6 Magnificent activities for all seasons: Indoors & Outdoors
Chicago is one of the hottest destination spots for tourists—no matter the weather! People from around the world come to Chicago in different seasons, whether it’s during summer or winter.
Looking for fun things to do indoors in inclement weather? Or worried it might be difficult to find activities to do when it’s cold outside. No worries! Read on for my special expedition to seek some fun activities around The Magnificent Mile. I will be highlighting 6 spots for indoor and outdoor activities to do while helping you navigate through the city!
Located right by Lake Michigan is the Shedd Aquarium, famous for showcasing animals from all climates. This is an amazing place to start out, especially when you’re new to the city! Explore the Shedd Aquarium by engaging in different learning activities that are great for children and adults: see animals up-close to better understand their background through educators.
Shedd Aquarium provides many different activities that are interactive, family-friendly, and fun. Explore their exhibits by immersing yourself in different regions, whether it’s the rainforest or the coral reef!
Take a 360-degree tour of the Caribbean Reef and see the underwater community full of aquatic animals of different colors, shapes, and personalities. If you’re around to visit at 10:30AM, noon, 2PM, or 3PM, you’ll have the opportunity to see a diver swim in the Caribbean Reef feeding the animals and interacting with them!
I personally enjoyed seeing the Beluga whales up close. Belugas are friendly and expressive, and it was interesting to see their ability to swim in the water with a wide range of motions. The staff member on site educated us on their diet, social structure, and body language while the diver interacted with some of the Beluga whales, including some fun tricks.
Shedd houses animals from all around the world, whether it’s a water animal such as a shark or fish; or a land animal such as an iguana, frog, and monkey. The team works closely with the animals, preparing balanced meals for 32,000 animals and catering to the nutritional needs of 1,500 species.
Check out different areas of Shedd such as the Wild Reef where you can get a diver’s view; home of the Great Lakes where you can encounter and see some of the most notable animals such as the Asian Carp; and the Amazon where you’ll see some quirky monkeys, turtles, and some unique looking fishes.
If you’re thinking of an indoor activity, I highly recommend looking into the Shedd!
To book your tickets, please click here for more information!
1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605
Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier
Chicago Shakespeare Theater, a regional Tony Award-winning theater, is a go-to spot for millions of locals and tourists alike. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is located right on Navy Pier, near many different restaurants, sightseeing activities, as well as some picturesque spots.
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is a classic way to immerse yourself in the arts of Chicago, offering different premier productions including family programming, plays, and musicals.
I had the opportunity to get a glimpse backstage and visit different departments that make up the Theater. I especially enjoyed the costume design room!
I also enjoyed seeing the three complex spaces that made up the theatre: The 500-seat Courtyard Theater, the 200-seat Black Box Theater Upstairs, and the innovative and flexible new venue- The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare. My favorite play space was the Yard because of the stage flexibility. The towers that house audience seats are movable and can interlock in many ways to set the distance between the stage and the audience. The engineers developed this space with the idea to reconfigure the venue depending on the theme or concept of the production.
Along with the amazing spaces, Chicago Shakespeare Theater spends a lot of time hand-picking professional actors, directors, and designers from all around the world, making their productions diverse and unique. It takes months to practice and master the grandeur of one performance, so it is not a surprise how tickets sell out so fast!
Some of their upcoming productions are A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Pints, An Inspector Calls, and Hamlet! To read more and/or to book your tickets, please click here!
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
Make your Chicago experience unforgettable on the 94th floor of 875 N Michigan! 360 Chicago Observatory is one of the best ways to view the breathtaking scenery of the Chicago Skyline and Lake Michigan indoors—out in all directions!
360 Chicago offers several interactive activities such as Tripod Mondays where you get to use a tripod to capture photos from the observation deck; Sky Yoga for yoga enthusiasts; and 360 Sunday Funday for families, with free TILT tickets for kids from 9AM-4PM!
360 Chicago is the perfect place to learn about the city’s iconic architecture and its rich history. It is affordable for family and friends, and completely accessible to the public via custom elevators.
