Exploring Chicago: How to Make the Most of Your Layover at O’Hare International Airport

Introduction

Chicago is one of the most exciting cities in the United States. It’s filled with delicious restaurants and bars, beautiful architecture, and plenty of tourist attractions. And if you’re flying from O’Hare International Airport, it’s easy to get around once you’ve landed at this busy airport. But first things first: how do you get there?

The Chicago Public Library provides many resources for travelers who want to learn more about their upcoming trip to Chicago or even plan an extended stay here. Check out these webpages for more information on visiting our beautiful city:

O’Hare International Airport can be a confusing and overwhelming place for first-time visitors.

O’Hare International Airport can be a confusing and overwhelming place for first-time visitors. The airport is huge and busy, so it’s easy to feel lost as you navigate through all the shops, restaurants and people.

Luckily, we have some tips that will help make your stay in Chicago go more smoothly:

  • Be prepared – If you’re coming from out of town, make sure you have everything you need before heading to the airport (including a full tank of gas). This way, when you arrive at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, IL USA there won’t be anything stopping you from getting on with your vacation plans!
  • Get directions – You might think walking around aimlessly until something happens would be an adventurous way to spend some time at O’Hare International Airport; but we strongly recommend against this strategy since it could lead anywhere from lost luggage retrieval areas all the way up through security checkpoints back into more touristy areas where they sell food trucks–and who wants that?

The layover lounge lets you skip the chaos of the main terminal.

If you’re looking for a way to avoid the mayhem of O’Hare’s main terminal, consider taking advantage of the layover lounge. The space is open from 5am to 10pm, and it’s located in Terminal 3. In addition to free Wi-Fi, charging stations, and food and drinks (including an espresso machine), there’s a quiet work area where you can catch up on emails or read a book.

You can also get some work done in the public area. There are plenty of seats and tables, as well as free Wi-Fi if you need it. You can also charge your phone in one of the charging stations located throughout the space.

You don’t have to stay at the airport if you don’t want to.

There are a number of hotels near O’Hare, so you can choose to stay at one of them if you prefer. You can also take a taxi or Uber to the airport if you don’t want to take public transportation. If you have time, consider taking the Blue Line train into downtown Chicago (or even Chinatown) and exploring while you wait for your flight!

If you’re flying out of another airport in the Chicago area, there are also plenty of options for getting to O’Hare. You can take public transportation or a taxi if you don’t want to drive yourself. It may also be possible to take a shuttle service from your home airport if it has one available.

There’s an easy way to find cheap parking.

Finding cheap parking at O’hare can be a challenge, especially if you’re only staying for a short time and flying into O’Hare International Airport. But there are ways to get around this! First, look for garages that offer free shuttles from the airport—you’ll have no problem finding parking spots and won’t have to worry about parking fees. Plus, getting out will be much easier since you won’t have to search for a spot when it’s time to leave. And if that doesn’t work for your itinerary, consider booking an airport hotel with complimentary shuttle service or renting a car so that you can drive yourself (and your luggage!) to any nearby lot or garage at your leisure.

Choose On Air Parking for your parking needs

For your parking needs, On Air Parking is the best option. Having been in business since 1966, they have a proven track record of providing the most convenient and affordable parking options for travelers at O’Hare International Airport.

On Air Parking is the only provider that offers free cancellations in case your flight gets delayed or you have to reschedule your trip. They also have an excellent location: they’re conveniently located on Mannheim Road just east of I-190, which makes it easy to get there from any part of Chicago.

You can’t go wrong with On Air Parking if you’re looking for a parking space near O’Hare International Airport!

Free cancellations at On Air Parking for any reason

Free cancellations for any reason

On Air Parking’s cancellation policy is clearly stated on their website and is easy to navigate. You can cancel your reservation up to 24 hours in advance, but only if you call or email them directly. Cancellations are easy to make and track, so you don’t have to worry about your parking being paid for even if it’s not used. If there’s a problem with the reserved space, On Air Parking will refund or reschedule the reservation at no cost.

Plan your vacation parking with On Air Parking

One of the best ways to make your layover as enjoyable as possible is by planning your parking in advance. On Air Parking offers a great service that allows you to book a parking spot at one of their lots in advance, which saves you time and stress when arriving at O’Hare International Airport.

