Museum of Science and Industry is a full-day’s worth of fun and
adventure. You can ride 50 feet down into a mine shaft and see how
coal is mined; visit the Henry Crown Space Center, featuring the
Apollo Space Craft, a lunar module trainer and a mock-up space
shuttle; or board a real WWII German Submarine. Railroad buffs can
board the Silver Streak and take a trip back to 1934 as a passenger
on the Pioneer Zephyr.
Little princesses (of all ages) will enjoy a visit to
Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, complete with miniature artwork,
tapestries, and chandeliers made of real diamonds, emeralds, pearls
and other exotic materials.
If you need to sit and relax a bit, perhaps a visit to Yesterday's Main Street
(circa 1910) is just the ticket. Here you can indulge your sweet
tooth at the old-fashioned ice cream parlor (open seasonally),
or watch a classic silent movie at the Nickelodeon Theater.
Speaking of movies, the museum has an Omnimax, a five-story, domed,
wrap-around theater that shows a variety of thrilling, educational
programs that may shake you to the bones. It's a extra fee,
but well worth it. Programs vary through the year, so check
the Museum's website for details on current shows and schedules.
Located at 57th Street and Lakeshore Drive, the Museum of Science
and Industry opened in 1933. It was the first museum in North
America to employ interactive exhibits and today features 14 acres
of them, along with over 35,000 interesting artifacts. For more
information on visiting, see the museum's
Navy Pier, located at Grand Avenue and the lakefront, was originally
built as a naval air-training facility during World War II. The pier
is now a full-scale entertainment center with both indoor and
outdoor attractions for the entire family.
The outside pier area features amusement park rides, a miniature
golf course, stages for live entertainment, as well as a variety of
sightseeing ships, including a tall ship, thrilling speedboat rides
and dinner cruises. Inside there are restaurants, shops, the Amazing
Chicago fun house, the Crystal Gardens, two museums, an IMAX theater
Navy Pier also provides a dazzling fireworks display every Wednesday
and Saturday all summer long. For a more detailed list of the Pier’s
attractions, go to
The Adler Planetarium, located at 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr., was the
first planetarium built in America. It features three full-size
theaters where the viewer is surrounded by the heavens as a narrator
describes how stars and planets evolve. The Planetarium also houses
a variety of interactive space science exhibits, including
In addition, the Adler has three theaters showing highly
entertaining and informative programs about space and space science
geared to audiences of different ages. The shows vary
throughout the year, so check the official website for "what's on."
The Planetarium is open seven days a week. See the
The view from the Skydeck on the
103rd floor of the Willis Tower is spectacular. On a clear day, you
can see four states and a panoramic view of Chicago and Lake
Michigan. In fact, if you’re not afraid of heights, you might dare
to step out on the “Ledge,” where you can look straight down 1,353
ft, and get a true aerial view of the city below. The Skydeck Ledge
is a glass box that hangs 4.3 feet out into the air.
spectacular views the Tower’s Skydeck features interactive displays
that give information about what you see from the deck, and a movie
about the building of the Sears Tower. For further information go to
John G. Shedd Aquarium
The John G. Shedd Aquarium, located at 1200 South Lake Shore Drive,
considered one of the largest
indoor aquariums in the World. It houses
more than 25,000 fish in approximately 5,000,000 gallons of water.
Three of the Shedd’s exhibits replicate unique aquatic environments
around the world, and take the visitor on a journey through lagoons,
mangrove forests and wild rivers.
There is also an aquatic show
featuring the Aquarium’s more talented residents, including
the Aquariums famous Beluga whales (a smaller, compact whale
information about parking, directions, cost of admission and hours
go to www.sheddaquarium.org.
The John Hancock Center soars high above Michigan Avenue’s Miracle
Mile. A quick ride on the fastest elevators in America (1,000 feet
in 40 seconds) will take you to the Hancock Observatory, where you
can see up to 80 miles in any direction (depending on atmospheric conditions).
The city’s only open-air viewing platform provides a free multimedia tour
narrated by actor David Schwimmer, interactive telescopes, and an 80
foot history wall to complete the experience.
The Observatory is open
until 11 p.m. (last admittance 10:30), so hang around and enjoy the
sunset or the twice weekly fireworks displays at Navy Pier
during the summer. Another great way to catch the view from the
John Hancock Center is while dining at its lofty restaurants, the Lavazza Expression Café (at the Observatory), or the Signature Room
at the 95th.
In the winter months visitors can enjoy the World’s
highest skating rink on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center.
Free skating lessons and rental skates are available.
Hancock Building stands 100 stories and 1,127 feet to the top floor.
Another 500 feet is added for antenna, which brings the official
height to 1,627 ft. It is the fourth tallest building in Chicago and one of only two
skyscrapers with a public viewing deck.
The Hancock Center is located at 875 N. Michigan Avenue. For
specific information about ticket prices and hours see the
Buckingham Fountain n Grant Park is one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. It
was built by Edward H. Bennett in 1927 to represent Lake Michigan. The four horses surrounding the fountain represent the four states
that border the Lake: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Bennett based his design on the Latona Basin in the gardens of
Chicago's Buckingham Fountain is one of the largest fountains in the world
with a capacity of 1.5 million gallons of water. It recycles approximately 14,100 gallons of water
for redisplay each minute.
The fountain runs daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. from mid-April until
October (depending on the weather). Every hour on the hour the
center jet shoots a stream of water 150 ft into the air.
Buckingham fountain is a particularly spectacular
scene at night as the fountain is illuminated.
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