It’s even better when you’re planning on visiting with a group because they’re always offering special group deals and packages. Locals always get 50% off; and if you’re visiting from out of town, you can save up to 51% on VIP admission. For more information about the deals, please click here!
One of my favorite activities at 360 Chicago was the TILT. It was a mind-boggling experience, knowing that I was going to be tilted 30 degrees forward. Although I was terrified to go on the TILT, I gained some courage knowing that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. TILT offered a unique view from 1000ft up which will forever change the way I see Chicago! The experience wasn’t as terrifying as I’d thought it’d be, and I would love to try it again in the future.
If you’re considering to visit this fantastic location, please be sure to click here!
875 N Michigan Avenue, 94th Floor Chicago, IL
Big Bus Tour
If you’re an outdoorsy person like me, Big Bus Tours is one of the great options to tour around the city. Enrich your sightseeing experience thanks to the tour guides, who are local Chicago residents such as teachers, artists, and performers who offer different perspectives on the city. Their authentic commentary will help enrich your view of the city.
Through the convenience of Big Bus, you’ll be able to make stops at iconic spots such as Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Millennium Park, and so on. The best part about the bus is that you can hop on and off as many times as you’d like within the validity period of your ticket. You can even start and finish your tour at any Big Bus stops in Chicago!
The tour guide on my trip was a musician, sharing his experience living in Chicago. It was refreshing to hear his story because I don’t often get the opportunity to hear a musician’s perspective on city living. He briefly shared his discovery in becoming a musician and finding his way living in Chicago. His journey led him to Big Bus because he wanted to share his story with visitors from all around the world.
We visited institutions like the Planetarium, Field Museum, and of course the greatest shopping district in Chicago, The Magnificent Mile. I was able to see some of my favorite Chicago landmarks such as Millennium Park, Tribune Tower, and the Wrigley Building- all in 1 bus ride. This was convenient and hassle-free because I didn’t have to transfer buses to visit these places.
Jim Vozzella, the Head of Sales at Big Bus Tours, stated that the ‘team’s goal is to give the riders a perfect introduction to Chicago that’s unique and personable.’ Jim’s statement mirrors my experience on the tour.
If you’re interested in learning more about the company and/or purchasing a ticket, please click here!
Chicago Helicopter Experience
Chicago Helicopter Experience (CHE) is a one-of-a-kind experience located just 10 minutes away from the Loop! I was thrilled for this experience because I finally had a chance to see the city from a different perspective. Flying in a luxury helicopter enables you to cruise over the city and see it all, including the spectacular coastline of Lake Michigan, the entire city skyline, and famous landmarks.
CHE is an exhilarating activity that everyone has on their bucket list, so this is a chance for you to check it off!
CHE makes sure to cater to your needs so you have a spectacular experience. They offer many different services, from group activities to special occasions such as a date night, birthdays, or graduation celebrations. If you have a specific request for your ride, you can request a proposal indicating your group size, theme, special needs, and catering on their website. CHE’s event coordination team has you covered!
If you’re a sucker for “Instagrammable” photography, you’ll be able to capture some cool shots and treasure an unforgettable trip. I was able to catch a daytime flight with CHE and had one of the best experiences. Inside the climate-controlled helicopter, my pilot Bill made sure that I was comfortable and safe while he flew along the coastline of Lake Shore Drive. The view was phenomenal, and I will never forget the skyline view of Chicago.
I highly encourage you all to try out the tour if you get the chance! Be sure to click here for more information.
2420 S. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60608
Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour
My favorite activities to do year-round are any water activities such as riding a boat! Located by the Chicago Riverwalk in front of the Trump Hotel Chicago is the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour.
Get a breathtaking view of Chicago with the help of the tour guides! The tour guides are humorous, educational, and engaging. I genuinely enjoyed being on the tour and seeing people from different backgrounds come together enjoying an experience at the heart of downtown.
The Architecture River Tour runs until just before Christmas time, and is back in season sometime around March/early April. You still have time to take advantage of this Tour, so be sure to check out the link here for more information!
474 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60611