FOX IN A BOX ESCAPE ROOM CHICAGO REOPENS FOR IN PERSON ESCAPES!

THE TOP 31 ATTRACTIONS IN CHICAGO FOR ADULTS (INCLUDING COUPLE ACTIVITIES)

JUN 2022
25
THE TOP 31 ATTRACTIONS IN CHICAGO FOR ADULTS (INCLUDING COUPLE ACTIVITIES)

The best ways to experience Chicago as an adult - revealed!


The best ways to experience Chicago as an adult - revealed!

Asking yourself questions like…


Which are the best things to do in Chicago with a group of adults?

What is there to do in Chicago at night?

Planning a date in Chicago. What are my options?


Then you’ve come to the right place…erm, blog post.

Chicago’s packed with awesome activities and experiences that adults will relish - whether it’s an erudite tour through our numerous museums, late-night shenanigans, or an intimate encounter with your significant other.

Here are the top 31 attractions in Chicago for adults (including the 5 most romantic experiences for couples).

Explore Chicago’s museums, galleries and institutes

article-image-1

One of the lions guarding the entrance to the Art Institute.

Image by Patricia Jekki on Unsplash.


From the usual themes like art, history and science, to niche topics like American authors and even eclectic and quirky fields like illusions - Chicago has museums, galleries and institutes catering to a wide range of interests.

If you’re looking for an intellectually stimulating afternoon, you couldn’t have chosen a better way than touring Chicago's museums and galleries.

Here are some of the best museums in Chicago, handpicked for you.


Pro tip: Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking A LOT in most of them.

The Big Three

First up, the ones I like to call The Big Three - the Art Institute, the Field Museum and MSI. No disrespect to all of our other museums; they’re powerhouses in their own fields.

But if you go by stats like footfall or brand profile, these are the top 3 museums in Chicago: 

The Art Institute

With the iconic bronze lions flanking its entrance, the Art Institute is easily one of Chicago’s best known landmarks.

With a permanent collection of over 300,000 pieces of art, complemented by over 30 special exhibitions that take place each year, you’ll lose track of time exploring all the drawings, paintings, photos and sculptures they have!

To put it another way, they have four levels and multiple buildings and wings.


Pro tip: And if you’re looking for something a little bit different, head to the basement for theThorne Miniatures Rooms.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: Check their contact page

The Field Museum of Natural History

Over 65,000 items on display spread out across 20 permanent exhibitions housed in 480,000 square feet. That’s our Field Museum, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

From dino skeletons to Egyptian artifacts and even a Chinese rock garden - you’ll find ‘em all at the Field Museum.

And if you’ve never visited this place before, remember to say “Hi” to Sue…don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!


Pro tip: Remember to carry your City Pass. It’ll get you into most if not all of the exhibits.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (773) 684-1414

The Museum of Science and Industry (MSI)

Remember making papier-mâché & baking soda volcanoes in school? Still feel the excitement at making and viewing amazing science models?

Then you should really spend an afternoon at MSI.

Home to over 400,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits, our Museum of Science and Industry is probably the only place in the world where you can explore a 1910-era Chicago street (recreation), step inside a restored U-505 German submarine, and walk through a simulated coal mine, all under one roof!


Pro tip: Many find their parking a bit on the expensive side, so you may want to reach via public transport.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (773) 684-1414

The Chicago History Museum

Old timers may like to call this the “Chicago Historical Society”.

Whatever you call it, the Chicago Historical Museum is a treasure trove of Chicago history, featuring all kinds of exhibits that showcase events and people from our city’s past.

Seeing that we’re in Illinois it’s no surprise they have a fairly broad range of exhibits related with Abe Lincoln, but if you’ve had more than your share of former Presidents, you can…

  • Clamber aboard a vintage L car,

  • Gaze at lithographs (an old style of printing) of Chicago dating back to the 1860s, and…

  • Check out restored pictures and other exhibits about the 1871 Fire.

And that’s just for a start.

Feeling hungry? Visit the North And Clarke Cafe (part of the museum) and gorge on mouthwatering Chicago-style hotdogs!


Pro tip: Parking is a bit of a walk away, NE of LaSalle. Check if you can validate your parking, it’ll cut down those nasty fees.


Looking for great dining options? Don’t worry; we’ll explore the 5 top restaurants and cafes in Chicago in a while.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their enquiry form page


Phone: (312) 642-4600

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)

Established in 1967, the Museum of Contemporary Art is dedicated to showcasing art and culture from around the world, dated 1945 and onwards (post World War II).

