Chicago, Illinois

A- Overview:
The Chicago skyline marks the gateway to culture and to an incredible adventure for visitors of all ages. Approach Chicago from any direction, and marvel at the incomparable view. Explore nearly thirty miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in this water enthusiast’s paradise. Savor the aromas and flavors of the wide variety of dining choices. Visit museums, art galleries, and parks. Enjoy a ballet, a symphony, an opera, a leisurely day of shopping the Magnificent Mile, and a stroll along the waterfront.

The skyline dominates the view along Lakeshore Boulevard and Michigan Avenue. In the foreground, is one of the finest aquariums in the world, the John G. Shedd Aquarium. To the right of the skyline, reaching out into Lake Michigan, is the impressive 3000 foot-long Navy Pier. The large globe-like structure on the hill is the Adler Planetarium.

Millennium Park, an ambitious and sometimes controversial addition to Chicago’s downtown lakefront has opened. The centerpiece of the 24-and-a-half-acre park is the Pritzker Pavilion, a 120-foot-high outdoor music stage framed with a signature Gehry sculpture. The pavilion will be the new home of the Grant Park Music Festival, a 70-year-old summer series of classical concerts. A pedestrian bridge, also designed by Mr. Gehry and spanning Columbus Drive, provides access to the pavilion and links Millennium Park to the rest of Chicago’s lakefront park system.

A fountain, by Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa, features the faces of 1,000 Chicagoans projected onto two 50-foot glass towers, while artist Anish Kapoor’s 110-ton, steel sculpture reflects both the faces of those who approach it and the city’s famous skyline. The Kapoor sculpture and the Plensa fountain are sure to be the topics of animated conversation for years to come.

Other park features include a free November-to-March ice rink, a three-block-long promenade for outdoor festivals, a replica of the 1917 neo-Classical peristyle that once stood on the site, a perennial garden with more than 240 plant varieties, and the 300-seat Park Grill restaurant.

Chicago‘s architectural achievements include the Sears Tower and the Tribune Tower, whose base includes stones from famous buildings throughout the world. The Art Institute of Chicago houses a world-class collection, from Impressionist masters to more contemporary works in photography and ethnic art. From there, many of the city’s major cultural and tourist attractions are within walking distance, including the Field Museum, the Shedd Aquarium, and the Hancock Tower.

Chicago is home to world-champion Chicago Bulls and the well-loved Chicago Cubs. Chicago sports fans are known around the globe for their undying devotion in the bitter winter to the Bears, and through the warm summers to the Cubs, as they cheer from the bleachers at Wrigley and Comiskey (now US Cellular) parks.

Chicago offers an endless variety of places to explore and things to do. There are museums of every kind; avant-garde art galleries; dance, theater, and music venues, and ethnic and cultural delights in food, music, and shopping.

What would Chicago be without the blues? The original House of Blues is located on Dearborn Street and hosts the current masters of this music.

The heart of downtown, formed by the “Loop” of elevated train tracks, has additional energy these days, invigorated by the renovation of the grand old theaters, the opening of Millennium Park, and the enhanced nightlife options that are breathing new life into this fabulous city. What a perfect time to visit Chicago, Illinois!

B- City Information:
Population: City: 3 million; In the suburbs: another 5 million.

Time zone: Chicago is located in the central time zone. When it is 12:00 noon in New York City, it is 11:00 AM in Chicago.

Average Monthly Temperatures:














Chicago experiences four very distinct seasons, with chilly, snowy winters and hot, sometimes humid, summers. Fall and spring are temperate, and provide pleasant weather for the many outdoor activities available in the Chicago area.

National Weather Service’s current conditions and forecast are available at 312/976-1212 (toll call ).


New Year’s Day Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day last Mon. in May;

Independence Day July 4

Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve Dec. 31.

Area Codes: The 312 area code applies to the Loop and the neighborhoods closest to it, including River North, North Michigan Avenue, and the Gold Coast. The code for the rest of the city is 773. Suburban area codes are 847 (north), 708 (west and southwest), and 630 (far west). You must dial “1” plus the area code for all telephone numbers, even if you are making a call within the same area code.

Business Hours: Normal business hours are 10am-6pm Monday through Saturday. Malls are until 7pm and for shorter hours on Sunday. Banking hours in Chicago are 8-5 Monday-Friday. Some banks open at 8AM.

Emergencies: For fire or police emergencies, call tel. 911.

Hospitals: Newest: Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 251 E. Huron St. (312/926-2000) has a state-of-the-art medical center just off North Michigan Avenue. The emergency department (312/926-5188) is located at 251 E. Erie St. Ambulance: 911.

Police: For emergencies, call 911. For non-emergencies, dial 311.

Taxes: The local sales tax is 8.75%. Restaurants in the central part of the city, are taxed an additional 1%, for a total of 9.75%. There is also a hotel tax.

Transit Information: CTA Directory 836-7000 (from any area code in the city or suburbs)

Getting around:
The city’s streets are set up in a grid pattern, providing ease of navigation. Parking is often hard to find. Taxis are readily available. The elevated “El” trains are color coded and run through the downtown “Loop” every five to fifteen minutes during the day Walking is an option year round as the underground Pedway pedestrian tunnels link more than 40 blocks of the central business district.

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (773) 686-2200 is one of the world’s busiest. O’Hare is located northwest of the city; depending on traffic, drive time is 30 minutes to more than an hour.

On the opposite end of the city, the Southwest Side, is Chicago’s other major airport, Midway International Airport ( 773) 838-0600.

