| • Architectural boat tour, from downtown piers. 90 minutes of floating edu-admiration. |
• Loop tour train. Tickets at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E Randolph St at Michigan Ave. Departs nearby Randolph/Wabash station. Saturdays, May-Sep, 11:35 am, 12:15 pm, 12:55 pm and 1:35 pm. Free tour of the Loop on the El with a guide from the Chicago Architecture Foundation. You go around the Loop three times, taking 40 minutes. Highly recommended if you're at all interested in the El or Chicago architecture.
• The Old-Town School of Folk Music. 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue. 773.728.6000 fax 773.728.6999. If you're interested in folk music from America or anywhere else in the world you should definitely plan to spend some time at the Old-Town School. There are classes ranging from beginners claw hammer banjo to advanced Flamenco dance. Even if you are just passing through town you should seriously consider stopping by to see a concert or just to check out the store which features a fabulous array of banjos, fiddles, guitars, and quite a few rare folk instruments from around the world, as well as recordings of just about every sort of folk music (and early jazz) you can imagine.
• Blue Man Group. Get tickets (well in advance) on the floor instead of the balcony.
• Improv Olympic. If the downstairs show is full, don't waste your time on the upstairs show.
• Second City., near North Side (walking distance from Segdwick station). The origin point for Saturday Night Live and many of its stars, this Chicago fixture still features great shows on two stages.
• Steppenwolf Theater. The home of John Malkovitch, Gary Sinise, and many others, Steppenwolf features cutting-edge theater.
• Goodman Theater. The best of the best.
• Lyric Opera of Chicago. Famous theater for extraordinary shows.
• Symphony Center East Loop near Millennium Park. Winter home of the Chicago Symphony.
• United Center, near West Side. Chicago Bulls/Blackhawks stadium.
• Soldier Field, south side. Field of the Bears. Once a fantastically wonderful building; some find the new renovation hideous. The amenities, however, have improved by leaps and bounds.
• Wrigley Field. Wrigleyville neighborhood, Addison stop on the El-Red Line. Historic Stadium of the Cubs. Now distinguished as a historical landmark, no more corporate conversions here.
• US Cellular Field, South Side, take El-Red Line to Sox-35th stop. Formerly known as Comiskey Park, this south-side stadium is the home of the world champions, the Chicago White Sox.
• Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, IL. Technically accessible by train, but driving is more recommended. a world-class family entertainment destination with thrilling rides, spectacular shows and exciting attractions.
During the summer months, the lakefront parks are a destination for organized and impromptu volleyball, skating, soccer, and chess, as well as simply enjoying the beach. Try the parks and beaches around the Diversey or Fullerton level, though many such activities extend down to North or Oak street beaches.
Yearly events include:
• Air & Water Show - Chicago also hosts a fantastic Air and Water Show with the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds alternating each year. The Coast Guard also makes an appearance, and there may be amphibious demonstrations. The Chicago Air & Water Show is the oldest and largest free admission exhibition of its kind in the United States. Every year over 2 million spectators gather to watch this event from both land and water.
• Taste of Chicago - Grant Park. Every year spanning the 4th of July, an outdoor food showcase of Chicago restaurants, vendors, and producers. Also a great opportunity to watch the 4th of July fireworks from the park and lakefront.