Chicago Fall Attractions

Chicago Attractions

Autumn is a wonderful time to visit the Windy City. The long lines of the summer have died down, and the cool air is a refreshing change from the humidity and heat of the last few months. But there are so many things to see and do in Chicago during the fall that it can be hard to pick just a few attractions to visit or museums to explore. So why not check out our perfect fall itinerary? Filled with top Chicago attractions and handy insider tips, this guide is sure to be of use. Enjoy the great outdoors before the chill of winter sets in. Chicago in the fall is perfect for invigorating walks and refreshing bike rides! Pick up a bike rental from Navy Pier and enjoy a leisurely waterfront ride. Or, hop aboard the ever-popular Architecture Cruise before the famed Chicago River gets a bit too cold to harbor visitors. Be sure to wear at least a medium-weight jacket and bring a scarf and … [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 Tourism Discounts

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While many of us have been to Chicago at some point or another, whether just passing through O’Hare or to attend one of the many annual festivals, if you haven’t taken the time to truly explore Chicago, you’re missing out. Let’s take a quick glance at Chicago attractions: There are more than 200 theaters, nearly 200 art galleries, 552 parks, dozens of historical sites and museums, and a whopping 7,300 restaurants. Even by the numbers, Chicago’s got a lot going on. Of course, behind the numbers, you’ll find what Chicago is really about: Unique culture, world-class innovation, and a strong backbone. As Carl Sandburg’s famous poem named after the city proclaims in a challenge to its readers: “Come and show me another city with lifted head singing/ so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning.” Ready to discover the spirit of Chicago? Luckily, Chicago … [Read more...]

Chicagoween: Halloween in Chicago

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If you’re one those people who just can’t get enough of Halloween, Chicago is the place to be with your family when the spooky day arrives—and in the weeks leading up to it. In fact, the whole season is often referred to as “Chicagoween.” Many popular Chicago attractions go all out for Halloween, offering special haunted happenings for their guests. If you want the best Halloween experience possible in Chicago, make sure you pick up a Go Select Chicago pass for discounted admission to the top museums and parks. The highlight of Chicagoween is a three-day Halloween festival, which will be held this year in Franken Plaza from October 24th through October 27th. The jam-packed program features the talented and “spook-tacular” Midnight Circus, free hayrides, trick-or-treating, and the popular Kids Costume Contest. There’s plenty to do for adults, too, including a harvest … [Read more...]

Hyde Park Jazz Fest 2013

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The Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2013 is coming up this weekend on Saturday, September 28 from 1pm-Midnight and Sunday, September 29 from 1pm-8pm. Featuring some of the top Jazz artists in the country performing at some of Chi-town’s most iconic locations - including the Smart Museum, International House, Oriental Institute,  Frank Lloyd Wright Robie House and Rockefeller Chapel - the Hyde Park Jazz Fest is a celebration of an art form that blends musical traditions from all over the world into a sound that is distinctly American. This is the seventh year that the festival is being held and it promises to be the best one yet. If you plan on attending, take a glance at other Chicago Attractions to see what other places you might want to visit while you are in the Windy City. Named “Best Neighborhood Music Festival” by Chicago Magazine, the Hyde Park Jazz Fest is completely free … [Read more...]

Chicago Fall Weekend Activities

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As I mentioned in a previous post, Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit in fall. September, October, and November show off the best of Chicago’s unique culture and beautiful scenery, from the city skyline to the lush landscaped parks. There’s so much to do in the fall, no matter what your interests are, so find your favorite activities, get your Chicago attraction pass to save money, and start planning! Food & Beverage Fests The Best of Chicago Vendors Saturday, October 5 | 1:00 PM Kendall College You could be a part of the first annual “Vendy Awards,” a competitive event to determine the best street vendor in Chicago. While ultimately the decision is made by a panel of foodie judges, the general public is welcome to purchase tickets to experience the food, drink, music, and celebratory atmosphere. Admission includes food from all participating finalists and … [Read more...]

Best Field Trip Attractions in Chicago

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When it comes to school field trips, I would love to be a kid in Chicago. The number of world-class educational attractions in Chicago is unbelievable—and all of them are every bit as entertaining as they are enlightening. Name a subject and Chicago’s got it: history, science, astronomy, art, culture! Of course, we know affordability is a concern for many teachers and parents who plan field trips, as well as for the families who send their kids on them. Fortunately, with a Chicago attraction pass, which is perfect for group travel, educational trips are easy and inexpensive. Smart Destinations offers discounts to the top Chicago attractions, including Museum Campus and several tours on land or on the water! Museum Campus is the most obvious choice for field trip destinations because three of the nation’s top museums are located here, within easy walking distance of one … [Read more...]

Chicago Street Festivals in September

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Though school may be back in session, Chicago isn’t ready to stop celebrating like it’s summer. In fact, September is known for having a surplus of Chicago street festivals held on the weekends throughout the month. The festivals provide the perfect way to ease back into the school year, breaking up the daily grind with food, fun, and live music. September weekends are also a great time to take advantage of a Chicago pass, which offers discounted admission to Chicago’s top-tier attractions. If you head over to Museum Campus, you’ll see the crowds have died down since the summer months and you’ll have ample time and space to enjoy the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum, and the Adler Planetarium.  First, let’s take a look at the festivals! September 11-13, 2013 Berghoff’s Oktoberfest, Chinatown Start your Oktoberfest celebrations early with Berghoff’s Oktoberfest, … [Read more...]

5 Free Things to do in Chicago

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If you find yourself blowing through a ton of cash while you are visiting the Windy City, you may want to consider finding some things that you and your family can do for free. After all, you’ll want to save some funds to invest in deep-dish pizza and a couple of famous Chicago-style hotdogs! Here’s a brief list of five first-rate free attractions that you can take advantage of in the Second City. For some other ideas about what to do while you are in Chi-Town, the Go Chicago Card is always an option. Montrose Beach A popular Uptown neighborhood beach located in Lincoln Park that offers patrons lots of amenities including free Wi-Fi, Montrose Beach is also home to a 15-acre bird sanctuary that hosts migrant songbirds during the fall and spring migration seasons (April through May and August through October). Recreational swimming is also offered as well. Nickel City Ok, … [Read more...]