This is Chicago’s most remarkable new public space. During the summer the park has free events and concerts featuring the City’s most talented performers and artists at the Pritzker Pavilion. Groups can also explore Cloud Gate. A 110-ton elliptical sculpture which reflects the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. The Crown Fountain is a 50 ft. tall glass block tower with water cascading down the sides. Kids get their feet wet in the water or completely cool off by standing next to the fountain and let the water run over them. Watch as the side of the fountain changes from faces (of people of Chicago) to nature scenes. Or walk the BP Bridge. It is a 925 foot long winding bridge which provides incomparable views of the city’s skyline, Grant Park and Lake Michigan. Grab a bite to eat or an ice cream from one of the vendors in the park. Also there are souvenir shops which sell exclusively Millennium Park items.
Willis Tower Skydeck
Having the tallest observation deck in the city is just the beginning of the Willis Tower allure. The visibility from the Skydeck is up to fifty miles when the weather’s clear. And powerful binoculars help you take it all in. After watching the city from the top, step inside for greater detail on what you’ve seen, including exhibits on the famous architecture, information on popular landmarks, and all kinds of discovery through interactive computers.
Ride the Ferris Wheel and see Chicago on this 15 story-high ride. Play in the Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze and experience the sights and sounds of Chicago life. Spend time shopping at Barbara’s Bookstore, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Navy Pier Store, The Sports Store and many others. Navy Pier also has great places to eat such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. & Marketplace, Chango Loco Mexican Cantina, Billy Goat Tavern & Grill and Capi’s Italian Kitchen. And if you can, experience a dinner cruise, shoreline sightseeing or a Seadog Speedboat ride available at the Pier!
Chicago Board of Trade (walk-by viewing)
The CBOT art deco design will snatch your attention from the Chicago skyline’s collection of skyscrapers and otherwise concrete structures. But what lies within this iconic trading hub is far more interesting! This historic exchange sets the rhythm of the business minded in Chicago.
Federal Reserve Visitor Center
For banking insight deeper than you bargained for, the Federal Reserve delivers more! See not only presentations and video snippets, but grasp how money is made, managed, dispersed and tracked! Ogle a historic currency collection or get your photo taken with a suitcase full of cold, hard cash! Learn how to spot a counterfeit for yourself, decipher the security features embedded in U.S. money, see a million dollars firsthand, understand the fight against inflation, discover a $10,000 bill, even take home a free bag of money! Shredded, that is.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Take your group for a taste of the adventurous when you step into Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. Every day at 11am the Meet an Animal segment allows visitors to interact up close and personal with creatures such as a python or an armadillo. Go behind the scenes of animal training and care to learn how the animals experience the zoo. Everyone will appreciate the innocent pleasure of the Endangered Species Carousel until their appetites catch up with them. Offering 3 on-site restaurants you will need your energy if you plan to partake in the available workshops, like urban gardening. Otherwise, grab a souvenir after visiting the multitude of habitats and displays ranging from the Oriental Fire Bellied Toad to the gentler sounding Parma Wallaby. Before you go, wind down alongside the Chicago skyline with Yoga at the Zoo from June to September.
Museum of Science and Industry
The museum has three floors of more than 800 exhibits. Among the many exhibits are a WWII German U-505 submarine, an Apollo 8 Commando Module, a cantilevered Boeing, a WWII British Spitfire and a 1914 Ford Model T. The museum also has a large section on the human body. Among the items on display is a 20ft tall walk-through model of a heart and there’s also a permanent exhibit covering AIDS. The energy section includes a reconstruction of a 1933 Illinois coal mine which allows people to descend 50 ft into the mine. In the environmental section there is an interactive display explaining the ozone layer and pollution. Other attractions include a Fairy Castle (a dollhouse with working electricity and plumbing), a 3,000 sq ft model railroad, an Omnimax theater, flight simulators and even a baby chick hatchery.
Chicago’s Magnificent Mile
This collection of shopping and restaurants stretches along beautiful Michigan Avenue. You’ll find everything here from designer boutiques and world-class restaurants to gift shops and pizza. Water Tower Place is an extensive mall named after the historic water tower. This tower is one of the only structures that survived the great Chicago fire in the 1800s, and it’s a fascinating sight on your Magnificent Mile tour.