Getting Into Town From the Airport: Taxis are plentiful at both O’Hare and Midway. Public transportation is convenient from both airports. You can take the El directly into downtown. O’Hare is located on the Blue Line; a trip to downtown takes about 40 minutes. Trains leave every 6 to 10 minutes during the day, and every half-hour in the evening and overnight. Getting downtown from Midway on the Orange Line takes 20 to 30 minutes.

Continental Airport Express (tel. 888/2-THEVAN or 312/454-7800) serves most first-class hotels in Chicago with its blue-and-white vans; ticket counters are located at both airports near the baggage claim.

Free Ride: During the summer, the city of Chicago operates free trolleys daily between Michigan Avenue and the Museum Campus (site of the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum of Natural History, and the Shedd Aquarium) and on weekends in the fall and spring. Free trolleys also run year-round between Navy Pier and the Grand/State El station on the Red Line (you can check out the routes and get details on schedules at

Ticket to Ride: Visitors can buy a Visitor Pass, which works like a fare card and allows individual users unlimited rides on the El and CTA buses over a 24-hour period.

El & the Subway: Sky Train: Chicago’s El: Chicago has the biggest El in the country, and the second-largest public transportation system.

The rapid transit system operates five major lines, which the CTA identifies by color: The Red Line runs north-south; the Green Line runs west-south; the Blue Line runs through Wicker Park/Bucktown west-northwest to O’Hare Airport; the Brown Line runs in a northern zigzag route; and the Orange Line runs southwest, serving Midway airport.

A separate express line, the Purple Line, services Evanston, while a smaller, local line in Skokie (the Yellow Line) is linked to the north-south Red Line. Skokie and Evanston are adjacent suburbs on Chicago’s northern boundary.

By Car

Chicago is laid out in a very straight forward grid pattern, and it is easy for visitors to get around the city by car. Unless otherwise posted, a right turn on red is allowed after stopping and signaling.

By Boat

During the summer, boat traffic greatly expands along the Lake Michigan shoreline and the Chicago River. Water Taxi and River Bus service operate every few minutes.

C- Attractions/Things To Do:

The Loop

Downtown in Chicago is synonymous with the Loop. The Loop refers to a core of primarily commercial, governmental, and cultural buildings contained within a looping of elevated train tracks in the center city,


Greater downtown Chicago extends beyond the Loop and is bounded by the Chicago River to the north and west, by Michigan Avenue to the east, and by Roosevelt Avenue to the south.

The North Side

North Michigan Avenue is known as the Magnificent Mile, from the bridge spanning the Chicago River to its northern tip at Oak Street. Many of the city’s best hotels, shops, and restaurants are to be found on and around elegant North Michigan Avenue.

Old Town West of LaSalle Street, principally on North Wells Street between Division Street and North Avenue, is the residential district of Old Town, with some of the city’s best-preserved historic homes.

Chinatown, Chicago

Chicago’s large Chinese neighborhood is full of popular restaurants, nightclubs, and shops displaying Asian wares.

Lincoln Park

Chicago’s most popular residential neighborhood is home to two major museums and one of the nation’s oldest zoos. The area also contains many of Chicago’s most popular nightclubs, restaurants, retail stores, and off-Loop theaters, including the nationally acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company.

Wrigleyville is the name given to the neighborhood in the vicinity of Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

The South Side

South Loop was Chicago’s original “Gold Coast” in the late 19th century, with Prairie Avenue (now an historic district) as its most exclusive address. Cermak Road (where Chinatown begins), and from Lake Shore Drive west to the south branch of the Chicago River is one of the fast-growing residential neighborhoods in the city.


Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum
1300 South Lake Shore Drive
312-922-STAR (7827)
The first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, Adler has hands-on and historical exhibits as well as sky shows.

Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission charged.
Masterpieces from Monet and Degas are housed in a vast, world-class collection that also features African, American-Indian and Asian works, decorative arts and sculpture, photography, prints, textiles, and contemporary American painting. Free lectures are open to the public on Tuesday evenings.

Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture
6500 South Pulaski Road
Dedicated to the preservation of Lithuanian art, history, customs, and traditions, Balzekas also has a Children’s Museum of Immigrant History.

Brookfield Zoo
First Avenue and 31st Street
Admission charged.

Located 14 miles west of the Loop, it is accessible by Metra. A number of large exhibits. Includes dolphin shows.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago

Chicago’s landmark is considered one of America’s finest fountains due to its Beaux-Arts-style design, finely wrought bronze sculpture, and innovative use of technology.

Burnham Skate Park
31st Street and Lake Shore Drive

Admission is free; the park is closed in winter.
This 20,000-square-foot park for skateboarders and in-line skaters features benches, curbs, rails, and smooth, curved metal surfacing for protection.

Chicago Children’s Museum
700 East Grand Avenue
Located on Navy Pier.

The exhibits encourage children to look, touch, and explore.

Chicago Architecture Foundation
Address: 224 South Michigan Avenue
Phone: 312-922-3432
Free admission to enter
More than 40 different architectural tours, varying in price.

Clarke House Museum
Address: 1827 South Indiana Avenue
Phone: 312-326-1480
Chicago’s oldest surviving building, and the only place to see how an early Chicago family lived.

Chicago Botanical Gardens
100 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Admission charged per car.

Hours: 8 a.m. to sunset daily
Whatever your taste in gardens, you will find it here. The 385-acre property includes a suitably romantic English Garden, a thoughtful Japanese paradise, and indoor greenhouses that duplicate the atmosphere of the desert as well as the rainforest. A 45-foot waterfall cascades through the Waterfall Garden and the pools in quiet areas. A visit to the Chicago Botanical Gardens is a learning experience as well. Courses and lectures are almost always available, and a walk through the Endangered Species Garden teaches about preservation of plant species.

