My Top Things to do in Downtown Chicago


When I was away visiting my sister, we went to downtown Chicago for a day and there was so much to do we couldn’t fit it all in! If I had more time to visit the city there would have been a lot more I would have liked to have seen and visited. However, I’ve put a little list of my top things to do in Chicago:

Millennium Park

It has to be done! It is free and so what is better? There are some stunning architecture and statues in the park, including ‘The Bean’. There is also a fab little Red Bull tent where there are lots of different sculptures, all made out of cans and ring pulls. I don’t drink it but they give away free Red Bull too. It is also about a mile away from the river so you can do the river walk and hit the pier from there.

We were there on a Saturday so look out for several wedding parties – we saw three. It must be the place to take wedding pictures in Chicago. It was a little chilly when we were there (November) so my advice would be grab a Starbucks like we did and carry that with you as you explore the park.




Shedd Aquarium

We were obviously visiting with kids so what is better than an aquarium? There is parking nearby on the streets (free) but not very much of it, so if you need somewhere else to park you can use the parking for the Chicago Bears stadium ($19 for 4 hours, $22 for over 4 hours) – so you get to see the stadium and Soldiers Field which is all pretty cool.

The Aquarium itself is pretty big and I was impressed. If you just want a basic look around, then it is $8 for adults (they don’t advertise this price at the venue so do ask about other options they have). I think this is a great price, though you don’t get to see it all. We were there for around an hour and a half so was plenty for us. If you’re military like my borther-in-law then you get in completely free – even if you wanted the expensive option.

And just a tip – if you use a GoogleMaps GPS, make sure you use Shedd Aquarium and not just Chicago Aquarium or you’ll end up at some random fish tank shop 😉

The Field Museum

This National History type of museum was brilliant. The main attraction is Sue, the T-Rex display which is the world’s best preserved and most complete T-Rex fossil yet discovered. Max really enjoyed seeing that. There are allsorts of displays including Egypt, Asia, varieties of animals and the one that I found most interesting, American Indians. This costs $19 for a basic adult entry and again, military is free. It is basically across the road from the aquarium so worth doing both together I think.

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Grant Park

This is not far from the museums, there is grant park. There isn’t a whole lot to do as such (it’s just a park but therefore free). There is the Buckingham Fountain you can check out though and it has a great ‘Kodak moment’ spot, where you can get a picture of the skyline, some of Lake Michigan and the pier. Luckily we got a nice (cold) clear blue sky!

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Hancock Building

This building offers a 360 degree view of the city and is one of the tallest buildings in Chicago. General entry is $18 per adult but you can pay more to beat the queues.

Have you ever been? What would recommend visiting, if so? I had such a great time in Chicago and can’t wait to go back!

Rebecca x

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linking up to #citytripping with Wander Mum.

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  • I hope you saw the Serpent Bridge – to the right of where you photographed the Pritzker Pavilion, the footbridge over the motorway is made to look like a giant snake!

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  • Chicago is somewhere I’ve fancied visiting for ages. I never realised there was so much for kids though – my daughter loves aquariums and dinosaurs so she’d be very happy. Thanks for joining up with #citytripping

  • This post has brought back memories – I spent a chunk of time at the beginning of this year in Chicago and I totally agree with your points (although didn’t go to Grant Park). We also really enjoyed the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the Children’s Museum was also very impressive for the little ones. Millennium Park has an amazing children’s playground which is relatively new. I literally had to drag my daughter away! Thank for linking to #citytripping