-See Attractions for First-Time Visitors If you’re new to Chicago, there are certain attractions that lay the foundation for a spectacular trip. For starters, any tourist new to the city should get a view from above via the famous Willis … [Read more...]

Chicago Museum Campus Discounts

Chicago Museum Campus Discounts

When visiting the Windy City, there’s no better place for a well-rounded and educational weekend than the Chicago Museum Campus. Situated just south of verdant Grant Park, the Museum Campus is home to three of the city’s most popular attractions – Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and Adler Planetarium. Each of these family-friendly cultural institutions has something unique to offer, and a trip to Chicago isn’t complete without a visit to all of them! A trip to the Museum Campus is a great spring break idea, too! A kid-favorite Chicago attraction, Shedd Aquarium is among the best-known aquariums in the country. Home to more than 30,000 creatures situated across many diverse habitats, Shedd is an amazing place to learn all about the various aquatic species of our planet’s … [Read more...]

How to Plan a Summer Vacation

summer vacation

While a summer vacation may seem light years away—especially if you’re reading this from somewhere in the Northeast that’s still occasionally pummeled with snow—in just a few short months school will be wrapping up, the days will be long and sunny, and you’ll be wishing you started planning your summer vacation earlier! While planning ahead is a big part of preparing for an affordable and enjoyable summer vacation, it also gives you something to look forward to as you wait for winter to say its final adieu. A family summer vacation should be a relaxing, fun-filled time for bonding and re-energizing, but too often families find their vacations to be just as stressful, if not more so, than their daily routines. This can be due to lack of planning, chaotic itineraries, unhappy … [Read more...]

Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2014

Chicago River Green

Chicago’s St. Patty’s Day Parade is one of the most popular in the country—due in part to the dyeing of the Chicago River that turns the water running through the city a bright Emerald green! If you’ll be visiting Chicago during St. Patrick’s Day or you live nearby but have never been to the parade, this guide is the key to a fun, family-friendly St. Patrick’s Day at the parade, including suggestions for other Chicago attractions to round out your weekend. When is the parade? Rain or shine, the parade will start at noon on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Typically, the parade lasts for about three hours. Can we watch the river dyeing take place? Yes! Almost as exciting as the parade itself, the “Dyeing of the Chicago River” is a ritual that you’re not likely to experience … [Read more...]

St. Patrick’s Day Chicago 2014

Chicago attractions

March is finally here, and that means one our favorite holidays is fast approaching – Saint Patrick’s Day! On the one day of year everyone in America is just a little Irish, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy many festive activities, performances, and attractions that celebrate Irish cultural heritage. If you’ll be spending this March 17th in the Windy City, be sure to check out a few of these classic Chicago Attractions. Enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Without question the single largest collection of people in green you’ll see in this side of Boston. Expect floats, balloons, dancers, performers, and bagpipers galore – a truly magnificent celebration of Irish culture! It begins on Columbus Drive at noon, and then moves north through Grant Park and beyond. Insider tip … [Read more...]

John Hancock Observatory now “360 Chicago”

GoCHI-hancockobservatory

While it’s not the tallest building in Chicago, the John Hancock Center has certainly made a name for itself. Visitors from all around the globe flock to Chicago to fly up 1,000 feet in 40 seconds to the Observatory in the fastest elevator in the world. However, this spring, the John Hancock Observatory will be undergoing a name change to match a multi-million dollar renovation that’s already in the works. As of March, the John Hancock will become 360: CHICAGO. Of course, a new tag line is also in order. The new tagline will be “Best Views. All Around,” which the observatory’s management company has said reflects the panoramic vista that awaits you when you step off the elevator on the 94th floor. However, the name change is just beginning of the upgrades. The 45-million … [Read more...]