Chicago Public Library
Harold Washington Library Center
400 South State Street
The world’s largest public library has more than two million shelved volumes available to the public.

Chicago Cultural Center

78 E. Washington St., Chicago

Phone: 312/346-3278 or 312/744-6630

The Loop

Elegant, ornamental details abound in this building, including sparkling mosaic tiles, sculptured ceilings, inscribed literary quotations, and a sweeping white Carrara marble staircase.

The Preston Bradley Hall, on the third floor has the world’s largest Tiffany stained-glass dome. Another magnificent stained-glass dome is on the second floor in the GAR rotunda. The structure was constructed in 1897 to serve a dual purpose. The Randolph Street and Washington Street sides are different for this reason One was the entrance to the city’s central library, and the other to the Grand Army of the Republic museum. The Cultural Center houses public spaces, with free concerts and performances of all kinds, including live music every weekday at 1 in the Randolph Café.

Citicorp Center

500 W. Madison St., Chicago

Near West Side

Across the Chicago River from the Civic Opera House, the functions of commuter train station and office building unite. The center combines a boxlike office tower with glass half-cylinders rising from the lower levels. Horizontal and vertical bands of mirrored and smoked glass alternate up the building for a ribbon effect. It looks very much like the grand old European railroad stations. The gates to the tracks are elevated above street level to allow traffic to proceed east and west via underpasses.

Daley Center

Bounded by Washington, Randolph, Dearborn, and Clark Sts., Chicago

Named for the late mayor Richard J. Daley, the father of the current holder of the office, this boldly plain high-rise is the headquarters of the Cook County court system, but it also draws visitors’ attention because of what stands outside: a sculpture by Picasso. Known simply as “The

Picasso.”DuSable Museum of African-American History
740 East 56th Place
The DuSable Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the history and culture of Africans and Americans of African descent. The museum sponsors a film series, jazz and blues concerts, and film and theater events geared to children.

The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission charged.

The Field is Chicago’s crowning museum of natural history, with exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to African culture to gems and minerals. Visitors can observe as geologists work on a million-year-old fossilized dinosaur, painstakingly removing its bones from the rock and assembling them for display. The “Life Over Time” display documents the changing weather patterns that contributed to the formation of the earth’s environment, and other exhibits explore the various cultures of the world’s population.

Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation
Address: 951 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park
Phone: 708-848-1976
Admission charged.
This building served as both the Wright family residence and Wright’s studio around the turn of the century.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust

931 Chicago Avenue, Oak Park 60302


The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust operates two historic house museums: The Robie House in Hyde Park and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park. The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio was the architectural laboratory for the architect. The Preservation Trust offers guided architectural tours of these buildings daily, along with special educational programs for youth and adults.

Robie House

5757 S. Woodlawn St., Chicago 60637


Robie House represents the culmination of Wright’s renowned work in the revolutionary architectural genre known as the Prairie Style. This spectacular structure features 174 exquisite art glass windows and doors. Tours offered daily, as well as public programs and special events-all of which focus on Wright’s legendary creativity.

Glessner House Museum

1800 S. Prairie Avenue, Chicago 60616


Glessner House Museum is a National Historic Landmark, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and built in 1887. Guided tours of Glessner House and the neighboring Clarke House Museum are available, Wednesday-Sunday at noon, 1 and 2pm. Museum programming examines the architecture, art, history and culture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through lectures, discussions, performance events and exhibits.

Grant Park, Chicago

Dedicated in 1844, this park covers 319 acres along Lake Michigan and is home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum and the Art Institute.

Attraction type: Park

The Hancock Observatory
875 N. Michigan Avenue
John Hancock Center, Chicago
Admission charged.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. daily
It’s not the tallest building in Chicago, but the 100-story Hancock Tower is worth a visit for its magnificent cityscapes and the interesting interactive exhibits on its 94th floor. Visitors take a speedy elevator ride to the observation level, where “Soundscope” viewers give a narrated account (in one of four languages) of what you’re seeing through the telescope. Adults will enjoy the Signature Lounge, a 96th-floor watering hole with a lakeside view.

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St., Chicago

Phone: 312/747-4300

The Loop

The center’s holdings include the Chicago Blues Archives, the Jazz/Blues/Gospel Hall of Fame, and the Balaban and Katz Theater

Hull House Museum
800 S. Halsted Street, Chicago
Cost: Free
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday
Honored with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, Jane Addams did what no one before her had thought to do. She moved into one of Chicago’s tenement neighborhoods and opened a “settlement house” to help meet the economic and social needs of her neighbors and to encourage their involvement in improving their own community. During the height of its activity, Hull House included a library, gymnasium, theater and an art gallery. The museum, snuggled in the heart of the University of Illinois-Chicago, consists of two of the original 13 buildings, one an Arts and Crafts-style dining hall built in 1905.

Hyde Park, Chicago

This neighborhood, located south of the downtown area, is best known for being the home to the University of Chicago.

John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: June-August, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; September through May, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission charged.

Visitors to the Shedd Aquarium should be sure to stop by around feeding time to watch divers distribute dinner to the various eels, rays, sea turtles and fish that make its Tropical Coral Reef home. Nearly 8,000 aquatic animals – fresh and salt-water alike – are part of the Shedd’s collection, and nearly 2 million visitors make the journey to the world’s largest indoor aquarium each year.

Kohl Children’s Museum
165 Green Bay Road
Admission charged.
Children ages 1—8 can touch and explore the exhibits and participate in planned daily activities.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Admission charged per car.

Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
The oldest zoo in the country, Lincoln Park Zoo is still free to visitors. But its greatest asset is its vast collection – 1,200 animals – and its dedication to teaching conservation and protection of wildlife. The zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Great Ape House is considered one of the finest gorilla exhibits in the world. Other visitor favorites include the Sea Lion Pool, the Bird House (where feathered friends surround their homo sapiens visitors) and the Penguin and Seabird House. And of course, there are plenty of elephants, giraffes and rhinos

Magnificent Mile
North Michigan Avenue, Chicago
A mecca for shoppers, Magnificent Mile runs along North Michigan Avenue to Lincoln Park and rivals Rodeo Drive and Worth Avenue for world-class shopping and restaurants. Comforting names like The Gap accompany upscale Armani on the list of 60 well-known retail establishments to line this spending paradise. Three shopping malls are also nearby, and each is worthy of the Magnificent Mile’s high-class shopping reputation, and magnificent restaurants and five-star hotels.

Millenium Park

Located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre park is an unprecedented center for world-class art, music, architecture and landscape design, where you can experience everything from interactive public art and ice skating to al fresco dining and free classical music presentations by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus. Among the park’s prominent features is the dazzling Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States, designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s greatest living architects. A pedestrian bridge, also designed by Mr. Gehry and spanning Columbus Drive, provides access to the pavilion, acts as an acoustical barrier between the audience and traffic noise, and links Millennium Park to the rest of Chicago’s lakefront park system.

The park also is home to one of the world’s largest outdoor sculptures by the British artist Anish Kapoor; the tradition-setting Lurie Garden designed by the team of Kathryn Gustafson, Piet Oudolf, and Robert Israel; and the Crown Fountain designed by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa.

Mexican Fine Arts Center
1852 West 19th Street
Exhibits on traditional and contemporary Mexican art range in medium from prints and drawings to papier-mâché and from ceramics to historically significant photographs. Every autumn the museum hosts the city’s most visited Day of the Dead exhibit.

Museum of Broadcast Communications,

Michigan Avenue at Washington Street
(in the Chicago Cultural Center)
Free admission
Building tours are offered Tuesday-Saturday at 1:15 PM.

Open Mon.-Wed. 10-7, Thurs. 10-9, Fri. 10-6, Sat. 10-5, Sun. 11-5.

The MBC examines popular culture and contem-porary American history through the sights and sounds of television and radio. Featured are hands-on exhibits, broadcasting memorabilia, and a public archives collection of more than 60,000 radio and television programs and commercials.

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 East Chicago Avenue
The MCA exhibits painting, sculpture, photography, video and film, and performance created since 1945. It includes a terraced sculpture garden and has a great view of Lake Michigan.

Museum of Contemporary Photography
Columbia College
600 South Michigan Avenue
Free admission, The permanent collection focuses on American photography produced since 1959.

Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
More than 800 exhibits and 2,000 interactive units include a display exploring the inner workings of the brain, an exhibit of a captured German U-boat, and a trip down a replica coal mine. There is also an Omnimax movie dome.

Museum of Surgical Science
1524 North Lake Shore Drive
Admission charged. free Tuesdays
With its collection of 7,000 surgery-related objects, manuscripts, and artworks, this museum shows the discoveries and failures that have shaped modern surgery.

National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum
1801 South Indiana Avenue
Art of 115 men and women who served in Vietnam.

Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago
Cost: Free
Hours: November to May, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; May to October, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Stretching more than a half-mile (3000 feet) into Lake Michigan, the Navy Pier is a popular attraction for guests and locals alike. The pier area welcomes more than 5 million visitors who come to ride its 150-foot Ferris wheel and old-fashioned carousel, see an IMAX movie, take sightseeing and dinner cruises or stroll its lovely lakefront location.

Its concert dome, Skyline Stage, seats 1,500 and presents performances from May through October. The 170,000-square foot festival hall hosts several distinguished annual events, and a six-story glass atrium contains Crystal Gardens, the pier’s one-acre enclosed botanical garden.

Oak Street Beach, Chicago

Great place for water sports and biking.

Sears Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago
Admission charged.

Hours: October-February, 9 AM – 10PM daily; March-September, 9AM – 11PM daily.
The tallest building in North America and still one of the tallest in the world, the Sears Tower soars 110 stories to 1,454 feet. Completed in 1973, the tower was built by 12,000 workers in fierce Chicago winds, which became a more significant challenge the higher the structure rose. The newly opened Skydeck on the 103rd floor offers 80-mile views on a clear day. It also presents a number of educational exhibits on Chicago history, the Great Chicago Fire and the city’s founding fathers and mothers.

Spertus Museum (Institute of Jewish Studies)
618 South Michigan Avenue
Admission charged.
Spertus Museum welcomes students from all backgrounds to its galleries, using its collections to introduce basic themes in Jewish religion and culture.

Swedish American Museum Center

5211 N. Clark Street

Chicago, IL 60640

Phone: (773) 728-8111

Fax. (773) 728-8870

This museum aims to preserve the Midwest’s rich Swedish heritage by collecting, interpreting, and displaying materials related to Swedish-American history.

Terra Museum of American Art
664 North Michigan Avenue
Free for students with valid ID

Ukrainian National Museum

721 N. Oakley Boulevard

Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 421-8020

Fax: (773) 693-7479

Tribune Tower, Chicago

The neo-gothic tower’s signature is the exterior collection of stones from other famous edifices, like the Parthenon, St. Peter’s Basilica, Notre Dame, the White House and most recently, the Berlin Wall.

University of Chicago

5801 South Ellis Avenue


The public attractions include museums (Oriental Institute and Smart Museum of Art), galleries, and a Frank Lloyd Wright home (Robie House). It also is the site of the magnificent limestone edifice, Regenstein Library, which features over 7 million volumes in addition to priceless archives. The Rockefeller Memorial Chapel is a mini cathedral with memorable stained glass windows, a 92-bell carillon and a 10,000 pipe organ.

