A must for nature lovers, this sprawling compound of foliage comprises 23 different gardens ranging from formal British rose gardens to tranquil Japanese islands. A series of waterways connect the lushly landscaped hills and acres together. The scenic vistas here rival those of the older, European gardens. Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon wandering among the sculpted shrubbery. This peaceful escape from the city is a rare find. A restaurant and cafe are on site.
From popular Rembrandt masterpieces to recent works by lesser-known artists, the Art Institute of Chicago houses one of the finest art collections in the world. Spanning centuries of human creativity, exhibits include a distinguished collection of prints and drawings, an internationally acclaimed collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, sculptures, photographs, Asian, African and American arts, architectural drawings, textiles and more. Many pieces are on loan from the famed Terra Foundation for American Art. Educational programs and guided museum tours are available. Artbooks, reproductions, postcards and other items are available in the museum shop.
Millennium Park is one of the newest additions to Chicago's many wide-open urban spaces, and is host to a range of indoor/outdoor activities for the entire family. You can listen to top musical events at the outdoor pavilion, or glide across the bustling ice skating rink come winter. For a bit of the park's history, be sure to take a peek at the Peristyle, a replica of the curving row of paired Greek columns that were on the corner of Grant Park near Michigan and Randolph from 1917 to 1953. While in the park one cannot afford to miss the Cloud Gate Sculpture, a three-storied structure built with 110 tons (99790 kilograms) of steel. It is called The Bean by the residents.
Enjoy Cycling? Bobby's Bike Hike offers you the chance to see Chicago's major attractions on an informative cycling tour. They offer a variety of tours including the 'Lakefront Neighborhoods Tour', 'Kids Edition' and 'City Lights at Night Tour'. The tours are leisurely paced, so you don't have to worry about not being able to keep up with the cycling group. The cycles provided are 'Schwinn Beach Cruisers' and helmets are also offered. People of all ages will enjoy these tours and it is a great and informative way to experience the sights and sounds of the city of Chicago.
Cloud Gate is an iconic Chicago sculpture located in Millennium Park. Its highly reflective surface appears to be seamless, but is actually made up of 168 stainless steel plates that were welded together. Its legume-like shape has earned it the nickname "The Bean" among Chicago residents, and is a must-see attraction while in downtown. Admire the unique structure and make sure you take a picture with this architectural marvel for the social media.
The Museum of Science and Industry makes science fun with interactive, educational exhibits that stretch the imagination. Spend time in a 16-foot (4.8-meter) heart as you learn about how yours works. Find out how technology has influenced history by stepping back in time on "Yesterday's Main Street." Marvel at the life-size replica of German submarine U-505 and also the command module of Apollo 8. Watch action-packed films in the museum's giant-screen Omnimax Theatre or take a ride down a coal mine. And don't leave without picking up some great souvenirs at The Big Idea museum shop.
Originally an invitation-only group for theater, Oil Lamp Theater was established in 2005 in the condo of famous theater person Keith Gerth. The organization evolved into a no-for-profit group in 2012, shifted their venue to its current location and threw it open to the public. What is special about this theater is that each play is screened carefully to ensure that only a careful and elite selection is finally shown. There is also a personal touch to an experience here as the guests are greeted by the art director or a representative of the play and are given complimentary homemade cookies and soda. All in all, if high-quality theater is your thing, this is one place which you simply cannot miss.
Amuse the kids with educational fun. A plethora of interactive and energy-consuming exhibits, including a home that can be reconstructed and rearranged and supermarkets and subway cars will delight their imaginations. The Great Kohl Sailing Ship is a stage for imaginary play. They can use nets to catch schools of colorful fake fish or test parents' eardrums by ringing the ship's bell. The Grandma's Attic exhibit is stocked with tons of old clothes. Children can dress up in gowns, suits and shoes to act out imaginary scenes from their parents' and grandparents' lives. Old-fashioned radio is piped in throughout their stay.