You can book your parking directly from their website, or download their free app for iPhone and Android devices. Once you’re ready for departure, simply show up at the lot with your confirmation number and get on with your trip!

When using the website or app:

  • Choose a location (the available lots will show up on screen). You can filter by price or distance if needed.
  • Select how long you want to park there (you can choose any amount between 1 hour and 2 days) 3) Enter payment information so that all charges are processed automatically through PayPal or credit card when you arrive at the lot
  • Click “Confirm Booking”
  • Save these directions on Google Maps so they are easy to navigate later (on mobile devices only).

Even if your time in Chicago is limited, there are a lot of fun adventures that are just a short drive from O’Hare International Airport.

You might not be able to make it all the way to Chicago, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some of its great attractions. The city has plenty of sights and museums within easy driving distance from O’Hare International Airport.

The Museum of Science and Industry is a great option if you want to spend some time exploring Chicago’s cultural offerings, as well as learn more about aviation history. It’s located on Northerly Island, which is a scenic park that also offers skyline views and plenty of green space to relax in while waiting for your flight home.

If you want something more interactive, Millennium Park is another option just minutes away from the airport by car or taxi (you’ll need cash). The popular attraction includes many fun things to see like Cloud Gate sculpture “The Bean” and Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon! If this isn’t enough fun for your layover at O’Hare International Airport then we don’t know what else would be!

Conclusion

O’Hare International Airport is a great place to visit if you have time for an adventure. If not, it’s still worth exploring what there is to see around the city. There are plenty of things to do and places to go, even if your only stopover in Chicago is an overnight layover.

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17 Places to Visit in Chicago this Winter – 2023

17 Places to Visit in Chicago this Winter – 2023

Chicago. The Windy City. If you’ll be braving the Illinois winter and celebrating this holiday season amid Chicago’s famed skyline and eclectic mix of music, tastes, and sights – you’ll be pleased to know you couldn’t have picked a better place. And with so much going on, it can be hard to navigate this city. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered – read on for seventeen of our favorite places to visit in Chicago this winter.

Christkindlmarket

Enjoy the beauty and charm of a continental European-style Christmas Market at Chicago Christkindlmarket! Here, visitors can stroll amid rows of cozy wooden stalls and enjoy fresh baked goods, hot beverages from hot chocolate to mulled wine, and shop gifts, play games and enjoy live music. Whether a festive family occasion or a great date night, Christkindlmarket is a Chicago favorite for good reason.

Millennium Park Ice Skating

Another fun tradition to the city is ice skating with friends and family in one of the city’s most famous venues – Millenium Park! Here in Chicago’s favored spot for community and home of the iconic “Bean,” you can skate the night away to holiday tunes and spend a good few hours with pictures on the ice. A great bit of active holiday fun and also a solid photo opportunity.

Navy Pier

Featuring a festive Christmas Village, a Ferris Wheel, a number of firework shows, shopping centers, games and other rides, Navy Pier’s appeal extends well into Winter with its many attractions. This is especially good for families or larger groups visiting Chicago this winter.

Blackhawks Games

One of the more electrifying and exciting events happening around Chicago during the Winter Season is the rare Blackhawks home game! Come don the Red, Black and White and join in on of Chicago’s most storied and esteemed sporting traditions as the Blackhawks defend their home turf of United Centre.

Northerly Island Winter Sports

Amid ice skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, sledding and many other activities, visitors will be pleasantly delighted in the range of Winter Sports options at Northerly Island! No need to travel as far as Aspen or the ranges of California when you can enjoy the thrill of Winter Sports here at nearby Northerly Island!

Lincoln Park Zoo Lights

A more calm alternative is a walk amid the Zoo Lights at the famous Lincoln Park Zoo. While many of the Zoo’s residents might have turned in for the Winter, the acclaimed light show and footpaths of the Lincoln Park Zoo come to life at this time of year. This is a great photo opportunity and experience for families as it is for date night and couples alike. 

Lakefront Trail Walks

Yet another beautiful walk to take on this winter are the series of trails along the Lakefront. With such a variety of sculptures, lights and artwork installations regularly joining the sights and events of this area of Chicago, this is another great addition to consider. (However, those who prefer the warmth of their car might also consider the many drive-through trails also available).