This is unlike most art museums you may have visited as their focus is strictly on modern art and that can be on various kinds of mediums, not just the typical painting on a canvas and with a stylish frame that comes to mind when you think of “art”.

They have a collection of over 2000 works including ones by legends such as Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and Alexander Calder.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (312) 280-2660

The American Writers’ Museum

If you want to get fascinated by American writers and their work, spend an afternoon or two here.

You should know that this is the only museum of its kind in the world.

Just like with the MCA, the American Writers’ Museum will surprise you with its exhibits.

Not only do they feature poetry, prose (as in novels and short stories) and drama, they also feature selected song lyrics, journalism pieces, comic books, humor and more.

Even better, the Museum does its best to bring literary works to life - through sights, sounds, scents and touchscreen-based exhibits that provide multiple ways for visitors to engage with the exhibits.

There’s also a Story of the Day exhibit in which visitors can author their own stories on typewriters at the Museum, and some of them are featured on the website!


Pro tip: The building it’s located in looks like an apartment building (the Museum is on the second floor), so you’ll need to keep your eyes open when arriving.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (312) 374-8790

The Museum of Illusions

Yep, this is one of those quirky attractions in Chicago that make this city so special.

An entire museum dedicated to displaying popular tricks and illusions.

For example, an entire room that has furniture on the walls. Or a room with mirrors placed to create all kinds of weird reflections.

In addition to their rooms, they have numerous smaller exhibits displaying holograms, optical tricks and many other kinds of illusions.

At just over 5000 square feet, this is far smaller than the other museums we just talked about, but as we both know…size isn’t everything.

Wanna know more? Here’s our blog post covering the Museum of Illusions.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: chicago@museumofillusions.us


Phone: (312) 722-6780

Check out our parks, gardens and other open spaces

article-image-2

A view of The Bean in Millennium Park.

Image by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash.


Did you know Chicago is described as a city in a garden? That’s testament to the numerous parks and gardens that dot our city.

From tiny playlots to sweeping swathes of green, Chicago has all kinds of open spaces for you to explore.

Here are the 6 best parks, gardens and other open spaces in Chicago:

Millennium Park

Spread out over almost 25 acres, Millennium Park is not just a popular Chicago destination, it’s a Midwest tourist attraction.

Described as a “new kind of town square”, the Park houses some spectacular features, such as

  • The Bean (a glistening steel sculpture formally called the Cloud Gate), 

  • The Crown Fountain a fountain that displays digital videos, and 

  • Lurie Garden, a haven of various kinds of grasses, shrubs and trees that’s in bloom almost throughout the year, attracting animals, birds and insects.

Popular activities include shows (like concerts and movies) at the Pritzker Pavilion and ice skating at theMcCormick Tribune Plaza Ice Rink during the winter months.

Exploring Millennium Park is one of the most popular things to do in Chicago.


Pro tip: There’s a Route 66 sign a short walk from The Bean. See if you can find it!


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

Jackson Park

Remember the Museum of Science and Industry? Guess where it’s located! Yep, that’s right…inside Jackson Park!

The park, it should be mentioned, had a rocky start. It was chosen as the setting for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, but most of the park as it existed then burned down.

It has since of course been rebuilt and today includes features such as the Statue of the Republic (a small-scale replica of a massive bronze sculpture at the 1893 Columbian Exposition) and Wooded Island in Columbia Basin, a haven for birdwatchers.


A premier park attraction is around 160 cherry blossom trees that go from winter-barren to an explosion of pink and white (marking spring) in a few days, usually around mid-April.

The cherry blossoms of Jackson Park are a well-known April attraction in Chicago.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

Garfield Park Conservatory

Garfield Park is yet another of our city’s parks, where you can do everything from fishing to swimming, jogging and even activities like boxing.

However, the most well-known attraction of the park is Garfield Park Conservatory

The Conservatory houses over 120,000 plants of over 600 species across 8 indoor display gardens. 

Their annual spring flower show is another of Chicago’s top activities in April.

They also have outdoor displays - like the Sensory Garden, a “labyrinth to stroll for moving meditation”.


Pro tip: If you do visit the Conservatory, make sure to check out the Fern Room, which has lots of lush ferns on display, and more importantly, the prairie waterfall.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit the contact page


Email: visitors@garfieldpark.org


Phone: (773) 638-1766

The Lakefront Trail

If you’re looking for something that’s a little challenging, go for a brisk walk along the Lakefront Trail.

Stretched out over 18 miles along Lake Michigan, from Ardmore Avenue to 71st Street, the Trail is one of the best ways to experience our gorgeous lakefront.

