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...]

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 Tower SkyDeck Chicago (atop the former Sears Tower). Not only is Willis Tower the tallest building … [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 waters. You’ll find stunning sharks in “Wild Reef,” impressive sea turtles in “Caribbean … [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 family members, and the number one cause: overspending. Whatever your budget, your summer vacation … [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 on any other occasion. The tradition takes place at 10:45 AM before the parade, and the river stays … [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 – the best place to view the parade without crowding is at the very beginning in Grant Park. Plus, … [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 dollar renovation to be completed by the end of April is anticipated to bring visitors an all-new … [Read more...]

School Vacation Travel Tips

souther california

School vacations present a wonderful opportunity for kids to let loose, adults to cash in on some much needed relaxation, and for the whole family to get the bonding time that’s so hard to squeeze in this time of year. Plus, after a long winter, we can all use a getaway, whether its to the sandy beaches of Oahu or to the Big Apple to visit the New York attractions you know and love. This year, plan a family vacation that’s fun, affordable, and hassle-free for everyone. While this may seem like a challenge, you’d be surprised how fun the process can be when you stick to some pretty easy guidelines and use convenient attraction passes. Try implementing these travel tips on your next vacation for smooth sailing all the way through. Know your budget. It’s important to remember not to fantasize you have more in your vacation savings than you do or to underestimate your … [Read more...]

Chicago Attractions List

Chicago vacation tips

Now that Chicago's frigid winter has mellowed into a tolerable February and a mild March lingers, it's the perfect time to start planning your Chicago vacation. The Chicago attractions that fill the Mid-western city with vivacity and brilliance have been under wraps for too long this winter, and Chi-town natives and tourists alike are eager to welcome spring in the city. From the Chicago Skyway, the city can look like a bit intimidating with its overwhelming industrial sprawl, but it won't take long for you to realize that's just the superficial mask on a city that's full of diverse and charming neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe. In the Art Institute in "The Loop", three top museums in Museum Campus, and Chicago's well-known zoo in Lincoln Park. Of course, there's plenty more to do in Chicago. Check out the 26 attractions and tours accessible at discounted prices with a … [Read more...]