“TILT” Opens at 360 Chicago!

360 Chicago

The most exciting new Chicago attraction of the year is TILT! It’s been called epic. One-of-a-kind. An absolute must-do for the whole family. Most importantly, it’s a brand new way to see Chicago. An exciting new part of the redesigned 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory), TILT is an architectural and visual marvel. It’s a separately enclosed platform on the south end of the building that slowly tilts forward to give visitors a stunning view of Chicago’s urban skyline from 1000 feet above. Designed with state-of-the-art technology to make each trip as thrilling and as safe as possible, TILT is the only attraction of its kind in Chicago. 360 Chicago is among the most popular Chicago attractions, famed for its stunning views and exciting visual technologies. Learn about the history of the building and the city at large through newly redesigned interactive … [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...]

Labor Day in Chicago

chigo2

If you decide to head to the Windy City for a Labor Day blowout, there are plenty of extraordinary Chicago Attractions to keep you busy. End the summer in style and head to Chicago for what some consider the last good weekend before Fall starts…or at least before football season begins! One great Chicago location that has something for everyone is the Navy Pier. There are all sorts of things to do at the Navy Pier, but the backbone of the attraction is the classically-styled Pier Park. Located between Crystal Gardens and the Pepsi Skyline Stage, Pier Park features a 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, a musical carousel, an old-fashioned swing ride, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a light tower ride and remote control boats. If that isn’t enough, there’s also the Maze. With 4,000 square feet of squeezing, spinning, sensational space, the Maze has already gotten more than one million … [Read more...]

Top Chicago Sights and Attractions

chicago

The diversity of Chicago attractions means that there’s something for everyone in this vast city where art, culture, history, entertainment, and education intersect. Some of the best museums in the world are located in Chicago, as well as some of the best parks and architectural feats. At Smart Destinations, we want you to enjoy your Chicago vacation to the fullest. That’s why we are doing our best to make sure you see the top Chicago sights and attractions while you’re in the Windy City. Take a look at the best of what’s around so you can decide where your Chicago vacation will take your family. Art Institute of Chicago Currently the nation’s second largest art museum, the Art Institute of Chicago encourages creativity in every form. From paintings by the old masters, like Seurat and Rembrandt, to the most modern innovations in architecture and design, the Art Institute … [Read more...]

Chicago Family Things to Do in Summer

Screen Shot 2013-06-21 at 9.57.04 AM

There is no better time than summer to take some time off from work and put the wind back in your sails – so why not do so in the ‘Windy City’? Embark on an unforgettable family experience with your Go Chicago Card – or your Go Chicago Select Package! For one low price, you can see all the attractions you desire, and save up to 55% off! For families who enjoy thrills: A summertime hot spot and Chicago’s #1 tourist attraction - the Navy Pier is frequented by locals and visitors alike. It was built in 1914 and originally used as a commercial pier. But in the 1920s, the Pier expanded into the entertainment realm – introducing a theater, dancing pavilions, and an auditorium. The Pier was closed to the public in the 40s, and served as a Navy Training center, then later became part of the University of Illinois. It wasn’t until 1976 that it reopened to the public and became … [Read more...]

Things to do in Chicago 4th of July

chicago

Although it might be known as the Second City, Chicago is certainly a first-rate place to spend the 4th of July. Known for hot dogs, deep-dish pizza and its loyal sports fans, there’s a lot more to do than simply getting great food and catching a ballgame. All of the great Chicago Attractions that the city has to offer are sure to keep you entertained on Independence Day. One of the city’s best attractions is the Shedd Aquarium. Shedd was the first inland aquarium with a permanent saltwater collection and the millions of gallons of water that fill its tanks were shipped by rail from Florida. A national historic landmark, the Shedd Aquarium has been restored and updated many times since it first opened in 1930 and it continues to set new standards for the zoo and aquarium community. There are tons of cool exhibits to investigate including Waters of the World, Great Lakes, … [Read more...]

Green Festival Chicago

green2

 A project of Green America and Global Exchange, the Green Festival is a celebration of sustainable solutions that are benefiting local and international communities. Prepare to be inspired and floored as you are introduced to innovative ideas, inventions, and products that aim to solve the eco-inadequacies in food, building, energy, and beyond! The nation’s premier sustainability event, head to the Navy Pier from May 18th-19th to enjoy how-to workshops, film and documentary showings, educational and fun activities for kids, organic beer and wine, vegetarian cuisine, and entertaining live music. Visit the marketplace where over 300 eco-friendly businesses showcase their eco-friendly products. Sample Fair Trade tea and coffee, oils, chocolate, and shop organic clothing, all-natural products, and more! Learn about the benefits in investing in green home solutions, and feel … [Read more...]

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

flower (1)

As the snow melts and the windy city says goodbye to those sub-zero temperatures, we can finally remember what it’s like to embrace the outdoors in Chicago! If you’re ready to be liberated by the sweet scents of spring, it’s time to explore the Chicago Flower and Garden Show at the Navy Pier. The annual event is a delightful display of all things horticulture with its ‘Art of Gardening’ theme. The 25-plus gardens on display are true works of art - ranging from an Asian-inspired ‘pagoda pergola’ to high-style Tablescapes assembled by Chicago’s top florists and designers. This year’s show will be in from March 9th until March 17th, so be sure to pay a visit to these glorified gardens during your stay! With more than 100 vendors of gardening, landscape, and horticulture, you’ll discover dozens of natural, eco-friendly products. And after attending several educational … [Read more...]

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

winter wonderfest tree

The Navy Pier has long been one of the most popular Chicago attractions, drawing more than 8.6 million visitors a year. During the holiday season, Chicago’s favorite “lakefront playground” transforms into a miraculous Winter WonderFest, a holiday-themed festival featuring rides, games, food, and entertainment. The 12th annual Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier will run from November 20, 2012 to January 6, 2013, which allows you ample time to get over to the Pier and see what’s going on. Best of all, the festival is held indoors—so you’ll stay toasty the whole time. Attractions & Rides Here’s a sample of just some of the many attractions and rides you’ll see at Winter WonderFest. With special rides for young children and thrill rides for adrenaline junkies, there’s something for everyone. Arctic Ice Skating Rink This popular ice skating rink brings winter … [Read more...]

2012 Taste of Chicago Festival

taste logo

Summer is all about mouth-watering seasonal food and outdoor family fun. As usual, Chicago is turning up the heat with the Taste of Chicago, “A 4-Star Feastival of Food and Fun.” The famous Taste of Chicago is the world’s largest food festival, held every year in Grant Park. For 5 days this July, Chicagoland will turn into a vibrant hot spot that's one of the best things to do in Chicago for foodies or fun-lovers. The 32-year-old festival, which averages more than 2.5 millions visitors annually, is a celebration of Chicago’s diverse culinary community—every year the tradition is spiced up with new and exciting elements. Admission to the 2012 Taste of Chicago, which takes place on July 11-15, from 11 am – 9 pm, is free to the public. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8. Guests can expect to pay between 1-5 tickets for “taste of portions” at … [Read more...]