Be a little careful as there’s always some cyclist group that whizzes through the Trail, oblivious to the non-cyclist traffic.

Should you want to swap walking for swimming, a number of beaches are accessible along the length of the Trail.

Finally, you should know that parts of the Trail are closed off when Lake Michigan turns turbulent.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

The 606

Based on the former Bloomingdale Line, the 606 is an elevated trail running through several north-western Chicago neighborhoods.

Featuring art installations, look-out points, an observatory and a number of street-level parks, the trail is a favorite among walkers, joggers, runners and biking enthusiasts.

Some of the prominent stops along the trail are:

  • Damen Arts Plaza, which features rotating public art exhibits,

  • Walsh Park, that has numerous sports facilities like an athletic field, basketball hoops, and a place where you can take pets.

  • Park No. 567, featuring a number of interesting murals and home to frequent events (like astronomy nights and live music concerts).

Exploring the 606 is one of my personal favorite things to do in Chicago.


Pro tip: If you visit during a weekend, you may be able to find free parking.


Website: Visit their website


Email: info@the606.org


Phone: (312) 742-4622

Our beaches

The sandy beaches along Lake Michigan are one of Chicago’s most popular features.

There are over 20 publicly accessible beaches along our 28 mile freshwater coastline, which offer plenty of opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, playing with your pet - an experience worth looking forward to on crazy hot days in Chicago.

Here’s something that’s gonna surprise you: Lolling around our beaches is a great way to celebrate Christmas in Chicago.


Pro tip: Oak Street beach in Gold Coast is particularly popular, but if you’re looking for quieter surroundings, try Loyola Beach in Roger Parks - it’s more secluded.


Pro tip: If you’re looking for a different kind of an experience, check out the South Shore Nature Sanctuary which features all kinds of habitats ranging from dunes to savannahs, woodlands and even wetlands.


Website: Visit the website

Find an event/a festival near you!

article-image-3Image by Tim Toomey on Unsplash.


A fact about us Chicagoans: we love having a good time and our city is host to a number of well-known festivals and events that celebrate everything from food & music to art, culture & history.

Here are some of Chicago’s best-known festivals and events that you can look forward to:

Lollapalooza

One of Chicago’s most prominent and well-known festivals. It started off as a farewell tour for Perry Farrell over 3 decades ago (in 1991),

But has since grown into an annual musical extravaganza featuring various genres like alternative rock, heavy metal, punk rock and hip hop. And it takes place in Grant Park, every year.

While it has expanded into other countries in South America, Europe and the Middle East (Israel), it’s the Chicago event that remains the most popular.

Featuring both established bands and local artists, it’s a great platform for up and coming bands to gain fans.

Here’s some of our coverage on previous and current editions of Lollapalooza in Chicago.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit the contact page

Sundays on State

This is a new event in Chicago - ‘new’ as in the very first one was held last year, 2021 - but it’s proved highly popular.

The 2021 Sundays on State event was held as a way for Chicagoans to come together and help in the reopening of the city from the brutal COVID-19 lockdown.

Organized by the Loop Alliance, one of its most important objectives was to help our small businesses, that had been hammered by the lockdown, reconnect with people and kickstart the economic recovery.

From barber outlets to stalls selling quirky accessories, from food stores to yoga classes - there were all kinds of activities throughout the festival. Plus there was a main stage on which band after band performed.

It’s confirmed to be back in 2022, by “popular demand” - here’s to hoping it becomes an annual thing!

To further learn about the event, go through some of our posts on Sundays on State.


Website: Visit the website

Pitchfork

Formally known as the “Pitchfork Music Festival”, this is an annual summer musical festival that’s held in Union Park, usually on a weekend (Friday to Sunday) in July.

The genres that are typically featured are electronic music, indie rock, and hip hop. You can also expect food, beverages, art and gig posters from all kinds of vendors.

Like Lollapalooza, Pitchfork has expanded into Europe with shows in London and Berlin, but again it’s the Chicago Pitchfork that remains the signature event.


Website: Visit the website

Logan Square Arts Festival

Every summer (the first summer weekend, to be exact), Logan Square - yet another of Chicago’s bevy of green spaces - has been host to many well-known bands, local artists, and local businesses in the form of the Logan Square Arts Festival.

Two stages erected for the festival feature most of the musical performances while art installations (from local artists and neighborhood art organizations) spring up across the grounds.

 Plus of course there’s the food vendors, stalls from local restaurants and beer, wine, & spirits in free flow.

