Things to Do in Chicago
I was asked to write a blog within the broad category of “Exploring Chicago”. While brainstorming ideas, it’s hard to not get lost in the many possible avenues that the topic could take. I’ve only lived in Chicago for two years but the sheer amount of new experiences I have had make it seem like a lifetime. So, in an effort to find the most practical summarization of my time in Chicago, I will draw directly from my “List of Things to do in Chicago”, a list I maintain on my phone that I can revert to whenever my friends and I want to go out into the city. Since there are so many things on the list, many of which I have not gotten around to doing yet, I will only give more detail where I think it is needed, other than that, please use this list to go out and try something new!
I have not been regular skating yet in Chicago, but when it is wintertime, Millennium park has you covered. They have a regular ice-skating rink as well as “The Ribbon” which winds around the rock climbing wall behind the bean.
2. Find a Unique Business
Chicago is filled with random businesses that you didn’t think existed, many are small businesses who would love your support.
3. Go to a Mall
The City of Chicago has Block 37 and Water Tower Place. For bigger, sprawling malls, you will have to go out to the suburbs.
4. Work Out at the Ray
5. Find a Nearby Park
There are a ridiculous number of parks in Chicago. They all have different qualities and layouts so whether you are walking a dog or playing frisbee, its always worth checking out some new places.
6. Go for a Walk/Run
I recommend going along the Lakefront Trail that goes along the (as you can probably guess) lakefront.
Lots of the buildings and subway trains in Chicago connect to create the Chicago Pedway, a group of underground tunnels in the Loop. There are shops and restaurants down there and its great to check out during the winter when you won’t want to be on the street level.
8. Explore a New Neighborhood
9. Attend a Religious Service
10. Go Rock Climbing
11. Go Out for Breakfast Food
There are lots of great breakfast food options in Chicago, I like Yolk and The Original Pancake House, both can be found East on Diversey.
12. Explore Fancy Hotel Lobbies
My Freshman year a few friends and I went around Chicago overly dressed up so we could check out the fancy buildings in Chicago without looking out of place. The interior architecture of Chicago buildings alone is enough to want to explore them.
If you have a lot of Loop classes, try the top floor of the Harold Washington Library, it is just across the street from the Loop campus.
14. Go on Apartment Tours
You don’t have to sign anything.
15. Go to a Beach
North Avenue Beach is one of my favorite places on Earth.
16. Meet New People in the Student Center
18. Play Tag on the Museum Campus
Honestly, go to the Museum Campus and tell me it isn’t the perfect place for a game of tag.
19. Support a High School Sports Team
20. Look for Famous Paintings at the Art Institute
DePaul students get 100% free admission to the Art Institute.
22. Check out the Money Museum in the Federal Reserve
23. Rent Divvy Bikes
24. Take a Trip to 6 Flags
25. Attend a Live Theatre Show
Improv was invented in Chicago, before the “Second City Theatre” opened its doors, the whole world was scripted.
27. Have a Picnic in the Park
Spring for the fancy cheeses this time
28. Take a Class at the Harold Washington Library
Experts in every field you could think of offer classes at the Harold Washington Library free of charge, it’s definitely a perk worth checking out. Also, the HW Library offers FREE scanning which has saved me a few bucks in the long run.
29. Go to an Amazon Store
Not the Amazon Locker but the Amazon stores where you just take what you want and leave. There are currently two in Chicago, I have been to one by the AON Center. It was small but pretty cool, once you setup the app then you just scan in, take your items, and walk out.
30. Watch Planes Land
31. Go to an AMC Movie Theatre
They have recliners.
32. Explore Other College Campuses
The University of Chicago has a beautiful campus, I went there for my Discover Chicago class called Photographing Chicago. It is also very close to the Museum of Science and Industry. I haven’t been to that museum since I was 5 but I remember 5 year old me having a blast.
33. Do an Escape Room
They say 1 in 5 never return…
34. Play Laser Tag
36. Make a Short Film
DePaul will rent out equipment for film making and Chicago couldn’t be a better environment for developing a story line.
37. Take a DePaul Tour
38. Check out the Holocaust Museum in Skokie
The Skokie Holocaust Museum is staffed with real holocaust survivors. I recommend you go as soon as possible because we are the last generation who will have the privilege of speaking with them and other veterans of World War II.
40. Go Axe Throwing
41. Go to WhirlyBall
I honestly have no idea what this is, it was recommended to me by a friend, so I suggest you check it out for yourself.
42. Go to a Networking Event
43. Play Tennis
44. Go Golfing
It will be much cheaper in the suburbs.