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

While you may hear the same holiday tunes at this time of year, every year, (nonstop, namely Mariah Carey) what you may not hear as often is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra! Superbly talented and putting on performances and concerts of holiday season classics – a trip to a CSO concert is an amazing experience for all who can make it.

Order in With Holiday Sales

While this might seem an odd one, with Chicago’s connection as a hub and many delivery and at-home services, sometimes the best winter nights are the ones spent at home. Sleep in and stay comfortable on the worst of winter nights and relish in the joy of hearty Chicago cuisine delivered to your doorstep. Enjoying a snow-in can be a great way to add a breather to your trip, as well as the extra comfort of those sleepy winter mornings. After all, who doesn’t sleep better under a warm cover when it’s a cold night?

Garfield Park Conservatory

Stroll amid the winter incarnation of this Chicago institution, amid seasonal foliage, ornaments, miniature Christmas villages and lights at the gorgeous Garfield Park Conservatory. Perfect for a date night or postcard photos from the trip.

Electric Garden

Enjoy the warmth and delights of a beer garden at this revamped Chicago venue, warming up on hearty ales and local fare. We recommend items such as the seasonal burgers or chimichurri nachos to sample some of the best in Midwestern produce, namely beef and dairy. 

Wrigley Field Gallagher Way Winterland

Come celebrate the Winter season at this iconic venue – Wrigley Field! Enjoy festive games, fresh and gourmet food, music, dance and plenty of vendors for gifts all at this one-of-a-kind location. Here, visitors can visit and tour a piece of Chicago history, as well as relish in the fun of a winter market. Come take pictures next to this giant of sporting history, grab a gift for the loved ones at home and enjoy plenty of games, music and fun here at the iconic Wrigley Field’s Gallagher Way Winterland. 

Magnificent Mile Lights

Another noteworthy light show installation are the Magnificent Mile Lights, a great attraction for those from outside of the country to get a taste of Chicago style winter lights and pageantry. During the eponymous festival, a great series of dance, song and captivating floats take the streets, while for the rest of the season, visitors can walk underneath illuminated trees and the romantic riverside.

Aire Baths

If you’re wanting to enjoy the Chicago Winter in style, why bother fighting the high winds, heavy snow and freezing temperatures when you could unwind in a warm bath? Come out of the Winter looking a bit younger and a lot less stressed when you relax at the Aire Baths, a growing favorite in Chicagoland. Here, an intricate system of different baths at differing temperatures and salinities will treat you right, all in the restored location of a former factory, now a ritzy spa. This is something uniquely Great Lakes, and you’ll thank yourself for every second you spend in the warm waters as opposed to battling the elements outside.

Drive-In Movie

Another warm alternative to duking it out with the infamous Illinois winters is attending a drive-in cinema! Bring your comfiest pajamas, thick blankets, and snacks with you to the drive in cinema and enjoy movies on the big screen, right from the comfort of your car! This is great for families to cozy up inside the van or suv, or as a uniquely comfy and down to earth date night idea.

Chinese New Year in Chinatown

Featuring an exciting mix of lion and dragon dances, massive drums, firecrackers, delicious Chinese fare and the color red galore, Chinese New Year in Chicagoland is something to witness! Frequently falling in late January or early February, this is a great way to engage with the Chicago community in a collection of festivals featuring daring physical stunts, martial arts, craftsmanship and last but not least, absolutely delicious Chinese dishes. Chicago’s Chinese-American community comes to life during this important holiday, and is a great way to enjoy pageantry, performance and community all out on the streets and squares of the Windy City. 

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Here’s What You Need to Plan Your Trip to Chicago

Here’s What You Need to Plan Your Trip to Chicago

Chicago. The Windy City. If you’ll be visiting these historic crossroads of the Midwest, you’ll find so much here – from the (in)famous deep dish pizzas to the dynasties of the local Bulls and Blackhawks, to a thriving local music scene and one of the nation’s most formidable skylines. With so much to see and do, it can be easy to overlook other parts of your itinerary. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Read on and check with us as we go over everything you’ll need to plan your trip to Chicago.

Method of transport

Specifically, this is referring to how you will get into Chicago – whether it is driving in, riding a bus in, taking a train in or flying into one of the many airports of the Chicago area. This is important to note for multiple reasons – this will determine which conditions to monitor prior to your trip whether it is weather or freeway traffic, what to expect while traveling between having wi-fi, available bathrooms or not, and most importantly – point of arrival. Yes, there are public transport and taxi services around the city, but your exact arrival point can make a big difference for those who are traveling and a bit more conscious about time or distance traveled. 