Wrigley Building, Chicago

This white, terra-cotta landmark was built in 1922 as headquarters for the Wrigley chewing gum company.

Wrigley Field, Chicago

One of America’s smallest, oldest, and best-loved ballparks, Wrigley is home to the Chicago Cubs.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
American Girl Place,

111 East Chicago Avenue

Chicago, IL 60611
1-877-AG PLACE

An enchanting concept for little girls and their dolls, On the Magnificent Mile, across the street from the historic Water Tower and overlooking Lake Michigan, is American Girl Place. There children (and parents) can shop for the American Girl dolls : Kaya, Josefina, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha (and her best friend, Nellie), Kit, and Molly. Also, a wide selection of authentic historical clothes, accessories, and even furniture. American Girl café has a long waiting list for birthday celebrations for girls and their dolls, but they report that the experience is worth the wait.

Chicago Children’s Museum
700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Admission charged.
Hands-on fun is everywhere at the Chicago Children’s Museum. Children will marvel at the three-story-tall “Climbing Schooner,” a replica of an 1850’s sailing ship. They can become inventors in the “Inventing Lab,” dedicated to the science of flight. The “Waterways” attraction invites them to suit up in rain gear and try to dam a waterfall. And the many dinosaur lovers will be happy to take the “Dinosaur Expedition” to Niger in West Africa.

Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark Street, Chicago
Cost per car to park
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the few places in the country that children can observe a handful of rare endangered species, including the Siberian Tiger and Grevy’s Zebra, among the zoo’s 1,200-animal collection. A large part of the zoo’s emphasis is education about preserving these rare and beautiful creatures in the wild, and children will get that message loud and clear. Classes and tours are available, and young ones may especially enjoy the Farm-in-the-Zoo, a kid-friendly “farm” at the zoo’s south entrance.

John G. Shedd Aquarium
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: June-August, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; September through May, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission charged.
The Shedd’s signature exhibit, the “Oceanarium” replicates the coastline of the Pacific Northwest, and children can marvel at the antics of sea otters and the majesty of whales, dolphins and harbor seals. More than 8,000 aquatic animals make their home at the Shedd, which offers a variety of educational programs.

The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission charged.
The “Life Over Time” area of the museum, explores the weather changes over the course of the earth’s history and the development of single- and multi-celled animals. Many “please touch” displays are available.

Navy Pier
600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago
Cost: Free
Hours: November to May, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; May to October, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Home to the Chicago Children’s Museum, the Navy Pier offers a long list of other attractions to interest young people. They will be delighted by the sheer size of the 3,000-foot pier and the magnitude of its offerings. A 150-foot Ferris wheel provides thrills and an incredible view of the downtown skyline. Children can lace up a pair of rented ice skates at the ice rink. Older children might enjoy a narrated sightseeing trip on one of the many tour boats. Twice a week in the summertime, a fireworks display explodes over the pier.

Sears Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive, Chicago
Admission charged.

Hours: October-February, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m daily; March-September, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Nothing will make a child feel taller than standing 1,353 feet above the ground. That is the height of the Skydeck at the Sears Tower. If children tire of the view and the historical exhibits, move on to “Knee-High Chicago,” a display that’s positioned four feet high, just for them. Children should be prepared in advance for the 70-second, 103-story elevator ride so that they can enjoy it thoroughly.

Chicago Botanic Gardens
1000 Lake-Cook Road
Admission charged.
About 25 miles north of downtown Chicago, the 385 acres—including demonstration, research, and conservation gardens—are worth the trek. Accessible via Metra.

Garfield Park Conservatory
300 North Central Park Avenue
Admission and parking are free
The largest public horticultural collection under glass in the world is located four blocks from the Kedzie stop on the Lake Street El or Green line.

Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 North Stockton Drive
Free admission
Located next to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago’s largest park, this horticultural collection expands into four greenhouses and includes a 50-foot fiddle-leaf rubber tree dating from 1891, .

Lincoln Park Zoo
2150 North Cannon Drive
Free admission
Home to more than 1,000 animals, the zoo includes a children’s petting zoo, an interactive environmental learning center, and a primate house.

Oak Park Conservatory
615 Garfield Street
Free admission (Donation accepted)
Visit tropical, fern, and desert greenhouses. Special floral displays are offered in November, December, February, and March.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Arts and Entertainment

Bailiwick Repertory Theater / Bailiwick Arts Center

1229 W. Belmont, Chicago 60657


Black Ensemble Theater

4520 N. Beacon, Chicago, IL 60610


Cadillac Palace Theater

151 W. Randolph St., Chicago 60601

Oriental Theater/Ford Center for the Performing Arts

24 W. Randolph St., Chicago 60601


The Shubert Theatre

22 W. Monroe, Chicago 60603


Chicago Opera Theater

2936 N. Southport, Chicago, IL 60657


Chicago Opera Theater has been advancing the cause of opera as a vital, living American art form, developing the artists who create it and expanding the scope and diversity of the audience. Operas, which are performed in English, are presented at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater

800 E. Grand Ave., Chicago, IL 60611


Formerly known as Shakespeare Repertory Theater, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater is Chicago’s only professional theater dedicated to the works of William Shakespeare. In a single decade, it has grown into Chicago’s third-largest nonprofit producing theater,

Child’s Play Touring Theatre

2518 W. Armitage, Chicago, IL 60647


DePaul Merle Reskin Theatre

60 E. Balbo Dr., Chicago, IL 60605

Box Office: 312-922-1999

Group Sales: 312-922-0999


Emerald City Theatre Company

2936 N. Southport, Chicago 60614


ETA Creative Arts Foundation

7558 S. South Chicago Ave., Chicago 60619


The Theatre Building

1225 W. Belmont, Chicago 60657


For over 25 years, the voice of the playwright has always taken center stage at Victory Gardens. Home to more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, Victory Gardens enters each anniversary season with an unwavering commitment to new voices in American theater and Chicago playwrights.