Apart from the celebrations, the festival has raised tens of thousands of dollars for neighborhood nonprofits.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: info@logansquareartsfestival.com

Chinese New Year

Given that we have a rather sizable Chinese community, it’s no wonder that Chinese New Year is one of Chicago’s premier festivals.

Usually, the celebrations include several events, including:

  • A new year parade on Argyle featuring featuring community groups, cultural institutions and performers of all hues.

  • A new year parade in Chinatown, which usually occurs after the Argyle parade. Among other things, it features traditional lion dances and cultural performances.

  • A new year event at the Navy Pier. The Aon Grand Ballroom transforms into a venue with dance, music, martial arts and more.

  • A Taste of Chinatown walking tour organized by local groups, and

  • Film screenings and other activities.

In fact, the Chinese New Year celebrations are one of the best things to do in Chicago in February.


Website: Visit the website

Sample Chicago’s diverse cuisine

article-image-4Image by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash.


Sampling some Chicago cuisine is pretty much an essential part of the Chicago experience. The assortment of dishes that make up Chicago’s food culture is pretty diverse and large enough to deserve a blog post of their own.

But there are some Chicago food classics that absolutely cannot be missed, and that’s what we’ll focus on.

Malnati’s

We are firmly against fat-shaming pizzas. We deplore thin crusts and we spurn any talk of going easy on the toppings.

The deep dish pizza - that has delicious depth stuffed with oodles of goodies - is a Chicago institution (New York pizzas can go ____ themselves).

And the best place to get that satisfying feeling as your knife sinks into the pizza as you carve it up is Malnati’s.

They have multiple locations throughout Chicago; the one I like the best (and am pointing you towards) is the one on S State Street.


Pro tip: Along with the pizza, try their fried calamari and/or salad with vinaigrette dressing. Oh, and they have gluten free deep dish.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Phone: (312) 786-1000

Devil Dawgs

While it had a humble start as a cheap food during the Great Depression, the Chicago style hot dog has become both a staple and a Chicago institution.

Here’s a rough idea of what to expect: a beef hot dog sandwiched between two poppy seed buns, with yellow mustard, diced onions, tomato wedges, and some other fillings.

And there are two great places to grab a Chicago hot dog - one of them being Devil Dawgs in the South Loop


Pro tip: Oh, and please be warned that we don’t take too kindly to requests for ketchup on a hotdog. It’s part of the Chicago culinary lifestyle.

Didn’t know that?

Here are 5 more things never to do before a Chicagoan.


Website: Visit their website (home page)


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page

Portillo’s

Remember I said there are two places where I’d suggest you grab a Chicago dog from? One is Devil Dawgs, and the other one is Portillo’s, the one on Canal and Taylor.

Now, we’ve talked at length about hot dogs, it’s time we talked about a beverage. Something to have after having your fill of hot dogs.

And that’s where cake shakes come in. A gooey goodness that’s half cake and half milk shake (cake chunks blended into a smoothie with ice cream added).

And Portillo’s makes some of the best cakes shakes in town (especially the chocolate cake shake)!


Website: Visit their website (home page)


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page

Lula Cafe

Remember Logan Square hosts an annual arts festival in the summer? Well, that same Logan Square also hosts Lula Cafe, a permanent establishment.

With bar and table seating, it’s suitable for both solo visits and group drop-ins.

What makes this such a catch is that it's a “farm to table” cafe, serving dishes like beet bruschetta and pan roasted quail. Plus, they’re always experimenting with their food and tinkering with the menu.

While they do maintain some staples, they will come out with new dishes from time to time and it’s waiting for these new items that makes the Cafe so exciting.


Pro tip: Seafood lovers should especially visit Lula.


Pro tip: When you arrive, check if the chef’s corner table is free


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit their contact page


Phone: (773) 489-9554

Twin Anchors

Located in a building dating back to 1881, Twin Anchors has been around for decades (since 1932).

It used to be a favorite haunt of Frank Sinatra, and was a location for the 2000 film Return To Me.

Their ribs and seasonal cocktails are to die for!


Pro tip: Go for their “Prohibition” bbq sauce to accompany your ribs, and thank me later.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit their contact page


Phone: (312) 266-1616

Various other Chicago attractions for adults

article-image-5Image by Linpaul Rodney on Unsplash.


Apart from the usual city attractions - museums and open spaces and restaurants and festivals - there are a range of other attractions in Chicago that you can look forward to.

Whether you’re looking for a group activity or something to take part in by yourself, here are 5 great Chicago attractions for adults.