Which Airline Will You Be Taking?

This is especially relevant for those flying with a United States based airline, what with the recent spike in cancellations, delays and disarray impacting American airline operators. (Not to be confused with the specific airline of the same name, this impacts all US Carriers from Spirit to United.) It is an important choice to weigh to have a better idea of where in O’Hare you’ll be arriving, to gauge what kind of service you’ll expect, as well as the customer service options you should expect should the worst come to happen (delay, overbooking, lost luggage, etc). 

Lodging

This is another very important option that will significantly impact your trip. Both the accommodations themselves will change a lot about how you rest and sleep in between journeys, as well as most importantly – impact the logistics! That is, how you will be getting to and from airports, attractions, etc. Whether it is staying with family, through airbnb or at a hotel, this is another super important detail to consider to also help budget properly, understand any constraints on your living situation while in Chicago, or even other smaller details such as what can you bring, when is check out time?

Lodging for Your Car… (Parking)

If you’ll be getting around primarily via car or private vehicle, this is definitely a step worth looking into before your trip! Parking can be very rare and expensive if you decide to wing it on this step, and can eat up a lot of your wallet and your limited time in Chicago – especially in places like downtown. To beat the hassle, knowing where you’ll park ahead of time can not only help with navigation and be a huge boost in planning – but also genuinely save tons of money! Garages and lots favor booking in advance, and the stressful holiday practice of circling the city, scanning for an empty spot (and then figuring out how to pay!), complicated city parking signs… it’s all irrelevant when you secure parking for your car ahead of time. We recommend sites such as Onairparking or Spothero for the most flexible, easy to use services and best customer service support. The latter being huge when traveling to a large, unfamiliar city for the first time. 

Transport Around the City

Of course, this might be precluded altogether if you decide on not driving at all! With a decent commuter rail service, availability of taxis, buses and scooter/bike rental services, if you’re visiting in a warmer season or fancy yourself to public transport/biking it, you could potentially save a lot of trouble and money normally associated with having to maintain a vehicle during your stay in Chicago. If not to save money on a car altogether, it is also good to be aware of other transport options around the city also in case of emergency, or to just economize on your vehicle in the best way possible. In a city as large as Chicago, you’ll find more than one way to get around the largest attractions, and in some instances, parking farther out at a cheaper garage can make all the difference. 

Weather

This one cannot be overstated – check the weather! The Windy City is famed for experiencing all four seasons. What might not be as commonly known is the severity of some of these seasons! A combination of an extreme continental location combined with a lakeside effect makes for some absolutely insane weather phenomena – very, very important to consider in all plans. Winter snow and blizzards can reach a bone-chilling cold for even the most frosty visitors, and may even impact indoor plans or getting around the city if conditions are severe enough. Summer heat also should not be discounted – despite the relative northerly location of Chicago, the location in the Midwest can still provide for unexpectedly hot temperatures – sometimes dangerously so. This is also of note for those with outdoor activities or even just for seemingly short trips around the city. In the right (or wrong) weather conditions, even the smallest trips outside of a well heated/air-conditioned home/car can feel like a difficult eternity.

Wardrobe

Also related to this is to pack accordingly! And for those visiting from outside of the region – do invest in proper winter clothing and equipment before you come! The scramble to get cold weather clothing can be difficult, stressful, maybe not even possible in the worst conditions, and is also generally not advisable as the thing to do immediately after a long plane flight. Pack warm and comfortable, or light and cool for the appropriate season and weather of your trip – future you will thank you. 

Tickets/Reservations

And finally, tickets and reservations. Not just at restaurants, but at many of Chicago’s biggest and baddest attractions, tickets and reservations are either increasingly necessary, or also huge money savers. Not to mention, the heartache and pressure saved when traveling during peak tourist season – no need to worry if you’ll get in on time or if it will fill up before you arrive when you’ve already saved yourselves a spot. 