Millennium Park
55 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

The city’s dedication to the arts and beautification of Chicago’s lakefront and downtown continues with the Millennium Park project. The 24.6-acre park, which covers the area from Randolph to Monroe Street (north/south) and Columbus Drive to Michigan Avenue (east/west), will include: the McCormick-Tribune outdoor ice rink, the Peristyle, the Outdoor Music Pavilion, a garden, a public fountain, the Ameritech Plaza, a music-dance theater, a bike garage, a special-events tent and several restaurants. The ice rink is free to the public, faces Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets, and will be used as an outdoor restaurant and activity center during non-winter months.

More than a park, it is a breathtaking showcase for the visual and performing arts and a permanent homage to the vitality and creativity of our world-class city.

Auditorium Theatre
50 East Congress Parkway

Cadillac Palace Theater
151 West Randolph Street

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
220 South Michigan Avenue

Chicago Theatre
175 North State Street

Ford Center for the Performing Arts
24 West Randolph Street

Goodman Theatre
170 North Dearborn

Lyric Opera
20 North Wacker Drive

Shubert Theatre
22 West Monroe Street

The Renaissance Society
Bergman Gallery, Cobb,
Tuesday—Friday: 10:00—5:00.
Saturday—Sunday: noon—5:00
Free admission
Established in 1915, The Renaissance Society is Chicago’s oldest contemporary art museum and maintains an international reputation as one of the finest resources for contemporary art. It also sponsors concerts, performances, film and video screenings, and talks by noted artists and critics.



Public beaches line Lake Michigan all the way up north into the suburbs and Wisconsin, and southeast through Indiana and into Michigan. The best known is Oak Street Beach, the location of which at the northern tip of the Magnificent Mile

The most popular is North Avenue Beach, about 6 blocks farther north, which has developed into a volleyball hot spot and recently rebuilt its landmark steamship-shaped beach house and added a Venice Beach-style outdoor gym.

For more seclusion, try Ohio Street Beach, an intimate sliver of sand in tiny Olive Park, just north of Navy Pier,

Beaches are officially open with of lifeguards on duty beginning about June 20.


Biking is a great way to see the city, particularly along the lakefront bike path that us.

Ice Skating

The city’s premier skating destination is the McCormick-Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave. (tel. 312/742-5222). The location is unbeatable; you’re skating in the shadows of grand skyscrapers and within view of the lake. The rink is open daily from 9am to 9pm November through March. Admission is free, and skate rentals are nominally priced.


The Chicago Park District maintains about 30 indoor pools for lap swimming and general splashing around, but none are particularly convenient to downtown. The lakefront is open for swimming until 9:30pm Memorial Day to Labor Day in areas watched over by lifeguards (For more information, call the park district’s beach and pool office (tel.


Chicago Cubs. The Cubs haven’t made a World Series appearance since 1945 and haven’t been World Champions since 1908, but no matter how the Cubs are doing, tickets go fast. Most weekend and night games are sold out by Memorial Day.

Wrigley Field

1060 W. Addison St.


Take the Red Line to the Addison stop or the No. 22 bus, which runs up Clark Street.

To order tickets in person, stop by the ticket windows at Wrigley Field, Monday through Friday from 9am to 6pm, Saturday from 9am to 4pm, and on game days.

Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914 and has played host to Major League Baseball for over 90 years.

Wrigley Field has been the site of such historic moments as:

1. Babe Ruth’s “called shot,” when Ruth allegedly pointed to a bleacher location during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series … Ruth then hit Charlie Root’s next pitch for a homer.

2. Gabby Hartnett’s famous “Homer in the Gloamin’ ” September 28, 1938, vs. Pittsburgh’s Mace Brown.

3. the great May 2, 1917, pitching duel between Jim “Hippo” Vaughn and the Reds’ Fred Toney … both Vaughn and Toney threw no-hitters for 9.0 innings before Cincinnati’s Jim Thorpe (of Olympic fame) drove in the only run in the 10th inning … Toney finished with a no-hitter.

4. Ernie Banks’ 500th career home run May 12, 1970, vs. Atlanta’s Pat Arvis.

5. Sammy Sosa’s 60th home runs in 1998, 1999 and 2001.

U.S. Cellular Field – home of the Chicago White Sox
333 W. 35th St.

312/674-1000 in the South
White Sox Park was originally built in 1910 by Charles A. Comiskey and soon became known as Comiskey Park. The park served as the home of the White Sox for the next 80 years until New Comiskey Park opened in 1991.

n 2003, the Chicago White Sox and U.S. Cellular forged a unique partnership, renaming the ballpark US Cellular Field. The agreement calls for U.S. Cellular to pay $68 million to the White Sox over the next 20 years in exchange for naming rights through 2025. All revenue from the deal will go directly to improving the “fan experience” at the ballpark.

This agreement created the opportunity for dramatic, fan-focused renovations and improvements to the park. A fully renovated U.S. Cellular Field is expected to be completed by Opening Day 2005.


The United Center, 1901 W. Madison St.


where the Bulls play, feels like an airplane hangar-size funeral parlor these days. For the time being, tickets, once impossible to come by, are worth about as much as the paper they’re printed on. So grab yourself a courtside seat : there are plenty to go around.