Late night jazz at Green Mill

One of the best-known venues on Broadway in Uptown, Green Mill today is well known for its jazz and poetry performances. Quite a combination, right?

It first opened in 1907, made its way through Prohibition when it was a  haunt of Al Capone and then chugged along till Dave Jemilo bought it in 1986 and turned it into a proper jazz club.

Frank Sinatra also used to hang out here.

Today it’s well known for the jazz, the drinks and the vibe.

If you’re looking for a late night Chicago experience, whether with a gang of friends or a special someone, this is a great choice!


Did you know? The Green Mill is the longest running jazz club in the United States.


Pro tip: If you’re a fan of vintage fashion, you’ll fit right in! Also, last I heard it’s cash only.


Website: Visit their website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Contact: Visit their contact page


Email: greenmill@comcast.net


Phone: (773) 878-5552

Escape games at Fox in a Box

Speaking of Chicago experiences and Al Capone, wanna take part in an experience that sees you team up with a group of your friends to rob a bank?

Sounds exciting, but you have no clue how to have such an experience?

Here’s how: hit up your friendly neighborhood Chicago escape room.


Dunno what happens in an escape room? Here’s the lowdown.

You and your team are given a mission that you’ll need to accomplish within 60 minutes. The entire action takes place inside an indoors space that’s set up, with room decor, props and special effects, to simulate the mission environment (an actual bank, in our example).

You need to spot clues, solve puzzles and accomplish tasks to fulfill your mission.

Sounds exciting? Check out our other escape games.


Website: Visit the homepage


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Email: info@foxinaboxchicago.com


Phone: (312) 878-7899

Get unbeatable views from one of our observation decks

Want to grab panoramic views of the city? As they say, the sky is the limit!

Chicago has 2 observation decks, over a thousand feet high, offering stunning views of the city and beyond! 

Skydeck Chicago

First up…Skydeck Chicago.

Situated on the 103rd floor of Willis Tower and is 1353 feet high. It offers great views of the city, Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, and Wacker Drive.

On clear days you can see right through to four other states - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.


Pro tip: Our City Pass will get you both expedited entry and a longer time in the actual deck.


Website: Visit the website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (312) 875-9447

360 Chicago

Then we have 360 Chicago.

Situated on the 94th floor of the John Hancock building, this one takes you 1000 feet into the air for similarly stunning views, including of the four other states on clear days.

Plus, they also feature TILT!, a unique experience where you’re literally tilted over the building's edge.

That's what makes this one of the best indoor things to do in Chicago.


Website: Visit the website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (888) 875-8439

Go for a Gangsters and Ghosts Tour

Part history, part fantasy and a whole lot of fun, this is one Chicago attraction you’re really not gonna want to miss!


Website: Visit their website

Bye Bye Liver

Described as Chicago’s long-running drinking game show, Bye Bye Liver is part theatrical performance, part comedy skit, and part immersive experience with members of the audience invited to join in!

The basic premise is that you’re the patrons of Franks Bar, while the performers are both staff and part of the crowd. And they take you along on interactive games and experiences, all centered around drinking.

And yes, you get a glass or two of the good stuff.


Did you know? The show opened for a three week run over a decade ago, but it just kept getting extended, by popular demand!


Website: Visit the Newport Theater website and scroll through upcoming events.

5 romantic things to do in Chicago that couples will love

article-image-6Image by Carly Rae Hobbins on Unsplash.


There’s something about Chicago that makes it one of the best places for couples.

It could be our well-planned landscapes. It could be the one-of-a-kind intimate possibilities we offer, including candle-lit cafes and romantic cruises.

Here are 5 romantic activities in Chicago for couples.

Fondue and wine at Geja’s Cafe

One of Chicago’s most romantic restaurants, Geja’s Cafe is famous for its food-wine pairings, especially for the fondue among its food offerings, and for the live music.

The ambiance is great, especially with the candles.


Pro tip: If you do visit on a date, try to get outside patio seating, by the fire.


Website: Visit the website


Location: Check address/Plan route on Google Maps


Enquiry form: Visit their contact page


Phone: (773) 281-9101

Go on a dinner cruise

With not one but two waterfronts (Lake Michigan and Chicago River), dinner cruises are an absolute no-brainer for dating ideas in Chicago.

Especially at night, when the entire city’s lit up, making for a spectacular view.

Whatever your style - sit-down fine dining or casual buffet or something else - there are plenty of options for you in Chicago.

Kayaking along the Riverwalk

Running for 1.25 miles, from Lake Michigan to Lake Street, Chicago Riverwalk has plenty of