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BBQ Cook-off Competitions Near Chicago, IL

BBQ Cook-off Competitions Near Chicago, IL 

Chicago. A beautiful city, also known as the “Windy City”. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is very windy but that is not all that Chicago is known for. Chicago is also known for its tasty food, whether you are in the mood for pizza, hot dogs, or italian sausage, these foods are this city’s specialty. Chicago is also known for its history in jazz music and 1920s gangsters, such as Al Capone. When the weather starts to get bright and beautiful during the summer season, it’s time to get the grilling started. Not only is it fun to enjoy grilling at the comfort of your own home, but a great summer pass time is enjoying and participating in bbq cook-off competitions to not only fill your belly with the seasons delicious foods, but also compete to see if your signature recipe can win over the hearts of the judges and those attending. When looking for bbq cook-off competitions that are near Chicago, fers plenty of options. Let’s take a look now at some of the most tasty and fun bbq cook-off competitions that Chicago has to offer. 

Windy City Smokeout 

If you find yourself in Chicago this summer and you are looking for a fun event to enjoy tasty barbecue, the Windy City Smokeout is perfect for you. The Windy City Smokeout is an event that Chicago hosts every year that oozes the spirit of

summer. The Windy City Smokeout is an event where all is welcome and features live country music, delicious barbecue, and a huge selection of craft beer. The Windy City Smokeout is an outdoor fest that takes place at the United Center. This festival offers delicious barbecue from the best of the best from all over the country who are eager to serve event goers ribs, smoked meats, brisket, and much more. These mouth watering foods include samples from Kentucky, Nashville, Chicago, and Missouri. You can’t forget the drinks, with this event boasting craft beers from America’s top breweries. If you are really ready to indulge in the nation’s best barbecue, be sure to take advantage of the praised Bottomless BBQ Brunch that Windy City Smokeout is known for. Grab your ticket today and enjoy one of the best barbecuing events of the summer.  

Soul & Smoke 

If you find yourself in Chicago and do not particularly enjoy attending or competing in large barbecuing events, there are still plenty of places in Chicago to enjoy tasty barbecue. Soul & Smoke is an excellent example of this. Soul & Smoke is a restaurant in Chicago that boasts legendary bbq thanks to chef D’Andre Carter and his wife Heather Bublick. Soul & Smoke grills delicious dishes that are Texas inspired such as the mouth watering brisket, baby back ribs, and more. If you want to experience some of the best bbq that Chicago has to offer, Soul & Smoke is for you.

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Places to Cool Down for the Summer in Chicago, IL

Places to Cool Down for the Summer in Chicago, IL

Chicago. This vibrant and bustling Midwestern Metropolis is the scene for the arts among literature, film, theater, comedy, gastronomy, music, all between its renowned skyline and storied neighborhoods. Today, Chicago continues to draw millions of tourists from over the world, and with so much occurring at every part of the year, it’s easy to understand why. Whether a visitor drafting travel plans, returning home to visit friends and family, or a local looking for something to do near home, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite ways to beat the summer heat here around the Windy City.

Raging Waves

Featuring a collection of raft rides for duos, solo riders and groups, a massive wave pool, lazy river, splash pads, playgrounds, and more, Raging Waves is one of Illinois’ and the Midwests’ favorite destinations for the summer. This is a great option for those visitors planning an itinerary for a group with diverse interests. Here the adrenaline junkies can brave the steep plunges of The Cycle and the Tasmanian Twisters, the whole group can take on Wonambi and Crocodile Mile, and the tired can simply relax on the spanning lazy river or the Great Barrier Reef pool. Bring the whole party to Raging Waves this summer, where there is something for everyone.

https://www.ragingwaves.com/

Jet Ski Chicago

Tour the skyline and waterside of Chicago and its lakeside suburbs on a number of jet ski rental services this summer. The simple joys of jet skiing on Lake Michigan with the views of Chicago’s downtown, lakefront, and beachside districts serve as a great introduction to the Windy City that is as refreshing as it is exciting. This is a great activity for those summer afternoons, and is a more up-front and interactive way to tour Chicago compared to a traditional lake cruise.

