Hidden Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois

Hidden Things to Do in Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois' nickname is the Windy City, and it offers many things to do for the outdoor enthusiast. The best time to visit is in the late spring or fall when the climate is temperate and fewer tourists are in town. The city offers some fun and fascinating offbeat activities.

Spraying Faces at Millennium Park's Crown Fountain

Rent a bike and go to Millennium Park to see the Crown Fountain, an architectural wonder designed by Jaume Plensa, a Spanish artist. The two 50-foot glass blocks spray water from the lips of real Chicagoan's faces displayed on LED screens. If you have children, they'll enjoy standing under the spray and playing in the shallow pool of water. The display of water happens from mid-spring to mid-fall; the images show all year. After you visit the fountain, walk to Lurie Garden, a five-acre botanical delight with Chicago native plants and perennial flowers blooming even in November. You can hear free lectures and take low-cost workshops all year or take a free Sunday garden walk from mid-May through mid-September.

Millennium Park
222 N. Columbus Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60601
(312) 861-9503

Body Slices at Museum of Science and Industry

The Body Slices in the "You! The Experience" exhibit at the Museum of Science and Technology are a one-of-a kind attraction. These authentic human specimens show the connection of the human body's systems. This exhibit occupies 15,000 square ft. and has more than 50 interactive activities for children and adults. Visit "Fast Forward," a multimedia examination of how our lives may change in the future through technological innovations. The museum features a German submarine captured by the U.S. Navy, a permanent exhibition; guided tours are available once a month. Live science exhibits for kids include dissecting a cow eyeball, a magical chemistry show and a dissection of an owl pellet to see what owls eat. The museum is open every day except Christmas from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As of 2009, admission was $13.00 for adults, $9.00 for children from 3 to11 and $12.00 for seniors; it does not include the Omnimax theater.

Museum of Science and Industry
57th Street and Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60637
(773) 684-1414

Walking Tours

Put on your walking shoes and take a free 2 to 4 hour tour of more than 25 Chicago neighborhoods. Chicago Greeter volunteers lead the walks in different languages (and rides on public transportation to get to the neighborhoods); each walk has six or fewer people. Each tour is personalized; you can choose specific interest areas such as public and ethnic art, fashion or film. The tours include visits to shops, museums and restaurants. Book your trip 7 to 10 days in advance by email, phone or completing an online form. You'll need a Chicago phone number and you may take one walk per visit to Chicago.

Chicago Greeter Walking Tours
(312) 744-8000

Article Written By Ellen Kendall

Ellen Kendall has 15 years of writing and editing experience. Her travel and insurance articles have appeared in national magazines. Her book contributions include biographies and multi-cultural and Holocaust lesson plans. She has previously served as a real estate broker and interior designer and taught ESL in Korea and at Duke.

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