Charming Chicago


Anushka Agashe, Staff Writer

If you live in Illinois, it’s inevitable you’re going to end up in Chicago at some point. However, living so close to the third largest city in the U.S. sometimes means you don’t get to see the city from a tourist’s point of view. Chicago is so large and diverse that there’s always going to be something new to see, do, or taste. Here are some things to do if you’re sick of doing the same thing every time you head into the city:

  1. Starting out pretty simply, Chicago is chock-full of museums. It seems obvious to state, but you can spend days within all the different museums in the city, and there’s something for everyone. Enjoy space? Adler Planetarium is the place for you, and the Shedd Aquarium is just down the street. For people more into science, there’s the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum, which are both very well-known.  More into history?  The Chicago History Museum is stellar and has displays from Chicago’s earliest days to the recent past.  Finally, if you’re into art, there’s the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses many different exhibits and pieces of artwork. To make it even better, these museums occasionally have free days, especially for Illinois residents.

Fun Fact: the Art Institute of Chicago was opened for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair

  1. Looking for the perfect picture to Instagram? You can find it at Hero Coffee Bar. You’ve probably seen pictures of the entrance to this coffee bar, with fairy lights and marquee letters stating COFFEE. Other than getting a cute picture, you can also get coffee and other typical coffeehouse food. Another quirky Chicago café is the Nutella Cafe, which is just what it sounds like – a café featuring everyone’s favorite chocolate hazelnut spread.


  1. Maybe you’re looking for something more seasonal to do? In the summer, there’s Taste of Chicago, the largest food festival in the world. It’s held for five days in July, and other than the obvious abundance of food, there’s also live music and rides. It’s held in Grant Park, and it’s an experience everyone should have. If you’re in the city during the winter, maybe the German-inspired Christkindlmarket is more your taste. Vendors sell traditional German wares like nutcrackers and cuckoo clocks, as well as all another manner of goods. It also features many different German foods and drinks.

Fun Fact: the original Christkindlesmarkt opened in Nuremberg, Germany in 1545

  1. Chicago might not have New York’s Broadway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch a good show in the city. There’s Broadway in Chicago, which hosts famous musicals like Aladdin, Book of Mormon, and Hamilton in historic Chicago theatres. If comedy is more your style, there’s the Second City, which has produced several famous comedians. If neither of those is for you, there’s always the Chicago Symphony Orchestra if you want to spend the night listening to music.


  1. If you’re looking at the more touristy side of Chicago, a must is the Architecture Foundation River Cruise. A top-rated tour, it explores the beautiful and diverse architecture of the city and is recommended for Chicagoans and tourists alike. It also gives the opportunity to take in the Chicago River snaking through the city. Another tourist attraction you might have overlooked is the Willis Tower Skydeck. It offers a stunning view far beyond the city at more than 1,300 feet in the air. Besides, it’s the perfect location to take gravity-defying photos.

Fun Fact: the Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere

Hopefully, this list helps you find something fun to do in Chicago. And if not, there’s a world of restaurants and shows and sights out there to discover.