The Chicago Bears

Soldier Field

at Lake Shore Drive and 16th Street


The Bears play at the newly renovated Soldier Field

stadium which replaced the original, built to commemorate the soldiers of World War I, which was badly in need of repair.

The original stadium’s most distinctive feature: its classically-inspired colonnade, was retained, and a large addition was added on top.


The Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks play at the United Center

1901 W. Madison St.


The Blackhawks have a devoted following of fans that turn out to cheer for the team which produced past Hawks legends Bobby Hull and Tony Esposito.

Midway Plaisance Park Ice Skating
59th Street between University and Ellis Avenues
Recreational ice skating, ice skating classes, and ice hockey in the winter. Skate rental is available. Inline skating, outdoor movies, and concerts in the summer.

Chicago Wolves at Allstate Arena


The team has been consistently excellent over the past few years, and the games are geared toward all ages, with fireworks before the show and a tradition of on- and off-ice entertainment.

Horse Racing

Arlington International Racecourse

2200 W. Euclid Ave.

Arlington Heights


Thoroughbred racing

Hawthorne Race Track

3501 S. Laramie Ave.



Thoroughbred racing


Chicago’s major-league soccer team, the Chicago Fire, plays at Soldier Field from late May through October


Games have a family feel, with plenty of activities for children and affordable ticket prices.


Annual Hyde Park Events

57th Street Art Fair

Every June, 500 exhibitors show their handiwork during the Midwest’s oldest outdoor juried art fair.

Boulevard Lakefront Tour

A bike tour of Chicago’s historic boulevards and scenic neighborhoods starts and finishes on the Midway Plaisance. More than 5,000 bicyclists participate each June. See for more info.

4th on 53rd Parade

In this annual Fourth of July celebration, a parade of citizens and community groups winds through Hyde Park and ends up in Nichols Park, where family activities are held.

57th Street Children’s Book Fair

Each September, books come to life for children and their families through storytelling, singing, bookmaking, and make-believe.

Chicago Half Marathon

Every September nearly 6,000 runners take part in the 13.1-mile run, which starts and finishes at the Museum of Science and Industry.

World Music Festival Chicago

The fall festival is part of a citywide celebration of music from around the world. Check out the artists and locations at

Thanksgiving Community Service

A project of the Hyde Park/Kenwood Interfaith Council in partnership with Rockefeller Chapel; the community service is oriented toward children.


Winter Celebration in Lights
View holiday lights and beautiful plants in the largest glass greenhouse in the U.S. Bring the kids and enjoy interactive events in the Elizabeth Mores Genus Children’s Garden. Located at The Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Avenue through the first week of January. Call (312) 746-5100 for more information.


Around the Coyote Winter Festival
Attend this annual studio walk and view works from over 400 artists including art performances in the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods. This event is sponsored by the resident artists and takes place during the first week of February. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.

Rube Goldberg Machine Contest
Teams come out to compete at building a machine that takes an allotted number of steps to complete a certain task. Hosted by the Chicago Children’s Museum. Located at Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, in the middle of February. Call (312) 527-1000 for more information.

Auto Show
Come to one of the country’s oldest expos of contemporary cars. Get a firsthand look at what’s new. Located at McCormick Place, 2301 S. Lakeshore Drive, for two weeks in the middle of February. Call (312) 791-7000 for more information.


Chicago Bike Show
Check out the annual bike show where bike manufacturers and bike clubs come together in one location. Located at the Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, usually held at the end of March. Call (312) 595-PIER for more information.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Come out and join the fun at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For the past 40 years, the Chicago river has turned green in the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The parade begins at noon on Dearborn Street, between Wacker and Van Buren, then down the State Street Mall on March 17. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.

Golf Around Chicago
Play miniature golf on this city like course with each hole depicting a Chicago landmark or Chicago’s culture. All proceeds from the event benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. Located in the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue, 10 AM – 5 PM daily, later on the weekends. Usually held the second week in March. Call (312) 595-7437 for more information.


April Fools Day; Easter/ Children’s Museum
Join storytellers as they help the children get acquainted with what the museum has to offer. There are games, too. Located at the Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Avenue, April 1 and 15, 10 AM – 5 PM. Call (312) 527-1000 for more information.

International Antique Poster Fair
Enjoy this annual exhibition of vintage posters. Hosted by The Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue. Usually held in the middle of April. Call (800) 856-8069 for more information.

Latino Film Festival
View the most current films from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the U. S. at the Latino Film Festival. Hosted by the International Latino Cultural Center at Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan, starting the 3rd Friday April, from 6 PM – 11 PM each evening. Call (312) 431-1330 for more information.


Memorial Day Parade
Come out and honor our country’s veterans. Begin with a ceremony at the Logan Memorial (Grant Park, Michigan and 9th St.) at 11 AM. Then watch the parade starting at noon on Columbus Drive, between Balbo and Monroe Streets. Call (312) 744-5648 for more information.

Art Chicago
Visit 200 international galleries at this annual art fair. See contemporary and modern art. Located at Festival Hall, Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Avenue. This event is usually held in the middle of May. Call (312) 587-3300 for more information.

Comedy Festival
Laugh the night away with comedians from all over the world as they entertain you through improv, stand-up and sketches. Located at several venues including the Vic Theater, Chicago Theatre and the Apollo Theater. This event is held the last weekend in May. Call (847) 304-6624 for more information.


Chicago Blues Festival; Chicago Gospel Festival
Hear the most talented blues musicians in the world at the biggest blues festival. THis festival also coincides with the Gospel Festival. Located at the Petrillo Music Shells at Grant Park, Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard, the second week of June. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.