Kathy Osterman Beach

Whether sunbathing, volleyball, football, or swimming on the beach, the scenes, sunlight and water along Kathy Osterman Beach is a great destination during those long summer days. No need to venture to the coasts of California or Florida this summer, visitors will be delighted by the fun and sun out on the edge of Lake Michigan. Combined with the proximity to other esteemed beaches of Chicago such as Foster Beach, Loyola Beach, Montrose Beach, as well as many of Chicago’s lakeside neighborhoods and attractions, this is a great addition to any travel itineraries that is as accessible as it is versatile.

https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks-facilities/osterman-beach

Third Coast Surf School

While this might seem a surprising addition to a list regarding Chicago, in fact, the surfer community of the Chicago area has built a bustling presence here in the Midwest, and now offer classes to visitors. This is a great way to experience something truly new and unique, out surfing on the great lakes, and makes for an exciting and interesting addition to any travel plans around Chicago.

https://thirdcoastsurfshop.com/

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Top Colleges to Visit in Chicago, IL

Top Colleges to Visit in Chicago, IL 

Chicago. A beautiful city, also known as the Windy City. Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago is very windy but that is not all that Chicago is known for. Chicago is also known for its tasty food, whether you are in the mood for pizza, hot dogs, or Italian sausage, these foods are this city’s specialty. Chicago is also known for its history in jazz music and 1920’s gangsters, such as Al Capone. During the spring season, many schools are rounding out their school year and are getting ready for summer break, with seniors finishing up their studies and are on the search for a college to continue their education. When looking for colleges to attend or simply looking for a beautiful college campus to stroll through in Chicago, the city offers plenty of options. Let’s take a look now at some of the best colleges Chicago has to offer! 

University of Chicago 

When looking for some of the best colleges to visit or attend when in Chicago, the University of Chicago has to make your list. The University of Chicago is one of the most well known universities in the area and is known throughout the nation as being a prestigious and accomplished university. University of Chicago was founded in the year of 1890 and is a private institution. The University of Chicago has a total undergraduate 

enrollment of over 6,000 students in the fall of 2020. The university’s campus is set in an urban environment and sits on approximately 217 acres of land. This wonderful

school was also rated the 6th best college in the nation in the year of 2022. The University of Chicago sits in Hyde Park and offers a beautiful campus set in the middle of the Windy City. The University of Chicago’s post graduate programs include high ranked programs such as the Booth School of Business, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, Law School, and more. With this impressive portfolio of top ranked programs, it comes to no surprise on why this school is ranked highly when compared to every other university. Get your learning on and tour the lovely campus of University of Chicago; you won’t be disappointed! 

https://www.uchicago.edu

Northwestern University 

Another lovely school that is worth taking a look at that is around the city of Chicago is Northwestern University. Northwestern University was established in the year of 1851 and sits on 231 acres of land. Northwestern University offers an array of different programs and also is a Division 1 school that is in the Big Ten Athletics Conference. As a matter of fact, the school’s women’s lacrosse team has won multiple national championships. Northwestern University is ranked the 9th best college in the nation and boasts a gorgeous campus. Whether you are looking for a place to take a stroll through during a beautiful afternoon or are looking for a university to continue your studies, Northwestern University is well worth checking out! 

https://www.northwestern.edu

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Father’s Day around Chicago, IL

Father’s Day around Chicago, IL 

Chicago. This vibrant and bustling Midwestern Metropolis is the scene for the arts among literature, film, theater, comedy, gastronomy, music, all between its renowned skyline and storied neighborhoods. Today, Chicago continues to draw millions of tourists from over the world, and with so much occurring at every part of the year, it’s easy to understand why. Whether a visitor drafting travel plans, returning home to visit friends and family or a local looking for something to do near home, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite ways to celebrate Father’s Day here around the Windy City.

Dining around Chicago

Of course, no father’s day is complete without delicious food. If you’ll be taking Dad out on the town, you’ll find more than plenty of options for every palate here in Chicago, from upscale restaurants and hotel kitchens to indulgent comfort food eateries and innovative chefs. The Langham boasts an elaborate three-course menu, while etta showcases a number of hearty sandwiches, sweet and delicate cakes and french toast, or take the family out to The Bristol for contemporary American fare. 

https://chicago.eater.com/maps/38-best-restaurants-in-chicago

Games and sightseeing around the Loop

Chicago’s Loop has developed into one of the city’s proudest and most vibrant neighborhoods, filled with one-of-a-kind experiences and sights. For those families who want to tour varied games, activities and attractions, a trip to the Loop is a great addition to your Father’s Day weekend. Shoreline Sightseeing tours are a great and photo-rich way to sail down one of the nation’s most impressive skylines, while AceBounce and Flight Club take simple bar games and dial the atmosphere up to eleven. Maggie Daley Park is a great place for the family to enjoy the June sunshine with climbing walls, scooter and rollerblade rentals, mini golf and even bungee jumping! 

