There are few cities in the country with as many attractions as Chicago, yet many of its residents rarely if ever take time to experience them. Rather than traveling, here are a few local attractions that city residents can’t afford to miss:
- Lincoln Park Zoo and Conservatory: Rather than fighting traffic to visit the Brookfield zoo, why not enjoy Chicago’s own Lincoln Park Zoo? Easily accessible via the #151, #156, #36 and #22 buses, the zoo boasts a mix of exterior and indoor enclosures, so it’s worth a visit any time of the year. The zoo also has a variety of special events, including both child-specific and adult-only events. The Lincoln Park Conservatory is beautifully landscaped, and has a long history stretching back to the late 1800s. Best of all, it’s completely free!
- Green Mill: As one of the oldest jazz clubs in the country, Green Mill has a long history and continues to remain a popular spot today. Once a regular hangout of Al Capone, (whose favorite booth remains in place), today it is home to the Uptown Poetry Slam and features live performances most nights. Located just off the Lawrence Red Line stop, there are a number of restaurants nearby, including Demera’s Ethiopian fare across the street and Middle Eastern cuisine from Caravan right next door. For a sophisticated night out, consider spending an evening at Green Mill.
- Second City: The launchpad of many now-famous comedians, Second City is the home of Chicago’s famous improv community. Second City has produced comedic icons like Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey, and its unique brand of unexpected, off-color and absurd humor is sure to delight. Thanks to the improvisational nature of many skits, every performance is unique, and more than a few sketches have been completely transformed by an unexpected suggestion or audience reaction.
- Field & Science and Industry Museums: Though a regular attraction for tourists and out-of-town relatives, Chicagoans rarely take the time to visit these historic museums. Both the Field Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry trace their histories back to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, with the former’s collection dating to the fair, while the latter is housed in what once was the Palace of Fine Arts. Both museums boast an impressive collection of exhibits, and have a number of free admission days throughout the year.
Chicago is home to a wide number of attractions, but Chicagoans rarely spend the time to appreciate them. Instead of traveling for your next vacation, consider enjoying some of the city’s attractions.