Internet Street Fair
See the latest in technology at this state of the art exhibition. This is the place for vendors, professionals and the public to view and discuss the newest technology. Enjoy live music and food from local restaurants. Located at Hubbard Street, between Noble and Armour Street, usually the third week in June. Call (312) 563-1750 for more information.

Pride Parade
Come out and watch the Annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade, during the last week in June. In addition, during the month of June, PRIDEChicago sponsors several events in a variety of venues. Call (773) 348-8243 for more information.


Taste of Chicago
This ten day festival is packed with food, activities and entertainment. Over 60 restaurants showcase their food. This is a festival you don’t want to miss. Located in Grant Park (Lake Shore Drive and Jackson Boulevard), the last week in June through the first week in July, daily from 11 AM – 9 PM. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.

Chicago Summerdance
Dance the nights away during this festival where approximately 40 different live bands will perform a variety of dance music and styles. Free dance instruction will be available. Located at the Spirit of Music Garden, 601 S. Michigan Avenue, between Harrison and Balbo. This event continues through the month of August. Call (312) 744-1424 for more information.

Dearborn Garden Walk and Heritage Festival
Walk through some of the loveliest gardens in the Gold Coast neighborhood during this annual garden walk. Enjoy food, music and fun for the kids, too. Located at Dearborn Street, between Division Street and North Avenue, usually in the middle of July. Talk with award-winning gardeners about their blooms. Call (312) 944-1521 for more information.


Air and Water Show
Join two million spectators as they watch military aircraft perform amazing aerial stunts. Located at the Lakefront, Fullerton Avenue to Oak Street, beginning the 3rd Saturday of every August. Admission is free. Call (312) 744-3315 for more information.

Underground Film Festival
Experience the largest underground film festival in the country. View independent features, documentaries and experimental films by film makers with an independent vision. Located at the Fine Arts Theatre, 418 S. Michigan Avenue, starting the 3rd week of August. Call (312) 744-2400 for more information.

Annual Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival
Come out and enjoy the Latin beat. Dance to tropical, merengue, salsa and much more. In addition to the music, you’ll find traditional food and merchants selling authentic Hispanic items including artwork and jewelry. Located at Grant Park, usually the last weekend in August. Admission is free. Call (312) 744-5648 for more information.


Chicago Jazz Festival
Enjoy the world’s largest jazz festival featuring local, national and international musicians. This event is free and is sponsored by the Jazz Institute of Chicago. The event is located at Grant Park, on the first weekend in September. Call (312) 427-1676 for more information.

County Fair
Enjoy homemade jams, garden demonstrations, pony rides, pie-eating contests, face painting and live music. In addition, check out the Chapungu stone carving demonstration. Located in the Garfield Park Conservatory at 300 N Central Park Avenue, usually held the third week of September. Call (312) 746-5100 for more information.

26th Street Mexican Independence Day Parade
Come out and celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Watch the floats, street dancing and mariachi bands. In addition, enjoy mexican food and merchandise. Lcoated at 26th Street from Albany Avenue to Kostner Street, usually in the middle of September. Call (773) 521-5387 for more information.


SOFA Chicago
Ninety two international galleries and dealers will exhibit at the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art Exposition, bringing the decorative and fine arts together. Located at the Navy Pier Festival Hall, 600 E. Grand. This event is usually held around the second week in October. Call (312) 595-5200 for more information.

International Film Festival
View a collection of amazing feature films from all over the world. See works from promising new directors. This event is located at the Chicago and Music Box Theatres and at Loews Cineplex during the first two weeks in October. Call (312) 425-9400 for more information.

Supernatural Tours
Join Chicago’s professional ghosthunter, Richard T. Crowe, as he reveals Chicago’s haunted sites, ghosts and other unexplainable phenomena. The tours leave from the Goose Island Brewery, 1800 N. Clybourn Road, in the middle of October. Call (708) 499-0300 for more information.


Pow Wow Tribute to All Veterans
Enjoy Native American dancing, authentic crafts and food at this three day festival. Located at the Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State Street, beginning on the 2nd Friday of every November. Call (312) 902-1500 for more information.

Pow Wow
Enjoy Native American singing, dancing and arts and crafts at the American Indian Center of Chicago’s annual Pow Wow. Located at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Pavilion, 525 S. Racine, in the middle of November. Call (312) 413-5740 for more information.

Tree Lighting Ceremony
Join thousands as they watch the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. See the 85 foot Christmas tree covered with hundreds of lights, beautiful ornaments and fancy, holiday bows. Check out the holiday marketplace and Santa Claus. Located at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, during the last week in November. Call (312) 744-3370 for more information.


Caroling to the Animals
Join local choral groups and sing to the animals at the zoo’s annual Caroling to the Animals event. See Santa feed the animals, too. Located at the Lincoln Park Zoo, at 2200 North Cannon Drive, during the first week of December. Call (312) 742-2293 for more information.

Visit this outdoor European village with over 44 original timber booths offering holiday items. Located at the Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington Street, a few weeks before Christmas. Admission is free. Call (312) 644-2662 for more information.

Handel’s Messiah
Listen to the Apollo Chorus as they sing their version of Handel’s Messiah. Located at the Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Avenue, the week before Christmas. Call (312) 427-5620 for tickets or for more information.

Christmas Around the World
See how the world celebrates Christmas with Christmas displays from around the world. Located at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington Street, through the first week of January. Call (312) 346-3278 for more information.

Winter Flower and Train Show
Check out the amazing flowers or take a train ride through a Christmas town at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, 2400 N. Stockton Drive, through the first week of January. Call (312) 742-7736 for more information.