https://loopchicago.com/

Hiking around Chicago

For the more outdoorsy families and Dads who want to tour the Illinois wilderness, there are a number of great and accessible biking and hiking trails around Chicago that are great ways to tour and explore the Chicago area while enjoying the fresh air. The Morton Arboretum is complete with bike rentals, and is a bike trail for the whole family, with flowers, trees, birdwatching and greenery galore. The Lakefront Trail is another alternative near many of the city’s most renowned attractions suitable for competitive cyclists, casual bikers and runners alike, while The Cal-Sag Trail is a great way for the more seasoned visitors to tour the South Suburbs. 

https://www.thrillist.com/travel/chicago/underrated-hikes-trails-near-chicago

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How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Chicago, Illinois

How Not to Look Like a Tourist in Chicago, Illinois

Hello knowledgeable traveler, on behalf of all the cities you have visited, thank you for doing your research on how to not look like a tourist. This article is for the benefit of the city you are visiting and for the benefit of your enjoyment while traveling to new lands. From essential facts about the city and its locals to hole in the wall destinations that only the locals seem to know about. Everything that will make you look less like a tourist and more like a seasoned traveler or local. Let’s face it, looking like a tourist in the city you are visiting is not doing anyone a favor. You will draw eye rolls from all the locals and tension will rise as you stick out like a sore thumb. Here in this article, you will find all the information needed to not look like a tourist in Chicago. Safe travels, and feel free to follow the links provided to further your planning.

Know Before You Go

Best Time to Visit

Chicago is a city of world-class food, strong pride, deep history, and locals that love their city. First thing to know is when the best time to visit is. Anytime of the year is great, but if you are trying to avoid the crowds of tourists, I would recommend going in early September. Really any season is great in Chicago. The summers get hot, and the winters get extremely cold, so whenever you go just make sure to pack for the weather. The most obvious give away that you are a tourist is if you are underdressed or unprepared. 

Where to Stay

Hotels are the first thing any tourist thinks about. Do yourself a favor and broaden your search for a place to stay. In this day of age, we have many more options for temporary stay in cities we are visiting. Airbnb has some great modern and stylish apartments that are available to those who wish to stay in comfort and style. Most of the hotels are located in the downtown area, which limits your search. However, other renting and temporary stay options such as Airbnb have options that span all across the city. Get more for what you pay and ditch the average hotel experience. Follow the link below for an example of one of the many unique apartments you can stay at while in Chicago.

AirBnB

A Big No No

Do not ask for ketchup on your hot dog. There is no real reason why locals don’t put ketchup on their hot dogs, but it is a quick little test to really see if you are a tourist or not. Some local Chicago residents would argue that ketchup doesn’t belong on a hot dog, and some would say that since the hot dogs are steamed instead of grilled the ketchup would just make the whole meal too moist. The real reason is unknown, but if you wish to not look like a tourist then don’t put ketchup on your hot dog. 

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Mother’s Day Around Chicago, IL

Mother’s Day Around Chicago, IL 

Chicago. This vibrant and bustling Midwestern Metropolis is the scene for the arts among literature, film, theater, comedy, gastronomy, music, all between its renowned skyline and storied neighborhoods. Today, Chicago continues to draw millions of tourists from over the world, and with so much occurring at every part of the year, it’s easy to understand why. Whether a visitor drafting travel plans, returning home to visit friends and family, or a local looking for something to do near home, Chicago has something for everyone. Read on for some of our favorite ways to celebrate Mother’s Day here around the Windy City.

Garfield, Lincoln Park

Enjoy the May sunshine, flowers, and weather this Mother’s Day and come out to the bountiful flower beds and grounds of The Garfield Park Conservatory, or tour the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Both are great locations for your family to enjoy the pleasures of a May stroll and enjoy immersive and lush tours amid stunning architecture and diverse ecosystems. This is also a beautiful photo opportunity to update family back home or for the annual postcard, and the Lincoln Park Conservatory in particular offers easy access to the Beaches and attractions on the Lakeside.

https://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods/lincoln-park/

Lakeside

Speaking of the Lakeside, this is also another attraction-packed area of Chicago, with the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, Fullerton Beach, Field Museum, Northerly Island, and Belmont Harbor being just some of the sights along this area of Chicago. For those who want to keep their itineraries open or filled with a variety of different activities, this is a great area to look through when planning your trip to Chicago this Mother’s Day, suitable for picnics, strolls, or scenic stays.

https://www.fieldmuseum.org/

Chicago Cubs Home Game

Take the family out to historic Wrigley Field and enjoy the spectacle and atmosphere of a Chicago Cubs Home Game this Mother’s Day! This is a great chance for visitors to Chicago to see some of the fiercest in city pride, as well as immerse themselves in local sports culture and enjoy one of the city’s most famous photo opportunities, rivaled only by the likes of Cloud Gate (the Bean). 

https://www.mlb.com/cubs

Brunch around Chicago

And last but not least, the question of brunch, a Mother’s Day staple. If you’ll be taking Mom out on the town, you’ll find more than plenty of options for every palate here in Chicago, from upscale restaurants and hotel kitchens to indulgent comfort food eateries and innovative chefs. The Langham boasts an elaborate three-course menu, while etta showcases a number of hearty sandwiches, sweet and delicate cakes and French toast, or take the family out to The Bristol for contemporary American fare. We recommend the delicious take-home packages at Beatrix for those who want to spoil their Mom with breakfast-in-bed, from berry pancakes to lobster enchiladas to enchanting cinnamon rolls. 

https://chicago.eater.com/maps/38-best-restaurants-in-chicago

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Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in Chicago, IL

Cinco de Mayo Celebrations in Chicago, IL 

Chicago. A beautiful city, also known as the “Windy City.” Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, the city of Chicago is very windy but that is not all that the City of Chicago is known for. Chicago is also known for its tasty food, whether you are in the mood for pizza, hot dogs, or Italian sausage, these foods are this city’s specialty. Chicago is also known for its history in jazz music and 1920s gangsters, such as Al Capone. After the spring season has arrived, people all over the globe look forward to the exciting holiday of Cinco de Mayo and all of the events that come along with this wonderful holiday. With that being said, the city of Chicago offers numerous opportunities to join the fun and celebration of Cinco de Mayo! Let’s explore the city of Chicago and find out how this city celebrates this beloved holiday! 

Mesa Urbana 

When looking for places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo when spending time in the city of Chicago, a great option to start your evening festivities would be at Mesa Urbana. Mesa Urbana is a Mexican restaurant in Chicago that offers a comfortable and cozy atmosphere to ease you into your night. Mesa Urbana offers many different food options, including delicious Mediterranean, French, and Asian cuisines. In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, we urge you to try Mesa Urbana’s Pescado Taco, which consists of

avocado, mahi-mahi, cabbage, and beans. Another dish that you need to try is Mesa Urbana’s Callas De Hacha, which features scallops, acorn squash, tomato, onion, and spinach. After you are done indulging in Mesa Urbana’s entrees, you owe it to yourself to enjoy some of this restaurant’s delicious desserts which include Fudge Cocoa Brownies, Lava Cake, and many more delicious options. Be sure to take a look at Mesa Urbana’s extensive drink menu to get you loosened up for the fiesta that will follow after your delicious meal. Drinks include margaritas, mojitos, sangrias, beer, and wine. Start your Cinco de Mayo off right and book a reservation with Mesa Urbana!

El Fuego Restaurant and Tequila Bar 

When looking for where the fiesta is in Chicago during Cinco de Mayo, a great place to join the party would be at El Fuego Restaurant and Tequila Bar. El Fuego Restaurant and Tequila Bar is a Mexican restaurant located on Chicago’s North Shore. El Fuego Restaurant and Tequila Bar knows how to party, with good food, good drinks, and good music. Start your night at El Fuego Restaurant and Tequila Bar by enjoying some of the restaurant’s delicious appetizers such as Super Nachos or the El Fuego Wings. Be sure to also treat yourself with El Fuego’s delicious entrees such as tacos, burritos, and more. After filling your belly with the delicious options from El Fuego’s menu, it is now time to join the party! Head to the Tequila Bar and grab a drink before hitting the dance floor while you listen to a live mariachi band while taking in the fun of Cinco de Mayo.

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